Travel is again on the rise, and with summer fast approaching, people are ready to take a trip and don’t mind the long drive to their destination. Road trips can be so much fun, and when you’re planning to hit the road, however, you need to ensure that you have all your essentials.
It’s challenging to think about “planning” and “spontaneous road trip,” but you need to prepare yourself when you go on trips, even when it is spontaneous. So if you’re thinking about hopping in the car and driving along the countryside, whether to see sights or visit friends and family, here’s a list of seven essential elements that you shouldn’t forget the next time you decide to hit the road.
1. A First Aid Kit / Safety Essentials
You can never be too cautious, and you may not be near enough to a gas station, rest stop, or even a residence if you’re driving out in the middle of nowhere. Injuries can happen, and you should always keep a fully-stocked first aid kit handy. You can even make a DIY kit to keep in the car at all times.
Essentials that you will find within the first aid kit may include:
- Bandages and gauze
- Ice packs
- Alcohol or sterile antiseptic wipes
- Safety pins
- Latex gloves
- Cotton balls
- Antibiotic ointment
It would be helpful to customize your kit depending on your plans for your road trip. For instance, suppose you plan to go camping, you may want to add things like sunscreen and bug repellent within your kit as added essentials. It is also an excellent idea to include car essentials for your road trip, such as jumper cables, a flashlight, a spare tire, and road flares, just in case you have an accident.
2. Luggage / Organized Backpacks
You should always have something that will hold all of your daily essentials for your trip, such as changes in clothes, hygiene products, supplements, or medications you may need. If you don’t want big, bulky luggage, consider investing in a travel backpack bag, which can be more versatile. It also works well if your trip involves more of the great outdoors, such as hiking or sightseeing, so you have an easy way to carry your luggage.
It might also be a good idea to have some sort of organized compartments within your vehicle for your trip so that you have easy access to things. Keeping your backseat area and allowing more room for your feet is helpful, especially if you will be traveling with children.
There are various electronics that you’ll be utilizing during your trip. Chargers for your cell phones, and GPS devices, so you have directions or other personal devices, are a must to ensure you can still use them throughout your journey.
You might consider a portable battery pack or creating a charging “station” within your car to keep everything in one easily accessible location. Equipment like digital cameras, dashcams, portable fans, tablets, e-readers, and more can all come along with you and have a spot for charging. Don’t forget to include extra batteries for your flashlight if you end up stranded in the dark.
4. Water and Snacks
Food and water will always be an essential element of any road trip. You need to stay hydrated, and you may not always have a chance to stop and eat, so having snacks to help curb your hunger and keep you on the go are a bonus.
Consider packing a small cooler with some cold snacks and drinks or loading up a water bottle that stays ice cold all day to keep you hydrated. Eating foods high in fiber help to keep you regulated as well, so think about bringing fresh fruits, dried fruits, granola bars, nuts, beef jerky, and raw veggies for your drive.
5. Layers and Blankets
Sitting in the car for an extended period can make your body feel stiff and achy. Try to bring comfortable items along with you, such as blankets, pillows, lumbar support cushions, and stuffed animals for your kids. You might also consider bringing extra layers of clothing to keep handy in case of temperature changes or differences in preferred temperature while driving.
6. Cleaning Supplies and Garbage Bags
Being prepared with the essentials on a road trip also means coming prepared for cleanup. Things can be messy when you eat and drink in your car, so ensure you something you can use to wipe down yourself and other surfaces that get dirty. Some things that you can include besides wipes are:
- Wet wipes or baby wipes
- Window/glass cleaner
- Paper towels
- Air fresheners/diffusers
Having a place to dispose of trash is also essential since you won’t be able to stop all the time and throw your garbage away. So keep a garbage bag handy, or if you want to, you can invest in a trash disposal can keep in your vehicle for easy cleanup. Just remember to separate your recyclables.
7. Entertainment and a Positive Attitude
It can become tedious to spend a lot of time in the car to reach your destination, so keeping an upbeat attitude is a must so that no one becomes cranky. Be prepared with the essentials of having things for entertainment, be it listening to or watching a movie on a device, playing road-related games, or listening to a fun music playlist.
Audiobooks and podcasts are popular for listening to and will help keep all passengers on your road trip engaged. However, keep in mind that it won’t distract your driver when choosing things for entertainment since that can be dangerous.
Jumping in the car and exploring doesn’t come without at least some planning to ensure a successful and enjoyable trip. Being prepared gives you the freedom to handle anything that may come your way on the road and not let anything get in the way or spoil your plans, so take some time to go over the essentials, and you’ll be sure to have fun, safe trip!