BY: SAMANTHA TAPP
Preparing your road trip essentials will ease your mind during your road trip, giving you the freedom to focus on the open road ahead of you. You can’t buy peace of mind, but you can be as prepared as possible, which will start your road trip off on a good note and hopefully keep you prepared throughout the entire trip.
Going on a road trip is a freeing feeling; one full of adventure and the unexpected. You don’t want to lose those feelings because you’re worried about basic necessities that you probably should’ve planned for. Pick and choose what you want to bring on your trip, but there are some things that are essential for any good road trip.
These are 10 essential road trip items to bring on your next adventure:
1. Healthy, non perishable snacks
Whether you plan on stopping at every restaurant along the way or you plan on hitting up grocery stores to save some money, you’re going to need some snacks along the way. To save time and money bring nonperishable (and preferably) healthy snacks with you. From driving through the desert without any rest stops to being in stop-and-go traffic in a big city with no parking, you’ll be happy you have snacks ready to go.
Ideas? Granola bars, dried fruit, nuts and seeds, crackers, beef jerky or trail mix.
2. Keep it clean
Even if you and all of your fellow road trippers are the cleanest people in the world, spending hours in a packed car can quickly change that. Hopefully you’re all showering as soon as you step in a hotel room, however, if you aren’t staying in a hotel room regularly or you’ve noticed a funky smell and you’re still hours away from your next hotel step, you’ll need some quick fixes.
There are some essentials you can pack in your car to ensure everything keeps a nice clean smell, even though even deodorant can’t cover up the smell of dirty clothes and air freshener can’t quite change the greasy smell fast food. But, to keep your personal hygiene as clean as possible in the car you can bring body spray, deodorant, gum, mouth wash, baby wipes and dry shampoo.
3. Map it out
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: bring multiple maps. This is the generation of the smartphone and it’s great, there’s always a mini computer ready at the touch of your fingertips. However, try and be smarter than your smartphone and don’t solely rely on it for directions while you’re on a road trip.
Batteries die, signals get lost and phones break. When something happens to your phone you’re going to be so happy that you brought a second and third option. Plug in your GPS and whip out the old school map because these are both essentials to your trip that you need to pack. There’s nothing worse than getting completely lost or having to pull over every half hour to get directions, so travel prepared.
4. Dress to impress
In this case it doesn’t mean iron your finest suit or dress and throw it on for the ride, but dress for the occasion. Prepare for the weather and the area you’re travelling to. Are you hiking? Make sure you have proper boots and attire. Is the temperature going to drop at nighttime? Pack a jacket and some jeans.
There’s nothing worse than having to stop to shop to buy clothes that you need because you didn’t pack properly. Research the weather before you go and try and prepare for all possible weather conditions. And for the love of comfortable road trips, pack some comfy clothes to wear in the car. No one’s going to be impressed if you’re complaining about your tight, uncomfortable clothes.
5. Don’t let the motion get to you
You want to enjoy the entire road trip, but your trip can be seriously affected if you’re feeling sick on the road. If you know you get motion sickness or you’ve never been on a long road trip or if you know you may be driving while you’re hung over, get prepared. There are a bunch of different options to cure your motion sickness. If you’re looking to go the natural way, try out ginger gum or candy, or if you’re looking for a medical remedy, pop some Gravol.
6. DIY car kit
Bring out your inner DIY car skills to fix any small problems you may face on the road. Flat tire? No problem. Dead battery? Easy. That’s of course as long as you came prepared with an emergency car kit. While you probably won’t run into any car issues, it’s essential to bring these items with you in case something goes wrong.
What should be in your kit? A small tool kit to fix a flat tire with directions, jumper cables, batteries, a flashlight and your CAA or AAA information if you need some extra help.
7. Keep it cool
A cooler is essential if you’re looking to save time, money, eat healthier, or if you just really don’t want to eat out every single day. Grab a cheap cooler before your journey and hit up the grocery store. Easy snacks and easy-to-make food can be kept in the cooler for easy access on the road. Throw some ice in the cooler every time you leave a hotel and you’ll be good to go. Pro tip: keep lots of drinks in the cooler; this will stop you from buying a drink every time you pull over to a rest stop.
8. Power up
Before you leave it’s a great idea to buy a voltage inverter or even just some car chargers. If you opted out of bringing the old school map, you’re going to need to make sure you keep you GPS and phone charged at all times. This means having available outlets. Even if you’re not driving a brand new car you can still buy different outlets so that your electronics can stay charged.
If you do choose to buy a voltage inverter, you’ll be able to plug in any standard plug. This is great for phones, cameras or laptops.
9. Loads of paper
This is definitely an essential. Paper towels, napkins, toilet paper and some old rags. Bring it all and bring lots of it. There will be spills in the car, you’ll be eating on the road and you’ll definitely need to use the washroom when there isn’t one anywhere close by. Just as you’ll need to bring essentials to keep your personal hygiene in check, you’ll also need to keep the car clean and this starts with paper products. It’s also a good idea to grab some Lysol wipes. You’ll thank me later.
10. Get comfy
Make your road trip comfortable. Sit back, turn up the music and relax. What would make that even better? How about a nap in the car after you’ve been driving for hours. Or perhaps you’re saving a few bucks and choosing to sleep in the car for some nights on the road. Whatever it may be, having a blanket and pillow handy is a necessity for a comfortable sleep. Do your back and neck a favour and don’t forget these.