Few holidays can beat the appeal of the good, old road trip. But while it’s easy to get carried away with the thrill of the impending vacation on the wheels, you should preserve the minimum of common sense and make sure you’ve packed everything you need for the trip. Not sure if your road trip essentials are all safely packed and good to go? Here, use this checklist to ensure no critical piece of gear stays behind.
Navigation basics to go
Even if you know the route of your road trip like the back of your hand, it won’t go amiss to have essential navigation gear within reach. Before setting out for the trip, pack a GPS device, maps, and travel guides, and check if the navigation system in your car needs to be updated. You can also back up your navigation by a dedicated smartphone app, just to stay on the right track.
Key documents at hand
Traffic officers seem to have a sixth sense for holidaymakers who leave important documents at home. A frequently overlooked road trip essential, critical documents such as ID cards, passport, driver’s license, your car’s registration certificate, and insurance policy should be safely stored in the glove compartment and ready for a quick checkup by wayfaring wardens.
First aid items in place
Accidents can – and usually do – occur on the road. For this reason, it may be convenient for you to have a fully stocked first aid kit in your car, along with basic medical supplies and toiletries. To stay on the well-protected side of the road trip itinerary, don’t forget to pack sunscreen with a high SPF and sunshades with dark or mirrored lenses.
The anti-emergency kit
It’s always a good idea to have an anti-emergency kit ready should a crisis scenario befall you on the fly. To stay on the safe side of the trip, pack a spare tire, a set of jumper cables, a jack, basic tools, a flashlight, and towing ropes. You can also sign up for emergency petrol delivery services: you never know if you’ll run out of gas in the middle of nowhere.
Have a nom on the fly
As fun as it may be, the road trip can deplete your energy, which is why it would be a good idea to have some snacks in your backpack ready for munching. The best foods to have at hand on the fly include dried and fresh fruit, sandwiches, granola bars, pretzels, and crackers, but you can also pre-cook rice and veggies if you intend to wolf them down on the first day on the road.
Tissues within reach
You won’t normally hit the road expecting to come down with a runny nose, but it would still be handy to have some tissues, napkins, toilet paper, wet wipes, and towels in your car should the need for them arise. Also, don’t forget to bring along some spare plastic bags and water bottles: they can quite nearly save your life if fate throws an emergency your way.
Tech gear in check
On top of navigation and emergency gear, you’ll also need a few smart gadgets if you don’t want to die of boredom halfway through the trip. A tablet or laptop, iPod, camera, and spare batteries should keep your tech-based entertainment needs covered. You can bring your phone charger, alarm clock, and hands-free device along if you’re going to use your phone during the drive.
Boredom at bay
Playing cards, books, and board games will help keep boredom at bay during a road trip. If you want to get your blood flowing at long stop-offs, you can bring along a Frisbee or ball, and don’t forget to pack a few coloring books in case you’re travelling with kids. If you’re a diehard movie fan, a portable DVD player will also be a good entertainment option on the go.
All things fluffy
Spare clothes and underwear aren’t the only comfort items you’ll need on the trip. To keep chills at bay, bring along a blanket, inflatable pillow, ponchos, and raincoats, and pack a sleeping bag should the need for sleeping outside standard accommodation arise. You can also pack galoshes or rubber boots should a cold rainy spell catch you off guard during the trip.
Ready to hit the road? Be sure to pack gear listed above and arm yourself with enough cash and good company, and your next road trip might just turn out to be a holiday you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Bon voyage!