While most people going on vacation today prefer to get to their destination by plane, there’s a certain charm about going on a road trip. It is definitely one of those experiences everyone should try at least once in their life. It will enrich you and offer you a sense of freedom as you’ll get to be spontaneous and stop whenever and wherever you want while discovering new and beautiful places. But before you get into your car and go, here are the essentials that should be on your packing list for your road trip.
1. Car paperwork
Before hitting the road, first make sure your car is in great condition, and that all its papers and documents are in order. You should never leave without the car insurance, license and registration. Also, take the car book with you, in case something happens with the car, and you’re not sure what is wrong.
2. Emergency kit
It goes without saying that one of the first things to pack when going on a holiday should be an emergency kit. Some of the kit must-haves should be a first aid guide, tweezers and scissors, disposable vinyl gloves, a whistle, sting relief pads, bandages, sterile pads, antiseptic towels, and cotton-tipped applicators. When going on a road trip, also include a car emergency kit with a spare tire, light sticks, a flashlight, spare batteries, and a phosphorescent security vest.
3. Comfort kit
Since you’re going to be in your car a lot, you might as well get comfortable. Include travel pillows, blankets, and a car mattress in your bags. Even if you have all your accommodations booked throughout your trip, you never know what might happen, so having an alternative sleeping option might come in handy in case you miss your hotel or Airbnb check-in time.
4. Snacks and water
Always pack plenty of snacks and drinks for the ride. You never know if you’re going to find a nice place to eat along the way or not, so it’s better to leave prepared, than end up eating a lot of junk food in diners on the road. Pack everything in a cooler or a snack organizer to keep them fresh and easy to find. Always include plenty of fluids like water, sodas, and iced tea, but also travel cups so you can drink easier and share with the rest of the group. Don’t forget coffee or energy drinks; the driver will definitely need them. As for snacks, try to include both sweet and salty treats, fruit, energy bars, sandwiches, and anything you might enjoy eating, and that does not alter too fast.
5. Games and music
Games and music are two of the most important elements of a fun road trip. You’re going to spend lots of hours in the car, so what better way to avoid boredom than a fun playlist with some of your favorite songs? Both Spotify and Apple Music have some pretty cool playlists for driving, so it might be a good idea to check them out a night before, pick your favorites, and download them for the road. One of the best parts of road trips is getting to your accommodation or putting up the tent at the end of the day, and gathering to play some games and enjoy a nightcap and some giggles with your road trip buddies. Luckily, the most popular family games also come in travel size today, so they won’t take up much space in the car.
6. Navigation tools
Men usually hate to ask for directions, so all the more reason to bring your navigation tools with you. Make sure you include the GPS on your packing list, but also take maps of the places you’ll go, in case you run out of battery or want to lay in bed and plan the route for the next day.
7. Tent and camping gear
Part of the beauty of going on a road trip is mixing it up with a camping experience. You can alternate staying at hotels or Airbnb rentals with camping in your tent. Camping gear might also come to good use if you can’t find accommodation for a night, or you want to save some money, so make sure you bring stuff like a waterproof, solid tent, flashlights, some warmer camping clothes, bug spray, and any essentials you think you might need for sleeping in the middle of nature.
8. Sleeping bag and mattress
When going on a road trip, you should never leave without a sleeping bag and mattress. These could prove their usefulness in multiple situations. You might need them, for example, if you decide to go camping or if you need to sleep in the car, or even if one of the accommodations along the way is not spacious enough, and one of you needs to sleep on the floor. Sleeping bags are always a good idea to keep you warm in case the weather is unpredictable, or you don’t have proper heating at one of the properties.
9. Toiletries and medicine kit
While toiletries and a medicine kit are a must-have on any vacation, they are particularly important on a getaway as unpredictable as a road trip. You will be eating in a different place every day, so it might be a good idea to carry all kinds of food poisoning and stomach ache medication with you. Being on the road also means that at times you might be pretty far from a hospital, so make sure you have common medication like antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication, and ibuprofen. Don’t forget the toiletries either, and make sure you include sunscreen.
10. Comfortable clothes and sunglasses
Being on the road requires comfortable and practical clothes, so include stuff like sneakers, hiking boots, sweatpants, and t-shirts in your bag. Pack for different kinds of weather - hot and cold, sunny and rainy; you never know what might happen. Sunglasses are particularly important, especially if you’re driving, to protect you from harmful UVA/UVB rays.
Road trips - an experience for the bucket list
A road trip is a unique experience that will most likely change you, or at least your perspective on traveling. So, make sure you add one to your bucket list to try at least once in your lifetime. To make things easier, make sure you check out this packing list that includes all the essentials for a great road trip.
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