One of the things you should probably start doing when you are already independent in life is to go on a road trip. It is one of those experiences that gain you valuable insights and new perspectives. You get to explore the vastness of one part of the world and not only see the different cultures, but also beautiful landscapes, towns, and other wonders of nature and civilization. It is an adventure you’d definitely not forget in your lifetime.
Road trips can last for only a few days to weeks and months of traveling. Some people go cross country adventures starting from their starting point to a point at the far side of the continent. Although this is definitely one of the things you should at least try to do once in a lifetime, it can be scary for some. It would mean going out of your comfort zone and trying things out of the conventional. One fact you should check is how expensive it could get, especially if you are not doing practical things for the trip. You have to remember that in engaging this adventure, you don’t have to splurge. You don’t want to come back broke after a great adventure. You could save tons of money if you do well in preparation and you can cut back on your spending by doing simple things.
Since preparation is an important key, here are 19 essential things you need on your next road trip.
1. Your Car in its Best Condition
Consider your car as your best friend when you go on a road trip: reliable, in the best shape, brings you comfort, and most importantly, not going to break down easily. This means that you would need to take your car to an appointment with your car specialist. You have to pay special attention to the tires, car fluids, battery, engine and most importantly its brakes. This is to ensure that the vehicle is at its optimal performance. You also need to talk to your car guy for additional tips and hacks you need to know. As much as possible, even prior to traveling, you should be able to know some basics about car assessment, maintenance and repair. This is in case something goes wrong and you need to at least make it to the nearest auto shop.
If you are looking to rent out a car for camping, go to the best car rental who can recommend to you the best ones to use on the road. There are actually various types that can cater to you depending on the size of your group and the accommodation needed if ever. There are camping cars, vans, and even buses. Before you rent out, do some research and equip yourself with the basic knowledge on the how-to’s of the car.
2. Spare Tire
You would need a spare tire at all times but it is especially needed for long haul trips. The ones you should be bringing on your road trip should be in the best condition, if not new. Along with the spare tire is your skill on changing one. Although it is common knowledge to most people, you should be able to know the simple tricks when changing tires to make it swift and safe.
Where your spare tires are kept should also be where you keep the jack and tire iron. You need both in order to effectively remove the old one and replace it with the spare. It would be almost impossible to hack your way to new tires without those tools. Keep them handy and secured.
Additionally, you should be able to put early warning devices for when you need to do the changing along the road. This is for your safety and the safety of other cars too because it will signal them of your presence.
3. Travel Documents
Whenever you travel, you would need these documents. You have to prepare your driver’s license and the licenses of everyone who will drive with you for your trip. It is often the case for group traveling, they have more than one driver and that is actually the recommended scenario. You have to secure the car registration papers and your insurance photocopied as well. All these documents should be securely placed in the glove box for easy access. Never mix these with your other things.
You may need to prepare more documents for when you decide to do your road trip abroad. Along with the basics, you need to include here your passport, visa (if needed), special driving permit (depending on the country), proof of car rental (if you rented one), and other requirements, IDs and documents.
4. On the Road Car Kit
Often sits in your garage are the essentials you need or your car. When you travel, you have to get these on with the car to avoid extra spendings on the road. This is a big essential kit to have that’s full of other smaller essential things. This would contain your power tools, car manual, fluids, car oils, empty gas and water cans, jumper cable, and other important handy car maintenance needs. Take note, you need it if you know how or can easily learn how to use it yourself. You would be thankful later if you know these basics because you can avoid going to the car specialist when there’s none nearby for only a minor issue.
5. Compass and Map
Before modern gadgets, early navigation made drivers use their own compass and map. It would be nice to know where you are going if you have a map with you. Sure you can always have it downloaded on your phone and other devices, but that would mean you consume more power as you travel. A compass and a map is actually a great way to learn more about geography and gives you a more in-depth sense of travel. Plus, it would be great to know where your North and South is and make marks on the map, which would serve as the ultimate memorabilia for you to keep.
6. Plenty of Snacks
Even if you are just sitting in your car, you could get pretty tired and hungry easily. This is why you should pack up snacks that are easy to eat while you are driving. This includes some trail mix, cereals and nuts, small and easy to eat fruits, cookies, and even bite sized versions of meals such chicken lollipop and sausages. You could be creative in making a variety. This will lessen your food stops and spendings. Also, drivers feel a jolt of energy when they are always snacking when they drive. This would help them stay awake and feel active. The driver must take extra precaution though and make sure that snacking will not divert their attention. So you can stop for a few minutes in any lay-by and snack your way ahead. Bring plenty of drinks too, along with candies and gum.
A lot of people are already for cashless transactions and it is actually a good idea to travel without a large sum of money for you not to attract unwanted attention. But you would need to bring in some cash for toll fees, parking payments, and other things that need loose change.
8. Portable Garbage Can
Whenever you travel, always leave your trash with you and leave none of those behind. You can dispose of this off when you see garbage bins in town but when you go hiking and camping, you might find none nearby. Make sure you are doing the environment a favor while you are marveling at its wonders.
9. Self- Care and First Aid Kit
You would need one for yourself as you have one for your car. This would include your toiletries, alcohol, sunscreen, and your important medications for when you have emergencies. Include your pills for headache, fever, and stomachache. Have your ointments for insect bites, wounds, and burns handy as well. This is something you can build on as you travel over time.
10. Dash Cam
Dash cams are now very important, if not yet required by the law. This is for documentation purposes and is helpful for any road accidents and important events. Have your video file storage wiped out prior so you can store all the data from your travel.
11. Packed Clothes
This is the same for when you go to the airport, pack clothes lightly. As much as possible, prepare one thing needed for any weather. Choose those made with comfortable and breathable garments. Put comfort first before fashion and style. Choose shoes that are helpful for our activities too.
This is one thing you need especially when you go camping. Get one that uses solar charging if possible. Have one that is for heavy duty.
Buying tents for road trips actually slightly differs from those used in normal campings. The ones you need here should actually be more specialized to ease of use. According to Venture Overland Company, having gear you can rely on is important and that you should know the products that enhance the experience and won’t leave you stranded. Some of the tents can be installed on the roof of your car for added convenience. This is actually good as it makes the process of packing up easier each day.
14. Sleeping Essentials
These are your pillows and blankets for travelling. You could get the ones from your bed but those might get easily soiled and not appropriate to use because the materials are not made for outdoors or camping. Choose one with good materials so you could sleep comfortably at night because you need to be comfortable and well rested every time you drive.
15. Pepper Spray and Swiss Army Knife
Pepper spray is needed for your protection against intruders and wild animals. The knife could be used for traveling and camping hacks as well as in preparing food and removing obstacles along the way.
The gadgets you bring are only those that will add value to your adventure such as your phone, camera or two-way radio. As much as possible, bring an emergency power source, one that is solar powered to charge these gadgets. Bring extra batteries if you need those.
17. Match or Lighter
When making a fire when you need to cook or keep you warm, you need to have matches or lighter with you. You could start a fire with wood and stones but that would take time and more effort.
18. Cooler or Storage
This is for your food and beverage as you travel. Ice Packs are actually helpful in case there are injuries or cramps, not just for your beverage.
19. Day Bag
Some people forget to bring a day bag when they travel. This one is helpful for when you need to walk and hike. You cannot bring most of your things in a bag so make sure to include only those you need for that moment or activity, such as camping knives for cutting through bushes. This is also good for quick runs and trips so you don’t have to bring your entire luggage with you. This is where you should store the handy items on this list. Choose a backpack with all those secured belts, made with a waterproof material, and with plenty of pockets.
If you want to go on roadtrips as part of your lifestyle, you should invest in the best equipment to provide you with comfort and other traveling needs. You need to get something that is intended to be used for traveling because they are packed in a way that they are space saving and they are durable. You have to remember that these should also be easy to handle so that they are hassle free to set up and easy to maintain. The things you need to prepare are not only for yourself and your company but for your car especially. You wouldn’t enjoy it so much if you are broken down while driving on a long stretch.