Are you gearing up for a road trip? Before you head out, make sure to pack your essentials! From snacks and drinks to music and games, here are the seven items that always come in handy on long drives.
An Emergency Kit
It’s always good to prepare for the worst, and that means having an emergency kit in your car. This should include a first-aid kit with bandages and ointments, as well as any medication you need. Make sure to include anti-nausea medications for car sickness and pain relievers in case you get too tense or sore from the long hours of driving.
Extra Clothes and Shoes
It’s always a good idea to have an extra change of clothes in your car. You may get wet or dirty, and you don’t want to be stuck without fresh underwear if something happens! It’s also smart to pack comfortable shoes that can handle any amount of walking around the destination.
Make sure to pack clothes for different temperature conditions. While you’re driving through diverse terrain, you may encounter colder or warmer weather than anticipated. Bring extra socks, a warm hat, a pair of gloves, an umbrella, and a jacket. Make sure that your clothes are easy to layer, so it’s easy to take them on and off.
Sunscreen and Bug Spray
Sunscreen and bug spray are other necessities you’ll want to keep in mind during those long hours of driving. You may be surprised by how much sun exposure you will get inside of the car during the road trip. Make sure to apply your sunscreen every few hours.
Bug spray is a must-have, especially if you’re travelling in areas where bugs are more prevalent. It’s a great option for when you pull over for a bathroom break or quick picnic lunch. Being itchy from bites during a road trip can be uncomfortable and distracting, so make sure to keep your skin protected!
Nonperishable Snacks and a Cooler
There’s nothing worse than going on a long car ride and feeling exhausted due to hunger or an empty stomach, not to mention having no food options available for miles! Nonperishable snacks are a great way to fill in these gaps.
Some great ideas for road trip snacks include granola bars, nuts, dried fruit packets, protein bars, protein shakes, dried cereal, applesauce cups, yogurt bites, and trail mix. Make sure to add a candy bar or two for a treat if your diet allows it! Bringing a small cooler on your road trip is great for keeping your food cold and even better for keeping drinks cool.
You have a few options for carrying this cooler with you on the road trip: either in the front seat of your car next to you or strapped down in the backseat (or cargo area if it’s big enough).
If you don’t have a small cooler on hand, there are other ways of keeping your food and drinks cool while driving! Consider investing in an ice pack or two—these can be used when your car is parked for the evening as well and fit easily in a plastic or paper bag. Pack a small cooler and snacks to munch on. You may find that you’re not feeling hungry when it’s time for lunch or dinner, but if your car is filled with yummy food, then the temptation will be there!
Whether or not you’re taking your car on your road trip or renting one, your vehicle must be fully insured. You’ll want to make sure you have 4wd insurance if you plan to take a Jeep, for example.
If you’re renting a car, make sure you pay for the insurance upfront and read the terms of rental. Some companies will automatically provide insurance coverage with your rental, but you’ll need to purchase it separately if they don’t.
Check and see if your credit or debit card provider offers auto insurance coverage for rental vehicles. This is a great way to ensure you’re safe on the road while saving money.
Basic Car Tools
Make sure that you have basic car repair tools in case of a minor emergency. This includes jumper cables, a spare tire, and a jack. If you’re not familiar with jumping a car or changing a tire, make sure to take some time to learn this skill before you go on a road trip.
If you’re offroading or driving on any unpaved terrain during your trip, make sure to pack a shovel and tow strap. An emergency flag is also a good idea if you need to leave the vehicle while waiting for a tow truck.
It’s also important to have emergency roadside assistance available on your phone if you need help getting back on the road or finding yourself stranded and alone with no one around for miles. Be sure to do an oil change before any long trip, as this will keep it running smoothly without breaking down during your travels.
Since your road trip is most likely recreational, you’ll want to make sure you are entertained along the way. If you’re going on a road trip with children, you may want to bring games and books for them. For adult road trippers, audiobooks are a great option to stay engaged. Make sure to prepare a great playlist so you can enjoy your favourite tunes during the drive as well!
Know before you go! Planning out your trip ahead of time can help make for an enjoyable experience, keeping everything more organized and less stressful. Include these seven essentials in every road trip to ensure that the miles fly by like they’re nothing.