When you’re heading out for a road trip, it’s important to make sure that you have the right vehicle, the right route, and the right plan. However, one thing that you shouldn’t skip over is what you’re packing for the trip, as well. You might want to pack light to make it easier to get around on the road, but that doesn’t mean that you should be skipping out on the items that are likely to become essential. Here are a few of the items you should always make sure that you have on hand.
Documents for the car
You should make sure that you have any documents for both the car and driver on hand should you be stopped along the way or need to get in contact with any car breakdown or repair services. Make sure that your driver’s license is always within reach and store any car documents like the manual, insurance details, and rental agreement (if you’re renting the car) somewhere that you can easily grab them. The glove compartment is well suited for just that purpose. Triple-check you have these before you set off on your road trip.
Clothes for all weather
No matter what season you’re travelling in, it’s important to make sure that you at least have an outfit for every kind of weather you’re likely to see along the way. This includes simple, light summer wear that’s breathable and sweat-wicking. If it starts raining, you should have a light weatherproof coat to throw on over it. You might think that you’re going to spend any time involving adverse weather in the vehicle, but you’re going to want to spread your legs and you don’t want a little rain or wind preventing you from seeing one of the stops you’ve been looking forward to seeing. Make sure you’re equipped for all weather.
Yes, you might have a GPS in the vehicle, not to mention smartphones that you can use to access online maps at seemingly any time. However, you should always make sure that you have a backup and perhaps even more importantly, be prepared for those moments that you might be out of signal and unable to rely on your tech as much. When you’re preparing for your trip, make sure that you get your hands on paper maps. There are online map sites that allow you to either print off maps you need or, more importantly, save those maps so that you can use them offline.
You’re going to be spending a lot of time in a vehicle with windows that are going to directly let in the sunlight. What’s more, depending on the time of day, that sun is likely to be right in your face. For that reason, you should be taking the sunlight seriously. Bring a high SPF full-spectrum sunscreen for everyone in the car. Make sure that you have a good pair of sunglasses like Ray Ban as well. Aside from protecting your eyes, it’s crucial to make sure that glare doesn’t risk your safety on the road.
A decent cooler
When you’re on the road, you’re going to want to have access to cool, fresh snacks and much more importantly, some refreshing water. Trying to keep these resources in the vehicle is going to see them heat up and become pretty gross in no time. Instead, take a look at some of the BCF coolers out there that you can keep within arm’s reach of the driver whenever they need to refresh themselves.
A first aid kit
Accidents happen and people can end up hurting themselves. Even if it’s a very minor wound, like a small cut when you’re in the wilderness or on the road, you want to make sure that you take every chance against the risk of things like infection. As such, you should make sure that you look at sites like St John for an emergency kit you can keep on hand. It should include disinfectant as well as all the materials needed to treat, close, and dress any aches you pick up on the way.
Your car emergency kit
The risk of breaking down on the side of the road during the trip is above zero. For that reason, you need more than zero preparation for such an event. There are all kinds of ready car emergency kits that you can buy, but you should make sure it includes all of the essentials. This includes jumper cables, rope, gloves and preferably, some kind of visibility equipment like flares or cones that can be set beside the car. After all, poor visibility is one of the biggest risks when it comes to breaking down at night.
A spare tyre
One of the vehicle essentials that isn’t going to come with any emergency car kit is a spare tyre. You need to double-check to ensure that the tyre is in good working condition before you set off. If you don’t know how to change a spare tyre, then take a look at a tutorial before you go. If you need to print off a step-by-step list of instructions, then so be it. You don’t know whether or not you will be within reach of a breakdown service, so being able to change a tire is crucial.
First of all, having a portable charging station in the car is going to be a lifesaver. Not only can you use it to charge all manner of digital devices, but it can do it even if the car battery isn’t working as it should. Aside from a charging station, you should make sure that you keep one smartphone turned off with the battery fully charged. This way, if you do end up in a tight spot, such as being broken down on the side of the road with no battery, you have one phone that still has the power to make calls no matter what.
Air freshener for the car
It might not seem quite like as much of an essential thing to pack as some of the items listed above. However, your comfort in the car is going to be important. Road trips typically involve multiple people being sat in a car together, eating, drinking and doing all sorts as they go. Over time, this can build into quite an unpleasant olfactory experience. To that end, make sure that you pick up some car air fresheners like those shown at My Poppet along the way. No one wants to sit in a miasma of stale eggs and body odour for too long.
Dry shampoo and skin cleanser
You’re going to want to make stops at places you can grab a shower and give yourself a good wash. However, that’s not always going to be possible, so it’s a good idea to have some tools you can use to cleanse yourself on the way. Simple water-based hand and face washes can make you feel a little cleaner, clearing away dead skin and the like. Don’t underestimate products like dry shampoo shown at Adore Beauty for their convenience, either.
Fail to prepare and you prepare to fail, as they say. This is as true of the road trip as it is for anything else. Hopefully, the tips above give you a good idea of what you can’t neglect to bring with you. It’s not an exhaustive list by any means, but if you’re leaving without any of these you could be causing more trouble for yourself down the line.