Wanting to go on an adventure and itching to go somewhere new? Take a road trip! But, if you are going on a road trip soon, or even thinking about taking one, it’s not as easy as it may sound. Of course it depends on how long you will be in the car for, where you are going, and who you are with, but regardless of those details, you still want to make it a trip that you will never forget, and one that you will constantly look back on. This may be your first road trip and you may be visiting places you have never been before, so it is important to be prepared for anything! Taking note on some of these road trip essentials will not only make your journey a little bit easier, but it will make it that much more enjoyable!
Having some cash is extremely important to have on you while on a road trip, because sometimes you might stop in places that you weren’t necessarily planning on. It is good to save up your money and plan ahead in case of any emergency, for food, and especially for gas. It is also handy to have some small bills and coins just in case you run into any toll roads or parking meters on your journey. Keep your money in a safe place, make sure you always have it on you, and definitely make sure you don’t leave it in your car if you decide to step out.
12 Dryer Sheets
No, you will not have a washer and dryer in your car on this road trip, but it is extremely handy to have some dryer sheets around. Dryer sheets can quickly freshen up any dirty clothing or smelly shoes (which can stink up the entire car) by just a quick rub. You can also leave a dryer sheet in your travel bag or backpack to keep things smelling fresh. You will thank yourself that you have these handy when things start to get a bit smelly.
11 Car Emergency Kit
A car emergency kit will be your best friend if something tends to not go the way something is planned. Things happen, the car battery dies or the tire goes flat, so it’s crucial to be prepared for these situations in the best way that you can. Many car emergency kits come with jumper cables, flashlights, water packets, ponchos, band aides, and warning triangles. It is best to be prepared in this sort of situation just in case anything does happen. You will definitely be happy if you have this in your trunk!
Having a cooler in your car is a great way to store drinks or food to keep things fresh. Obviously you do not have to buy the huge, jumbo coolers made for tailgating, but purchasing a small, maneuverable cooler that you can move from the car to wherever you may decide to stop will become extremely valuable! It is important to stock up on water, especially if you are traveling during a time of hot weather, so it will be tremendously handy to have to keep your water cool or to just straight up stick your head into.
It’s dark, you can’t see, and you’re trying to find your phone charger that’s dropped on the side of your seat. Wouldn’t it have been so handy to have brought some sort of device that shines light? This is the perfect time to bring a flashlight. It feels good to be safe, because you never know if you get stuck somewhere while it’s dark and you need to check the hood of your car, your tire, or even something in the back seat. You can purchase small or heavy-duty flashlights, or it might even be helpful to download an app on your phone that is purposefully made to act as a flashlight.
Rather than lugging around a purse, a backpack will be more useful especially if you want to bring more things. If you are a heavy packer, a backpack will not only be easier to carry, but there are much more compartments and pockets that you can keep things in. It is also a great way to bring things on the go if you decide to explore outside of your car for a bit. You can carry food, water, wallets, notebooks, maps, or even an extra set of clothes if you decide to go for a quick hike, swim, or walk.
7 Sleeping Bag/Blanket
One thing that is absolutely essential when taking a road trip—is to take a nap. Let your driving buddy do the hard work of driving for a couple of hours while they let you sleep. Now, what do you need in order to do this? A blanket! Get a big, cozy blanket or even a sleeping bag, wrap yourself up in it, and just bask in the glory of how comfortable you are, considering you’re sitting in a car seat. A blanket or sleeping bag will also be handy if you decide to stop somewhere for a picnic, to lie out on the beach, if you get chilly, or if you decide to camp somewhere (don’t forget a tent too!)
Sometimes we don’t realize how crucial of a part toiletries play in our everyday lives. Simple items such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and paper towels can completely change your way of living if you don’t have them. It is also important to bring any pain relievers in case of headaches or body aches, but it is extremely important to remember to bring any medications that you may need on this trip. Sunscreen and sunglasses are good to bring as well, in order to avoid a in-car sunburn and constant squinty eyes. And ladies, it is so crucial to bring pads or tampons especially if you know that it will be that time of the month for you, and even if you aren't, it doesn’t hurt to bring some just in case.
This might be a no-brainer, but bringing a map to know where you are going is absolutely obvious and essential to a road trip. Although, in this day and age, there are hundreds of travel apps that we can download on our phones that will route us the entire way. The only downside to that though is that sometimes wifi or service may not be available, so it is important to have a physical back up map just in case. It could be a fun and exciting challenge to solely use the map on your journey, so make sure to bring highlighters and pens to track your adventure!
4 Laundry Bag
Having a bag that is solely for your dirty clothes separate from your clean clothes will be beneficial to you, so you don’t have to waste any time scrounging through your clothes and determine what is dirty and what is not. Having a separate bag for clothes will also help you organize the contents of your car better so you will avoid it looking like a laundry filled disaster. It will also be easy for you to then bring your bag of dirty clothes to a laundry mat (with your handy dryer sheets) and clean those clothes!
Whether you use a digital camera, a Polaroid camera, or even the camera on your phone, having something that will take pictures of your adventures will come to be useful for you later on when you want a good laugh. You will thank yourself later for all of the selfies that you took, the countless shots of the road, and that one spectacular view of the ocean. This is also the perfect opportunity to post all these great pictures onto all your social media accounts and show off how much fun you’ve been having!
Before leaving, make sure you stock up on some snacks that you can go ahead and take on the road. It’s always a smart idea to bring finger foods on the trip, mainly because you don’t want anything to hinder you from driving, and it's just easier to eat in general. It might also be helpful to bring some items that are good for making bigger meals such as sandwiches, since you more than likely will not have a stove or microwave to make a hot meal. Bringing snacks will also keep you full and fed, so you don’t desperately starve yourself in search for a restaurant on the road, where you might mistakenly spend some unnecessary money.
Clearly, the most important part of a road trip is your choice of music. Make sure you bring some sort of audio cable that you can plug into your phone so you can rock out to your own jams, or, make a playlist and burn it onto a CD that you can blast in the car. You can listen to a new album or soundtrack that you've been dying to listen to the whole way through, and you most likely will forever associate that album with that trip. It might be fun to bring some old CDs that you had when you were younger (hello Spice Girls), and listen, reminisce, and sing as loudly as you possibly can.