Ah, the essentials for road trip adventures – so simple, yet so important. You might think that there are not, in fact, any essentials for a road trip, since road trips are typically thought to be spur of the moment journeys. That’s certainly true, but there are just a few things you should always have with you. You’ll enjoy the adventure more, you still won’t have to pack too much, and you’ll rarely if ever get caught unaware needing something you don’t have. All you have to do is pack these things when you’re taking a road trip!
One of the biggest essentials for road trip adventures is a camera. A good digital camera, a professional manual one, a disposal camera, a cell phone camera – have something to record your journey! Keep one with you in the car as well; if you’re the passenger, make it your duty to take pictures of the things you pass. Who cares if the images are blurry? You and your road trip buddy will still remember the moment!
Navigational tools are also essentials for a road trip. A map is one such essential, at the very least. I mean, there’s no saying it can’t be Google Maps if, for example, you happen to be really bad at reading actual maps. Ahem. But anyway! Let’s include GPS here as well, since they’re pretty common these days, but on a road trip, you can really just use it if you get really lost!
It’s always good to have your own tools for vehicle maintenance, especially when you’re on the road. If your battery’s acting up or your car dies when you pull in for gas, just pull out your jumper cables and ask one of the attendants or a fellow driver for help. Be smart, of course, be careful, and be with a friend. It’s better if you have your own jumpers, though, that way you won’t have to depend on the hope that someone else has them.
Spare tire, tire iron, jack – these are all essentials for road trip activities. You don’t want to be stuck on a back road or a dark stretch of highway with a flat tire. You can be back on the road in no time when you know how to change it. However, if it’s a flimsy bike, you’ll definitely want to make a pit stop to get a better tire when you can!
Similarly, definitely make room for a gas can. Running out of gas is no fun, especially if you’re somewhere unfamiliar. Having AAA helps with this, but there are some places even they can’t go. You can improve a bad situation slightly by making sure you at least have your own gas can.
Whether you use the radio, a CD, or an iPod, you’ve got to have good music when you’re taking a road trip! Now, you have to be fair to your cohorts, so choose music you all like or take turns playing your favorites. That’s a great way to get introduced to new bands and artists, and you’ll learn a lot about friends, family members, or Better Halves just by listening to the music they prefer in the car. Protip: if you’re using iPods or cell phones or tablets, make sure you can charge them in the vehicle, even if it means buying an adapter for your cigarette lighter.
It’s always a good idea to have plenty of things to eat and drink when you’re taking a trip. They’re some of the biggest essentials for a road trip for several reasons. If you have light or substantial snacks, you won’t have to stop as often for food. You definitely get thirsty during car trips, and drinking a lot of water can help your body adapt to some of the changes it will experience as you drive up mountains, into valleys, and so on.
A traditional first aid kit is a must, but if you’re going to be on the road for a while, add to it so it suits your needs, and the needs of anyone traveling with you. Make sure you have things for bee stings; if you’re prone to headaches, bring the pain relievers of your choice – Tylenol, Excedrin, et cetera; if you’ll be on your period while traveling, bring Midol as well as protection; and so on. Don’t be caught without what you need!
Clearly, there are only a few necessary essentials for road trip journeys. You just have to try and remember to take them with you. They’ll make your trip go much more smoothly, and in turn you’ll have a better time. Let us know about your must-have road trip essentials – and the best/worst road trips you’ve ever taken!
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