A trip is not always about the destination but is about the journey. Road trips are fun and are full of adventures. Sometimes, it might be anxiety-inducing, time-taking, and tedious one, but if planned well, you will thoroughly enjoy it. It is worth experiencing an exciting long road trip, which allows you to see more of nature’s beauty and the picturesque locales. You can stop at many popular tourist places, you desire en route. Keep your travel spirits high and read along the twelve useful utilities or essential items to carry for a long road trip. So, if you are planning soon to hit the road, keep this list handy.
GPS navigators- A lot of mobile apps have made many adventurous trips easy in recent times. For first-timers, Google maps come to mind. Barring this, there are a few more road navigation apps, like Waze and so on. Various features and alerts make these applications useful. Most of them have a feature to alert the drivers to the presence of any nearby re-fuelling station, road congestion, road accidents, speed breaker, and other obstacles, which might get your trip to a grinding halt.
Additionally, keep a road (paper) map handy. While traveling through the ‘no network’ zone, there will be instances where you will find a shortage of phone signals or internet connection. Having a road map in real acts as a guiding light.
Chargers – Chargers are required for any long road trips. GPS, and other social media apps, drain out the phone’s battery fast. Invest in a power bank, especially having a couple of USB outlets when planning for any long road trips. Mobile roaming drains out the battery very soon. In today’s digitized age, charging hi-tech gadgets stand as the paramount importance. So, pack a right power bank or a charger along with your other packing items. It is yet again a useful item.
Camera – Being frenzied before any trip makes us miss out on various utility-oriented things, like getting along with a camera. It is a well-defined idea of packing a camera along with your belongings. Irrespective of photography as your hobby, carrying a camera will assist you in capturing the travel moments that help reminiscing later. Various exotic locales might turn into a ‘click-mode’ in your psyche, but without a camera, you can never frame them. Along with the camera, pack the associated accessories like the lens-cleaner kit, folding tripods, fresh pack of chargeable batteries, and its charger. Also, keep a memory card handy, in case you require it.
Sufficient cash –In today’s card-friendly world, we hardly carry money in our wallet. During road trips, when you hit the highway, with wilderness on both sides, and deserts, there is hardly any chance to get hold of an ATM! For a long road trip, keep enough cash and coins for the toll plaza, car parking, and small roadside eateries. Also, keep some extra as an emergency expense.
Healthy eatables – While on any road trip, you should try eating healthy food. By eating light food and health drinks, you will feel energetic. Choose eatables comprising yogurts, seasonal-fruits, chocolates, sunflower seeds, and nuts. Store some tinned foods for the trip that is a long hour one. There might be chances of not getting any excellent eateries on the highways. So, cater for road trip friendly light snacks to keep yourself from falling weak or sick. Remain well-hydrated by following a couple of bottled water and health drinks. Avoid drinking too much water for a smooth drive. And avoid drinking too much soda, as it will make you dehydrated. A small tangy candies’ packet acts as a great refreshment. You can keep the same in your glove compartment. While moving, if you start having a bout of vertigo or motion sickness, these all things turn helpful.
An all-purpose day pack – Irrespective of any road trip being short or long, plan to carry an all-purpose day pack. Put inside it whatever you consider essential or worth utilizing for the day. Place a set of change, a sweater or shawl (as nights are cold sometimes), basic toiletries, and UV protected sunglasses. You never know, while driving when you might want to take a break, and start the following day again looking fresh! Place it on your car seat, and within your reach. Load the main items, like sleeping bags, camping gears, or else hiking cycle on your car roof racks.
Medical kit – Prepare a first-aid kit and store it well with some quick-healing medicines like Aspirin and related items like bandages, cream, pain relievers, antiseptic lotions, and motion sickness medicine. Get along a muscle roller stick to avoid muscles and joint aches taking place, owing to long hours on the road. Also, carry motion sickness medicines and some pain-relieving medicines handy for curing any relentless headache that you might suffer during the road trip. Cater to a good sun-block while traveling, especially on long road trips. Believe in those having an SPF count of more than 50. These act better on the lousy tan that you might get while you are on the road. And also, it reduces the risk of skin cancer. Keep the same in the medical kit, so that it is easily accessible.
Wet wipes or tissues – Yet another underrated traveling item are the soft tissues or the wet wipes. Place them neatly in a box and use the same for wiping your face, blowing your nose, or as a refreshing mask for your tired eyes! You can also keep some small-sized towels handy. Most of the time, it works wonders in keeping the grime away and ensuring facial hydration during long trips.
A ‘loaded’ iPad or tablet –This one is for those who plan for a long road trip with kids. Sure enough, the kids do get bored quickly, while moving. If the roadside scenery turns boring or the number-plate game unexciting, then their restlessness can make your journey a problematic one. One of the top road trip useful utility items is a ‘well-stocked’ iPad or a tablet loaded with their favorite movies and games. It will keep them entertained while they do something constructive on the screen. And, if your child loves reading, a kindle or any eBook app will cater to being an essential help for those long road drives.
Light-weight blankets and neck-pillows – Scheduling for a road trip can be fun. Keep a pair of soft and light-weight blankets and neck-pillows inside your car. You never know when you need the same. The quilt especially has various practicalities. You can sometimes use it as a window shade, to partially cover it from the scorching sun-rays. Also, a ground-cover, or to use it for a power nap! Most of the adventure-loving individuals personally bring these while planning for a long road trip during the fall/winter season. It is hard for you to decipher when you experience a chilly summer night!
Seasonal utility items –For summer road trips, keep a battery-operated fan and caps/hats. These come handy when you plan to hit the beach or a hot and humid place. Your requirements might be different for different seasons. And, if you expect a road trip during winters, it is best to keep a shovel or snow scraper for scraping the ice on the roads. It works like magic, and you will bless your soul if you get stuck during or after a heavy snowfall. And, lastly, always keep an umbrella to shield yourself from rain during the rainy season.
Survival-kit –Especially when planning for a long trip, you require a survival-kit. When you plan for some adventurous road trip, like camping or hiking, it is a must. It is very utility-oriented, including a Swiss-knife, duct-tape, rope or a Paracord, light snack items, road maps, flashlight, batteries, pocket radio, water-proof matches, and a good binocular. Whatever the reason, maybe, whether ‘bumping’ on the woods or spending the night under the starlit sky, you should be self-sufficient.
On the road
Catering for the right road trip essentials is the initial step to have a good time while traveling. Road trips require certain things, like a well-balanced shot of caffeine, loud music, and a well-planned travel checklist. Follow the useful utility tips and prepare your own travel essential list. The freedom of driving down the highway is seductive, unexpected, and liberating. So, when in doubt, travel and hit the road!!