‘Tis the season to pack your bags, load up the car, and hit the road to visit loved ones for the holidays! Whether it lasts a couple of hours or a couple of days, a road trip requires careful planning. Every trip requires list making, packaging and checking to ensure that you have all the necessary items to make the journey enjoyable + memorable. Here are 7 essentials every car needs for a comfortable, and complaint free, road trip!
1. Snacks + Beverages
It doesn’t matter where or for how long you are going, you have to bring some food with you! You have to think about your health and the health of your passengers. You need to intake recommended daily dose of vitamins and nutrients and ensure that you drink sufficient amount of water.
If the trip is long, avoid packing fresh food that spoils quickly. Stay healthy with dry fruits and veggies. Ideally, you would seal them in plastic bags to preserve their quality. Of course, bringing your food will save you a lot of money along the line, and will ensure that no one will be hangry should your vehicle break in a remote place!
2. Good Atmosphere
While you can't bring a good atmosphere (for it isn't a physical item), you CAN bring things that will get your road trip off to a positive start! If you love music, then it is needless to say that you arm yourself with your favorite music. Before you leave, make playlists for your moods, the holiday at hand, or just some recent music you haven’t been able to listen to yet.
Don't restrain yourself to only music. Many people bring podcasts and audio books on their trips. It would be great if you could play data offline and not via online services (such as YouTube or Spotify.) You could download data to your phone, iPod, and so forth.
Some of our favorite Podcasts are:
If your vehicle supports CDs, you could burn a couple of CDs (#TBT, amirite?). While this may seem silly, there is no guarantee that you'll have signal 100% of the time on your journey. You don’t want to encounter an idyllic moment without the proper tunes!
Medical kit (you probably have one in your car already), medications, over-the-counter drugs, and so forth. Basically, try to include everything health-related. Observe it from a broader perspective. For instance, if you plan on sunbathing, then bring sunscreen; you that type of logic.
Aside from taking care of your health, you must ensure that your vehicle is well equipped with everything it needs. Make room for spare tire (if possible) + buy yourself a tire patch kit. You should also bring a road emergency kit, either pre-made or homemade.
Since we today rely so much on our smartphones and laptops for security, bring a (charged) portable battery charger, which will ensure that you have a source of electricity even if your vehicle breaks down. While we hope your road trip is free of drama - you never know when you will have a car-mergency.
4. GPS + Maps
Don't bring just a GPS or just maps; bring them both. If you can't read maps, practice (the same goes for the GPS.) Why do we insist on this? Well, we doubt you want to be lost in the middle of the woods on the way to Aunt Ivy’s new house.
The feeling of being lost can easily translate to panic, panic leads to poor thinking, and poor thinking means a bad time. So please, bring a GPS with you. And bring a real paper map with you. For it can literally save your life in a dire situation.
PS Take the time to learn how to read a road map! These useful tools are for more than just making great Instagram shots. You can find various guides on the internet regarding map interpretation and understanding and you’ll be a hit at parties.
5. Car Air Freshener
Many people will neglect just how vital the air freshener is for your vehicle. You’re going to want the best car air freshener products for your vehicle to keep the odors out of your car on an everyday basis, but they are even more critical for road trips - especially with all the rich foods being served during the holidays.
Technically, you can have a road trip without a car freshener, but it just might be a little less fresh. The problem with odors is that they won't go away on their own. To ensure that your car is free of smells, you first need to clean it thoroughly, which means taking out the trash, vacuuming, washing, and so forth.
You must also air it out, and let the wind do its magic. And then, once this process is complete, you hang an air freshener of your favorite scent to prevent any future odor accumulation!
6. Personal Hygiene Supply
Okay, your car is packed with everything you need, it is clean, and you are about to hit the road. But what about you? You too need to ensure that you are clean + free of unpleasant human odors (which, let's be frank, can get nasty)
Here are our recommendations for personal hygiene items for your journey:
Toilet paper (it kind of speaks for itself, right?)
Oral hygiene (you need teeth to eat)
Dry shampoo (if you won't have access to freshwater)
Baby + face cleaning wipes (for hands, skin, etc.)
Hand sanitizer (for after you "do your business," prior to eating, etc.)
Deodorant (also self-explanatory)
There are other things you could bring, such as your favorite creams, lotions, and whatnot. Basically, you could bring anything that will make your journey more enjoyable and hygienic; just make sure you don't over pack your car with unnecessary things because over packing can be stressful!
There are two types of games you could bring with you: digital + traditional. Each type has its own benefits, but all are designed for entertainment.
If you travel with your partner, friends or family, you can play various board games or parlor games. Those that hate board games or team games can play games on their smartphones, laptops, tablets or consoles.
Of course, we don't advocate that you play games while you are driving; but the rest of the crew is free to play (as long as they aren't distracting the driver.) Road trips should be fun, and it makes sense that you spice it up with games, right?