Road trips are one of the best ways to get out of town, spend some quality time with friends and family and create new memories that you will cherish for a lifetime.
That said, when looking at how to plan a road trip, there is actually a lot to consider. From the condition of your vehicle to various stops along the way, monetary considerations and more, all of this means that some smaller details might get overlooked.
To help make sure that you have everything you need for your next adventure, we have compiled a list of eight things you’ll wish you had on your long-distance drive.
Let’s get started.
1. A Roadside Emergency Kit
Frankly, a roadside emergency kit should always be in your car. However, when heading out for an extended journey, it is a critical piece of equipment, should anything go wrong.
A decent roadside emergency kit should contain essential items like jumper cables, flares, window breakers, gloves, a snow shovel, traction strips, some basic tools, etc.
2. Quality Illumination Options
If you end up needing your roadside emergency kit, there is a decent chance that you will be breaking it out at night. If that is the case, you are certainly going to need to purchase some high-quality flashlights and batteries to keep in the car as well.
Even if you are not in a situation that requires your emergency gear, there are a panoply of situations where having a flashlight can be incredibly useful, so be sure to keep one in your glove box.
3. A First Aid Kit
When heading out on a road trip, many people don’t even think to pack a first aid kit. This is a pretty big oversight as there are plenty of things that can happen on a long-distance drive. You might slam the door on your finger, cut yourself opening a package, scrape your knuckles while trying to remove a bolt under the hood and a multitude of other scenarios.
Should any of these situations come to pass, you’ll be glad to have a basic first aid kit on hand. Fortunately, there are a variety of great first aid kits that come in all sorts of sizes and levels of preparedness.
4. Hygiene Products
No matter if you will be staying at a campsite, in a fancy hotel or just sleeping in your car at a rest area, you’re going to want to have some toiletries and hygiene products readily accessible.
This should include things like baby wipes, toilet paper, a toothbrush and toothpaste, hand soap, a comb and maybe even some dry shampoo. However, feel free to cater this list to match with your accommodations.
5. (Healthy) Snacks
While packing snacks for your trip is a bit obvious, many people end up grabbing things commonly found in convenience stores like chocolate bars, potato chips, sugary beverages and the like. Worse yet, if you forget the snacks altogether, you are likely to end up in a drive-thru somewhere. These can all make you feel pretty terrible and make you need to stop at a rest stop unexpectedly. Hopefully, there will be one nearby.
The truth is that all of this can be avoided by packing a rolling cooler full of healthy goodies like fruit and nuts, yogurts, popcorn, granola bars and other healthy road trip snacks.
6. A Large Garbage Bag
During every road trip, garbage amasses. Wrappers get tucked into the door handles, empty water bottles hit the floor and used tissues… get used.
Instead of temporarily turning your vehicle into a motorized dumpster, grab a large trash bag before leaving home and hang it on the back of the seat where everyone can easily dispose of their garbage.
7. A Fist Full of Dollars (and Some Quarters, Too)
If you are heading out for a long-distance road trip, you are going to need some small bills and quarters for a variety of reasons. You might need to pay a toll, drop a few quarters in a city parking meter, pay for parking in a downtown parking lot.
Although most parking or even tolls are done by app or card these days, it pays to be prepared. So, on a road trip, keep a handy wallet of small notes and spare change.
Ever been stuck on a seven-hour stretch of road with a runny nose? It’s not fun.
Tissues are one of the smallest, most underrated and oft-overlooked items to bring on a long-distance drive. If you get the sniffles while on the road and don’t have any tissues, you’re in for a longer drive than you had thought.
Be prepared for a Long-Distance Drive
Long-distance drives don’t need to be more uncomfortable than they already are on your legs and back. Make sure that you have all of the items listed above at the ready when you take off on your next adventure – whether that’s by car or on an RV road trip.
Don’t forget to take regular breaks from driving, stay hydrated and if you need a rest or a sleep – pull over!