Road trips are a perennially popular activity, and with international travel greatly restricted at the moment, this popularity shows no sign of waning. It is one of their favorite ways to travel for many people, with the open road offering plenty of freedom, a wealth of interesting destinations to choose from, and lots of enjoyable experiences to be had along the way. Of course, the amount of fun you have on your road trip is greatly affected by how prepared you are, and what you bring with you.
So, if you’re heading off on a road trip this fall, here are some essentials that you won’t want to leave home without. If you’re road-tripping internationally, remember to check what regulations there are about items you must carry with you in your vehicle (for example, in France, you must have reflective jackets and a warning triangle in case of emergencies). Wherever you’re going, be sure to check the weather in advance too!
For your vehicle
When it comes to essentials for your vehicle, make sure you bring a satnav to avoid getting lost. It’s a good idea to have a paper map as a back-up if your satnav breaks down. Certain documents are always good to have on you: your license and registration, car insurance documents, and your car manual. Finally, bring snow chains/tires if you’ll be driving in the snow, plus windshield covers for privacy and shade whatever the weather.
Hopefully, you won’t need them, but bringing items for emergencies and car maintenance is always sensible. These include a spare tire and jack, an emergency toolkit and/or roadside emergency kit, breakdown rescue information, and a flashlight – especially if you’re going to be driving at night. You should make sure you have a first aid kit with all the essentials, such as Band-Aids, painkillers, etc. as well as any medication you or those you’re traveling with might need. Plus, of course, a set of spare car keys!
For the journey
When it comes to the journey itself, there are plenty of essentials you’ll be needing. Firstly water – plenty of it, in refillable bottles – and other drinks to stay hydrated, plus a cool bag to keep them chilled. Then, of course, lots of your favorite snacks, both sweet and savory! It’s also good to bring a travel cup for filling up on coffee at truck stops – don’t forget to check for a Pilot Flying J Coupon before you set off. Reusable shopping bags are handy in case you need to stop off for more supplies.
In terms of entertainment, on top of your devices, don’t forget a portable charger to keep them all full of juice, a portable WiFi device so you can stay connected, and headphones – plus an epic road trip playlist to enjoy! If you’re not driving and don’t get carsick, a book or e-reader is also a pleasant way to pass the time.
For comfort, it’s a good idea to have sunglasses, travel pillows and blankets to help you relax, and car sickness tablets. Even if you don’t normally get carsick, it doesn’t hurt to bring some just in case! Similarly, tissues and hand sanitizer will always be useful, as well as a car garbage bin or spare plastic bags for rubbish. Lastly, bring some spare change just in case, for example, for toll roads or parking. Drive safe and enjoy exploring!