“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” – Jack Kerouac
Road trips are the most exciting way of traveling. You are not just going from point A to point B, you are exploring all the mini-points in between that are often neglected and hidden. Plus, the length of the journey makes it possible for the people traveling together to get closer, and the opportunities for adventures are infinite. However, this type of journey carries many complications with it, including where to sleep, what to eat along the way, and what to wear, how to pack all of your stuff in the trunk and how to keep your car functioning perfectly. Let’s try to solve them together.
Where to Pack Your Stuff?
Unless you are traveling with a trailer, you will probably have to squeeze a lot of things in your trunk, which is often very tight. Duffle bags are easier to stack, because they’re soft and flexible. You can pack several duffle bags where one will be for sleeping and hygiene essentials, other for clothes, etc. If a lot of people are traveling together, you can try to put all the things in one or two suitcases. Also, every person should have one backpack or tote next to their own seats so that their snacks, water and other necessities are constantly accessible.
What to Pack?
Clothes for a road trip should be breathable and loose, but you don’t have to look messy and unattractive. Colors are very important when choosing clothes – dark colors show less wrinkles and hide stains very well. Consider packing items that don’t require ironing or that don’t get wrinkled easily. If you can do the laundry in hotels, you will not need more than two bottoms and several tops. Make sure you pack things for different temperatures and for rainy weather, too.
Hygiene and Health
Don’t take any risks when it comes to health. Even if you are not of delicate health, you should have some precautionary items in your bag. First aid kit, Band-Aids, sunblock, allergy medicine, headache meds, and several plastic bags are necessary. Besides your usual hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.), you should also pack some wet wipes, hand sanitizers and dry shampoo.
Make sure you keep a good neck pillow for preventing pain in your back or neck due to long travel.
Snacks for the Road
Snacks at gas stations and in hotels tend to be very expensive, so think ahead and pack your own snacks. You will not only save money, but also eat healthier (if you choose so). You can pack dried fruits, nuts, seeds, nature bars, whole wheat bread sandwiches, and other treats.
Safety Comes First
If you want your road trip to be a smooth sailing instead of a dangerous undertaking, you should be sure that your vehicle is in good working order. It is crucial to have your tyres, belts, fluids, air-conditioner and battery checked by a qualified mechanic. If you’re looking for new tyres, check out the list of 8 best tyres for 2017. Those tips can always come in handy. Also, make sure you pack some emergency tools just in case something goes wrong on the road (tools for changing a tyre, jumper cables, flashlight). In the end, don’t forget to have a good night’s sleep before the road and make breaks every few hours.
After you decide where you want to go and what you want to see (and find the safest, but not necessarily the shortest route), you should equip yourself with a GPS unit (Google maps will not always work because of the phone service). Paper maps are also a good idea.
Finally, don’t forget that road trips are mostly about fun, so gear up with some great music, fun video games (and word games so that the driver can participate too), and have the best time of your life.