10 Road Trip Essentials for a Journey of a Lifetime
If you have to travel a long distance in a car with a group of other people, you have two choices: You can either dread it and hate every minute, or you can make the most of it.
Road trips can be some of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of our lives. Because of the physical proximity and captive audience, you are forced to bond with other people. So it’s possible to make lasting friendships, enjoy unprecedented creativity, and simply have the time of your life.
The next time you have to travel to business, or just for fun, consider driving and turning your journey into a life-changing road trip.
So, to start your journey on a positive note and have a blast, here are 10 road trip essentials discussed.
1. A Destination; tops the checklist
It may seem obvious that you would need to have someplace to go in order to have an awesome road trip experience, but it’s also important to remember that the journey is just as important – if not more important – than the destination.
Your final goal could be a vacation destination, a business meeting or conference, or some other type of place that’s out of the ordinary. But that’s what makes road trips so exciting: You are out of your element and trying something new and exciting with people whose company you enjoy!
Tip: Check out the destinations that are best to visit in a particular month.
2. A Road Atlas or GPS is another important essential
While being out on the open road is fun and exciting, getting lost is not. Given today’s technology, there’s really no reason to ever lose your way while on a long road trip.
Most smartphones come with GPS apps that provide detailed directions to practically anywhere. You don’t even have to stop and ask directions anymore.
If you want to kick it old school, however, you can still invest in a paper road atlas and try to figure it out on your own.
Tip: Check out phones that offer offline GPS feature.
3. Fun Foods
The first rule about road trips is that there are no rules. That means you are allowed to eat anything you want, including foods that are bad for you that you otherwise would avoid like the plague.
Road trips are made for junk food, fast food, salty snacks, giant-sized soft drinks, and other foods that are likely to leave you feeling a little bit sick but eminently satisfied.
Tip: Sometimes you don’t find any stall for hours on road, so carry some packets, but don’t carry too much with you.
4. Gas Money/Oil Company Credit Card
Cars need gas to go. If you didn’t know that, you shouldn’t be on the road. Make sure you have plenty of gas money or at least an oil company credit card or two to keep your tank full and the good times rolling.
Tip: If the car runs on petrol, take one or two bottles extra for emergency.
5. Good Company
Friends, family, classmates or even perfect strangers can be the best traveling companions during a road journey. Make a point of staying upbeat and positive and try not to let other people get you down. After all, you are going to be stuck with each other for a long while.
6. Jamming Tunes; An essential friend indeed
Music is one of the most important elements of a successful road trip. Make a mixtape, subscribe to a streaming service, or simply spin the radio dial to keep the jams going from start to finish.
Tip: Don’t forget to carry your personal earphones
7. Plenty of Rest Stops
It seems like there’s always that one driver who refuses to stop until the car is practically running on gas fumes. Don’t be that person. Instead, make frequent rest stops so that nobody has a full bladder and everybody has plenty of time to stretch their legs and catch some fresh air.
Tip: You can always enjoy even at stops
8. A Working Jack and Spare Tire
One thing to remember about taking a road trip journey is that big cities tend to be very far apart. Don’t get stuck somewhere in the middle with a flat tire and no way to fix it.
Tip: Carry an extra tire
9. First Aid Kit: Most important road trip essential
Many people don’t even get the idea of carrying stuff like band-aids, medicines etc. You can’t always have access to hospitals on a road journey.
Tip: Carry your own stuff
10. Plenty of Time
Road trips are best when they are relaxed and unhurried. Give yourself and your traveling companions plenty of time to take unexpected side trips and unplanned detours because these can often be the most rewarding part of the journey.
If you are traveling on a tight schedule, you might postpone the road trip for another time when you have more time to enjoy the journey rather than the destination.
An Open Mind
The best thing you can bring with you on any long road trip is an open mind. Don’t be judgmental, don’t bring a lot of expectations, and be willing to do or try anything and you can have an experience that can change your life permanently.
The thing people forget about road trips is that you usually don’t get to do more than a few in your entire life. So you really should make the most of every experience that you have. You can have an awesome time if you bring these ten essential things with you the next time you hit the road.