Summer is officially here people and that means only one thing: road trip, baby! There’s no better way to spend the scorching months than cruising the world’s roads taking in the scenery. It’s freeing, it’s cheap, and it’s accessible. Oh, and for the families reading this, you can nail it too. A road trip isn’t only for the bored college grads that are desperate to have like a totally radical summer.
To make sure it is the best vacation you’ve ever had in your life, it’s important to ponder what makes a road trip great. Our very own post on the matter can help if you’re looking for inspiration. Here’s the gist, though – you’ve got to pack the essentials. Once you leave them behind, it can be hard to find them en route. This isn’t the airport where they have everything wrapped up in a beautiful bow.
Whether you’re staycationing or crossing borders this summer, you have to cover all of the bases. Continue reading for the best advice on what to pack for a road trip of a lifetime. Forget these and you’ll be cruising for a bruising.
Luckily, you live in a place where the temperature is cold enough to kill them off. You won’t be as fortunate if you plan on seeing the delights of the Deep South or the West Coast. And, venture out into Europe, Asia and Australia and mosquitoes hang around in packs like locusts. Unlike crop-eaters, though, they don’t think twice about latching on and sucking blood.
In the car, turning the AC high is a good trick but it’s a money-waster. As soon as it begins to kick in, the engine turns over and uses more fuel. What you save in itchy bites you repay for in gas. Some people see this as an easy trade yet there is a holiday budget in place for a reason.
A cheap and basic alternative is to pack a strong smelling spray. Creams say they are effective but the truth is they don’t work as well. On the back of the bottle, look for the word “deet” and only buy it if it has a concentration of 75% or more.
“Take a look at the sat nav and see where we are going, please.” The odds are high that the passenger won’t reach for a chunky satellite navigation system. Instead, they will pick up a phone, jump to Google Maps and follow the advice. Cells have taken over as the main source of information and a road trip is no exception.
However, there is a problem, and it revolves around the fact that using a phone while driving is illegal. Sure, there is nothing to worry about if there is a passenger in the car, but what if they are asleep? What if you can’t hear what the app says and take a wrong turn? Before you can rectify the situation, the engine has to be off and the car stationary.
With a phone holder, it’s easier to see the cell and check the route in advance. If you happen to miss a direction, you can glance at it and get back on track within seconds.
There is going to be a selection of electrical items in the car, some of which are essential and others that are indulgences. Regardless, the last thing anyone wants is for them to run out of battery. Imagine getting lost and not be able to find an exit strategy because the sat nav is dead. You’d have to consult a map and everything. Oh, the horror!
Thankfully, cars and motorhomes are equipped with charging points. As long as you have a USB, you can make sure everything is alive and kicking. A savvy trick is to take a portable battery pack as well just in case. If you need help outside of the car, the battery may be a lifesaver. Yep, that is to be taken literally.
Homemade Repair Kit
Some things are too serious to fix by the side of the road. So, the best thing to pack in case of an emergency is a tow truck contact number. That way, you should never be too far away from help. Anyone who plans on driving abroad should double check their policy before leaving. Hopefully, the company has a foreign service that will cover your back.
Sitting around for a repair team to mess around under the hood is boring. Yes, it’s necessary for the big things but anyone can repair the little issues. All you need is the right equipment and a little bit of knowledge. Think of replacing a punctured tire as an example. With a jack and a spare, you’ll be back on the road in no time.
The best brake fluid tester you can find is a savvy addition, too, as is a jerry can and oil. Don’t forget a few basic tools such as a screwdriver and a wrench also. You never know when you’ll need brute force to undo a tight bolt.
No, this doesn’t mean apparel that is stretchy. You’re driving, not doing yoga! Hopefully, the weather will be boiling but fresh enough that you won’t burst into flames. Picture sunshine with a lovely breeze whipping across your body.
The reality may be different because Mother Nature is unpredictable. She may forecast sun for the majority of the vacation, or she may make it rain. And not in the good way, like in a rap video. If the weather turns, you need to be prepared.
Rather than a bulky coat, however, you want to think about flexible alternatives. For example, a poncho is lighter and cooler. After all, because it’s raining doesn’t mean the humidity will drop. Or, if a plastic condom isn’t stylish enough, there is always the option of a hoodie. Pack clothes for all weathers in case the heavens open.
Is there anything else you like to take on a road trip? Something that you think is essential for a cruising vacation?