road trip concept

The 6 Things You Need to Bring on a Road Trip

A nice road trip is one of the most time-honored outdoor recreation activities in the United States. According to one recent survey, 72 percent of Americans are planning to go on an overnight car trip. A road trip is not as complicated a trip, like a survival backpacking journey or camping. But you’ll still need to prepare for it extensively.

Discover how you can narrow down your baggage considerations for a road trip and the six essential items for such a journey.

Primary Considerations for Packing

friends on the road
Your vehicle and the number of passengers are a few of the important considerations when packing.

When you’re packing your vehicle for a road trip, you can’t just take everything you own with you for comfort. Unless you’re used to living inside a large recreational vehicle, you must consider what you should bring with you more carefully. T

he three primary things you must keep in mind are how far you have to travel, what kind of vehicle you will be driving and how many people are going with you.

  • Distance

How far is your destination? If you are only going to a place less than 6 hours away, you probably won’t be needing a lot of food and snacks. You can pick up things along the way as well. However, if you are traveling across the country, you will need enough supplies to last for a few days at most.

  • Vehicle

The size of your vehicle will determine how many items you can bring with you on your road trip. If you are only driving a simple four-door car, you won’t have enough room in the back for a full-sized cooler. There’s a reason many road trippers use large vans or even RVs for lengthy trips because they can specifically carry more items.

  • Passengers

Finally, you must also consider how many people you are bringing along with you. If you are traveling in a car on your own, maybe you can pack a large cooler and all the snacks you need. If you are going on a trip with multiple friends, a large van and plenty of items will be more appropriate for your situation. The number of passengers will also dictate quantities, especially with regards to consumable supplies.

Essentials for a Road Trip

Once you have weighed the factors above, you will need to bring certain items with you when you finally start the ignition. Make sure you have these things with you before you leave the driveway and hit the road properly.

  • Cooler

cooler outside travel car
A travel cooler will keep you well stocked with cold drinks and fresh food.

Coolers come in all sizes and they are essential if you are bringing fresh food with you. During summer road trips, they are ideal for keeping beverages cold. If you are traveling alone, a small handheld cooler can hold a few bottles of drinks and a sandwich while a large rolling cooler will be perfect to keep an entire van of your friends well-fed and hydrated.

  • Spare Tire

Flat tires are among the most common car problems often encountered by motorists. Unless you want to roll your flat tire all the way to the nearest mechanic or spend hours waiting for roadside assistance, you should bring a spare tire with you at all times when you go on a lengthy car trip.

  • First Aid Kit

Medical emergencies can pop up at any time and you must bring a first aid kit with you on any trip. Make sure your kit contains items that are needed by every passenger.

For example, if someone with you has severe allergies, you should bring epinephrine. Ask everyone who will go with you to send you a list of their needed medications to ensure you have it in your kit.

  • Maps

traveler using map
Maps will help you stay on course and not get lost.

Although there are plenty of online and digital maps, you can never be sure when you’ll lose signal or power to your phone. Physical maps will be vital on the off chance that you get lost, and your GPS isn’t able to get a good fix.

Bring a map for every state or region you expect to drive through so you can navigate them properly.

  • Charger Cables or Power Banks

Electronics are now an essential part of life, from smartphones to music players. These devices will also be crucial during emergencies such as when you have to contact the authorities or if you must find your way through a maze of streets. Bring power cables that will allow you to recharge devices in your car as well as power banks to keep these electronics well-charged.

  • Tissue or Wet Wipes

Tissues are some of the most important things to bring along with you. Tissues and wet wipes are crucial for wiping away spills and messes. They can also be vital when nature calls. Keep a large stock of these on board your vehicle at all times and you will find going to the bathroom immensely more convenient.

Road trips are easier to plan than most kinds of outdoor adventures but that doesn’t mean you won’t need to prepare for them thoroughly. Keep these tips in mind and bring these items with you and you will have a fun time on the road.

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