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10 Essentials To Bring On Your Next Road Trip
Before you hit the road, make sure to pack these 10 essentials that will ensure your next road trip is a success!
If you've been getting a bit of wanderlust from watching Escape to the Country on Dabl...good news, because it’s officially the season for family vacations and romantic weekend getaways!
One of the best adventures you can have come in the form of road trips. Road trips give you a chance to hang out with your loved ones, jam to your favorite music, and explore the countryside or coast while en route to your destination. Plus, you never know what exciting discoveries you may make on your journey. However, if you forget to pack the essentials, you might encounter some bumps in the road. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of 10 editorially chosen road trip essentials that are sure to make your trip go smoothly.
1.) A Tire Inflator or Air Pump
You never know when you might run over something sharp, and you don’t want to get stranded on your road trip due to a flat tire. If you get a flat tire late at night or while driving through the middle of nowhere, you could find yourself stuck for an extended period of time as your location may not be easy for roadside assistance services to travel to in a timely manner. Be prepared for flat tires, or even low tire pressure, by having a tire inflator or air pump on hand. Even if you do end up in a situation where a tire needs to be replaced, you will likely be able to inflate your tire enough to reach civilization and receive help if you need it.
2.) Emergency Kit
While an emergency is unlikely to occur during your road trip, you always want to be prepared just in case. You will want to adjust your personal kit based on the terrain and weather conditions where you will be traveling, but here are some general suggestions! First, bring more water than you think you’ll probably need. Next, pack tools you can use to protect yourself from the elements, such as sunscreen or blankets. You may also want to pack a first aid kit with band-aids, antibacterial sprays, and basic pain or allergy medication. Lastly, it’s a good idea to have a spare tire and any tools you would need to switch out the tires on your car. Jumper cables could also come in handy!
3.) Snacks and Drinks
While some meal breaks will likely be scheduled in your itinerary, you still need to be prepared for when the munchies unexpectedly hit while you’re on the road! Keeping some of your favorite snacks on hand is sure to keep everyone happy, and prevent anyone from becoming hangry. In addition, it’s important to make sure you are staying hydrated. Keeping a hydro flask filled with your favorite beverage is always smart, but you may also want to bring along some water bottles and alternate drinks just in case you get extra thirsty or do find yourself stranded at any point. Make sure to bring a designated trash bag so you don’t end up with wrappers and bottles spread out all over your car.
You’ll be spending a lot of time in the car, and simply taking in the scenery can become boring, especially if you have young children traveling with you. Plan ahead and bring some entertainment options with you, such as bringing a pre-made music playlist or pre-selecting some interesting audiobooks or podcasts. If you have kids, consider bringing a portable DVD player, a souped up iPad or tablet, or some games that the whole family will enjoy, such as Mad Libs.
5.) A Map Or Printed Directions
While most smartphones come equipped with excellent navigation apps and have many others available for download, it’s also a good idea to bring a physical map as a backup. Depending on your route, you may be driving through areas where your phone will lose access to wifi or cell service, which could cause its navigational apps to glitch until you have service again. Maps may also show you alternative routes that the apps will not, or help you identify places you may want to stop at that you otherwise wouldn’t have known about. Plus, maps can help orient you in unfamiliar areas in ways that car and phone navigation systems cannot. At the very least, bring some printed directions or a printed itinerary to keep everyone on the same page.
6.) Spare Phone Charger
Whether you are using your phone for directions, playing music, or something else entirely, keep it charged by bringing an extra phone charger! Sometimes USB chargers stop working or multiple people need to charge their phone at once. When you pack a spare charger, you will never be caught with a dead cell phone!
7.) Hygiene Products
Keep in mind that you and your loved ones will be spending a lot of time together in a confined space. If you are camping during your road trip, or not stopping at a hotel one night, you and your loved ones will be extra grateful if you remember to practice good hygiene. Even if you won’t have easy access to a sink or shower for a while, try using dry shampoo to keep your hair cleaner, and baby wipes or biodegradable wet wipes that are better for the environment. Make sure to pack your basic toiletries and keep them easily accessible, including deodorant and a toothbrush. You may also want to bring hand sanitizer to rid your hands of any harmful germs and keep everyone healthy.
8.) Car Comfort Items
When you’re not taking your turn behind the wheel, you will be using your time in the car to rest and relax. If you are not stopping at hotels and instead taking shifts before the wheel, this may be your one chance to catch some Zs for a while. Make sure you bring some creature comforts that will keep you feeling comfortable and cozy for the duration of your road trip! Many people like to bring neck pillows, a favorite blanket, or an eye mask.
9.) A Good Camera
You’ll be making lots of fun memories on your road trip, so you’ll want to bring a good camera to memorialize them! Nikon, Canon, and Sony all make user-friendly cameras that take high-quality photos, and are loved by beginners and professionals alike. Alternatively, you could bring a polaroid camera to capture your memories in a more unique way! Many people like to display polaroids using photo clip string lights, photo boards, and in hanging collages on their walls.
10.) A Change of Clothes
Last but not least, make sure you bring a couple changes of clothes. It goes without saying that after a day or two in an outfit, you’ll probably start to feel a bit grimy. However, you may also want to change clothes in the event food or drinks are accidentally spilled, you’ve been sweating a lot in a hot environment, or gotten dirty exploring the great outdoors. Alternatively, after sitting in a certain pair of pants or shirt for a long time, you may realize it’s not comfortable enough for the duration of the road trip and will appreciate having another option available to you. Similarly, try to pick road trip outfits that have layers if your route takes you through different climates. Wear a jacket to stay warm in cooler temperatures, but have lighter options underneath that will allow you to remove layers and stay cool when it gets hot!
At the end of the day, the real key to having an amazing road trip is bringing the people you love along for the ride. When you pair your favorite people with some smart planning and packing, your trip is sure to be a success!
You can travel from the comfort of your home by watching Escape to the Country!
Escape to the Country is on Monday through Friday from 4:00 to 7:00PM Eastern! Watch for FREE on Dabl - click here to find out where to watch! You can always check our schedule here.