Packing for a road trip is always exciting. You’re going to be out on the open road for several days with friends or family and you know you’re going to have a blast. It’s a good idea to meet up before the trip, make a master checklist of everything you might need, and then delegate. You don’t want to overcrowd the car with duplicates of things you don’t need, and you definitely don’t want to be left without a vital item because everyone thought that someone else would bring it. So let’s see the must-haves that you need with you on this adventure.
You can’t get to your destination without proper navigation. And even for those who know it’s not about the destination, but the journey, you still want to be able to find your way if you get lost, or in case of emergency. Plan out your route so that there’s plenty of beautiful scenery, stops along the way to have some fun in different areas and places to sleep. Once you have your route, make sure you have a map with everything drawn in, and a digital GPS (or a phone with a charger) won’t be a bad idea. Additionally, if you are connected to a live service that will alert you of any blockages on the way, you can avoid the traffic that would totally kill the vibe of the trip.
Nobody wants to be bored during a road trip, and if you are going to be passing through flat scenery with no entertainment planned in the car, you might just want to turn back around. So to make sure that doesn’t happen, you have to be prepared. Firstly, you want to make sure you have enough music.
Make a spreadsheet a week in advance and have everyone type in their favorite songs and delegate one person to make a playlist out of those songs. Make sure you have a good digital car radio with a high quality of sound and easy connection to your phone so that you can rock out. But music isn’t enough to keep you entertained. Try to make a list of games that you can play while on the road, and make sure they are something that everyone can participate in – in other words, that they don’t require the people in the front seat to keep turning around to see the back.
You don’t want to be left hungry, and you most certainly don’t want to dump all of the food preparation on one person. The best thing to do here is for everyone to make and bring enough food for themselves. However, you should all know some basic rules. Don’t bring anything that will spoil before the end of the trip (don’t count on refrigeration), don’t bring messy food or something that can’t easily be cleaned up if spilled, and bring enough water to last you from each stop to the next. Don’t kid yourself – you’re going to be stopping at gas stations and buying treats like a kid in a candy store, but try to cut down on eating in roadside restaurants, because that can add up to a big budget without you even noticing.
When you are planning your route, make sure you know where you are going to sleep. If the car is full, then it’s not the best option, so make sure you have tents and sleeping bags if you are thinking of being in nature for the night. Road trips are a great, cheap way to see the area around you, and since you will be spending a lot of time with those people in close quarters, you might get to know them a lot better than you did before, making your friendship or family bonds stronger. Make sure you take your car for a check-up before leaving, always wear a seatbelt and drive carefully!