Road tripping? You need supplies! The best (and safest) road trips are a product of advance preparation. It’s more difficult than one may expect to find your way from ‘Point A’ to ‘Point B’ even in modern times – you may leave from the city and end up in no-man’s-land. With a few simple steps of preparedness, a road trip can take you to the farthest reaches of the Earth and keep you smiling all the way.
Road Trip Checklist
- Road Atlas. This is a must have. GPS is great but oftentimes a good ol’ map is simply better. We suggest a road atlas that covers at least the entire country or continents you plan to traverse. You can use these maps even without satellite signal and the macro view of roads and territories connecting your points of interest can help you plan routes ahead of time.
- GPS Navigation System. A GPS system will tell you where to go and the newest ones will even tell you where to be based on your interests and needs along the way. If you’re really into the experience of the road trip – for the journey – we recommend only using the GPS as a backup. Old fashioned maps will keep you connected to the road and your surroundings. Sometimes it’s ok to stop and ask for directions – you never know who you’ll meet.
- Extra Fuel. No harm in having a few litres of extra gas in the trunk just in case you are driving overnight and gas stations along the way are closed. If you are running low on fuel while it’s late and stations are closed, it’s best to find a safe place to park and rest nearby until they re-open. Rest areas and motels are great for this. Gas stations often open early and you can be back on the road ASAP.
- Food & Water. Fuel for you is just as important as fuel for the automobile – and for similar reasons. Keep a few gallon jugs of water around. And, healthy snacks like peanuts, almonds, bananas, oranges, granola bars can help keep you sated in a pinch without making you as drowsy as a complete meal would.
- Towels & Hand Sanitizer. Everyone overlooks these items, but they are essential. The towels can be paper or cloth. It’s your eco-sustainable choice. You need to change a tire then eat some peanuts? Voila.
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste. Few things smell as bad as your breath after hours on the road, gulping coffee and puffing cigarettes. A quick once over when you roll into town is never a bad idea.
- Music. Music will keep you sane. Local radio can sometimes wither down to boring and sleep inducing talk-shows late at night. Even during the day, you can expect to hear much of the same top-40 drivel on repeat. Bring a portable player, CD, something to plug in and jam to.
- Flares, Spare Tire, Jumper Cables etc. The usual road emergency supplies apply here – give a double check to the quantity, quality and condition of your tires, wipers, fluids and road kit before you depart – both ways, round trip.
- Cellphone. Aha, yes make sure to bring the phone. Or at least some change for use in public stalls.
- USB Modem/Wifi Hotspot. These come in super handy while on the road – allowing your laptop or wifi enabled devices oftentimes near 24 hour a day access to the web. Check with your local carrier or electronics store for a product that fits your needs before you go. You can buy data prepaid or tack it on to you preexisting plan pretty easily these days.
- Insurance Company Phone Numbers. Your car’s insurance personnel will likely assist you in finding a tow or just overall help in general. Give them a ring before you travel to see exactly what options are available to you.
Anything that you take on a road trip that we haven’t mentioned?