Ah, hitting the open road…the ultimate backyard adventure. Whether your road trip is a spontaneous idea or a long-awaited trip, there are some essentials that you don’t want to leave home without. We’ve put together some tips to help you make sure your adventure goes smoothly:
GPS / Maps / Navigation
By now most of us have GPS built right into our phone or vehicle. However, you might want to prepare yourself with back up in case you don’t have cell service. Everyone loves to explore, but getting lost can take a fun trip into a stressful mess in the blink of an eye. If you’re going to be going through rural backwoods where cell service may be sparse, you could prepare yourself with the good old fashioned paper maps or a portable navigation like Garmin or TomTom. Don’t forget the car charger!
You can choose a GPS route to avoid tolls, but sometimes they’re unavoidable or will take you on too long of a detour. You won’t want to get stuck without funds for a toll booth, so it’s always good practice to have several quarters and singles readily available. Having cash, in general, is a good practice to have in case a much-needed gas station stop doesn’t accept credit cards or have an ATM.
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Sometimes bathroom breaks can come at the worst times. Whether you’re on a long stretch of highway or the middle of nowhere, you don’t want to be S.O.L when nature calls. Having tissues, toilet paper, cleaning wipes and some hand sanitizer in the car will definitely come in handy a lot more often than you’d expect. A flashlight, Swiss Army knife and first-aid kit aren’t bad ideas either.
Stopping at gas stations for snacks can be part of the fun but it can also be a big waste of time and money. Packing some snacks like nuts, sandwiches, beef jerky and whatever else you prefer will make sitting in the car for long periods that much more enjoyable. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of water and caffeinated beverages too. We don’t want the driver(s) getting drowsy! Some people think bringing alcohol on a road trip is fun…but you can triple your bathroom breaks and reduce your number of able bodies to switch off on driving – so it may be best to wait until you’ve reached a destination.
Proper Cargo Tools
If you’re cramped for space or hauling items on the outside of your vehicle you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the right tools AND have them installed securely. We definitely don’t want to endanger other motorists with an AWOL wakeboard or kayak (trust us, we know from experience). The more room you have inside your vehicle, the more comfortable a ride. Consider using a cargo rack carrier for your bigger items that don’t need to be readily available (aka that don’t have snacks in them). Or, for big-ticket items, our roof rack cross bars and lashing straps will make your life a lot easier and add security with the locking option.
These are just the essentials. If you want to “hack” your road trip, check out this article from Buzzfeed. Be sure not to let the world pass you by, take lots of pictures, notes, and scenic routes. There’s an adventure around every corner, you just gotta get out there to find it!
Do you have any personal tips and tricks essential for a road trip? We’d love to hear from you! Leave some comments and suggestions below?