Going on a road trip can be a lot of fun if you remember the right things. However, it can be a real annoyance if you forget some of the road trip essentials. Making preparations well ahead of time can help ensure that you don’t forget something important.
When it’s time to hit the road, start by making these all-important decisions:
- Where you will stay (on overnight trips)?
- Who will be driving and how often you will trade off?
- How are you going to get there, including who is deciding on and planning the route as well as who is playing navigator?
- Who is in charge of preparing the car?
Preparing the car is an important step in the process. At the very minimum, the vehicle taken on a road trip needs to be gassed, have air in the tires and the oil checked. A visual inspection of the various belts and hoses would not go awry as well as checking the engine fluids. A spare tire is a must-have on a road trip and preferably a person who knows how to change it.
Personal essentials include items like a driver’s license and medication. Each adult or teenager can be responsible for their own personal items although it is wise to check with each other if you are afraid you might forget something. These are some personal items to bring along:
- Photo ID
- Credit cards and cash
- Prescription medications
- OTC drugs such as sleeping pills, allergy medicine and motion-sickness remedies
- Backups for glasses/contacts
- Moist towelettes and/or antibacterial hand sanitizer
Car essentials and safety items keep your trip on schedule and make sure you can call for help if you need it. These are some of the important things to pack in terms of car and safety needs:
- Roadside assistance card
- Spare tire and jack
- Proof of insurance
- Cell phone(s)
- Flashlight with new batteries
- First aid kit
Comfort and entertainment items keep a road trip pleasant and prevent unnecessary stops. Individuals entertainment needs depend on what type of electronics your car is outfitted with but these are some options:
- iPod or MP3 player adapter
- DVDs or Blu-ray discs
- Books (audio or visual format)
- Drinking water
If you are going on a longer trip don’t forget to pack clothing, toiletries and other essentials for overnights. This list should get you comfortably through the driving portion of the trip, though. Don’t forget to have fun!