Guest blogger Jack Payton is a well-traveled writer and mechanic who writes for TiresEasy, a leading supplier of durable tires to keep you on the road.
There are road trips and then there are serious road trips in which the destination is not one but many. Whether you plan to drive across the country or across the continent, here are ten items everyone should take with them on a road trip.
Knowing where you're going is half the battle on a road trip. Try and plan your route as thoroughly as possible. Most people will consider themselves fine with GPS on their phones but only a map can help you when there is no signal. Even if you have navigation in the vehicle or GPS on the phones, take a map as your final lifeline in case all else fails.
2. Auto Essentials
A gas can, spare tire, proper tools, and some motor oil are all things you don't want to get stuck without when you are on the side of the highway. These basic items are in case you misjudge the distance from A to B or wind up with a minor accident. Most important of all, take an extra set of keys with you, along with a AAA card in case of emergency. Everyone should make it a point to get their vehicle serviced before setting out for a long road trip.
3. First Aid Kit
The item you hope most not to use but can't afford to go without. Wraps, gauze, band aids, ointment, liquid antacid and some anti-inflammatory are small enough to fit comfortably in even a packed vehicle. Whether you cut yourself gathering wood for a campfire or just eat the wrong thing on the menu these items are handy more often than you think.
It seems almost pointless to go on a road trip to various new places if you don't bring a camera. Camera phones will work just fine as long as you keep them charged. It is recommended that you take a one that runs on batteries and is not dependent on charger. Carrying around a camera with a few extra batteries is better than carrying around a phone that is dead or out of memory space.
Before you even put the key in the ignition have at least ten playlists ready for the road. Your mood can change quicker than you can get into an area of different stations. If you have a handful of people with you have everyone make two or three playlists. This will bring many more options and allow you to explore some artists or genres you'd never heard of before. It is said you should learn something new every day. On a road trip the easiest thing one can do is learn a new artist's name.
If you can pack two coolers into the vehicle, absolutely do it. You'll find your wallet will get empty a lot quicker if you're constantly eating out. This will also allow you to eat healthy while on the road. Eating at different restaurants or famous meals is one of the best parts of a road trip but for the sake of your health and your wallet, try to limit yourself to eating out for one meal a day.
7. Power Inverter
If you are dead set on using your phones for everything you'll need an electricity power inverter. This will allow you to keep all of your electronics charged at your convenience and you won't have to rely on hotels, rest stops, or restaurants to recharge the essentials.
One can't always predict when nature calls and sometimes there isn't a bathroom around for miles. Take a fair amount of bathroom supplies along with the must-have utensils such as toothbrush, soap, shampoo, razors, etc.
9. Sleeping Supplies
Even if you plan on staying in a hotel every night you'll still want a blanket and pillow for those times when you just want to pass out in the backseat. For the more adventurous types I recommend taking a tent and sleeping bags. There are so many good places to sleep under the stars, why waste money by staying in a hotel every night.
10. Good Friends
Your friends are ultimately what will make the trip worth it or not. Bring your significant other or your best friends along for the adventure, as they will surely help you make the memories you hoped for when you set out.
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