The numbers of a road trip holiday have increased since during the pandemic, people were forced to spend their time inside most of the time since it would’ve been safer to travel by car in isolated areas. The United States, Mexico and Canada were among the favoured countries where people would want to travel.
However, besides all the fun, the truth on road trips is that most drivers risk their lives by either driving non-stop for hours or not being properly equipped for emergencies. For example, a recent survey by the RAC European Breakdown showed that 16% of drivers had not taken any break for six or more hours when on the road.
We know getting to your destination as soon as possible is urgent. But being fully prepared for long trips is vital, which is why we’ll get into some essentials you need to consider for smooth journeys.
Paper maps and documents
Being environmentally friendly is a priority, but when it comes to travelling long distances, sometimes you can’t rely on technology. In some areas, it will be impossible to have a phone signal to guide you on the route. One solution would be to download the maps you need or use your GPS app, but it can drain your battery really fast.
However, having paper maps and other documents would allow you to get a better grip on the region you’re about to visit. You can find such products online or at the gas stations near your city. You can also invest in an atlas to have the perfect image of the roads and essential points on the road.
When carrying so many things with you, it’s easy to create a mess. But this won’t help you when you urgently need something from the back of your car. So, we recommend purchasing (or DIY-ing) some organisers you can use in your car, van or whatever vehicle you own. Some transparent plastic organisers would be efficient for you to take what you need fast without much of a fuss. This is also helpful if you get a rental car for your trip and don’t want to deal with cleaning too much. Organisers could hold clothes, food and supplies, tools and many other things you need on the road.
An emergency kit is a must for a road trip, no matter how simple or basic it is. It may happen that you injure yourself when out of the car, or, in the worst case, you might hurt someone else, although if you’re driving in a more isolated region, the chances of seeing people can be smaller than usual. Know that paying someone’s road accident compensation can be quite costly for you as a driver, so make sure you respect all driving guidelines and immediately provide first aid when necessary. A first-aid class would help you learn how to properly do that.
A road trip between the mountains or somewhere far from the city shouldn’t be without technology. So, here’s what you should pack:
- Smartphone with which you can check various things and let your loved ones know where you are;
- A phone charger is essential regardless of the period of your trip;
- A phone stand is absolutely necessary for navigation purposes;
- Solar-powered light is the best for providing illumination since only a few hours of sunlight can charge your device;
Also, don’t forget to get your car accessories for smoother journeys:
- A dash cam allows you to record footage of your trip, which can come in handy at some point;
- Jumper cables shouldn’t be left behind because, in case your vehicle lets you down, these can connect to another’s car to provide electricity;
- A portable auto battery booster should let you jumpstart your car without needing another vehicle;
Travelling by car doesn’t provide you with the same luxury as some other travelling means do, which is why you need to be prepared with reusable products, such as:
- A small trash can (along with trash bags) so you can keep your vehicle neat;
- A water bottle will spare you the plastic issue, and you can refill it in many places;
- Eco-friendly wet wipes are biodegradable and great for any kind of clean-up;
- Reusable shopping bags are also essential and more resistant than plastic ones;
- Reusable utensils will always be there when you need them, and there’s no risk of them breaking apart;
- Collapsible Tupperware is perfect for saving up space when you don’t use them;
- Antibacterial clothing saves you time and money spent at the laundromat;
For any weather
Depending on the time of the year you travel, it’s crucial to be prepared for any conditions outside but also have proper clothing. For example, winter travel requires special tools and appliances to ensure a safe journey. This includes a multi-head screwdriver and wrench, a shovel and traction mats (or salt and sand). Always be mindful that your vehicle may get stuck in certain places, and make sure you have all the tools necessary to get out of trouble.
Regarding clothing, it’s important to have thermic pants and shirts to keep you warm, as well as rain jackets, boots and gloves. In some cases, when the car won’t jumpstart, you’ll need to face the weather, so even during spring or summer, make sure to be prepared for any climate change. At the same time, during hotter seasons, make sure you use enough sunscreen to cover all your body and avoid sunburns. Don’t forget about UV protection by using proper sunglasses. During these times, things catch fire easier, so make sure everything is adequately ventilated and no mess around the vehicle can boost the fire.
When travelling on your own, always remember that prevention is better than cure. Therefore, make sure you’re prepared in case of an emergency and don’t worry about overthinking too much because you never know what’s to follow. So, make sure you check all the tips above and never leave unprepared, especially on challenging roads.
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