Whether you’re planning to drive cross-country on what is the ultimate road trip for many or you’ll simply follow your adventurous heart and take a lovely scenic road to your next holiday destination, you’re probably interested in knowing what to pack for an awesome experience.
There are many things to consider when packing for a road trip. You must remember to bring with you those things that you absolutely can’t find on the road as well as important documentation to keep you, your passengers and your car on the safe side.
Your Car’s Essentials
As you’ll spend many hours on your car, there are some essentials you’ll need for your vehicle.
It may seem obvious but don’t leave home without your drivers’ license and registration. Include a copy of your car insurance policy and the relevant contact numbers. Hopefully, you won’t need them but it’s important to have them at hand just in case.
If your plans include renting a car, make sure you explore all your options as regards rental car insurance. Car rental agencies will most likely press you to get the one they offer (though the coverage is limited for the price you pay), many credit card companies also offer you one but you can only use it as secondary insurance and, of course, your regular car insurance company can also provide you with the needed coverage if you have paid for that and if you are willing to accept a 44% increase in your policy in case you have to make a claim. If none of these options seem suitable, you can always rely on the car rental insurance policy that independent providers offer.
It is not a bad idea to double check that you have your car’s manual with you. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve driving it or how much you think you know it, remember that you’ll spend more time than usual in it and that you’ll probably hear noises you may not be that familiar with, see lights turning on that don’t do that as usual… you mention! Having your car’s manual available will make it easy to check that everything is in order or find out when it’s time for an emergency visit to the mechanics.
Needless to say, don’t ever go on a road trip without a spare tire (check it’s in good condition before you set off!) and a roadside emergency kit.
Packing your luggage on large, rigid carrier bags may not be the best idea. They are usually too bulky and take a lot of space from your car trunk. Instead, smaller soft duffle bags have proven to be more practical. They are easier to stack and squeeze into any car arrangement that you need. You may even pack one bag with sleep essentials and next-day clothes so you always have them ready to go.
You and the other passengers will discover that a tote, a small bag or backpack provide an ideal option where to carry snacks, your cell phone or tablet, and any other personal item you need to keep close by at all times.
When choosing your luggage, try to choose those that have several pockets to keep your items more organized.
Choose your clothes wisely. Being comfortable and not having to worry about wrinkled clothes is very important! Opt for clothes that are breathable, loose and that allow you to be seen in at stops, pump stations or simply on sightseeing experiences. Dark colors are better at hiding stains, dirt, and wrinkles than light clothes.
Breathable fabrics such as cotton, jersey or cotton blends will be your best friends for as long as your road trip lasts. However, you may discover that jeans and denim are not such a good choice as they are stiffer and more rigid.
If you can wash your clothes on hotels or at your final destination, you won’t need to pack many different clothing items either.
Don’t forget to dress in layers! It makes much easier for you to remove clothes if feel hot or cold during your road trip. Heavy jackets can be warmer but they are not as practical as different clothes in layers. A light windbreaker is a great addition for those chilly nights or early mornings or to keep you dry when it starts to drizzle.
Needless to say, shoes need to be comfortable! Think about sports shoes as your best companions! You can always pack a pair of more elegant shoes in your luggage.
The Comfort Kit
Why would you have to wait to get to the hotel to enjoy some comfort? Who said that you can’t indulge in some luxurious comfort while on the road? There are quite a few items that can really make a difference and take your travel experience to the next level. Amongst the items that you’ll probably enjoy carrying with you we can mention: sunglasses, a soft blanket (to keep you warm if you have to spend the night in the car or if you just plan a picnic!), a travel pillow for those naps in the car, a travel mug with a sealable lid to enjoy a warm or cold drink safely, hand sanitizer, painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication, mints, board games, a tablet fully loaded with games and music, a couple of books if you love reading and a couple of chargers to make sure that can always access your mobile devices at all times!
Your Personal Care Kit
Don’t forget to pack your toiletries for your road trip. Toothpaste, toothbrush, hair ties and grips, body wipes, hand sanitizer, lip balm, hydrating cream, a night cream (for a more complete beauty routine), sunscreen, any special medication you need (it’s a good idea to ask your doctor for an extra recipe for them in case you have to purchase more and you need a prescription to do so), a comb and hairbrush are all items that you just have to include in your personal care kit.
From our friends at Bonzah