Road trips can be incredibly fun, even as they’re incredibly stressful. To help increase the fun factor, though, good planning is required. One of the most important things you’ll need to plan for is what you’ll bring with you on your trip. While there are countless optional items you can pack, there are a few certain essentials that will help to make your trip much more enjoyable. To help you get your list started, here are five of those essentials that should be at the very top.
First Aid Kit
While you should already have a first aid kit in your car, anyway, it’s even more crucial to include it when you’re on a long road trip. You never know when someone will trip and fall and scrape a knee when you’re in a deserted area. It’s also good to temporarily expand your first aid kit to include pain medicine, allergy medicine, and of course, any prescription medicines you’re currently taking.
Vehicle Maintenance Kit
One of the most stressful situations you can encounter on a road trip is being in an unfamiliar town when you’re having car troubles. Pack a kit that includes extra fluids, a flashlight, safety triangles, a portable air compressor, some rags, and anything else you think you might need to get your vehicle back on the road. Make sure that you have had all of the necessary maintenance performed before leaving like oil changes, tire pressure, and having all of the fluids topped off. If you have a new car, the dealership will be able to do all of this for you for free or for a reduced price.
Something so simple is also so essential. Paper towels are the unsung heroes of a successful road trip. Good paper towels can be used for everything, including a makeshift lunch tray, a napkin, a facial tissue, a window cleaner, a spill wiper, and so much more. You will find yourself in many tricky situations if you leave paper towels behind.
While snacks are a given even for short road trips, your snack selection for long road trips is especially crucial. Make sure to pack a variety of different foods so you don’t become tired of eating the same potato chips for several days in a row. Also, ensure that at least some of the foods you pack are fairly healthy so you can avoid any adverse health effects.
Packing a cooler allows for more diversity among the snacks you pack. Consider easy to eat foods like squeezable applesauce and yogurt, string cheese, apples, bananas, and trail mix. Pack a few family favorites too like suckers, licorice, hard candies, and gummy candies. Avoid snacks that might melt or be too sticky for your little ones. Don’t forget to pack plenty of water in case you find stations to refill to be few and far between. Lastly, be sure to pack plenty of chewing gum to help the driver stay awake during those late-night drives.
Eventually, everyone’s going to get tired of watching movies on their electronic devices and want something different to do. When that time comes, it’s important to have some games ready to keep everyone occupied. The games can be as simple as the license plate game, where you try to spot license plates from as many states as possible, or as complex as travel versions of your favorite at-home board games.
Of course, above all else, you’ll need to pack an extra measure of patience for your long road trip. Patience will help the tough times seem easier and the easy times seem fun. With plenty of patience, you’ll be able to truly enjoy your trip and help everyone enjoy theirs more, as well.