The Ultimate Checklist for a Perfect Road Trip
If Jack Kerouac’s On the Road made you fall in love with the idea of adventurous traveling, you need to experience a road trip firsthand. It goes without saying that you need to read this masterpiece first, if you haven’t already, and there’s even a movie you can watch with your friends. After such an experience, you’ll see why this is the best way to experience your own country. For the brave ones, just hitting the road and going to a foreign country is always an option. Whichever idea you choose, there are some essential items you need to pack and a couple of tips on how to get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
Select the most amazing route
There are a few factors you need to take into consideration – the time you have for this trip, the number of drivers you can rely on, whether you’re going abroad or not, whether there will be kids or pets, the weather forecast and how good you are in driving on difficult roads. These will set the tone of your road trip, so you need to be careful and think through every step of the way. It’s better to take a few more days off work than to rush and miss an important sight or a particularly interesting route. The best way to stay well rested all the time and give yourselves a chance to see everything you want is to get to your destination in the evening, start sightseeing on foot early in the morning and then have a good sleep. The following morning, you’ll be ready to continue your adventure without the risk of feeling tired.
How to pack everything you need
You’ll always be on the go, so pack light – i.e. just those items you’ll definitely use – and don’t overpack your bags with too much clothes. It better to find a self-service laundry and wash your clothes during your lunch break. Be sure to always have a first-aid kit nearby, just in case something goes wrong and you need to react quickly. Your personal documents should always be with you and you need to pay close attention to them, as well as your wallet. Always keep some snacks and water on you because you never know where you’ll find a store or a great place for a picnic. Given that this is a fun experience, pack some games, playing cards and a ball, and you’ll always have something to do while taking a break.
Make an amazing playlist
Who wants to rely on local radio stations and drive while listening to some bad music? To avoid this, talk to your friends, make a road mix and try to include everyone’s wishes. To be sure that you have this covered, make separate folders with different types of music – the songs you select need to be in accordance with your mood that might change every minute. Sometimes, you’ll be in the mood for dance hits and you and your friend are going to sing along to your favorite dance-floor hits. On the other hand, you might just want to enjoy the picturesque view with some smooth jazz in the background.
Check your car
There’s no point in embarking on a long journey if your car has a tendency to suddenly break down without any notice. So be sure to have everything checked weeks prior to departure. Your car needs to be in a good condition and you should have all the additional gear necessary on difficult roads. Get familiar with your dashboard and learn what kind of a problem a red light on your dashboard indicates, but don’t forget to learn how to change a tire and thus avoid waiting for help in the middle of the night in case your tire goes flat. It would be great if you could learn some basic car repairs just in case something happens. For more complicated issues, it’s always better to call professionals and leave it to them to deal with the problem.
Navigation is your best friend
Although roads are well marked, sometimes a wrong turn can cost us additional hours of driving and that can affect our plan. That’s why it’s better to have a good navigation system that helps us come to our destination safe and on time. Just take a look and see if your navigation has all the maps you’ll need and mark the places you’re planning to visit – this will help you create a feeling of where you’ll need to go. Apart from that, you can always use your smartphone and the result will be the same, but always keep a charger close by because navigation apps use a lot of power.
Take lots of notes!
People tend to take thousands of photos while on a vacation, but there are so many things behind a single photography that are left unnoticed. You’ll see numerous breathtaking sites that will make you think about your life and decisions you have to make or remind you of something from your childhood or adult life. All these memories are important, so make sure you cherish them, and don’t let them be forgotten. Start writing everything down from the first moment to the last emotion that triggers a certain impulse and gives you something to think about. Given that you’ll be without a phone charger most of the time, use one of those stylish diaries and keep everything that comes to your mind in it. On those cold winter nights, this will be the perfect thing to read and recall all the emotions and memories you’ve experienced on your road trip.
Plan where you’ll stay for the night
A good night’s sleep is the key to a safe drive and you need to plan ahead where you’ll stay during the night. This doesn’t have to be a luxurious place: it just needs to be comfy and have a parking space, so you don’t have to worry about your car. Book hostels close to your route in advance and make sure their check-in and check-out time matches your schedule. You can always book an Airbnb place and you can cancel it if you change your mind. Another option is to visit a campsite and set your tent there – this can be extra fun and enjoyable for all those camping enthusiasts out there. Just be sure your camping gear is all packed and ready to be used.
Make Your First Road Trip Memorable
These essentials will play a major role in your adventure and forgetting something could seriously affect your entire road trip experience. If this is your first time going on an adventurous trip, just go through this list and you’ll be fine. The most important thing you need to keep in mind during this time is to have fun and relax – you can always change your plans along the way and make this trip the most memorable one.
ContributorEmma B. Joyce is blogger based in Australia. She is a true home decor and DIY fanatic. Emma is interested in music and also is a big reading enthusiast. Finding new designs and patterns is her daily task. She got hooked on home accessories and decorations during her traveling and now cannot stop searching for new inspiration.