ROOAAAAD TRRIIPPP! Yea buddy, time to live the dream and jump in your dad’s convertible (more realistically, your beat up mini van) for adventure, freedom and memories for a lifetime. Here are ten essentials to consider when starting your preparations for life on the highway.
Call ‘em up! It’s time to get the gang together for a road trip. It’s pretty badass to travel on your own, but with three or four people it’s easier on the wallet when it comes to gas, lodging, etc. Get friends you trust, that are into the same types of travel that you’re into, and are somewhat responsible. Now everyone put your hands in!
Cars are Sneaky- Don’t Let Yours Be
Well there goes the front tire…and why is smoke pouring out the back? Don’t be that guy. Your innocent car may be humming in ecstasy now, but out on the open road…anything can happen. Be smart- invest in tools and emergency supplies for your car. If you don’t know how to change a tire, learn right now. Have triple AAA? Good- keep their phone number close. And finally, take your car in for a head-to-toe check up and oil change.
“License and registration, please…”
We’ve all heard that one before. Make sure your car registration and insurance cards are updated and safely tucked in your glove box. Make photo copies just in case. Also a good idea to keep a notebook with important phone numbers and addresses in there as well.
Gadgets and Gizmos
After the first couple hundred miles, things might get a little boring. Have everyone make CD’s and playlists for the trip. Dig up the old Chumbawamba and 98 Degrees CD’s you still have from middle school for a good laugh. Other items to consider:
Things You will be glad you brought
These are self explanatory and highly significant: Toilet paper, spare car key, hand sanitizer, flashlight, bottle opener (beer), cork screw (wine), first aid kit, wipes/paper towels/rags, lighter.
I ripped my pants.
Then it’s a good thing you brought a sewing kit on the trip. Someone is bound to shred some stitching, whether restlessly hanging out the car window while going 90 mph or wrestling in the back seat.
Speaking of clothes….
The whimsical road trip pictures you see in magazine ads may show stick thin women trippin’ it in high heels and mini skirts, decked out in fab vintage make up and hair. Yea, how about a comfy flannel, shorts, no bra, messy bun and bare feet? Sounds good to me.
Pack up some nice, individualized treats (to keep everyone from finishing the entire giant bag in 5 minutes). Trail mix, cookies, chips…the usual salty/sweet concoctions. Keep a small cooler within reaching distance with drinks.
You’re not too cool for a Map
Dora the Explorer has all sorts of magical powers, yet she still carries an old school paper map (so what if it talks, it’s still a rolled up paper map).In other words, don’t rely on your GPS, cell phone, IPad or friends. Be extra prepared and keep a map handy with the route outlined. Sometimes these are better anyways- study some highways that go off the beaten path for a more scenic trip.
Don’t ask me why, just bring a roll of duct tape. I promise you will use it at some point.
Courtney is a full-time writer covering soccer, travel and the outdoors. You can find her scouting out hole in the wall joints for the perfect carnitas taco, jumping in the ocean under the light of a full moon or exploring the beautiful Florida wilderness and documenting her adventures in her blog, www.localtravelgal.wordpress.com.