Road trip essentials for long drives
The road trip essentials I listed below are some things I can’t go on a long road trip without. Many of them can be tweaked to fit your needs. Also, be aware that along with the things listed below there are so many other important items to remember like a spare tire and jumper cables. In 2013 my parents took me on a road trip across the country that was full of memories we will never forget. That trip was the best vacation my parents and I have ever taken. The road trip essentials I’ve listed below have treated me well and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
- Pour over coffee maker (with coffee grinds and travel mugs. The one I use is here. If you can’t drink this type of coffee you can stop at a coffee shop or you can always buy the pre-packaged Starbucks coffees.
- Car charger for your phone, watch, and any other electronic devices. See here.
- Your hiking boots! It’s common to find impromptu hikes in remote areas. Why not stop and enjoy a little? Hot out? Check out my favorites; Keens or Tevas. They are much alike but have some important differences so research and try both. I used Keens in Hawaii, but use my Tevas when hiking in my home state of Wisconsin.
- In contrast to those hiking boots, bring slippers to wear in the car to keep your feet warm and cozy.
- A Flare gun. We carried one with us when we drove across the country. It not only can be fired into the air in the event of a serious emergency, but anyone trying to rob you probably doesn’t want it shot at them either.
- Layered jacket. Temperatures above and below the mason dixon vary greatly and can change in an instant. Find a good jacket that has layers that you can zip in or out . It also helps if you have lots of pockets. I use this kind here.
- Protein bars and energy drinks. For protein bars I use Quest, cookie dough and cookies and cream are my two favorites. You wouldn’t even know that’s what you’re eating. I use to swear by red bull but I really love Uptime energy drinks. They are way healthier and full of vitamins and minerals your body needs through out the day. So ditch the red bull and pick up some uptime.
- First aid kit/Medicine bag. I’m a medical assistant so I am always aware things might not go as planned. Pack a first aid kit/medicine bag with essentials for headaches, cuts, and anything else you might think of.
- If you are going to be camping make sure you bring a weather radio to stay aware if weather conditions begin to change rapidly. Make sure to also have a heavy duty flash light like this one and spare batteries incase you have some night time car troubles or need to find something in the dark.
- Bring a camera. I recommend buying a Nikon 2100 if you want still shots since that’s the one I am about to purchase too, or use a GoPro. I have the Hero5 and shoot everything with that, you can take still frames of whatever you want and even pull stills out of your video that still have really great quality. Plus you can document all those impromptu and “promptu” hikes.
- Bring cash. Make sure you bring cash with you on your road trips. Even though credit cards are pretty universal now, cash is still king. Plus, if you stop at a small town shop along the way that doesn’t take credit cards you’ll be left high and dry.
- Hopefully you do not break down, but make sure you have AAA or road side assistance through your insurance Incase of any car problems. If you rent an RV or a car then make sure that you ask the rental service questions about how many shops they have and what you should do incase of an emergency. If the rental company tells you not to drive through Death Valley, you probably shouldn’t drive through Death Valley on this road trip.
- Bring a tent and/or get a membership for a campground found in multiple places all over the US. KOA is the one we used and it was really easy and the employees were super friendly.
- Bring survival gear. Probably not a road trip essential because you most likely won’t get stranded and if you do someone should be along soon enough, but you never know. Especially if you are hiking in large parks, be prepared. Bring a lighter or fire starter, iodine kit to purify drinking water, and some rope (survival straps are enough, See here.) You most likely won’t need any of this but if there is a situation that arises you’ll be completely prepared.
- A good guide book and a map. Learn how to use a real map, not just the one on google. Surprisingly enough there are a lot of dead zones in the US. (Yes, there are people without internet and WiFi out there). Learn to use a real map and mark out your planned trip before you leave to help you follow it more easily. You can usually pick a good one up at Barnes and noble.
If you can think of any more road trip essentials to add to this list comment below!