Road Trip Essentials
The only trip you will regret is the one you didn’t take – Unknown
Road trips are an incredibly fun way to see new parts of a country, and there is no shortage of road trip ideas on Pinterest. Being prepared will make the trip that much more smooth for you and your friends.
Being prepared = maximum fun!
Below are some thoughts and ideas to keep in mind when planning your next road trip.
When planning a road trip, it is important to figure out how much space you will need, and whether you need to rent a vehicle or not. Sometimes you will be travelling around a new country and will absolutely need to rent a vehicle. Other times, you will be able to drive across the border and may already own a suitable vehicle. Either way, having enough space is key.
The size of the vehicle will also depend on the kinds of activities you want to do. For instance, if you plan on bringing a kayak or bikes, then a larger vehicle might be required. If you are planning a mostly camping and photography trip, then you might be able to take a smaller vehicle.
For 4 people, I would recommend getting at least an SUV, or a van if possible. SUV’s are great if you are driving from camping spots, cabins, or Airbnbs because they can hold everyone’s baggage as well as food. A van would be more suitable if you want to sleep in the vehicle. Lots of people choose to drive vans around countries such as Australia or Iceland and sleep in them each night. It really depends on what kind of trip you are doing.
Music! Make sure you bring some sort of device that will play music. This includes auxiliary cords so that you can plug your phone in while on the road. Alternatively, you could bring a portable speaker so that when you stop each night at your destinations. This way you have some mechanism that will play music without you having to turn the car on.
Maps are helpful. Whether you have the ability to use a phone or need a paper map, it is good practice to have them. They also make for great travel souvenirs as you can keep them and look back on where you traveled. We did this for Iceland by outlining our routes with a red pen. We then kept the map as a type of journal so we can look back at where we have been and what we saw.
Regularly check your gas. There is nothing worse than running out of gas before you get to the next gas station! So always check your gas at the end of day, which will help you determine if you need more first thing before you head out the following day. It is also helpful when you are budgeting for a road trip to estimate gas costs, then split between everyone going on the trip. Some countries have expensive gas, and others have very cheap gas, so it can make a big difference to your budget.
Toilet paper and hand sanitizer are good to have. When you are on a road trip, you might not know the state of the next washroom you stop at. Sometimes the rest stops are outhouses and do not have soap or water. It’s always good to carry toilet paper and hand sanitizer in the case that you aren’t near a bathroom as well. I am speaking from experience of running across some pretty nasty bathrooms!
Bring some water and snacks. Similar to the bathroom issue, sometimes it is unknown when you will be able to get clean drinking water next, so it is always good to bring some extra water with you in the event that you need it. We always try to fill our water bottles up every chance we get which lowers our risk of running out. Similarly, it is good to have some extra snacks with you in the vehicle. This reduces the need to pull over and get food, instead allowing you to make it to your next destination.
Road trips are super fun, and I highly recommend getting out and doing one on your next vacation. There is lots to see out there in this world that is accessible by car. Road trips can give you a new perspective on the country you are visiting, and give you opportunities you wouldn’t have had if you had chosen to fly from one city to the next.
I hope these ideas help you when planning your next road trip!