Taking a month-long family vacation to the beach or a weekend camping trip with friends? Regardless of where you are headed, the ride there can feel very long if you do not bring the right things with you. Here is a list of things that are essential for the perfect road trip.
Clearly, good music has to be the first on the list because if you don’t have good tunes, you are in for a long ride. Hopefully, everyone in the car jams to the same music or at least can bear to listen to the same melody. Whatever music listening program you are attached to (Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Pandora, etc.) make sure to create the ideal playlist before you leave. If you are using Spotify you can even make a collaborative playlist that everyone can add to (depending on your company, you might not want to do this. Sorry, Mom). Or if you want to go really old school, burn a bunch of CDs with your favorite hits and then decorate them with sharpies before you leave. That way, you can find the perfect soundtrack for the mood of the car. Want to listen to old throwbacks the entire way? You’ve got a CD for it. Or maybe jam to the newest Taylor Swift soundtrack? Check the CDs.
No one wants to make a bunch of stops along the way, so make sure you pack a ton of snacks so you don’t need to (as much). If you are headed on a long road trip, caffeine and sugar are crucial to keeping your driver awake. Now keep in mind, that with loads of caffeine and sugar comes loads of bathroom breaks. If you think you can do without coffee by the hour and bags of sour patch kids, then make sure you bring lots of water. Cold water can keep you awake just as well as coffee can, even though we’d like to think otherwise. Bring fun snacks to keep your belly and mind happy while you are stuck in a cramped car for hours on end. I suggest lots of salt and vinegar potato chips and a ton of Reese cups.
If you are hitting the road with your best friends and want to remember the car ride there, bring a camera. Make funny videos along the way (that aren’t distracting to the driver) and make a huge montage of them after the trip is over. You will always be able to go back and remember how much fun you all had just driving in the car. Also, take pictures and videos of all the sites you pass when you are driving. Whether it’s a scenic mountain range or miles of city limits, it will be beautiful.
If you are not driving or are switching off driving, bring a good book for when you are sitting in the back watching cars pass. After a while, listening to music constantly can give you a headache and you need some peace and quiet. Bring a new book or one you’ve been working on but haven’t quite found the time to finish and enjoy the silence as you read. The peacefulness of the drive will give you the perfect reading setting for whatever good book you brought. My suggestion is On The Road by Jack Kerouac, it’s too fitting, right?
Above all else, the most essential things you need on a road trip are a big, soft pillow and a warm, fuzzy blanket. If you are uncomfortable during your drive, no snack or perfect soundtrack is going to make you happy; except for your favorite set of pillows and blanket. Sitting in the car for 5 hours or more can be dreadful, but a good nap to break up the hours can make it so, so much better. Make sure to pack your favorite pillow and blanket for when you eventually doze off in the car during your perfect road trip.
Now that you’ve got your essential road trip packing list, you’re all ready to set sail. Happy traveling!