"A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there."The spontaneity and excitement of a road trip is unparalleled by any other. And with the vacation time round the corner, a few weeks of fun on the open, wide roads, can be an experience of a lifetime. Having said that, road trips can be a nightmare if not properly planned. You obviously do not want to be lost in some godforsaken place, in freezing temperatures, eating refried beans and cheese burritos. So, for all those who want to make their trip a fulfilling and fun experience, make a checklist for the road trip.
―H. Stanley Judd
―H. Stanley Judd
This should include a checking of your vehicle, preparing for emergencies, stocking in on your entertainment needs, and getting your navigational tools in place. Oh, and I forgot the most important part of the road trip planning process, i.e stocking up the food and the drinks for the trip. I know this may go against the spirit of a spontaneous road trip, but believe me it will save you lots of hassles on the road, not to mention a significant amount of money.
Things to Bring on a Road Trip
The obvious thumb rule when packing for a road trip, is that 'less is more'. So instead of stockpiling a whole lot of things into your car, make a checklist of what you need on the trip. This ensures that nothing is forgotten in a last minute hurry.
Luggage Sets: Select the smallest duffel bag or a backpack that you can find, and try to fit in the stuff that you need for the journey into it. Leave behind the big suitcases, as there are few things as unpleasant as having to haul a giant suitcase around when traveling. For a long journey, pack your clean clothes into small plastic bags and throw in a large laundry bag for the soon-to-be dirty clothes. Also make sure to pack a pair of comfortable sandals and a good pair of hiking shoes for the journey.
Music: What is a good road trip without great music so whether you are in a car, van, or an RV, stock up the CDs for a long journey. Sometimes the ready-made playlists and albums can get quite boring. A great idea is to use an iPod and just borrow songs from the people you visit. Please do not count on the radio, unless you want to be stuck with bad twangy pop and Christian radio.
Camera: This is an essential for all those people, who are not quite so eloquent with words. Describing the fun you had on your great adventure journey can be easy if you have loads of pictures. Well, you do not have to be a pro to get the right shots. With a simple point and shoot digital camera, you can get some great pictures and show them to your grandchildren, when you are really old.
A GPS Navigation System: Say goodbye to your travel maps. GPS navigation systems with built-in maps, are an ideal way of making the chances of your getting lost from slim to nil. It not only shows you where you are on the map, but also provides real-time updates of your location. In addition, they offer automatic route-planning, and turn-by-turn directions, making it virtually impossible to get lost.
Cash or Credit: Well, if you are going to use it, you also have to pay for it. You can carry cash or if you are just wary of carrying a wad of dollars, just stick with the plastic money. Then there are the handy traveler's checks, that can be purchased at travel agencies, like AAA and through American Express.
Food: Believe me, life is much simpler without those greasy burgers and the gas station pretzels, so be wise and pack in your food. Keep a stock of healthy road trip snacks and other dry food, in a separate bag, and use a large cooler for juice, soda, and water. You can also keep meat, fruit, and raw veggies in the cooler. Remember to get a garbage bag for all the trash.
First Aid Kit: An essential for all long journeys, first aid kits can be bought or made. Simply put your antiseptics, ointments, bandages, and aspirins in a plastic bag. Personally, I like to carry a hand cleanser and a sunscreen along with it.
A Journal: Ok, this is not really indispensable, but carrying a journal allows you to pen down your thoughts. It is great for people wanting to memorize the little details of their journey.
In addition to this, you can find a list of things that you can also take along with you. A host of other stuff for your entertainment needs, like a portable DVD player, a supply of books and magazines, portable board games, or a laptop are some great trip accessories. The most important thing is to travel light, so that you can enjoy and have a relaxing, fun trip, without having to bother about the pile of stuff lying in your car.