After being cooped up in the house over the winter and with international travel currently restricted, I am sure that many of us will be going on lots of roadtrips this summer. Who doesn’t love a good roadtrip?
On weekends during the warmer months whenever I am not travelling, I am out on the road always exploring, and seeing and doing new things. Unlike travelling abroad, roadtrips take a relatively short time to prepare for. Whether it is a day roadtrip, weekend roadtrip, or week long roadtrip, it is necessary to be prepared with all of your roadtrip essentials packed and ready to go.
Since the majority of my roadtrips are spontaneous and only for a day or two, there is very little planning involved. I just have to grab my roadtrip essentials and hit the road. When going on a longer roadtrip, there is a little more planning involved but my roadtrip essentials always remain the same.
Plan a Day or Weekend Roadtrip
Many times when I am taking a spontaneous day or weekend roadtrip (which is often), I will just grab my roadtrip essentials (which I keep packed year round), hop in the car and drive. There are times though that I am taking a roadtrip to do or see a specific thing and for a longer period of time. When deciding in which direction I want to drive for a short roadtrip, my destination will be determined by what I am in the mood to see or do. These are some things that I take into consideration:
- do I want to explore small towns
- do I want to head to the beach
- do I want to do some wine or beer tasting. If this is on the agenda, make sure you have a designated driver with you
- do I want to shop (this will never be on my list of considerations lol)
- do I want to hike or explore the outdoors
- do I just want to drive and take in the scenery
Once I have decided what it is that interests me and what I’m in the mood for, I’m off! But not without grabbing my Timmies first (it’s a Canadian thing).
For a longer roadtrip, there are many more things to be taken into consideration. The first thing to consider is where the final destination will be. I have an easy way of doing this, at least it works for me. I have a road map (that’s right, an actual paper map) that I highlight every roadtrip I take. I don’t usually like to go to the same destination more than once, as I prefer to have new experiences. I pick a spot on the map that hasn’t been highlighted yet and that is the direction that I start driving towards. Once the destination has been determined, I go through my list of Roadtrip Essentials:
- I map out my route on the paper map (google maps doesn’t always take you the most scenic way)
- determine if I want to stop and spend a night or two along the way
- if driving a considerable distance, where do I want to stop
- what hotels are available where I want to stop
- are there any sites that I want to see or hikes that I want to do at this stop. I always try to schedule my overnight stops at a location that offers something that peaks my interest
- if I decide not to stop and drive straight to my destination, what activities and/or adventures are there at my destination
- are there day trips I might be interested in doing from my final destination
Now that the difficult part of planning the roadtrip is behind me, it is time to review and pack up my list of Roadtrip Essentials.
It doesn’t matter how organized and prepared you are during the planning stages of your roadtrip, you won’t be going anywhere if you haven’t paid attention to your vehicle. Afterall, your vehicle is your primary essential for a successful roadtrip. Make sure that it is in tip top shape.
Essentials for the Perfect Roadtrip
Preparing Your Vehicle is Essential for a Successful Roadtrip
When I am preparing my vehicle for my roadtrip, I go through my checklist and make sure that all of the essentials have been checked off:
- car Maintenance
- oil change
- proper tires (snow tires if roadtripping in the winter)
- tires filled with air
- check brakes
- make sure windshield wipers are working
- fluids are topped up (oil, washer fluid, power steering fluid)
- check all break lights, head lights, tail lights and signal lights
- have an emergency roadside kit on hand
- booster cables
- car jack
- spare tire in case you get a flat tire
- driver’s licence and insurance
- it is always a good idea to have a CAA or AAA membership in case you require roadside assistance
- clean inside and outside of vehicle
- full tank of gas
Roadtrip Essentials….Just in Case
The car is now in tip top shape and ready to go. It is time to start packing. While these items are not always essential for your roadtrip, they are important to have on hand….just in case:
- map (I never depend solely on google maps, just in case service is not available)
- phone charger
- pillow and heavy blanket
- bug spray
- sun tan lotion
- toilet paper
- garbage bag
- hand sanitizer
- good tunes
- small first aid kit:
I keep these items packed in a bag and ready to go whenever I am. It cuts down on the last minute packing.
Essential Personal Items for a Successful Roadtrip
The amount of personal items you pack will of course depend on the length of your roadtrip, but it is always a good thing to be prepared in case an emergency arises. Even for a day roadtrip, I bring these essential personal items with me:
- fully charged phone
- lots of water
- snacks (nuts, apple, grapes, cheese, crackers, veggies). I love a good picnic!
- light jacket
- comfortable walking/hiking shoes
- change of clothes
- bathing suit
- toothe brush and toothe paste
You now have all of the essentials for the perfect roadtrip and you are off! Don’t forget your Timmies, and your free Roadtrip Essentials checklist!
HAPPY ROADTRIPPIN 🙂