Road trips always sound amazing. That is until your car breaks down and you’re stranded 300 miles away from home because you forgot to renew your auto club membership before you left. The fact is, planning an epic road trip is a lot of work. You have to plan for obvious and not-so-obvious situations to arise. So before you head out on your next adventure, check out these road trip must-haves.
You need to plan for any problems that could arise during your road trip, and that means you need auto insurance. If you don’t carry auto insurance regularly, get a car or motorcycle insurance quote as soon as possible, and if you already have auto insurance, make sure it’s up-to-date. In addition to basic liability coverage, consider adding:
- – Comprehensive coverage — this covers your vehicle for damage that’s caused by incidents other than collisions such as theft or vandalism.
- – Collision coverage
- – Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
- – Roadside assistance
- – Rental car coverage
Additionally, ask your insurance agent if your policy covers the belongings you have in your car. If not, you should inquire about travel insurance.
Some Kind of Itinerary
For many, road trips symbolize freedom. Few things are more enticing than hitting the open road without a care in the world. However, leaving home without any plans at all is pretty risky. You should at least have a loose itinerary.
Now, having a loose itinerary doesn’t mean you need to plan every stop — that takes the fun out of the road trip. At the very least, you should have a destination, know the route you’re going to follow to get there, and know where all the major cities are located along the way. The last thing anyone wants to do is run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, and having a loose itinerary helps you avoid things like that. You can even make the process super easy by planning your road trip online.
Long travel times and the possibility of traversing remote locations makes it necessary to pack more for road trips than you would if you were flying to your destination. Of course, you need clothes, shoes, and personal hygiene items for each member of your family, but you should also take these things:
- First-aid kit
- Over-the-counter pain reliever and other medications used regularly
- Extra toilet paper — just in case you have to make an emergency pit stop
- Flashlights and batteries
- Spare tire — and a jack and tire iron
- Roadside emergency car kit — make sure it includes jumper cables
- GPS or a car stand for your phone so you can use it as a GPS
While tablets and laptops aren’t road-trip necessities, they do make long, boring portions of your road trip easier to bear — and you can’t expect every single mile of your road trip to be a blast. To occupy your time, or your kids’ time, bring:
- Electronics and chargers
- Art supplies
- Journals or paper and pens
- A list of car games
- A deck of cards
- Travel-size board games
- Headphones and/or ear buds for each person
Also, each day, make sure your cooler and snack bags are completely stocked with goodies. This way, you don’t need to stop every time someone in the car gets hungry.
Road trips wouldn’t be exciting if you didn’t get to look forward to things you discover randomly along the way, but traveling without prior preparation isn’t a great idea. Remember, with a little bit of planning, a basic road trip can turn into an epic adventure in no time.