Summer was made for trips, whether you can drive, or prefer the coach or train (or indeed any other vehicle you have access to), a roadtrip can give you a sense of adventure. But of course, without provisions, what may be a peaceful drive for some can on it’s own be a pretty dull experience for others. So here’s 5 great essentials to ensure the transition can be just as enjoyable as points A and B themselves.
A Digital Map
Sounds obvious right? But sometimes the help of a GPS based device such as a Sat Nav or a spare smartphone can help you find service stops on the way, warnings about bad traffic or suggestions of cool places to stop at on the way to your final destination. Unless you’re good a geography, old school atlases can be a little frustrating with this, so if you’re going paper, make sure you get a local map to help you get a better handle on things.
Everyone loves a good set of music when travelling, although if your a driver, fiddling about on your phone when driving at high speed doesn’t mix and in a number of countries is actually illegal as it’s a distraction to driving. So the perfect solution other than having a DJ in your passenger seat that knows your every move, is to build a playlist in advance of your favourite songs, or ones to set the mood for where you are heading. Using the route information from the items above can help you to calculate roughly how long your list should be – though I’d double it to be sure so you don’t have to repeat songs too many times over on the ride home. If you’re heading on a long distance trip, it’s worth making space on your device to download your music for offline use, or go old-school and use an MP3 player or CD player (go cassette if you’re retro!) so you’re not faced with silence when your SIM card/cell loses service.
Snacks and Drinks
Going the distance can take time and particularly when it gets hot, you can get pretty thirsty. Having a few provisions on hand can be helpful, both for quenching and good for the soul! Just be careful if it lasts for several hours. One can only consume so much Haribo or Mint Imperials and feel no effects…
More for the vehicle drivers, you want to show off where you’re going or want great proof for insurance claims should you happen to drive somewhere that’s got a reputation for the more ‘creative’ drivers on our roads, then a good camera for your dashboard may well be able to help. Similar to their action based friends (with action cams such as GoPro sometimes even taking on the role of a dashcam), action cams let you record your trip either in realtime or through schedule intervalled photographs (known as a time lapse). These time lapses (sometimes referred to specifically as ‘drive lapses’) are popular online as a great way to document your trip, as a nice segue in any outing vlog and (in the case of the realtime ones) can provide valuable evidence if you get into or encounter any trouble on the roads.
Good Friends or Family
Driving alone can get, well, lonely – so why do it alone if there’s an option to have someone along for the ride? If you can’t have someone present and you have Bluetooth or a car kit, call someone up before setting off and have them keep you company (maybe both of you could even be driving/coaching/railing at the same time. Be cautious to heed that last sentence though and don’t get caught out with a phone in your hand whilst you’re behind the wheel (especially in the UK where fines and prison sentences can be the consequence of being caught doing this!)
What is most essential to you on a road or transport trip? Do you think I’ve missed any super important ones? Please feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments.