From Snacks to Safety: A Comprehensive Guide to Essential Items for a Memorable and Stress-Free Road Trip
by Stefanie Michaels
I always say when people ask me what I bring on road trips, two simple words– Chewy Sweetarts candy!
I then ask them if it’s for a day trip— roving around town doing errands, a short couple of hour drive to get out of town for a change of scenery or a few day weekender.
Because all of that matters in knowing what and how much to throw in a vehicle.
If it’s a run-around-town day, then a focus on healthy snacks and drinks in a small cooler works. More of a holiday, then you’ll want to consider things like chargers, changes of clothes— preparing for various weather.
Here’s a few things you definitely need to pack and here’s why:
- Snacks, snacks, and more snacks. My go to nosh-vice on a road trip is a couple of packs of Chewy Sweethearts, Hot Tamales candy, Cheetos and Doritos. I’m a Diet Coke kind of gal, and iced coffee with almond milk and stevia drops in it. So, I pack a go bag with ice packs and off I go. This is also a cost savings trick, because who wants to pay the outrageous prices for gas station snacks?
- A good playlist or podcast, ’cause let’s be real, listening to bad tunes is a miss. Music sets the tone for the day and part of making memories on a holiday.
- A comfy blanket and pillow for those much-needed naps. Ever been a passenger and your eyes start getting heavy, and all you can think of is getting a little shut-eye? Hence, bringing along something to lay your head on and cozy up with. You’ll need to be well rested for the adventures ahead.
- A reusable water bottle, ’cause trying to do your part in helping the environment is key, saves money and hydration is a must. Make sure your vehicle has cup holders, too. It’s also not healthy to sit in one position for hours, so having bathroom breaks helps to stretch those legs on long road trips.
- A portable charger for all devices you bring along, because it sucks having to purchase one on the road— added expense and not having a phone for safety purposes wouldn’t be good either.
- A place to upload captured photos from your phone. It’s a safety backup for memories, should your phone get lost or stolen. Make sure to back up frequently and not lose all the good photos taken on your trip.
- Sunglasses and sunscreen for sunny and overcast days. Squinting at the sun makes for a dangerous driver and although in a car, sun rays can enter through the side and front windows.
- A good book or two for when you’re in need of some down time. Part of relaxing is having “you” time, and finally getting to that hardcover you’ve been saving for this exact type of trip!
Road trips are fun but, When going on a road trip, prioritizing safety is crucial to ensure an enjoyable and incident-free journey.
Some essential tips include:
Planning your road trip route and familiarizing yourself with the area, ensuring your vehicle is in good condition by getting it checked before the trip.
Always wear a seatbelt, taking breaks every 2 hours to stretch and rest, avoiding distracted driving such as using your phone while driving, adjusting your speed to suit the conditions of the road, being cautious of other drivers, and keeping an emergency kit in the car including a first aid kit, food and water, and a spare tire.
It’s also a good idea to inform a trusted friend or family member of your road trip plans and estimated arrival time to your final destination.