Updated: May 29
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Road trips are about to become very popular thanks to Ms. Rona, aka Covid19. Since there are so many international travel bans and so many people are concerned with the safety of travel by plane, I think we'll start to see more and more people choosing to take domestic vacations by car.
When you plan your next road trip, make sure you have these items handy before you leave:
1. Life Straw
I just found out about the life straw recently and I can't wait to get mine. The Life Straw purifies water as you drink so you can drink out of ponds, lakes, rivers, etc. without risking getting sick. That's absolutely wild to me. I would imagine if you like hiking or camping or other outdoorsy activities, this might be something to add to your backpack!
Fix-a-flat is used to seal and inflate your tire "at the push of a button". Fix-a-flat is an easy and quick solution, so you don't have to wait for roadside assistance or jack your car and go through the process of changing your tire.
3. Roadside assistance
If you want some extra help on standby, look into getting roadside assistance. It might be a benefit on one of your credit cards, or you could find a credit card that has that benefit. You could also sign up for something like AAA.
4. Portable solar charger
I think these are great because while you're driving during the day, you can charge it just by laying it on your dashboard. All you need is a regular USB cord to plug in your phone - and the charger actually doubles as a flashlight. It's really helpful when you're going to an event like a concert or football game - of course, we're in quarantine now, so that probably won't be the case for awhile.I just love being able to charge my phone wherever, whenever.
Okay so maybe this isn't a "must have" but it's badass nonetheless. Now while you're eating dinner in your car on your road trip (safely pulled over in a parking lot, of course) you don't have to worry about spilling your sauce. You can just dip in peace. Dip on, my dudes.
Recommended brand: SauceMoto
If you have wifi built into your car, scroll to the next one.
This is more for the other people in the car and not so much the driver. However, it indirectly benefits the driver because if your passengers are able to Google nearby restaurants and unique things to do, you'll have a much more interesting road trip. SkyRoam is a great company to look at for portable wifi - only pay for what you use!
If you're planning to just sleep in your car on your road trip, use this site to search for locations near you that allow you to sleep in their parking lot in your car. You can also look for a Walmart or Cracker Barrel, which are both known for allowing you to sleep in your car overnight.
8. Backup phone charger for the car
It's always good to have a backup charger for your phone just in case anything happens. You might need to call for help or maybe someone needs to get a hold of you for an emergency. Or me, for example: I can't get from point A to point B successfully without my phone's GPS - so I have to do everything in my power to make sure that doesn't happen.
9. Phone holder
If it's a long road trip, you might want a phone holder so you can go hands-free. This will make your driving safer because you won't look down as much and it also makes it easier to read the directions.
Recommended brand: WeatherTech
10. Cooler + Snacks
The most important part of any road trip is snacks. I usually bring a cooler with fruits, drinks (soda, juices, water, gatorades), sandwich stuff, anything I'm feeling. At the beginning of every road trip, I stop at the gas station to fill up my tank, get some candy, and buy some ice to fill my cooler. Whenever I get hungry or need a little something to wake me up, I just grab something from the cooler.
11. Duct tape
Duct tape can come in handy for many, many things. You can make duct tape into shoes if something happen to yours and you need a pair. You can make makeshift clothes, silverware, bowls, cups, etc. And hypothetically, definitely not speaking from experience, if you had to pee, you might be able to make a bowl/pan to pee in.
Wisps are these little toothbrushes that you can use to brush your teeth in public places. The toothpaste is already on them, and you just run them under some water and then boom you can brush your teeth anywhere. It's easiest in hotels and public restrooms, but you can use a water bottle in a parking lot or get creative some other way.
About the Author:
I'm Anna Mills - a travel agent, blogger, and author of the book "100 Ways to Make Travel More Affordable". I have been a guest on the Trip Sister's Podcast and TripScout's Roadtrip Expert Panel. You may have seen me in Texas Lifestyle Magazine, Opploans.com, or as a Rising Star for Travel Market Report.