Adventure, the wind in your hair, the open road: a road trip always sounds like a fantastic and memorable experience, so it's no wonder that planning a road trip is such an exciting activity. You're free to go wherever you like and when you like, travelling at your own pace.
But before you set off on your road trip, you'll need these four essentials.
- Safety equipment
If you're travelling through Europe, be aware that most countries will require you to have some form of car safety kit that's permanently kept in the vehicle.
Different countries will require you to have different things in your safety kit, so be prepared by researching all of the countries in which you'll be driving.
If you’re driving in France, for example, it’s compulsory to carry a warning triangle. Wherever you go, a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher is always recommended. Failing to carry an essential could leave you with an on-the-spot fine, which could really ruin your road trip.
- A big enough vehicle
On a road trip, comfort is important. You're going to be spending a lot of time in your car, so make sure that it's big enough to properly relax in. You don't want to be huddled up inside a tiny vehicle for the duration of your trip, suffering from leg cramps or a bad back.
Also remember that your car will need to be big enough for any belongings that you're travelling with, potentially including suitcases full of clothes. While you might make sacrifices squashing into your car for a day of travelling, do you really want to be doing that for potentially weeks on end?
If your own car isn't big enough, consider car rental for your road trip. You'll be able to find a suitable vehicle with plenty of legroom for a road trip that's genuinely comfortable.
- Food and drink
You'll be driving on unfamiliar roads. You may discover that you're on the road for hours, unable to find somewhere suitable to stop for refreshments, or might meet with bad traffic that leaves you stuck under the hot summer sun. Always make sure that you're prepared with food and drink in case of emergencies.
Fill your car with bottles of water and a selection of non-perishable snacks, ideally keeping the drinks in a cool box with ice packs.
Most of the time, you'll easily find places to stop for a bite to eat. Just in case that's ever an issue, you'll be grateful that you decided to hide a few cereal bars in the glove box.
- Plenty of good tunes to enjoy en-route
You're going to be in your car a lot. If your playlist isn't long enough, or you don't have enough CDs, then you're going to end up listening to the same tracks over and over again.
You can always turn to the radio for a little local news, music and culture, but sometimes you'll be far from civilisation without access to radio stations. Whilst driving along in silence can be beautifully refreshing and calming, it's probably not what you'll want to do for the entire duration of your road trip.
Sign up to a service like Spotify before your trip, and create a playlist that will run for hours without your input. Nothing beats a good road trip sing-along!
With good music, safety equipment and refreshments all loaded into a big enough vehicle, your road trip will be the best ever.