Hi there! This weekend, the husband and I, along with another friend couple are going to Branson, Missouri for a mini vacation. We’ve been planning it since February and are very very excited to finally go! We’ve got the whole weekend planned out and I’ll have a post about all our fun adventures when we get back!
We’re leaving out Thursday as soon as I get off work, so for the past few days I’ve been trying to get a mental list going of what all I need to bring, because lord knows I wont actually start getting things together until Tuesday or Wednesday. (I hate last minute packing. I used to be the type of person who packed a week before you even had to leave. I have no idea what happened, and whatever it was I wish it hadn’t.)
We are getting super close to the deadline, as you can see by my countdown. It’s time to get serious and get everything squared away and ready to go! So here is my list of 10 road trip necessities:
- A GPS – When we travel, we usually just used the map apps on our phone to get somewhere. However, you should definitely invest in a GPS if you like taking trips. You don’t have to worry about it using up all of your data and getting charged overage fees (unless you have truly unlimited date, then do what you want.) Make sure you update it before you leave too, so it knows what roads have been closed and opened recently. When we were in Dallas, our map app kept telling us to get on the interstate where it was closed down. It took us forever to find another way to merge on. It’s also important to help you find things along the way and once you’ve reached your destination.
Also, another helpful hint with the GPS, have your copilot (if you have one) hold it instead of mounting it on the dash. That way they can read the little streets to know how close you are to your turn. Sometimes the narrator will wait until the last minute to tell you when to turn, or the picture is misleading, then you’ve turned yourself around and everyone is grumpy.
- A Good Pair of Sunglasses – There’s nothing worse than being in a car for a long period of time with no sunglasses, except maybe having an ill-fitting pair. I recommend getting a regular pair and an amber colored or polarized pair. The amber colored lens actually helps you see better in the rain as does a polarized lens because it cuts the horizontal light down. But that is only during the day. At night, it just makes everything dark (duh).
- Multi-Purpose Charger – This charger is the coolest thing I have ever seen and I will be getting one, just not in time for the trip this weekend. You can see why this is a necessity. Not only can you charge your cellphone and GPS, but you can charge your laptop or any other item that needs a standard socket. And they are three-pronged sockets.
- Neck Pillow – These things are beyond comfortable, especially if you get a memory foam one. These would be great for the driver or the passenger. Just be sure not to fall asleep if you are the one driving!
- Music – If you’re going on a road trip, your favorite radio station isn’t going to make it the whole way. Unless you want to surf the channels every hour and a half or so, I’d bring something to listen too. Whenever I’m taking road trips on my own, I actually bring audio books instead of music. This doesn’t work so well when there are other people with you.
- Something to Read or Watch – You’ll need something for those down time moments. Anytime I don’t bring a book or my iPad because I think that we will all want to talk, someone falls asleep and the ride is silent for at least an hour. A book or iPad doesn’t take up too much of the precious space in your vehicle. Bring it.
- Paper towels – Or anything to pick up a spill. Even if it’s just a bunch of adults going, there is a very good chance something will be spilled and you’ll want to clean it up as soon as you can. If you don’t already keep paper towels or napkins in your car, you should.
- Snacks – You always need snacks. Always. It’s much cheaper to get them before hand instead of at a gas station.
- Comfy Clothes – You’d think this is a given, but sometimes you forget that you’ll be in a car for an extended amount of time and those shoes you wore start to hurt and your belt starts to pinch. Also, along these lines, remember wear you headrest is and fix your hair accordingly. I usually throw mine up in a top knot. If I do anything low or to the side, it keeps my head from resting against the headrest and my neck aches by the end of the first hour.
- Sleep Mask – If you are alternating driving with someone else and they don’t need you to keep them awake it’s great to try to catch some rest before you reach your destination. That’s where this beauty comes in. You’d think it would be hard to sleep with something on your face, but it’s not. These things block the sun out perfectly. So if you drove from 6 am until noon and then switch, this can block that noon day sun and let you nap for an hour or two. These are also great for when you reach your destination. Use them when camping and you can sleep in. Most hotel’s come with black out curtains, but if your sharing a room with others, it’s nice to have these so you don’t wake up when they cut the lights on.
And that’s it, my top ten road trip necessities. What do you think of my list? Did I miss anything that you must take when you go on road trips? Leave it in the comments and let me know! I look forward to sharing with you all the fun I’ve had on the trip next week!