The Queen’s birthday long weekend is fast approaching, which for a lot of us means only one thing: road trips! Grab your sunnies, line up a rockin’ playlist and stock up on these essential road trip items before hitting the road!
When road tripping, GPS IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. Keep it visible with a holder that connects to your dash board.
Phone-charger, Mp3 player-charger, GPS-charger – enough said. A USB adaptor that connects to your car cigarette lighter will be your most-used accessory. Without it, you’ll need to make regular tech-charging pit stops.
- An Mp3 Player
Remember that annoying sound CDs made when they got scratched up? Well it’s 2015, and you don’t have to put up with that anymore. Basic Mp3 players come as cheap as $20. Rewind. Play. Repeat.
- A hands-free headset
Texting or talking on your phone while driving is not only illegal and highly dangerous, but also downright fiddly. It’s an absolute no-no. Invest in a basic Bluetooth-enabled headset to answer calls and connect with your phone’s voice controls, hands-free.
- Hard copy maps
No matter how prepared you are with your technology, sometimes it just doesn’t work – be it a flat battery, lack of internet connection or technical glitch. When road tripping it’s always a good idea to keep a directory or printed hard copy of a map of your journey in the car in case technology fails. If you can’t take hard copies of maps, take some screenshots of the directions on your phone (and see item 2 for in-car phone charging).
Australia has some of the longest and widest roads in the world. Attaching a wide vision mirror helps you to see up to a 50% wider field of vision. Whether you’re manoeuvring across a four-lane freeway or checking the mirrors for ‘roos, safety comes first!
Keep a torch in the glove box to avoid digging through piles of luggage in the dark. A torch will also come in handy if you arrive at your destination after nightfall – especially if looking for house numbers. A torch should always be packed in your car’s emergency supplies kit, along with drinking water, a flare and extra blankets.
Never underestimate the value of keeping a roll of loo paper handy in the car; it will become one of your most valued road trip assets. You’ll need it for cleaning up spills, wiping the windscreen and navigating unhygienic rest stops, among other uses. Other handy toiletries include motion sickness pills, a tooth brush (see item 9), hand sanitiser and paracetamol.
Snacks are a must have for any road trip, no matter the distance! Dried fruit and nuts are great healthy long-life snacks for road trips of long distances (but it wouldn’t be a road trip without a servo stop for Minties and gummy snakes). Lots of water is essential too – consider packing a large carton of water if there are no service stations marked on your route.
(Check out some handy food storage options here.)
If you’re in for the long haul, you might as well get comfy. No road trip can have too many blankets.
Do you have another road trip must-have? Let us know in the comments. Happy road tripping!