If you’re planning a road trip anytime soon, take it from me. Rather be over prepared than under-prepared. I usually go on road trips with my family and usually mom takes care of most things. This time around, with a group of friends that cared more about getting there than anything else (myself included), I soon realized how unprepared I was for this trip. If You’re planning to go on a road trip soon, here’s a few must haves:
I can confirm that carrying more is as stressful as carrying less. The best way around this is to carry what You need and make the best of it. It actually broke my heart that I carried outfits I didn’t wear but they still got dirty. The biggest courtesy as well is if you’re traveling in a group & there’s limited luggage space, sharing is caring (this is good practice for flight travels because the more you carry, the more you’ll pay).
This might seem like something small and irrelevant, but it’s essential because it sets the mood for the trip. Make sure your playlist is enough for your trip going and coming back. I had the unfortunate account of listening to the same songs about 6 times (could’ve been more) during my latest trip. I suggest you have different genres that accommodate various phases of the trip eg. The excitement at the beginning, the conversation phase in the middle, the quiet moments every now and then and the excitement of getting there. I was subjected to listening to more or less the same genre throughout, hence hearing the same song and it drove me insane.
Budget time for the toilet stops
Know your crowd and how they get when they’ve had a few drinks. We had to stop at every second garage to make sure that we’re all comfortable on the road. This meant that we arrived 2 hours later than anticipated and consequently, we were late for our check in. Luckily it wasn’t a big deal when we got there but if you have time bound activities, the extra lead time will throw you off.
Toilet paper & hand sanitizer
Talking about toilet stops, there’s no way of making public toilet visits bearable. I dread this part the most about road trips. We all know it’s not the cleanest place in town but these two elements; toilet paper and hand sanitizer, created an illusion of this place being less painful. Most public toilets either don’t have tissue or have the lowest quality, this why I prefer using my own to avoid itches and stuff. Then after that there’s the nightmare of washing your hands. One of the toilets I was exposed to where evidently for men only because there was no basin to wash my hands (or toilet paper for that matter). Hand sanitizer saved the day.
Make sure you have them well ahead of time and carry a GPS if you must. Don’t take for granted a road that you not familiar with because you will get lost. Goggle maps didn’t like us much that day because we were lost for 2 hours. Not sure what’s worse; Google maps needing data to navigate you to your destination or the GPS that can turn a 20 minute journey into a 45 minutes journey on the road. If You can, the best option is to ask for the location to be sent to You. Waze is only great in traffic, otherwise it will deplete your data unnecessarily.
Sunscreen & sun hats
The rest of my crew laughed at me and my partner for looking weird with SPF 50 sun screen on our faces but jokes aside, they got sun burnt. Badly. Some came back darker than when they left, some had burnt cheeks and others came back from the beach and said that taking a hot shower was a daunting experience because of how the suns rays was too much. Depending on which sunscreen you buy, it might not look sexy but it will protect your skin from damage. Also remember the sun hat, the bigger the better and more fabulous darling.
Have a list of things to do
In any travel scenario, it’s always best to have a short list of things to do in order to get value from your trip. I look back on our trip and we could’ve squeezed in one activity besides going to the beach. We were a few minutes away from Eyadini and Moses Mabida stadium for bungy jumping, we could’ve done that and still maintained a relaxed vacation. Have at least 3 must do things on your list so that you get more from your trip.
Off the topic a bit, remember; if and where applicable, catch the sunrise and sunset. This is a beautiful spiritual experience that can be enjoyed at all corners of the earth. I slept through one sunrise hoping I’ll get it the next day and it didn’t quiet happen. The sunsets and moon watching made up for it.
What else do you have on your road trip travel essentials list?