As air and train travel still remain quite dicey and frankly dangerous, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is best to just stay at home, rather than risking your health and the wellbeing of your loved ones. However, even in such times, you do not have to completely shut off from the world. In my personal opinion, road trips still remain one of the best ways to travel, be it on a business trip, a family vacation, or a quick getaway with your partner or friends. But it is important that you plan your road trips well and take necessary precautions before you start your journey.
Road trips have always been my most preferred way of traveling. Be it traveling alone, with family, or with a bunch of friends, road trips are always fun! It lets you spend some time with one another which many of us do now get to do due to our busy schedules and social media.
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But as fun as road trips may be, it means spending a lot of time in your car, and when you’re on the road, there’s a lot that can go wrong. Therefore it is important that you plan your trips well and make several backup plans as well, for the things that are most likely to go wrong.
To make your time spent on the road much more comfortable and hassle-free, there are some important road trip essentials that you must pay attention to while planning your road trips for a safe and exciting trip! Leisure travel experts have faced all kinds of car troubles and road trip issues that you can think of, and from our collective experience, we bring you 10 road trip essentials for your next road trip in 2021!
When you plan your road trips, one of the most important things that you should keep in mind, is the accessibility of the luggage. It doesn't matter how many essential items you have packed for the road. If they’re buried under the luggage and you can’t get to it when needed, then they’re of no use anyway. Trunk Organizers and Back seat organizers are an inefficient way of keeping everything organized. Prioritize your luggage on the basis of its requirement during the trip and keep them handy. Keep a separate compartment for all essential things that are needed for the car, such as cables, oils, tool kits, etc. Keep your electronics and consumables within reach in the back seat organizer so you can just reach your arm out and grab it without having to stop every time to open the trunk. Try to keep your car seat empty and avoid loading stuff in your lap for a comfortable trip for everybody.
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Speaking of carrying and organizing luggage, when traveling in a car with more than two people and their luggage, it can get quite jammed up. No matter how light you pack, there is only so much you can stuff in the trunk of your car. As you have to keep basic essential items with you within reach, such as electronics, maps, refreshments, and water bottles, it is very troublesome to find the right place to put it all with the luggage occupying all of the space. If you’re someone who travels a lot and with a lot of luggage, then you should invest in a good cargo box when you plan your road trips. A cargo box is a sturdy unit with ample, to keep all your luggage which you will only need once at the end of your journey. A cargo box is attached to the roof of your car and it is quite stable and secure. This gives you plenty of room inside the cabin and in the trunk to travel without being crammed up.
Does your windscreen always get fogged up or show wiper marks after you clean the residual water off of them or are traveling in cold weather? Low visibility is one of the biggest reasons for car accidents during road trips. Especially in colder regions and rainy weather the risk of windscreen fogging up can cause a lot of trouble and increase the likelihood of getting into an accident. Coasting your windshield with a water repellent agent, and removing the snow and ice off your car is an important thing to keep in mind you plan your road trips to colder regions or during winters. Make sure that you apply the coating before you leave and keep the ice scraper with you in your trunk at all times.
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Even if road trips and car travel is the safest way of traveling during the pandemic, you should still be careful and carry the appropriate PPE kits, masks, disinfectants, and hand wipes. While you’re on the road, there are plenty of occasions when you have to stop and get off your cars, be it for filling up gas, grabbing some snacks, using the restrooms, or just checking out the view. As safe as car travel is from covid, you still make sure to wear masks at all times, and sanitize your hands and the inside of your car often. Keep hand wipes with you to avoid using alcohol-based sanitizers. It is important to keep safety a priority whenever you plan your road trips, especially during such crucial times.
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Whenever you plan your road trips, always make sure that your car is in good condition and get a mechanic to check your engine and other major parts of your vehicle. Even if your car is in the best shape there is a lot that can go wrong while you’re on the road. Though you cannot be prepared for every obstacle that you will come across, or become an expert mechanic overnight, there are some things that you can carry with you to make sure you don’t get stuck at an unwanted location. Seat belt cutters, glass-breakers, jumper cables, flat-tire kit, tire pressure gauge and inflator, and a jack are among the most important car essentials that you must keep with you whenever you plan your road trips.
I remember a time during my childhood when my dad used to take us on weekend road trips. I used to ride shotgun and was in charge of navigation. However, back then smartphones were not as capable as today and we didn’t have GPS technology, so we had to rely on using physical maps and carry an atlas. But the problem with those is that they’re quite cumbersome to read. However, in today’s day and age, you do not have to rely on a humongous map with tiny alphabets to navigate when you’re on the road. Thanks to smartphones and other technological advancements, most of the road trip essentials we needed back then can fit into our palms now through the smartphone.
Although, when you rely completely on your smartphones you better make sure that you do not dry upon yourself. It is absolutely essential that you carry good quality power banks, mini inverters, and car chargers when you plan your road trips, because without your smartphones you will miss out on capturing the spectacular view from your window or playing your favorite songs, or most of all, finding the right exit to take.
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Another important essential to keep in mind when you plan your road trips, is remembering to pack Coolers and Warmers. Coolers and Warmers are lifesavers on any road trip and let you have cold or hot beverages and fresh food while on the road without having to make a stop. They come in varying shapes and sizes so you can pick one depending on the size of your group. Coolers can be hard-shelled or soft-shelled as well, so you can keep them in your trunk or put it on the back seat for easier accessibility. A good quality cooler can keep your drinks cool for anywhere between 6 to 12 hours or your food warm for about 8 hours, so it’s an awesome thing to invest in if you want to plan your road trips this year.
And last but not the least, keeping an updated first aid kit is mandatory for any road trip no matter how long or short. It doesn’t matter if you are simply going on a grocery run or planning your cross-country road trip. You must always keep your car stocked with all the necessary first aid essentials. Providing or getting proper first aid treatment, at the right time, can sometimes be a matter of life and death. When you’re on the road or in the outdoors, there will be many instances when you’re hours away from the nearest hospital or medical center. In such instances, having a proper first aid kit and the knowledge to implement those measures can help you handle your or someone else’s injuries, till you can find a healthcare professional to take a look at it.
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