With summer around the corner, fun-filled road trips are suddenly on the horizon and making sure you effectively prepare for these adventures requires more than just sorting your car playlist. Part of planning your vacation is ensuring you have all the safety equipment close by, just in case things go off route.
While the unpredictability of road trips can be thrilling for some, you want to make sure you’re fully packed and loaded in case things go awry. You don’t want to be exploring unfamiliar terrain and suddenly find yourself stranded or injured with a flat phone (knocks on wood repeatedly). To help you thoroughly plan your next road trip, here is a list of essentials you’ll need to survive on the road or, at the very least, give you peace of mind. Happy packing!
1. First aid kit
Especially if you’re travelling rurally, the closest hospital can be hours away, so if an accident does occur, you want to make sure you have a first aid kit on standby. Some of the critical medical equipment to pack in your first aid kit includes bandages, surgical tape, small scissors, antiseptic wipes, pain relief medication, a thermal survival blanket and a cold pack. You might also want to pack some (a lot of) bug repellent with you to ward off those pesky mozzies that always seem to emerge by the thousands in the summer.
The rumours ring false! Not all lost roads lead to Rome, so ensure you have either a functioning GPS on your phone or installed in your vehicle. Especially if you’re charting unfamiliar regions or remote areas, you need to have a GPS close by.
Luckily, most smartphones have Google Maps or Apple maps; however, these may only be convenient for short distance travelling. You need access to a quality GPS that provides you with handy directions so that you won’t get lost.
Aside from making navigation easy, you can also check your GPS for where the nearest restaurant, supermarket or Ampol station is if you’re running low on petrol and snacks. Speaking of which…
For the safety of group dynamics and relationships, bring snacks. Please. Ever been hangry on a road trip and get into an argument over literal ants with your driving buddy? Look, it happens. That’s why you should always pack a slew of snacks for the long drives. Happy tummy, happy me, as the saying goes. Alternatively, you can stop by a servo, the undeniable one-stop shop for fuel and food, and pick up some baked goods to keep you on the go. It isn’t a road trip without wandering the aisles of a servo, trying to figure out if you want Maltesers or some chippies (both).
4. Portable phone charger
Purchasing a portable phone charger is an absolute game-changer. They’re small and light – so, travel friendly – and you can take them anywhere. Just pop one in your bag and forget about it until your phone inevitably dies on you after hours of streaming your fave podcast.
You can also look into bringing a car charger to juice your devices. These chargers can be inserted into your car’s electrical outlet while your vehicle is on. They’re typically quite small and almost look like a USB input, so it won’t take up much room in your pack.
5. Extra clothing
Ensure you’ve packed a sufficient amount of clothing and extra layers, even in the summertime, for those colder nights when the temperature suddenly drops. Also, you’ll want to invest in apparel suited for varied weather and can endure harsh climates – particularly if you’re partaking in outdoor exploration.
For those summer road trips, make sure you bring quality clothing, like something that will definitely offer sun protection. Clothing that is odour resistant is a plus too, because – well, things can get rough out there.
6. Jumper cables
Jumper cables are an absolute must-have for any road trip adventure. If your vehicle has a flat battery, make sure you have an extra set of portable wires lying around so you can jump-start your car.
Making sure you have a quality pair of jumper starter cables is almost like investing in insurance – although you might never need it, you can rest easy knowing they’re nearby. If you’re worried about space, there are a range of light and compactable cables on the market, which won’t take too much space in your boot.