Settle yourself for a moment, close your eyes and imagine you’re inside a car safely going 90 to 100 km/h on the highway? Picture the mountains on your left, grass field on your right, birds flying by the car, and the orange ambient light brought by the sunset you are chasing—aren’t these the sights that make your vacation worthwhile? No matter how excited you are on this upcoming road trip with your friends, remember to include all essential items in your car.
Whether it’s the crashing waves in the beach you’re after, or the peak of a mountain you’ve been dreaming to reach, or perhaps the provincial cuisine, we know one thing—you’ll be spending hours of your time on the road getting there. So, it’s only logical to bring goodies that you may need on the road. Here’s our personal list of things essential for your most awaited road trip.
Car emergency kit
Before you think about anything else, the most essential item that should be in your car before you head out for a long drive is your car emergency kit. It must be complete with all the necessary tools because you may never know what inconveniences you’ll face on the road—even when you already followed the B.L.O.W.B.A.G.E.T.S. (brakes, lights, oil, water, battery, air, gas, engine, tires, and self) guidelines.
The emergency kit should at least have your car owner’s manual, a flashlight with extra batteries, a spare tire, jack, tire lever, cross lug wrench, warning triangles, tire gauge, a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, jumper cable, and tool kit. With these items, you can address 80% of the issues you’ll face on the road. You also should secure the hotline numbers of your trusty mechanic, or emergency contacts just in case.
Do you know what sucks during trips like this? The call of nature. Imagine you’re all singing together then, suddenly, your tummy begins to rumble. Good thing there’s a public comfort room nearby. You were relieved—only to find out there’s no water nor toilet paper. You’re doomed. You can actually counter the inconvenience by bringing a pack of wet tissue, soap, and a hand sanitizer. Basically, a typical hygiene kit, with contents that are customizable according to your preference.
If you’re the type who usually gets sick during long hours on the road, you probably understand the importance of keeping medicines inside the car. You may never know what you might begin to feel after a couple of hours sitting inside a car going through winding roads and hills. Just remember to keep the medicines away from direct sunlight as it affects their chemical components.
Other pandemic essentials
While doing road trips can be fun, it is most important to take note of the following safety protocols being imposed during this amidst pandemic. Since the rise of the COVID-19 virus, our way of living has slightly changed, with us transitioning to the so-called new normal. That said, it's important to always bring with you your facemasks which are, by the way, required to be worn inside your car if you have a passenger. Also, some establishments require face shields, so you must keep them in your car as well. Of course, as part of your sanitary kit, do not forget your alcohol, as it also serves as another essential during this pandemic.
Snacks and water
We’re not talking about potato chips and sodas. What you want are snacks that will help you maintain a calm stomach and active mind on the road. Potato chips are greasy and may upset your stomach, while sodas are rich in excess sugar which can crash your energy and put you into a sleepy state. We’d recommend less chips (nuts are a good alternative), energy bars, and strictly water (or coffee). In a study last year titled, Shell Driving Experiment, it was found out that food is a key factor in staying focused on the road. So, we recommend you to just pick up the healthy stuff.
Mobile phone holder
If your car does not feature a built-in, offline GPS navigation, you’ll be forced to resort to your phone. We do know that holding your phone while driving brings danger, which is why you need something to hold your phone where your eyes can easily glance at it without losing focus on the road. Just remember to set your navigational app when the vehicle is at rest, or you can have your passenger do it while you drive.
Pillows and blankets
No, not for the driver. Unfortunately, there will be times when someone needs to sleep it off. With that said, a neck pillow—even an actual pillow—and a blanket will help sleepy heads. However, passengers, take turns in sleeping; accompany your driver, as it’s not easy to drive especially when everybody is snoring from the back. It would be best if you’d savor the trip from the beginning to the end – just saying. You may also help the driver not to fall asleep by throwing in interesting conversations.
Attachable window sun shield mesh
During summer, it’s only natural that it feels twice or thrice as hot compared to normal days. You’re living in a tropical country and the sun’s always there to make things sizzle. If your car does not have a built-in sunshade that you can pull up and down to cover the windows, you can buy some online. They’re pretty helpful, especially during the summer so you won’t have to blast your air conditioning.
Apart from these basic essential items, you may also add a few stuff for entertainment purposes. Look for an appropriate playlist to suit your taste, or you may also put up your own. Ask your friends to contribute and play this in the car while you drive. However, if you want to be more traditional, you may bring in compact instruments like a ukulele or a bongo drum. Music makes any drive more exciting.