There are two categories of people in this world – those who love to travel and those who don’t. But whether you belong to the former or the latter, if you do have a journey to make, then this article is just for you. Whether you are a keen explorer or tourist or just have an important trip to make, there are some boxes you need to check before you hop in your vehicle and move.
If you do love traveling, it is easy to get carried away with things you think are important that you miss a few things that actually are, so we have done the work and compiled these for you. From absolute necessities to items you can still do without, the list is endless, but we have kept these streamlined.
By the end of this article, you'll have a better idea of all you need to ensure your journey goes smoothly and will be prepared should unexpected emergencies arise.
Your Personal and Vehicle Documents
Before you even step into your vehicle, make sure you have all the necessary legal documents on hand namely, your driver’s license, vehicle registration documents, your vehicle insurance. In most countries, it is illegal to drive without these. You should also have your vehicle’s manual on hand so you can quickly troubleshoot and fix mild problems that may develop.
A GPS System with an Old-school Map
You should have a portable GPS system on hand with the old-school paper map. While most modern cars will typically come with built-in GPS navigation systems, a handheld unit will give you more flexibility and can be taken out of your car if you need to. With these best GPS systems, you can save yourself the hassle of finding the ideal compact navigation device for your vehicle.
An old-school paper map is also extremely important and often neglected. While GPS systems are sure great and take most of the work off your hands, you may not have the good reception needed for them to work along the whole path of your journey. With a paper map on hand, you can still find your way and stay on track until good reception is restored.
Battery Jump Starters
Battery jump starters are an absolute necessity and will come in handy should you have a flat battery. These devices come with a pair of color-coded clamps, with each designed for each battery terminal. The alternative is to carry jump cables, which will allow you to start your engine with another battery from someone who stopped to help, without having to remove your dead battery or even theirs. Not everyone will have jump starters, so having one on hand will save you a world of stress. Just make sure that they are long enough and rated to carry currents high enough to start your car. Check out these best battery jump starters for your vehicle.
Car DVD Players
When going on a long trip, you definitely want entertainment in your car, in the form of a DVD player. For decades, people have lived with MP3 players and radios over long journeys, but if you have children in your car, flip-down DVD players will keep everyone behind entertained. The ideal car DVD player should come with a clear and large screen, should be easy to install, be compatible with your car’s electrical and audio system, and should be easily adjustable.
Spare tires can also be classified as part of your emergency kit, but hold special priority. You don’t know for sure what the terrain you’ll be travelling on has in store. If you have a flat tire, your journey comes to an abrupt halt, but with a spare tire on hand, you can beat the odds.
Snacks and Water
After a while, tummies will begin to rumble. Snacks and water on hand will keep everyone in the vehicle fed between food stops. Be sure to buy more when you finally reach the said stops.
And when tummies begin to rumble from nature’s call, you definitely want toiletries on hand! It is always advised to try to use the toilet before going on a long journey, but we can’t always predict when we’ll need to stop. Take along toilet paper, some soap, wipes, and extra nappies if you are traveling with a baby.
With these, whether to have to use a public toilet or some unfortunate bush out in the middle of nowhere, you can clean up easily and retain what little semblance of pride you have left.
Car Chargers and Power Banks
As long as there is good reception, mobile devices like your phone and GPS will be your best bet to getting around and staying in touch with the rest of the world. You want to have a car charger on hand and ideally, extra power banks so that all your devices stay juiced up.
You are likely to start getting drowsy after a while and especially on a really long journey, and this isn’t all bad unless you are the driver. If you want to sleep in the vehicle, a car or travel pillow will save the day. Sure, most cars come with comfortable interiors, but a travel pillow will further cushion and cradle your neck and head in a more natural sleeping position, and you can zoom off into dreamland.
You definitely want physical paper money on hand. Note that many stores you may find along the way may not use electronic payments either voluntarily or may be situated in areas with poor reception and thus unable to. In spite of the modern digital craze, virtually every store still accepts cash payments. With a good amount of cash on hand, you won’t be stranded when it’s time to pay for essential services.
The modern traveler has less to worry about when going on a long trip than it was some decades ago, but there are still a number of must-haves that should be checked. Other essentials include emergency and first-aid kits. In all, with these, you can hope for the best but are still prepared for whatever emergencies that may arise.