Going on a road trip is a fun way to see the country and make a vacation about the journey of traveling instead of just the destination. Being in Connecticut, we have the advantage of being able to take shorter road trips to many neighboring states or even up to Canada relatively easily.

Before you even head out and think about packing for your road trip, one of the most important things to do is ensure that your car is in proper working order. This includes making sure that your car has a full tank of gas, the oil has been changed recently, none of the lights are out, the tires and air pressure are good, and that the car is free from unnecessary clutter and garbage.

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When you’re taking off for your road trip, ensure that you pack the following to keep you safe and have the road trip go smoothly.
  1. Safety Kit
  2. A Cooler
  3. Good Music
  4. Games
  5. Garbage Bag
  6. Blankets
  7. Travel Mug
  8. A Duffle Bag
  9. Wet Wipes
  10. A GPS
Let’s explore these in a little more detail.

Safety Kit
You shouldn’t travel anywhere without a safety kit that you can pull out if an emergency happens. In this safety kit, you should have a variety of items that can cover you in case any emergency happens. Include in this safety kit a first aid kit, some visibility equipment, a small tool kit, a flashlight, a portable phone charger (make sure it’s fully charged before you leave), tire sealant and gauge, and jumper cables. Additionally, due to the summer heat, it could be a good idea to pack a portable, battery operated fan, extra sunblock, and a reflective blanket you can use for shade. (Brougham, 2019)

A Cooler
Keeping a cooler in the trunk or back seat of your car is an absolute necessity for keeping drinks cold and snacks fresh. Keep the cooler stocked with bottles of water, as well as some healthy snacks that you can pick on along the way. Purchasing a high-quality cooler can save you money in the end by ensuring the ice stays for more than a day at a time.

Good Music
What’s a road trip without some good music to listen to while you ride? Make some playlists with your favorite tunes and ensure that you have a variety to keep you and the other passengers entertained? If you’re doing a solo trip, it’s the perfect time to catch up on some podcasts or audiobooks.

Another way to stay entertained on the road is with some games. Especially when it comes to kids in the backseat, you want to ensure you packed some games that are easy to travel with that will keep them preoccupied on the journey. This could include some games on a tablet or phone, or perhaps some games that don’t require you bringing anything at all, such as seeing how many different state license plates you see along the way.

Garbage Bag
Having a garbage bag can help you ensure your car doesn’t get too messy with clutter and garbage along the way. It’s also smart to bring extra for recycling, any wet clothes, and in case someone gets sick.

Keeping some blankets around is a great way to get comfortable when you’re not driving. Even if you think it’ll be too hot for you to bring a blanket, you can roll them up into a ball and use it as a way to rest your head and take a nap. Additionally, in an emergency, you can use a blanket to help provide some shade from the blaring sun.

Travel Mug
Getting out early to drive? Bring a travel mug full of coffee or tea to keep you awake and focused in the morning or late at night. Save some money by asking for hot water at a Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks and bring your own tea bag or instant coffee. While they may still charge you, it’ll be a much smaller fee than for buying coffee or tea out each time.

A Duffle Bag
Packing your things in a duffle bag is an easier way to travel. Due to their flexible structure, you’re able to save space when packing the car instead of dealing with bulky suitcases.

Wet Wipes
Wet wipes will come in handy in numerous ways. They’re great for washing off dirt, sticky hands, and sweat, while also being a great tool to cool you down if you start to get a little warm.

Unless you know exactly where you’re going, you’re going to want to have a GPS with a charger with you. Luckily, it’s easier now than ever with being able to download Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze on your smartphone to help you get anywhere you need to go.
Brougham, R. (2019). Summer Car Emergency Kit. [online] The Family Handyman. Available at: https://www.familyhandyman.com/automotive/summer-car-emergency-kit/ [Accessed 20 Jun. 2019].