Packing For A Road Trip

4 min read
Tips to make your trip fun, fuss-free and memorable.

Once you’ve prepared the necessary travel documents for your road trip, you’re more or less done with the boring stuff. Next on the list should be the things you’d need to help make your road trip fun and less stressful, especially if you have little ones in tow.

Do not over pack. Knowing what to bring and what not to bring can make a big difference to your holiday drive. One good way is to map out the trip. Know more about the area, the route you’ll be taking, and what to expect. Working out where the rest stops are, and whether they come with food, toilet and refuelling facilities should influence what you need to bring.

A little research goes a long way towards making your packing as efficient as possible. To keep the sanity of the driver and the pleasure of the road trip intact, do also consider the following tips.

Be prepared
In light of the COVID-19 situation sweeping through the entire globe, it will be wise to take precautions against possible viruses. The importance of thorough handwashing cannot be emphasised enough; however, if access to water and soap is scant on your road trip, make use of hand sanitisers that contain at least 60% alcohol. If you have access to masks, bring them along. Wiping down the seats and parts of the interior of your rental car where you’re likely to touch with antibacterial wipes would be ideal. These wipes are also handy for any mess the kids — or even you! — may make, so bring enough for the entire duration of your trip.

Fun & Games
Considering that you’ll all be together most of the time in a confined space, it will make sense to keep the occupants happy and interested. Trying to make a learning excursion of a holiday trip is a no-no, so leave the 10-year series and educational books behind. Your kids are there to have fun first; learning something along the way is icing on the cake.

Scenery after scenery may bore the young ones after a while, so pack some games that they already enjoy. Perhaps learn a few new games that everyone (OK, maybe not the driver!) in the car can participate in. For younger kids, some great examples are Car Trip Scavenger Hunt, where kids have to search for the objects stated on the cards along the route. If the passengers are your friends, play a little Cards Against Humanity, touted as a question-and-answer game “for horrible people” that is sure to elicit some laughs. The driver will enjoy the atmosphere even if he or she won’t be able to partake of it.Food & Drinks
Packing snacks and drinks will ensure that your party will stay happy. Make sure to load up on these essentials before you embark on your journey. Don’t overdo the sugary treats, but make sure there’s a healthy range from sweets to munchies. A great tip is packing ginger-based snacks — they are great for dealing with motion sickness. Energy bars are a great alternative food source if access to food is limited as they are small and easy to pack. Opt for snacks that won’t leave a mess so you don’t have to deal with extra clean-ups.

It is recommended to pack in some convenient bags for waste so you can offload them at the next rest stop. If you are driving around in city areas, why not try random places along the way for a bite to eat? Seeing food kiosks or a food truck parked by the roadside is a good excuse to stretch a little and enjoy something different to eat.

Apps to Download
For those quiet moments on the trip, a good book — be it the physical or electronic type — is great for the older ones. Use an app such as Audible or something similar to listen to audiobooks on your devices.

Podcasts are ideal for road trips. A well-done podcast can keep you engaged and simultaneously allow you to drive safely. Some of the best apps are Google Podcasts and Castbox, which are free, but may come with in-app purchases. You can pick from any topic imaginable, from crime and history to gastronomy. For the younger ones who enjoy their own brand of music, make sure they bring along their individual headsets. It is also a good idea to have a car charger with multiple ports. This way, you can juice up a few devices at once. Carry along portable battery chargers, which will come in handy if there aren’t enough USB slots in your rental car.