a person on a road trip taking a picture with their phone
Photo by Sergey Tarasov on Unsplash

6 Must-Haves for a Long Road Trip

It’s the perfect way to explore a new country, but there are a few things that you can’t forget before you put the keys in the ignition.

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a person on a road trip taking a picture with their phone
Photo by Sergey Tarasov on Unsplash

It’s the perfect way to explore a new country, but there are a few things that you can’t forget before you put the keys in the ignition.

Road trips are the best way to travel when visiting a new country. It allows you to explore and create your own schedule, and to make as many stops as you want. They are also a great way for families and friends to bond as they spend time on the road and make memories.

There are a few things that you need to do beforehand to make sure that you’re comfortable and safe on the road, however. They are mostly about trying to anticipate your needs as you’re far away from the comforts of cities and tourist destinations.

Have an Emergency Roadside Kit and Know How To Use It

A roadside emergency kit is an essential thing to pack in your trunk if you’re going on a long road trip. It will keep you covered in case you run into common car trouble or if you’re in an accident. The medical kit that comes with it can even save your life.

What can be a part of such a kit varies and depends on how prepared you want to be and in what kind of conditions you plan to drive. Keep in mind that it’s not enough to have the kit with you – you actually need to know how to use it and to spend some time preparing for such an emergency.

Proper Paperwork Saves Spending on Fines

There are fines and legal issues that can come up if you don’t have the proper documents with you. This is especially troublesome if you’re driving abroad and don’t use your own vehicle. Foreign drivers need to have an international driving permit issued by the International Drivers Association.

This permit is only valid if you have your national license with you as well, and if both documents are up to date and valid.  Keep in mind that none of these documents cover your insurance policy and that you need to obtain them separately and carry them with you as well.

Make Sure You Know Where You’re Going

Having a map with you can be rather useful, especially if you are driving in an area you don’t know that well. Sometimes it’s enough to rely on the maps you get on your phone and that’s usually the case if you’re in a large and busy city.

When you’re off-road, however, it may be a better idea to invest in a GPS device. You can get these when you rent the car, but keep in mind that they usually come with their own insurance policy and therefore an additional charge as well.

Have Snacks Prepared

In most cases, road trips are organized around stops and sightseeing. That’s why many tourists overlook bringing food to the trip, counting on having a meal ready for them when they make the next stop. It can work, but it can also put you in an uncomfortable position in case something goes wrong and you’re off schedule.

It’s also useful to have a few bottles of water with you at all times and to make sure to restock these when you’re making a stop and have the time to do so. Having a checklist to manage this is easy enough to set up and it helps a lot.

It Gets Cold Much Faster Than You Might Think

When traveling to an otherwise warm area, many drivers forget how quickly it gets cold at night. Deserts can get chilly in less than an hour after sunset. It’s, therefore, best to come prepared and to have an extra blanket or two, especially if you plan to sleep in the car or in a trailer.

If you plan to take a stroll at night, it won’t hurt to have a few extra layers to put on, since that’s the best way to warm up when you’re outside.

Cash and Local Currency

For the most part, you’ll be able to pay with your credit and debit cards, regardless of where you’re going. However, it may be useful to have some cash on hand if you run into a shop that doesn’t accept cards or if you want to tip.

It’s also a good idea to have some local currency with you for the same reasons. Take the time to learn about the exchange rates and where to exchange currency once you get into the country. Make sure that you find a reputable institution that provides the service, and that the rate is what you may expect from a bank.

 

 

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