It’s beautiful weather outside, and the timing is perfect for a road trip. Whether you decide to drive out to the mountains, or head for the beach, all successful road trips require some level of planning to make them memorable. Despite the convenience that technology and other automobile gadgets have brought to road travel, such trips still demand a lot of preparation.
According to the Annual Global Road Crash Statistics, the leading cause of death among individuals aged 5-29 is road traffic injuries. Therefore, you can’t overlook the importance of planning for a road trip, especially if you’re a young driver. And as far as planning goes, here are seven packing tips to ensure you bring all essentials along.
1. Use Overhead Carriers
Perhaps the best way to expand your car’s storage space is to use a top-quality overhead carrier like the Subaru forester roof rack. This simple addition to your car can enable you to pack more bags and items such as bikes. With the overhead carrier, you use all that exterior space at the top of your car. If you’re going camping or your trip will take several days in the outdoors, the roof rack is almost indispensable.
2. Allot a Specific Space for Each Person
Road trips are best enjoyed in the company of others. And chances are, you may have friends or the entire family coming along. In such cases, when you have several travelers in the same car, the logistics may easily become overwhelming. The easiest way to hack this packing challenge is to allot a particular space for each person. Space could either mean a certain number of bags or a certain part of the car.
3. Choose Soft Bags If Possible
When packing for a road trip, the best type of bag to use is a soft bag. This is because soft bags such as backpacks and duffle bags are more flexible and fit into smaller, irregular spaces. On the other hand, wheeled suitcases can cause logistical nightmares, especially when you have many people packing their belongings in the same car. Therefore, you’ll have an easier time fitting many soft bags tightly together into odd spaces.
4. Strategically Organize Your Luggage
Part of the reason you should favor soft bags over compact bags is the allowance they give you to organize the rest of your car space. Every car has a slightly different trunk. However, if you know the right techniques to use, you can strategically manage your luggage in every vehicle you use. First, check your spare tire to add any safety equipment you may need. Then add the larger bags before the smaller ones with their handles facing out.
5. Prepare For Emergencies
You may have already performed all preventive maintenance tasks before your packing. But there’s still the need to prepare for any emergencies. Part of this preparation is to bring an emergency car care kit that contains the basics for first aid. Other items such as your cell phone charger and auto club membership can be crucial in dire situations. Also consider items like a fire extinguisher, tire gauge, jumper cables, flare, hazard triangles, and flashlights that can be necessities on the road.
6. Choose The Right Gadgets
Apart from emergency items, there are also some convenient gadgets that can be essential for a successful road trip. Some of these are capable of keeping everyone entertained, especially if you have kids on board. Nowadays, most cars come equipped with built-in DVD players. GPS navigation systems, handheld electronic games, and coolers. Some of these gadgets help you pass the time while others are needed for safe driving and navigating. Pack the ones you use the most in a handy location in the car.
7. Keep Necessities Close
Now that you’ve figured out what to pack, how to pack, and which bags to use, it’s essential to keep the things you need most often handy. This is to make them easily accessible to ensure you don’t have to unpack your luggage every time you need them. Such items as toilet paper and hand sanitizer should remain at the top of the pile. Imagine unpacking everything just to find a phone charger or a toothbrush when needed.
One thing you’ll find out when you pack properly is the number of hidden spaces there are in your car. Be it the front seats, trunk, hatch, or wheel wells, you can sneak different items into these spaces and carry more than you ever thought possible. But more important than where you pack your belongings is what you load into your luggage.
A road trip is an amazing experience. However, it can quickly turn sour if you make the wrong turn. It’s vital to have all the necessary items, gadgets, and provisions you need to get you to your destination and back home safely.