Your browser version is no longer supported, so you may experience issues while using this site.
Please upgrade to a current browser to enjoy the best experience.
Road trip essentials – you told us!
A while back, we published a ‘road trip essentials’ social post and you weighed in on what we forgot! Thanks to your input, here’s a comprehensive guide to what you need when you decide to take a road trip – as told to us by you.
You’ll need to pack and prepare before going on your next road trip, but knowing what to take can be the tricky part. We asked you for your ultimate road trip essentials and you delivered. Here’s everything needed for your next adventure.
Don't forget food
We all agreed food is an important part of roadtripping. How much you take will depend on the length of the trip. Ham sandwiches are a firm favourite, but other snacks come in handy and keep tummies from rumbling. Fruit, muesli bars and a lolly or two will make sure there’s always something to nibble on. Another of your essentials? Chewing gum. There’s nothing worse than bad breath in a confined space!
Water, water, water
Water too, is a must have! How much depends on how far you’re driving and how many people are in the car. For reference, adults require between two and three litres of water per day to stay healthy, but this varies depending on age and weight. As a general rule, ensure you have enough for each person plus a little extra, just in case.
How could we forget the tunes? Music is part of all great road trip traditions, but when you’re out in Woop Woop radio reception and streaming music can be sketchy, so be sure to bring a back up plan. If you’re travelling with kids, movies seem to be popular amongst the parents and are an ideal distraction if your child doesn’t get car sick. Simply download a few options onto your laptop, tablet or in-vehicle media player and ready, set, go! (Helpful hint from an organised mum: If you don’t want to listen to Frozen or Peppa Pig for the umpteenth time, make sure you pack headphones for each child.) Another tip: remember chargers with car-friendly connections to keep all your various devices online for the duration of the trip.
Bring a first aid kit
This suggestion is from one of our Facebook fans is probably one of the most important items in your car! A first aid kit is easy to find in most supermarkets, department, hardware and outdoor adventure stores, but it’s important to make sure the option you pick has exactly what you need. As a general rule, every kit should include an assortment of adhesive strip dressings, non-adhesive wound dressings, disposable gloves, a thermal blanket, plastic bags, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers, sterile eye solution and a first aid booklet. Anything else? Painkillers, bite and sting cream, travel nausea medication, antiseptic cream and burn cream are all useful.
Protect yourself from the sun
When the sun is too hot to handle, road travel can be tough. But thanks to some of your suggestions, we can share some clever ways to ensure you’re comfortable without cranking the air con. Use car sunshades or towels to cover windows when you’re parked – this will keep the air inside the car cool and filter out harsh light. You can still get burnt while sitting in a vehicle, so slip, slop, slap for the duration of the trip – hats and sunglasses will also come in handy. Polarised lenses will reduce glare and reflections as well as protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
Care for your car
Your car will be doing most of the work throughout your drive! So whether it’s a reasonably quick road trip or a long haul, ensure your vehicle is in tip-top condition before setting out. Check water, oil and coolant levels, as well as tyre pressure, and if anything doesn’t sound right, get your vehicle checked over by a mechanic. When you pack, make sure you’re travelling with a spare tyre, jack, wrench, coolant, oil and water, and even petrol if you’re going way out into the wilderness. Heading interstate? Be sure to get roadside assistance and check to make sure you’re covered wherever you travel.
Just in case
Remember Murphy’s Law: whatever can go wrong will go wrong. And it sounds like many of you have been-there-done that. Thanks for the reminder to pack items that you’ll (hopefully) never need to use. Things like bags for carsick kids and insect repellent in case you come across a horde of green ants while picnicking. Tissues, wet wipes and hand sanitiser will always come in handy, while a supply of garbage bags will make sure you’re not leaving any rubbish behind. Another good idea? Toilet paper so you can go even if there are no facilities around. Just be sure to dispose of your paper thoughtfully. Lastly, pack a map in case your gadgets – GPS or phones – decide to go on the fritz. The good thing about paper maps is they don’t run out of batteries.