Even though it’s not sure yet, my boyfriend and I are planning a roadtrip to Belgium and France this year. In April we bought a ‘new’ car, so that’s why I came up with the idea to do a roadtrip this year. As I said, it’s not sure yet. We want to go on a vacation this summer, but we also want to save money for our trip next year (Thailand!). As a kid I always went on a ‘car vacation’ and I went many times to France (at least 10 times!). So I thought it’s time to go back to this lovely country and hit the road with our new car! I already made a list with 13 road essentials and now I’m going to share those essentials with you.
#1 A good playlist
You can’t go on a roadtrip without good music. So get some cd’s or make your own playlist and put it on a USB. Let the roadtrip begin!
#2 USB lighter charger adapter
Lot of words for just one really useful thing. We already have this in our car, because my boyfriend is a lot on the road and uses his phone a lot. I don’t think I have to explain this one a lot. We all love our phone and when you’re on the road it can be pretty useful just in case something happens.
#3 Snacks & some drinks
I don’t think this needs an explanation, because we all love eat. When you’re having a long day on the road, it’s great to have some snacks with you. Think about some fruit, some cookies and some sweets. Don’t forget to pack a lot of drinks, like water or soda. Something you don’t want is to get stuck in traffic when it’s really hot and you don’t have any drinks with you. My father always brought a cooler or a coolbag in the car to keep the drinks and fruit cool.
#4 Travel sickness tablets and other medicines
I think I already mentioned this before, but I get really easily sick on the road (or on the plane or boat..), so I need those tablets to keep me feel well. This doesn’t apply for everyone, but for me it’s an essential. I also take pain relievers (paracetamol) with me and my tablets for my food allergy. I think it’s important to have your medicines with you, just in case you need them.
#5 GPS and some (actual) maps
Living in the 21st century makes us rely on technological things a lot. I don’t say it’s a bad thing, not at all, but we forget sometimes the old way of doing it. When you’re on a roadtrip, GPS is the best thing to have to find your way. But imagine when your GPS stop working? Then you need the old school maps to find your way. Be sure that you have actual road maps and not some from your parents when they went on a roadtrip 20 years ago, because routes can change a lot in just a couple of years.
Finding some clean toilets on the road can be really hard and also in France you need to have low expectations. They have great toilets what is like a hole in the ground. Jep! In Europe you have those ‘toilets’ too, not only in Africa and Asia. I don’t say every toilet on the road is like this, but to have some toiletries with you is not a luxury. So bring your own toilet paper, some tissues, cleaning wipes and some hand sanitizer. Oh, and deodorant, because that gives you also a bit of an instant freshness feeling.
Everybody wants sun when they’re on their vacation, but when you’re driving your car the sun can be really annoying. That’s why you need sunglasses. This one is also a reminder for myself, because I need to buy new ones with prescription. I have lost mine in Bali last year, so I definitely need new ones.
When you’re only driving on the highway, you probably won’t need it. But when you’re driving through a country, it’s great to have your camera with you. Sometimes you bumps into a beautiful landscape or an adorable town. That’s the fun part when you’re roadtripping; sometimes you bumps into something unexpected. That’s why you need your camera.
#9 Emergency kit
Of course nobody wants to think about what could happen on the road, but you better can be prepared just in case something happens. As a kid we once had an accident after a vacation in France. It was around 11 o’clock in the evening and we were almost in Paris so it was really busy on the road. We had a caravan with us and the tire blew up, because of a big twig on the road. It was a really scary moment, but luckily nothing happened to us. From the caravan was nothing left and the car was also damaged, but luckily we were allowed to go home after two days. That was the first time in Paris for me, but not my best visit. But to come back to the point, you never know what could happen! And maybe you only need a plaster, because your shoes are hurting, then this kit is also really useful.
#10 Comfy clothing
When you have a long day on the road, it’s nice to wear comfy clothes. A day in the car is not the time to wear your tight years and your high heels. Keep it easy and make sure everything fits nicely. Also your shoes are really important. Your feet have a lot to do when you’re driving, so keep it easy on your feet.
#11 Blankets and a (neck) pillow
When you’re on the road at night, it can get a bit cold. Especially when you’re not driving and want to take a nap. That’s why it’s great to have a blanket with you. To give your head some support while resting, a pillow is also great to have with you. You can take a normal pillow, but for on the road the neck pillows are easier to have with you, because they stay in place.
#12 A flashlight
Think about how much you depends on light, then you know why you need a flashlight. It’s so useful and easy to bring, so this is something you definitely needs to bring in your car.
#13 The mandatory things (depends on which country you’re going)
When you’re going to France, there are three thing you need to bring; a warning triangle, a safety jacket and alcohol breath tester. This of course depends on which country you’re going, so be sure you look online for what you need to bring.
What are your essentials for on the road?