What should one take on a road trip? How much snacks is enough? Are books required? Any tools? This post in the Road Trip planner series on Essential Packing Guide holds answer to EVERYTHING you need to take along on a road trip.
This part two of the Road Trip Planner series will take you through the Essential Packing Guide for your road trip. It will be your one stop answer to what you need to carry when you are headed on that road trip.
So here is a Essential Packing Guide list of must pack things for your road trip.
- Music / Play List – Whether it is the iPod you will connect to the music system or CD’s you will carry (if you are still living in an era 10 years ago). Music is what will keep you going. And don’t forget to tune in to local radio stations now and then to get the feel of the area you are driving through. We try this when we pass a city and we have always been pleasantly surprised.
- First Aid Kit – First aid kit is one of my top most things to tackle when I am packing for a road trip. Specially when traveling with a child, you don’t know when will I need a tablet or a spray. And when on the road, the next Medical store could even be 100kms away. Some of the must have items in our first aid kit are and don’t forget to pack the Pediatric version of them if you have a child along.
- Pain Killers (Combiflam, Brufen, Dolo, Dart etc. Also Tiger or Zandu Balm. I swear by them)
- Stomach and Digestion Related stuff (Eno, Digene, Cycolopam, Muciane gel, Pudin Hara etc)
- Nausea and car sickness related stuff (Emset etc)
- For cuts and burns (Burnol, gauge, antiseptic cream, cotton, Savlon, Betadiene, Adhesive Tape, Bandaid)
- For muscle cramps and sprains (Volini/Moov spray and gel, Crepe Bandage)
- For allergies , cold and cough (Avil, Allegra, lozenges like Alex or strepsils, Cough syrup)
- Crocin or any other stuff for fever
- Any prescription medicines you take. Buy enough stock to last your trip and some extra. You don’t want to be struggling if you lose it or have to extend the trip for some reason.
- Snacks/Food to eat – The item I tackle the next mostly. But wait I have a whole post on this coming, so watch out for that.
- Car tools and essentials – You might or might not find a mechanic when you need it on the road. Pack some essential tools to take along. This post on how to prepare your car for the road trip lists out all the stuff you will need.
- Mosquito Repellants – Specially in India, you don’t want to be bitten by pesky Mosquitoes. So have your pick – spray, cream or patches. Or may be even all of it. But don’t leave without them!
- Cleaning/Sanitising essentials – I am not a big fan of them when in the city, running water and some soap always does the job of cleaning better but on the highway wet wipes and sanitisers can be your best friend. Very handy if you have to clean your hands or sometimes even the car interiors. Yes accidents and spillages happen, let’s deal with it ! And oh don’t forget lots of dry tissues.
- Sun protection – For you and the car. On a road trip (and specially in India) you will deal with more than enough Sun. So back your sunblock cream, take a pair or two of sunglasses and buy sun shades for the side of your car. I promise you will thank me later 🙂
- Entertainment – It is fun to go on road trips and most of the time you won’t need this but then if you are traveling with kids, you will be aware of the perennial “I am so bored” statement. Take a few books (though limit the reading time so that not to strain eyes), a few simple board games or even toys like fidget spinners may be 😉 And go along and create your own fun games as you go along. We count cars, make shapes in clouds, solve mathematical puzzles among a few things.
- Chargers, Chargers and more Chargers – As much as sometime we hate our devices, the fact is that we can’t live without them anymore. And they need charging ! So get all your power chords in place, get your lighter and charging point checked and if need be carry a spare one. You don’t want to be in a situation where the phone is off and your friends can’t reach you or god forbid you can’t connect to Google Maps.
- Change for the toll points – We all hate toll plazas, I know ! They seem to arrive just when we have picked up speed, but they exist and will continue to do so. So the let’s find the easiest way to deal with them. Carry change with you and have it ready just before reaching the toll booth. Most toll plazas have a board a km before mentioning the toll amount. We usually take two boxes – one with coins of 10 & 5, one with coins or 1 & 2 and put them in a pouch with some notes. Saves a lot of time and energy while driving.
- Journal – Whether you are the ones who like recording thing in a book and pen or you take notes on your phone, do keep a journal of the trip. For us this happens at multiple levels, we keep a general record of places, kms, stops, fuel refills and road conditions in an excel sheet. While traveling we record it locally on an iPad. (Here is a template if you want to use). And then we maintain our personal journals – the man likes to take videos and record, I like to scribble on a notepad and I have been pushing O to develop this habit too. These will be your memories for a long time and also help if you want to pass on the information to others.
- Camera aka Photo Journal – Because you don’t want to miss having pictures of the trip !
- Pee Buddy – All you ladies who know the constant struggle to find a decent and clean toilet on Indian highways, Peebuddy is your answer. It is essentially a device which let’s you pee while standing. It will be your best friend on a long drive. I also like to carry toilet seat covers and sanitising wipes for making life easier. Buy Pee Buddy here
- Cushions & Sheets – The emotion of homing is not exclusive to dogs, we human have it too. The cushions and sheets apart from providing comfort on the drive will also be a great to have things along to feel at home. I would surely have it in Essential Packing Guide list. Also there is a charm in making a cushion and sheet fort in the backseat and if your child misses out on it what’s the point of road trips.
- Swiss Knife – For the times when you need to open the quick beer on the road. I am kidding ok. Never drink and drive but you really might need your Swiss Knife more times than you will expect.
- Garbage Bags – To collect all the empty wrappers from the snacks, to dump all the stuff you don’t need. Because you don’t want to dirty your car in the long road trip and neither do you want to litter the highway. News paper come in very handy for cleaning at times.
- Ice Box / Cooler – Specially very handy in the summer season. Chill you cola and water, store some perishable food items. It is a boon to have in the car if you have the space to spare.
- Carry Cases to suit the boot – On long trips, it is natural to have a lots of luggage to take but check that all your bags and suitcases actually fit the boot. And if possible do a check in advance. It helps to have it sorted this day before you start so that packing boot every day is a breeze. And oh do keep a bag or two extra to bring back your shopping !
- Your awesome attitude – Because things will change, things will be dynamic and sometimes will even go wrong. The un predictably is partly what makes the road trip even more fun. So have your fun and awesome attitude handy and get set go !
Hope you liked our Essential Packing Guide for your road trip and if you think we have missed anything in the Essential Packing Guide list, please leave a comment and we would be very happy to add it along with a credit and link to you. And stay tuned for the next post in the series, it is something you all want to know. How to plan and travel with kids.
All posts in this series
Prepping your car for the road trip
Essential Packing Guide (Current Post)
If there is anything specific you would like us to cover in this series please let us and know and we will try our best to include that ! Happy Road Tripping!
Shaheen Ali says
Wonderful! I liked the ‘pee buddy’ thing. Wasn’t aware of any such help. Thank you so much for the guide, it’s really a useful read.
Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed it