There’s nothing like a cross-country road trip to get to know your own country better. You’ll discover hidden gems, meet interesting people, and experience the range of landscapes that occur along your route. Driving is tiring, so try to plan your trip in easy stages, allowing for several days’ stops at interesting landmarks or attractions you’ve identified along the way.
When it comes to packing, don’t take every single thing you can possibly cram in. Instead, go for items you’re likely to use – it will still amount to a lot of stuff, so if you’re taking your family along, you might just have to pack a trailer to get everyone’s stuff on the road. That brings us to the first useful item you’ll be happy to have – an electric trailer jack that allows you to hitch and unhitch your trailer with ease. There’ll also be emergency kit, and things everyone will be glad you brought along. Here’s what you’ll need.
Make sure you have a basic toolkit including a tow rope, jack, wheel spanner, jumper cables, and an emergency triangle plus a few sockets and spanners. Go through your first aid kit to make sure you’ve got all the basics you’ll need if anyone gets hurt. With luck, you won’t need any of your emergency kit, but don’t count on luck alone!
It’s very likely that you’ll be able to stop to do washing every few days, so don’t pack clean gear to last for every single day of the trip. Opt for easy-to-wear, comfy clothing and make basic provisions for changes in the weather and planned activities. Throw in something smart-casual just in case, add three or four pairs of shoes and a few select toiletries, and you’re all set.
You’ll be glad you have a backpack and a water bottle if you decide to explore on foot. Pack a shady hat, sunscreen, and don’t forget the bug repellent spray. Rechargeable torches and headlamps could come in handy. Add a portable BBQ and a cooler box, and throw in any specialized gear you’ll need for favorite outdoor activities.
Even if you’re perfectly happy without all your tech on a trip, you’ll need at least a few items. Chargers and adapters are an obvious choice, and a travel router saves you from dodgy WiFi or works with your VPN. Power banks are a big help even if you have a car charger and if you’re in a family with multiple devices, a charging hub keeps things tidy and prevents arguments over who gets to charge up first.
Even if you’re planning to eat out throughout your trip, you will need a few little basics. Paper plates, kitchen towels and cloths, travel mugs, and reusable eating utensils, plus a good chef’s knife and sealable containers for any leftovers are likely to come in handy. And since you’ll probably have a barbeque meal somewhere along the way, be sure you have tongs and a couple of sturdy serving dishes. Pack things like coffee, tea, sugar and condiments in smaller containers. You can stock up along the way, and it will save space.
Fortunately, mobile phones allow you to cover a lot of different games and entertainment options in a compact package, but add anything you think family members will miss if left behind. You might want a few familiar comforts, like your own bath towels and bedding, even if you’re not planning to camp out. There’s nothing worse than trying to sleep on an uncomfortable, unfamiliar pillow!
Of course, not everyone is a fan of traveling light, but do try to limit packing to items you know you’ll use along the way. It’s perfectly possible to have a two-week long holiday with only a tote bag as luggage – but it’s not for everyone! Work to strike the right balance between keeping everyone happy and overloading your car and trailer. With that out of the way, you’re good to go!