Posted in Hacks, on 09/17/2015

14 Essentials to Take on Your Roadtrip: The Ultimate Packing Checklist

It’s roadtrip season, and you know what that means — miles and miles of open road, full of adventures that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

At Trōv, we believe that having adventures and having peace of mind are not mutually exclusive. With preparation, and the right gear, you can make sure that the “adventure” part of your roadtrip happens when you want it to.

To help you enjoy the nomad life, here are fourteen essentials to have on hand as you embark on the ultimate road trip. Cover your bases when it comes to fun stuff, health stuff, car stuff & wallet stuff.

Fun Checklist

1. Snacks

Universal truth: snacks can make or break a trip. Pack wisely.

Maybe bring a cooler to keep your options cool. Maybe bring a jet boil to warm your options up (not while you’re driving, of course). Just make sure you bring the snacks.

2. Music

You’ll need an epic soundtrack for your epic roadtrip, and a way to keep the music going even when you have spotty reception. We download our Spotify playlists to our phones so that we can play tunes offline...and we always say yes to good ole fashioned CD mixes!

You’ve probably already got some favorite car jams, but if you’re looking for new material, NPR’s All Things Considered has crowdsourced a roadtrip playlist that you can listen to on Spotify.

3. Je ne sais quoi

There are many ways to make getting Point A to Point B into an adventure. Maybe it’s trying something new at every gas stop (spicy pickle, anyone?) or maybe it’s stopping at a roadside stand selling fresh fruit. Maybe it’s pulling over every time you see anything interesting, and maybe it’s playing car games to get to know your friends even better. We’re trying to say...bring your sense of fun, whatever that is!

Health checklist

4. Cleaning supplies

Okay, time to get practical. Fact: at some point during your trip, you’ll be happy you brought hand sanitizer, baby wipes and paper towels. Do yourself a favor and stock up now.

5. First aid kit

Safety first! Take a safety kit with you to make sure you have supplies to take care of minor incidents. We like AAA’s 121-Piece Road Trip First Aid Kit — it’s affordable, compact, and includes all the basic supplies you’ll need to deal with minor injuries.

6. Group health information

Before hitting the road, pad that first aid kit with important extra information: collect emergency contact numbers for every traveler, along with medical history such as allergies and medications. Keep an electronic record in the cloud, and a physical copy on hand.

7. Food and water

In addition to fun munchies, make sure that you store non-perishable food and at least two gallons of water in your trunk, so that you’ll be comfortable even if you end up spending more time on the road than you’ve planned.

Car checklist

8. Car chargers

Bring along a car charger to make sure that your phone lasts all day as you navigate your route and take pictures of all the FUN you’re having.

The Wirecutter tested and reviewed the best USB car chargers and named the SCOSCHE USBC242M charger as the best pick for its power, speed, compactness and affordability.

9. Maps

Plan ahead and download Google maps to view your route even when reception is poor. And, since it never hurts to have a backup, think about getting a paper map for your glove compartment.

10. Basic Car Toolkit

Popular Mechanics suggests the RoadTech from Aerostich to cover many of the tools you’ll need to do basic repairs on the road, but make sure to also pick up the following items:

  • Spare tire, along with a tire jack & tire iron
  • Tire inflator & sealer (Fix-a-Flat)
  • Jumper cables
  • Duct tape, zip ties, bungee cord
  • Flashlight (crank one so you don’t have to worry about batteries)
  • Car information

11. Car Information

Make sure to keep your owner’s manual and insurance info handy in case you end up doing emergency work on your car, or need specific information about your vehicle. Here’s Carfax’s guide to finding and decoding your VIN.

The Trōv app is a great place to store all this vital information about your vehicle (and anything else you own) — get Trōv for iOS and Trōv for Android, and you’ll have all important details at your fingertips.

Wallet checklist

11. Gas card and cash

Check out NerdWallet’s Best Gas Cards of 2015 list and consider getting one of these cards to cash in on all gas rewards for filling up your tank. Speaking of cash — definitely bring some cash for tolls, and for roadside stops that don’t accept plastic.

13. Download: maps & music

We’re repeating ourselves because it’s that important. Don’t forget to download your maps and music for offline access!

14. Upload: traveler health and car information

We’re repeating ourselves because it’s that important. (Whoa, is there an echo in here?)

Don’t forget to upload emergency information to the cloud to make sure everyone’s got digital access to group health and car information. Here at Trōv we highly recommend centralizing all of your car info in the Trōv app, which allows you to store vehicle history as well as insurance information!

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