Here at District Grain, we know a lot about travel bags but we know even more about road trips. Just kidding, bags are our forte. However, we have taken enough road trips to be able to help out the novice tripper with our list of the 10 most vital things to take with you on your next cross country adventure.
Whether you’re hitting the open road with no real direction or setting out with a carefully routed, concrete plan, it’s always advantageous to bring a few road-trippin’ essentials along for the ride.
10.) Maps (Electronic or Old School)
Like most people, you’ll probably start your journey with a plan. Hopefully, you’re aware of at least the main highways and interstates you’ll be cruising but make sure to always have maps of the area close at hand. Now, we aren’t saying you’re going to get lost, but you’re most likely going to get lost. Plus, sometimes it’s fun to explore routes you’ve never traveled before. You can always find state maps at highway rest stops or you can print maps off Google Maps or Map Quest. We highly, highly suggest bringing a GPS, whether it be an after market purchase or straight from your smartphone. Extra tip: Don’t forget your phones car charger!
9.) Travel Apps
Your smartphone isn’t just vital for routing your trip. There is pretty much an app for everything these days, many which can help make your road trip easier. We suggest downloading apps (before you start driving!) that help you find everything from great places to eat and clean hotels to parks and other points of interests. Also, use the Weather Channel app to get around storms, rather than drive through them.
Our main tip for music: Make numerous playlists that each covers a different mood. One trip, Dave Matthews Band played for 7 hours straight. On a road trip, too much of a good thing can be a very, very bad thing. Remember, much of our lovely country has poor internet connection, so CD’s often come in handy.
7.) Snacks, Snacks, Snacks
Pack plenty of snacks for the road ahead, like fruit, pretzels, granola bars, crackers and nuts, along with a few “less healthy” snacks to keep your sanity. Make sandwiches if you know you'll be driving for a long stretch with nothing but fast food chains. Always pack a cooler with drink options and refill the ice at your hotel for the trip home.
Stock your car with daily essentials like tissues, paper towels, hand sanitizer and some toilet paper, for those who cannot hold it as well as others. Always pack some OTC meds, sunscreen and a first-aid kit.
5.) Comfortable Clothes, Pillows, Blankets
Car trip essential: Elastic waist pants. Whether your driving for the day or cross-country, experienced travelers know that sweatpants are your best friend. Also, in terms of practicality, wearing shoes that can easily slip on and off are ideal for quick pits tops. Finally, we can’t think of much more to say about pillows and blankets other than ‘bring them’.
You’ll see some things that you most likely have never seen before. Whether it’s a breathtaking view, your buddy making a fool of himself (may happen all the time) or a moose towering over your car, you’re gonna want a snapshot. Be sure to charge your digital camera and take along a spare battery if you have one.
3.) Spare Set of Keys and Auto Preparedness
Here’s where the horror stories happen. Now, we are not going to go into our painful memories, so we are just going to say have your car inspected before you go on a long trip!! Oil change, tires inspected, A/C fluids, windshield wipers; check ‘em all. Have your driver's license, insurance card and contact numbers for roadside assistance readily accessible. Helpful tip: Bring a spare set of car keys.
2.) A Backpack
We had to throw a bag in here, didn't we? Our ideal road-trippin’ bag is aptly called the Wanderer. This Duluth Pack is the perfect bag to fill up with your stuff so you can hop of out of the car and do what you began your trip to do, explore new territory. Whether you’re hiking in Northwoods or touring a new town in Texas, the Duluth Pack Wanderer Backpack is the right bag for every road trip.
1.) Your Best Friend
No caption needed.