Taking an epic road trip adventure is something that feeds the soul. Especially souls that can’t stand to be contained by tiny cubicles and the daily grind.
We enjoy traveling via public transportation, but as we learned on our trip from the East Coast to the Mid-West, sometimes you’ve just got to load up and pile into a vehicle. Most Americans already have one road trip essential covered – the car. We had to rent a vehicle from Avis to make the trek west, but it was a small price to pay for the chance to travel by car.
Along the way, we discovered there are a handful of other essentials that are absolutely necessary if you want to take an epic road trip.
Road Trip Essential #1 – Destination
The first step to taking any road trip is choosing a destination. The options can seem endless, but there are a few ways to narrow it down. First, decide how long you have for your road trip and how many miles you’re willing to drive in a day. Next, consider what type of terrain and weather your vehicle can handle. Finally, consider how many overnight stops you want to make along the way.
Road Trip Essential #2 – Liability Auto Insurance
Getting liability auto insurance isn’t something you have to worry about when you travel by train or plane. But it’s an absolute necessity when you’re road tripping across America. Why? Because 48 of the 50 states require it. The two that don’t require liability auto insurance (New Hampshire and Virginia) still require that you either cover the cost of damage or pay an uninsured motorist fee.
Liability auto insurance has you covered if you get into an accident on the road that you caused. It pays for both damages done to property and injuries that people sustain. Planning ahead for an accident may seem a little unsettling, but you’ll be glad you’re covered if you do get in a fender bender.
Road Trip Essential #3 – Emergency Repair Tools
Another thing you hope never happens but have to plan for is a breakdown. Getting stuck on the side of the highway is one of the quickest ways to ruin a road trip. Essential emergency repair tools include:
Make sure to make room in the trunk for your tools and check you spare before you hit the road.
Road Trip Essential #4 – GPS Device
Maps still serve a purpose, but there’s no substitute for a GPS device. It could be a stand alone device or an app on your smart phone. Either way, it’s essential that you have a trusty GPS tool to guide you.
If you aren’t using an app on your phone you’ll need to make sure your GPS device is updated before you hit the road. That way you’ll have access to the most current routes and are less likely to run into surprises that slow you down.
Road Trip Essential #5 – Audio Entertainment
Unless you have an XM road account, keeping the tunes coming during your road trip could be difficult. On a long road trip, you’ll run into plenty of spots where the station you’re listening to drops out. Finding another station that suits your tastes could prove to be near impossible, not to mention distracting while you’re trying to drive.
You could opt for a good old fashion mixed CD, but with today’s technology there are a lot more options. Plus, most people don’t even know where to find blank CDs these days. It’s also important not to overlook your other audio entertainment options. Keep yourself entertained during the drive with:
If your vehicle doesn’t have Bluetooth, you can still connect your smart phone to your car audio system by using an auxiliary cable. You can also get a Bluetooth-to-FM transmitter for about $20. Just make sure you have a way to keep your smart phone plugged in so the audio entertainment doesn’t drain your battery.