Here’s a fun fact: I’ve never been on a plane. In my nineteen (& a half) years of life, I’ve never stepped foot on an airplane. Everywhere I’ve gone has been a car journey. Even our yearly trips to Pennsylvania were ten-hour car journeys. Just remembering any trip I’ve taken I can feel the cramped legs that come with folding and sitting on them for hours on end.
Throughout the years I have learned what some essential items are to make long car trips more bearable. I thought it would be fun to share and good for me to write out as I am preparing to go on a trip to Orlando in about a week. I’m going to a conference called Exponential that I am super pumped about, but it also means a long journey in a church van with around 20 other people. I’ve got to make sure I’m well prepared because I haven’t done a trip like this with that many people since I was in the 8th grade.
So, here are some of my in-car travel essentials:
- A small bag or backpack – This may seem a bit self-explanatory, but when you’re traveling with a lot of people you are likely to make several stops and will need to take your stuff with you. Because I’ll be in a van with several other people, I’ll need a bag that will fit down by my feet and hold anything I might need/want for the drive.
- Tissues, cough drops, and aspirin – There’s nothing worse than feeling sick or being in pain and being confined in a small space for several hours. Better safe than sorry.
- Headphones – This one is always a key item for me when traveling. Particularly for this trip, everyone might not want to listen to the same music and there are likely to be down periods of quietness where headphones will come in handy.
- Chapstick – Nobody likes dry lips.
- GUM – as you can tell, this one is very important. I’m almost always chewing gum and traveling is not excluded from that. My ears often pop and clog during long car journeys so gum is highly essential. Plus, the fact that there’s a lot of people in this van sharing the same air means nobody wants to be smelling bad breath.
- A good book – For those downtime moments when you start to get bored a good book will come in handy! Pretty much the only time I read is when traveling because I find it to be a perfect time. I can usually finish an entire book in one car journey.
- Snacks & water – It’s never fun being stuck in a car for a long journey without any food or water. Especially when traveling with a lot of people with a time frame, you may not be able to stop when you get hungry so it’s good to be prepared.
- The Netflix app – Before setting off on your journey, make sure to download some of your favorite shows or movies on to your phone. If your attention span is short like mine, you’ll need multiple things to do in the car to keep from death by boredom.
- A portable phone charger – It’s important to keep your phone charged up when you’re going to be in a car for a long time. When you finally get to your destination chances are you are going to need to look something up on your phone or use it to start taking vacation pictures.
- A blanket or jacket – Taking naps in the car can be extremely uncomfortable, but one thing that can make it better is a blanket. Plus, it may get cold in the car so a jacket or blanket will keep you warm without burning up everyone else in the car with turning up the heat.
- Sunglasses – Gotta protect those retinas from burning!
That about wraps it up for my in-car essentials. The most important thing to remember when traveling a long distance by car is to just keep a good attitude. Don’t be that person going “are we there yet?” every five minutes, and just enjoy the journey!