Going on a road trip in the United States is one of the most exciting ways to explore this wonderful country. From the Pacific Coast Highway in California and the Olympic Peninsula in Washington to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and the Outer Banks in North Carolina, there is an endless array of places that will surely take your breath away.
If you’re planning to go on a road trip anytime soon, there are a few things to be mindful of. For starters, road tripping in the US is unlike most other countries. Even though the highway system is great and it enables travellers to go just about anywhere by road, there are challenges involved.
The distances are usually long and the temperatures extreme. So, you need to be properly prepared for all journeys. To that end, there are certain items that you must have while road tripping in the land of Uncle Sam.
Car Documents and Accessories
Whether you’re taking your own vehicle or renting a ride, make sure that your driver’s license, spare tire (along with the tire jack and all other necessary tools), car registration and insurance paperwork, extra car key, water-resistant flashlight, and AAA (American Automobile Association) membership are in order. In case you don’t have AAA membership, save the contact details of a couple of roadside assistance services.
Roadside Emergency Kit
Let’s face it. The last thing you’d want during your road trip is car trouble. If you’ve checked everything before leaving home, then you’ll be fine in all probability. However, you never know when something might give. So, it’s better to have a roadside emergency kit around. This should ideally include jumper cables, first aid box, viper fluid, brake and engine oil containers, vehicle coolant, air compressor, etc.
You might not have to use most of these items. But, it’s better to have something extra lying around than to need something urgently in the middle of nowhere and not have it. Furthermore, at various points during your journey, you’ll be driving on long and empty roads. This means fewer gas stations along the way.
Therefore, keeping a portable gas container is worth considering too. Yes, it’s a dangerous game to play if you aren’t careful. However, when your gas meter is inching towards zero and the next service station won’t be around for a while, having a replenishment tank will provide great peace of mind.
If you’re travelling during colder climates, then your luggage should also include tire chains, shovel, and ice scrapers. Trust us! De-icing the windshields by hand is NOT something you want to do.
Irrespective of how long you plan to be on the road, you’ll want your clothing to be neatly organized and easily accessible. Packing cubes can serve this purpose with aplomb. And they’ll make the journey much easier too!
Cooler and Reusable Water Bottles
Your food and drink options during a road trip tend to be limited. Fast food makes up the majority of your meals, unless you plan things differently. This is where a cooler will come in handy. You can stock healthier as well as economical food and drink options in it for a long trek across the country.
In addition, having reusable water bottles is a good way to save some money. Rather than having to buy bottled mineral water every now and then, you can get your reusable bottles filled for no charge at restaurants and service stations. Moreover, they are easy to carry, easy to drink from, and easy to clean.
The unpredictability of the weather means that you’re likely to encounter heavy rain or snow or winds at some point along the journey. So, don’t forget to pack a windproof umbrella which can be stored in the car trunk.
Powerbank or Car Charger
We are dependent on our devices – cameras, smartphones, tablets, laptops, speakers – for so much nowadays. Travelling is no different. Other than the urge to snap pictures all the time, you’ll need your phone for location tracking, navigation, communication, and so much more. To make sure that these device batteries don’t die, it’s best to have an external powerbank, portable charger, or USB charger with you.
Katchy Bug’s Insect Trap is a nice item to have if you plan on camping during your road trip. Flies, mosquitoes, gnats, etc. in your surroundings might make sleeping a challenge. In such a scenario, the triple trapping power of a Katchy Bug Insect Trap will enable you to enjoy a well-deserved rest after a tiring day.
There are various other things that you can take with you while road tripping in the US. Just make sure that some essentials, especially those needed in an emergency, are with you. This list is a good starting point in that regard.