Recently I partook an adventure, going on a long road-trip from one city to another (1600 km!) through the deserts of Saudi Arabia. 20 hours drive was indeed a fun expedition, stopping by occasionally to admire some breathtaking sceneries, but was no piece of cake as rest-stops with motel and cafeteria facilities along the highway were encountered after very long intervals. But if a checklist of certain essentials is made and packed along before setting off, your road-trip could be comfortable, less tedious and more enjoyable.
Here is a list of those essentials I gathered from my own experience, some of these I was relieved that I took along, rest of them I wished I did!
- First-Aid Kit
Let me first share the mishap that took place during my trip. It was a bumpy road where we stopped to get some tea from a nearby cafeteria. When the car started, I lost balance of my cup of steaming hot tea I was holding and all of it splashed onto my hand. My hand was badly scalded but thanks to my dad who quickly poured cold water on it. Luckily we even had ointment for healing burns, so applied that too. With these quick measures my skin was saved from further damage and a torturous long trip.
When driving across the remote areas there’s not a good chance you would find any medical facility so first-aid kit is a MUST in every car! Even minor injuries could become severe if not treated immediately.
Whether you know the routes or not, a map and a navigation system in your car or GPS on phones will always come handy and save you a lot of time you might waste in trolling around, looking for a detour to avoid traffic.
Keep a travel charger for your phone and other electronic devices, like chargepods which have multiple adapters to charge more than one device simultaneously.
Even if you do come across one after miles of drive, you can never trust public toilet for sufficient water supply. Always bring along a good stock of paper towels, toilet papers, wet-tissues and garbage-bags. Trust me, get more than enough because there is always a chance of running low on them considering the unexpected occurrence of motion sickness or any spill that needs clean-up.
Other essentials to keep: soap, laundry detergent (you want to keep things clean, stain-free and smelling good), mouthwash, sunblock, moisturizing lotion, deodorant, etc.
- Disposable dishes
Taking regular dishware in your travel-kit and going through the pain of cleaning them is quite impractical. But you need something to put your food on and eat or drink with, right? Plastic plates, spoons and glasses are lightweight and safe to use. For hot beverages, use paper cups.
Also, cling-films and foil-wraps could be a wonderful addition to your kit. You can snugly wrap those leftovers and protect your half-eaten sandwiches or fruits from dust and flies, while avoiding any nasty food spillage in your car.
Help yourself with some travel-friendly eats like sandwiches, chips, carrots, crackers, nuts, etc, along the way when dining options are limited. A vacuum flask full of your favorite hot drink will go a long way. It will be a bonus if you have space to take along a cooler to keep your soft drinks cold and an electric kettle you can use at rest stops to make a fresh cup of tea/coffee while being easy on your wallet.
This should have gone without saying but I’m not just talking about a couple of individual drinking water bottles but ALSO extra gallons of water for multipurpose usage like cleaning, washing and also for your car.