Author: Josh Polkinghorne
Some prefer a beach vacation basking in the sun. Others travel across the globe in search of marvels and wonders. But really all you need is four wheels and an ambition to explore where you live. Now that’s real adventure.
Before you pack up the car or camper with road trip essentials, plan one step further to get the most out of a drive across state lines.
Roll on down for our seven road trip essentials for a trip to remember. Caution, you may feel moved, even liberated, by adding some of these to your road trip to-dos.
What Essentials Do You Need for the Best Road Trip Ever?
Prep Offline Playlists, Audiobooks with a Tolerable Narrator, and a Passenger DJ
Of course, start with a few offline playlists of varying genres, like Road Trip Guitar Rock on Spotify.
For a little more fun, assign a passenger DJ. Take turns, play shuffle roulette on a mixed genre playlist, or stick to picking albums.
If it’s a long drive, music can get old fast as well.
A few audiobooks on cue can do the trick. Best have a quick preview beforehand. Some narrators can get downright annoying. Steven Fry reading Harry Potter though? Never! (Sorry, Jim Dale fans)
Take the Scenic Route and Don’t Over Plan
Some say too much planning ruins the experience.
Driving across the country is liberating. So let loose and enjoy the ride.
Get off the highway when you can and take in the sights. And always go with your gut when you see a place to explore. Like our next entry…
Pull Over at the Sight of “World’s Best” or “World’s Biggest” Signs
The World’s Best Hot Dog, the World’s Biggest Unicorn Statue, the World’s Best Highway Diner in Arkansas. Could you really pass on these?
Even if it turns out to be the world’s worst, there’s a story to be told from your adventures.
Seriously, stop when you see something like this.
Plan Stops at Famous Restaurants and Gas Stations Along the Way
Gas station fandom is real. Ever heard of Buc-ee’s, Wawa, or Sheetz?
People are just as obsessed as they are with pop culture.
So plan some stops at the country’s favorite gas stations as well as restaurants and diners from your favourite movies and tv shows.
Check out Double R Diner from Twin Peaks, real name Twede’s Café, up in North Bend, Washington. Or grab a slice of heaven at the real Mystic Pizza in Mystic, Connecticut.
Use a Gas App to Find the Cheapest Gas Around
People live by this tip for road trips.
For the long hauls especially, you’ll save hundreds of dollars with a gas app when you’re saving 10, 20, 30 dollars here and there.
Gas prices vary between state lines. So an extra hour drive could find you cheaper pumps and a good feeling you were smart about filling up.
Bring a Historic Relic Known as a Paper Map (It Doesn’t Need an Internet Connection)
When you’re venturing into the unknown, there’s a chance you’re without an internet connection for several miles.
While you can rely on GPS to plan out your journey, it’s best to have a backup paper map just in case you’re lost without cell service.
Here’s to hoping your co-pilot knows how to navigate.
Share a Social Media Post Every Few Hours or So
If you’re going to take a sweet road trip, show off some of the cool spots you visit.
Share your journey on social media for family, friends, and frenemies.
Show us where you’ve been and tag @minimallstorage on Instagram if you’re feeling extra adventurous.
And For Good Measure, a List of Things You’ll Probably Forget but Really Need…
Alright, quick fire. Here’s some basic essentials you’ll need a little push to remember. Forget these, and your trip will be one to forget. Mix and match as required.
- Coins for toll roads
- Snacks for snacking
- A blanket for warmth
- Garbage bag for garbage
- Multitool for fixing things
- Passengers for company
- Empty seats for peace
- Tire inflator for inflating tires
- Toilet paper for nose blowing
- Deodorant for smelling good
- Wet wipes for the car and you
- Extra clothes for freshening up
- Dry shampoo for clean-ish hair
- Cash for places that only accept cash
- A flashlight for seeing in the dark (and for protection)
And that’s just the surface.
Now’s the time we tell you that once the trip is over, make sure you’re ready to enjoy it all again next year. Learn how to prepare your RV for storing over winter, especially if you’re up north. And explore RV, trailer, boat, and vehicle parking storage near you.