Getting the big essentials is never too hard for a road trip. Everyone knows to pack a cooler of food, some comfy clothes, pillows, and so on. But it's the little items that can make or break your trip. Here are a few things you should add to your checklist:
1. A Mobile Charging Station and/or an Electrical Power Inverter
A mobile charging stand is the standard tech today for charging smartphones and other small, battery-operated devices (e.g. cameras, iPods, etc.). These wireless charging stands ditch cables in favor of electromagnetic induction. Basically, the charging station transfers energy through electromagnetic fields to the receiver—your phone. And instead of putting your phone away, you can prop it up in the stand, so you can still use your phone.
What's great about these stations is that they eliminate the need for you to carry dozens of wires for your devices—especially if your family members have different phone brands. And since you have limited space in the car, no one wants to keep track of different cables when you have to unpack at the hotel. If you aren't taking many pit stops on the road, you'll want to pick up an electric power inverter. These products can be used to power phones, razors, and even laptops by using your car's electricity.
In short, you'll need a power source for your phone; after all, who doesn't travel with a phone these days? You'll need it in case of an emergency, and you can use it for GPS, travel apps, and games.
2. Paper Products & Hand Sanitizer
Although you may be planning on stopping at rest stops, not every one is well stocked or taken care of. And if you are really road tripping to the middle of nowhere, you may be stuck on the side of the road when nature calls. So you definitely need to bring some toilet paper!
Although it's ideal to wash your hands, there are not always filled soap dispensers. However, Verywell.com says that your small hand sanitizer you keep in your purse or a lanyard is fine for killing germs and can be used for washing hands if you are in a pinch (it doesn't kill everything). And while no one plans to get sick on vacation, sanitizer is a must-have in the event that someone does. Lastly, along with toilet paper, don't forget other paper products such as tissues and paper towels. These paper products are godsends for keeping your car clean during snack time and during any events of motion sickness!
3. A Few Audiobook CDs
If you have limited data, you can't always listen to music or play with your phone. However, you can always go to your library and pick up some audiobooks. Realsimple.com has a good list if you aren't sure what to get, including funny books, classics, book club recommendations, and children's books. For instance, the site recommends "Bossypants," which is written and read by Tina Fey and is a fun memoir you could listen to. You could also whip out a classic like "Pride and Prejudice." One version is read by Rosamund Pike, who played Jane Bennett in the movie adaptation.
If you don't care which kind of book you want to listen to, USA Today has a good mix of books listed in order of the mileage you plan to travel, so you don't pick up a book that is too long or too short. And if you are planning to do the road trip of the century and visit numerous states, you may as well pick up the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin (Game of Thrones)--each book is well over 30+ hours on CD!
If you remember all of these little items, you'll have a much more comfortable and enjoyable road trip!
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