This summer, it’s getting more and more probable that we will be able to travel again. I couldn’t be happier! I already booked my trip, and if you have been reading this blog, you’ll probably now where I am going!
We opted to drive this time instead of going by airplane. We’re not vaccinated yet and not sure how safe the planes will be, and of course there’s the ecological argument to be made. Plus, it seemed like a fun idea to do a roadtrip! Time for a list of the 5 things you’ll need if you want to have an awesome roadtrip!
Something to listen to
Of course you’re gonna need great music when you’re going on a roadtrip. The best choice is music you can sing along to. Time will fly by if you’re singing from the top of your lungs for a couple of hours. But after a while you’re throat is probably gonna hurt and you’ll also probably don’t want to make a roadtrip playlist that’s seventeen hours long. Try to combine this: listen to music for a few hours, then a podcast or an audiobook. Find something everyone in the car will enjoy. I have some tips for great podcasts if you like. Besides podcasts, audiobooks are a must. Find a book that’s read by someone with a great voice, something that isn’t too distracting. Storytel is a great app with tons of audiobooks. Make sure to choose and download one or a few audiobooks before you hit the road, same goes for podcasts, because you don’t want to use up all of your data.
Audiobooks in the car aren’t for everyone. Some find them too distracting. Of course, the driver has to be comfortable enough to listen to the book and keep their eyes on the road. Some tips that might help with finding the perfect roadtrip-audiobook:
- Look for a book in a language you prefer. I always listen to English books, and never Dutch ones, as the Dutch ones tend to go too slow for me.
- Try to avoid accents. If you have to concentrate too hard on the accent to decipher the words, it’s probably a bad idea to use it in the car
- Find a book that’s enjoyable to everyone, and try to pick something simple. Of course, if you’re driving for 18 hours it might be a good way to finally listen to some classic literature, like Ulysses or Anna Karenina, but if the book is too literary, you might get distracted. Of course, if you’re into it, it could also be a good conversation starter for when you don’t want to listen to something for a while.
- Listen to a preview of the book before you start driving to make its a good fit, and have a couple of alternatives.
What kind of food you wanna bring on a roadtrip, is based on your own preferences. But there must be food, otherwise it would be a very boring roadtrip. Choose something that’s easy to eat while driving, and that won’t crumble too much. Having to first vacuum your car when you’ve arrived on your destination because it’s covered in melted chocolate or crisps crumbles, is no fun. If you’re driving in the full sun, maybe chocolate isn’t the best choice. If you have the space, put a cooler in the back, so you can keep your food fresh.
I’ve heard people say they boil eggs before they go on a roadtrip so they will have some easy food to fill their stomachs. Personally, I find it a little weird, but to each their own.
Don’t forget drinks! Buy something you like, or just drink water to keep you hydrated.
My favourite roadtrip food:
- Skittles or M&M’s
- Finger sandwiches
- Gummy bears, winegums, Redband
A car picnic also sounds like fun. I saw this in the Netflix show Ginny & Georgia and I immediately put it on the list for our next roadtrip. Just fill up a picnic basket (or the cooler you put in the back of the car) with sandwiches, donuts, cookies, fruit and other yummy food and whenever you feel like lunch, find a nice spot, park, go outside (or inside the car) and have a picnic!
Lastly, don’t forget to bring a trash bag. You can easily throw it out whenever you go for gas or when you’ve arrived at your destination. This way you’ll keep the car and the road clean.
Comfort & Clean
If you’re gonna drive for long periods of time, it’s important to stay comfortable. Save your fancy shoes, dresses and suits for when you’ve arrived at your destination, and go for comfort in the car. Sturdy shoes for driving, comfortable loose trousers and a comfy sweater. Bring a blanket for if it gets cold.
At some point, you’re gonna have to go to the bathroom. And as far as I’ve seen, side-of-the-road toilets aren’t the cleanest. Sometimes they don’t even have seats. So make sure to pack wet wipes and hand sanitizer to keep yourself clean. A roll of toilet paper also couldn’t hurt.
So far, you’re comfortable, well-fed and you have music, podcasts and audiobooks to listen to. But still, being on the road can get boring, even with the loveliest of company. Why not play some games?
There’s the obvious ‘I spy’, but pointing out red cars can get boring easily. We usually play the alphabet game to pass the time. Name a subject, any subject, and take turns saying something with the next letter of the alphabet. You could do tv-shows, movies, books, but also ‘things you definitely do not want to put on your pizza’ or ‘things I would love to see on the road’.
Another one is the licence plate sandwich game. Try to make sandwiches with the letters on licence plates you see. For instance, if you have ** GTO * you could make a sandwich with gelato, tomato and onions.
You could also do 21 questions, word association or would you rather.
Country specific necessities
Google this prior to your trip if you’re driving to or through another country. Sometimes certain items are obligatory to carry with you in the car. For instance, for Germany and France you’ll need a special milieu sticker on your window and for France you’ll also have to have two alcohol tests in your car. Google this beforehand and make sure you get the items on time.