I love any form of travel, whether it be by plane, train, boat, or car. Travel by bus is my idea of a very slow and painful death. So, I guess I don’t love all forms of travel. My favorite type of travel, however, is by car, which means I am ALWAYS down for a road trip!
The boyfriend is also a big fan of road trips, so every chance we get, we are always planning different routes and destinations that we can get to by car. We have road tripped from the Mediterranean Coast to the Atlantic Coast of the Iberian Peninsula, from the center of Spain to the south, and road tripped all over the south of Spain. Unfortunately, I can’t say that I have contributed much to the driving part, because the boyfriend’s car is stick shift, and I have no idea how to drive a stick shift (although he’s tried teaching me many times, to no avail). So as the boyfriend takes over the driving part, I am in charge of making sure we have everything we need for a successful and comfortable trip.
If you’re planning a road trip any time soon, below are my necessities to make sure that it’s successful, NOT boring, and comfortable for all the passengers.
This is probably the number one thing that cannot be forgotten. I am always packing extra bottles of water, fruits, candy, potato chips, and sandwiches or tupperware of actual food for our trips. On our road trips, we have spent up to four or five hours in the car driving, usually right after the boyfriend gets off of work. I usually prepare a quick dinner to take with us so that we don’t need to stop if we are driving late at night. I also pack plenty of snacks and water because I am a HUGE snacker and get bored in the car. Pack yo’ snacks!
Car Charger or Portable Battery Charger
The last thing y’all want is your phone dying during a road trip. This has definitely happened to me, and then the snacks ran out, and then I had nothing else to do except bother the boyfriend. You can imagine how annoyed he got after the first 10 minutes of me pestering him because I had nothing else to do. Make sure to pack a car charger or your portable battery charger (and make sure the portable battery charger is fully charged). Having a car charger is also very helpful if you are using your phone as a GPS system.
Unless you love static filled radio stations, glitchy radio stations, or plan on talking to your road trip partners during the entire time (if you do, you go!), music is an essential part of road trips! I haven’t updated my iTunes in a long time, nor have I downloaded much music, so the boyfriend and I have been listening to the same 24 songs (oops) every road trip we have taken. My advice is download all the new music before your road trip or take the music you have now and create a “Road Trip Playlist”. Throw in some throwbacks so y’all can belt out to it together, throw in some songs in a different language (i.e.: Enrique Iglesias – “Duele el Corazón”), some up beat dance tracks (so you’re feeling excited), and some more mellow driving tracks for when it gets darker. Important tip: DON’T FORGET AN AUX CORD, or make CDs for the drive!
Buena Compania (Good Company!)
I asked the boyfriend what he would recommend, and he said make sure you have good company with you. Y’all are going to be in a car for a few hours, driving to different areas, and ultimately traveling together. Make sure the person or group you’re traveling with, you can get along with, won’t hate them completely after the duration of your trip, and someone who you know won’t be a “Debbie Downer”, and an optimist! A road trip is supposed to be fun, exciting, and adventurous! You don’t want to be stuck traveling with someone or a group of someones who are the complete opposite of your traveling style.
A Map or GPS
Although most people have smart phones these days, having a map or a GPS that you can attach to your car won’t hurt. If you’re headed on a road trip outside of your country, having a map or GPS will be handy, because using cell phone data will be pretty expensive. Also, if your phone dies (because you didn’t listen to my 2nd tip) then doing it the “old school way” with a handy dandy map is your best option.
The boyfriend and I like bringing a blanket in the car, just incase. It’s come in handy if we ever needed to stop somewhere for a little bit, I needed a pillow for taking my siesta while he drives, or just if one of us got cold. Our blanket has also been used in hostel rooms that were just too cold or if we ever stopped on the beach, we had a blanket to put on the sand and could buy some drinks and snacks to enjoy the view. This doesn’t need to be a big blanket, but a small throw blanket is perfect for all of these things.
Alright, now you’ve got all the necessities to have a successful and comfortable trip, but the boyfriend and I agree that the biggest factor to having a successful, fun, and unforgettable road trip, is optimism and excitement. You may have all of the things on this list (and even more), but without optimism and excitement to make the trip, makes a big difference. There are many things that can go wrong while traveling, your car could break down (I hope not!), your portable charger could break, your phone could get lost, and the map got rained on. There are so many things that we just can’t control.
For us, a road trip is the essence of adventurous travel. We’re choosing to live in our cars (just for a little bit of time), drive long distances and endure long hours, but we’re able to see the landscape of where we’re traveling to, we’re able to stop in small cities or towns and take a look around, and we’re able to get closer to our group of travel mates. Without that excitement and optimism to have and create a unique experience, the excitement and nerves of adventure won’t be there. You’re out there exploring!!