Packing the final items when you’re just about to head off on your family road-trip induces feeling of anxious excitement like no other experience. You’re looking forward to creating moments that you’ll cherish forever and great memories for the photo album with your loved-ones and don’t want to forget anything that might diminish that quality time together.
While going on what is more of a spontaneous road-trip with friends, you can usually get by without those few forgotten bits. When it’s a family trip, however, there are certain things you can’t afford to take chances on. Below is a selection of road-trip essentials that could make or break your trip.
If you’re going to be camping along the way it’s best not to scrimp on cheap camping supplies that bend in transit or go weak when heated.
Make a list of items you will need for planned activities and meals, so that you don’t forget anything important. Compare that list with the items you already have. You may be able to improvise with some hardwearing kitchenware but do ensure the items are all fit for purpose – especially when cooking with fire – and that they’re not unreasonably heavy to transport in a backpack.
Many of the items you might need in order to make your family road-trip comfortable and enjoyable can perhaps be bought along the way, but vendors of such supplies often take advantage of the fact that you’re trying to buy them at short notice while nearing a popular destination, and so you’ll find you are charged a higher price for them.
You’ll need to ensure that you will be travelling in the right vehicle for the type of adventures you have planned, and even consider fitting that vehicle with the appropriate tyres. The manner in which 4×4 tyres fit your vehicle for instance says a lot about whether it is indeed a true 4×4 or a petrol-guzzling SUV that isn’t quite so clever once it’s off-road.
Will you still be able to enjoy a campfire if it rains; and if not, what are you going to do as an alternative? Perhaps the campfire would be something you can do without, but if the campfire was the plan for cooking your food, then you’d naturally take an alternative, such as a portable gas stove (if allowed on site) or a disposable barbeque.
It is also a good idea to have backups for essential items, such as spare cooking pots, dry socks and an extra hat where heatstroke is a risk.
In Case of Emergency
It’s vital to have a solid plan for all emergency situations that could ensue, such as rendezvous points, curfews and next-step actions if anything seems wrong. Making your intended route known to people who are not in your party could save valuable time if a search is necessary – either by the family or emergency services. You should also make sure you stock up on essential first aid supplies and keep a hardcopy of all the relevant contact details for emergency services or park wardens.