Summer is the season of adventure. Which means that planning a wee roady is the perfect excuse to get out and explore with some mates. The beauty of a road trip is that the journey isn't always about the destination - the journey is the destination! Of course, you will probably have an epic final location in mind but most of the fun will happen on the road. Singalongs, laughs, a game of 'eye spy with my little eye', the outrageous stories told, and the random pit stops and roadside attractions along the way. Besides having a bunch of friends and a good attitude, the key to a good roady is all in what you pack because you could be in the car for a pretty long time.
So here are your summer road trip essentials!
When I say music I mean good music! Find out what the crew likes and make a few playlists that everyone will love. Music is absolutely key to having a road trip to remember. In my opinion, this is the most important factor for making sure everyone enjoys themselves. You absolutely must include some singalongs which are mandatory for friendly bonding especially if some of the members of the vehicle aren't so familiar with each other. Some personal recommendations include 'Surfing U.S.A' - The Beach Boys, 'All Summer Long' - Kid Rock, and 'All My Friends' - Snakehips. If the car your using doesn't have an aux input or Bluetooth then bring a Bluetooth speaker or some old CDS.
A paper map
This can be a really fun addition to your packing list. Sometimes it's kinda cool to ditch google maps on your phone and go old school. Using a map to plan a route that doesn't involve the main roads is the best way to discover interesting towns and landmarks you wouldn't have otherwise known about. And who knows when you may drive out of reception into the wops and need the help of a trusty old paper map.
The greatest addition to anyone's road trip ever. I personally love the effects of a film camera and it's perfect for snapping spontaneous moments on the drive. You might spot some cute markets or farm animals along the way, or maybe you'll want to remember the moment you got stuck in the sand and had to push the car or van back onto the road. The best thing about these disposable cameras is that you don't get to see the outcome until your photos are developed which is one of the best ways to preserve memories. They aren't crazy expensive either, you can pick one up for around $16 at lots of camera shops and pharmacies.
Good snacks are an absolute must on your road trip adventure. At times the drive may get a little boring so when someone pulls out a bag of crips of sour gummy worms it really is a game changer. If your end destination involves camping and a campfire then you better pack marshmallows. Roasting marshmallows on sticks or better yet, s'mores, are most definitely a crowd pleaser. A NZ campfire favourite is slow cooking tin foil wrapped kumara by placing them in the hot embers. The most rewarding, end of the day snack after a long drive.
Blankets and Pillows
Comfort should be at the top of your list when thinking about road trip essentials. 5 of you crammed into a 5 seater car can get pretty uncomfortable so pillows and blankets might make the journey a little less irritating. Blankets also have a number of uses, they're great picnic rugs for lunch spots and pit stops and will keep the light out when you need to nap in the back seat. If you find a scenic spot to watch the sunset with your mates, then a blanket will keep you snuggled up and warm.
What's a road trip without a wide-brimmed hat? Not only for sun protection, hats are great for adding style to your dial and a cool accessory for roadside photos. A wide-brimmed hat will make you feel like Eliza Thornberry (a true adventurer). A hat also pairs well with sunblock and sunglasses. If you're gonna make a lot of stopovers these things are always important to remember to keep your head and your face protected when out in the sun.