Road trip essentials

road tripHere’s an interesting fact for you – people love road trips. It’s true. Especially where I come from, in the US of A.  We love a good road trip.

Yes, long commutes are terrible when they’re to and from work and holiday traffic is a headache when you’re crammed onto the motorway with a bajillion other poor schmucks, BUT road trips are a completely different animal.

You see, road trips aren’t so much about the destination as they are about the journey – oooh, metaphor for life? Indeed.

So, if you’re planning a road trip this year (perhaps a drive to the Scottish highlands, a trip through French wine country or a jaunt along England’s southern coast), then take note of these road trip essentials:


Food on a road trip is a must. Why? Because sandwiches from service stations are soggy, and you know it. Instead, pack some of this delicious stuff, such as:

  • salted almonds
  • a small, lunch bag-sized cooler with chilled bottles of water and cans of diet coke (or whatever beverage you prefer)
  • apples and grapes, because you have to peel oranges and dried fruit might make you gassy (just something I’ve heard)


Groovy tunes are essential to any road trip. Though you might be tempted to fill your playlist with all your fave jams, consider sticking to the road trip theme. For example:

  • ‘King of the Road’ – Roger Miller
  • ‘Ramblin’ Man’ – The Allman Brothers
  • ‘You Can Go Your Own Way’ – Fleetwood Mac
  • ‘I Drove All Night’  – Roy Orbison or Celine Dion, whatev!
  • ‘Jump in my Car’ – The Hoff
  • ‘Drive My Car’ – The Beatles
  • ‘Hit the Road Jack’ – Ray Charles
  • ‘On the Road Again’ – Willie Nelson

Also, podcasts and audiobooks are a great way to mix it up when you’re sick of making conversation  and/or you get to the end of your playlist.


Games are a great way to pass the time and get to know your fellow road trippers. These are three of my favourite games to play in the car (notice that ‘I Spy’ is not one of them):

  • The license plate game

If you’re travelling through the US, take note of each state license plate you spot and try to get all 50 (Hawaii is always a tough one!).

  • 20 questions

An oldie, but a goodie, 20 questions is the one where you pick  a person, place or thing (or an “animal, vegetable or mineral” if you’re my Mom) and make everyone else try to guess who/where/what it is within 20 yes-or-no questions.

  • Same Name Pub Game

If you could go to the pub with any four people in the world (dead or currently living), who would they be? Oh, one catch – they all have to have the same name. For example: George Best, King George, Boy George and George Foreman. Fun game. Hours of entertainment.

Pit Stops

Before you take off, plan some pit stops to enjoy along the way. If you’re travelling through the UK, why not have lunch at England’s oldest pub? A cross-country US road trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the world’s largest ball of twine. If you’re driving through Europe, take a gander at the world’s largest coffee pot, located in Selb, Germany.

First Aid Kit

Hopefully, you’ll never need to use your first aid kit, but it’s still a good idea to have one anyway. Though cloth bandages, cotton swaps and those tiny medical scissors probably serve some purpose, painkillers and plasters are what really comes in handy.

So, there you have it – snacks, music, games, pit stops and a first aid kit. Now you’re ready to hit the road!

What would be your ideal road trip? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.