Health and Safety - Road Trip Essentials
It’s common sense to pack a fully checked first aid kit and plenty of your regular meds. But here’s a few less obvious extras for both passengers and car:
Mosquito repellent – creams and/or burners
Mosquito nets (for summer campers)
Antihistamine cream and/or pills
Sanitizer/wipes (useful for food on the move)
Sunglasses (a year-round essential)
Sunscreen & block (again, seasonal extras)
Watercooler bag also useful
Loo rolls and tissues
Travel sweets (sugar fix for fighting fatigue)
Antifreeze (a seasonal essential)
Plenty of motor oil + engine water
Stimulation and entertainment - Road Trip Essentials
Even accounting for regular leg-stretches and pit stops, spending hours, days, weeks on the road can be mind-numbing. Again, there’s plenty of ‘top ten tips’ out there on loading up on music, podcasts, audiobooks etc. Beyond the obvious, here are some stimulating on- and off-line ideas to add to your virtual ‘playbox’:
– A free app used by 60 million stargazers across the globe. A virtual planetarium in your pocket! It also works in daylight, but the big night skies on the open road are awesome, especially if you can identify “that bright star up there” or the names of unfamiliar constellations. Stimulating, fun and educational – what’s not to like?!
Road Trip Bingo
- Free, download-and-print bingo games. Versions of US road signs, number plates, State symbols and so on make it totally relevant every stretch of the way.
Car Karaoke - OK, you need nothing but the music and enthusiasm for this one. Just turn down the volume and get points for tuning back in without missing a beat – extra points for accurate lyrics.
Good ol’ fashion car games - There are hundreds of them, and all free! We’ve picked these two for guaranteed competitive fun eating up hours and countless miles:
The Minister’s Cat: A big favourite in a world before apps! Just work through the alphabet, only moving to the next letter when no one can think of another adjective beginning with A, B, C etc., (you’re out or lose points for being stumped) “The Minister’s cat is an Adorable cat”, “The Minister’s cat is an Affable cat” etc.
The Name Game: Someone starts by shouting out a name or any theme of proper nouns (cities, countries, celebrities etc); the next person has to say a name that begins with the last letter of that name. The next person picks a name that begins with the last letter of the second person's choice, and so on. No duplicates allowed, and they must all be real names.
When all else fails (especially with the little people), it’s movie time! Entertainment tech has come a long way to deliver quality connectivity and content on the move. Here’s some kit worth investing in:
Seagate Wireless Plus: One of the best systems for digital video; a portable hard drive with 500GB to 2TB of storage that can be used to stream music, movies and TV shows to tablets, smartphones and laptops. The drive is capable of streaming to three different devices at a time via built-in WiFi with a battery that lasts up to 10 hours, making it an ideal companion for long road trips.
Headrest mounted entertainment: If the car doesn't have a built-in entertainment system, you can easily fit your existing iPad/tablet to create high-end video entertainment with the Arkon Universal Tablet Headrest Mount. It attaches a tablet to the back of a front-seat headrest. This makes for easy hands-free watching, especially if kids are sharing the screen.
Wi-Fi on the go
WiFi can be hard to come by when you're on the road. Although most of us can turn our smartphones into wireless hotspots, that can gobble up your data plan in no time. Instead, try the Karma Wi-Fi Hotspot. There's no contract or monthly fees with the Karma; you pay for data as you need it.
We wouldn't recommend using it to stream Netflix, but it's a great way to check email or keep up with your social networks on the go. Just be sure your travel area is within Karma's coverage area before you buy.
Right then, you’re all set! Bear in mind, it’s the journey that counts!