There’s just something about going out on a road trip. It’s fun, a bonding experience and simply transformative. Even those where everyone’s fighting and nothing goes according to plan, something about it changes your life. Many movies romanticise the idea of a road trip with friends—and for good reason!
There’s something so exhilarating about being out on the road, driving off into the sunset, chasing views. It’s like they say- it’s more about the journey, not just the destination.
The People on a Road Trip
A few characters are common to every road trip, regardless of the type of trip it is.
- The Driver- It’s not a road trip without someone to drive the vehicle!
- The Planner- Usually, the member of the group with the Type-A personality who charts out activities en-route, down to the very second.
- The DJ- In-charge of keeping the mood up with a peppy playlist that is universally loved and doesn’t put to driver to sleep.
- The Grocer- Supplier of snacks, water, provisions, first-aid! You want it, they got it!
- The Chatterbox- The loudmouth who has something to say, usually also a backseat driver gasping at every turn.
- The Romantic/Poet/Musician- That person who looks out of the window soulfully imagining that they’re in a music video, writing a poem in their head (cue Farhan Akhtar in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara).
- The Sleeper- Just sitting in a moving vehicle puts them to sleep, missing out on most of the fun on the road trip.
There may be an overlap between a few of the above character traits in different members of the road trip crew. Just as long as the driver and the sleeper are not the same person, it’s all good!
Those Different Types of Road Trips
Most of us have been on a bunch of different types of road trips- those long drives with parents (and siblings, if you have them), that college trip [read Goa trip] with friends, a work trip with colleagues and once we’re a little older and if we decide to go down the family route, that road trip with kids. Each one of these trips are so different, yet there’s something that always feels so familiar.
I’ve done every single one of them and how I felt on each was so different from the next. From experience, here’s a list of absolute essentials before heading out on a road trip.
Road Trip Essentials
Whether it is a short or a long journey, here are the road trip essentials to take along.
Don’t forget to carry along every member’s ID cards, passports (for road trips where you would be crossing borders), car registration documents and driving licence of the person/people who will be behind the wheel.
Make sure that you have your navigation sorted (download Offline Maps if you’re unsure of connectivity on the way). Don’t forget to carry along phone chargers and some great music too.
In the increasingly digital world we live in, odds are you may not usually keep a lot of cash on hand. On a road trip, be sure to keep some cash handy for those highway breaks for tea, snacks, meals or just a toilet break in a paid washroom- which brings us to our next point.
#4: Toilet essentials
While bottles and breaks on the side of the road may work for the some road trippers, urinating for those with vulvas may be slightly more complicated. While toilet sprays, toilet seat covers and toilet paper could be useful for everyone- the holy grail of surviving pee breaks, as someone who can’t pee into a urinal or on the side of the road, on a road trip (without throwing up) is buying a urination funnel.
PeeBuddy has transformed the way people in India do road trips. Some people prefer the convenience of a disposable Peebuddy urination device. Others like keeping the reusable PeeBuddy in their bags always.
#5: Water & Snacks
Remain hydrated when you’re on the road and carry fun snacks to munch on along the way. Also, do not forget to carry a few packets of wet wipes and/or hand sanitiser to clean your hands after snacking.
#6: Comfort Items
Pillows and blankets just make the trip so much better. Whether you want to carry along your travel pillow or one from your bed at home, it just amps up the comfort factor. Cosying into your blanket when the car AC is on full blast and surrounded by people you like is just another level of bliss.
If getting carsick is a problem, buy motion sickness patches or tablets to keep you comfortable on the journey.
So far, my favourite road trip has been travelling in our brand new car with my 5-month old in the back with me and my husband on the driver’s seat. We travelled a distance of almost 300+ kms from home to meet my grandmother. On this trip, I had to assume the role of:
- Planner – for pitstops, nursing breaks and hotel itineraries on the way
- DJ and chatterbox- so my husband won’t fall asleep on the wheel
- Grocer- to buy snacks and supplies to keep everyone happy
- Musician- to sing lullabies and put the baby to sleep
- Sleeper- sneaking a cheeky nap in when the baby is dozing away in his car seat
It was so incredibly challenging, all while being a superb bonding exercise for us as a new family.
Which person are you on a road trip?
Have you ever been on a life-changing road trip? Tell us the story in the comments below!