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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    worcestershire UK

    Default Essential road trip items (when flying from UK)

    Hello I thought it would be interesting to post a thread to see what others take on their road trips, especially when they are restricted by airlines etc.

    Our friends always laugh when we show them the sorts of things we pack. However after so many journeys we now have things down to a tea. These are our most 'important' items.

    **A tray - to make sandwiches on when in the car

    ** sharp knives, camping cutlery of the joined up type

    ** Clothes pegs - for air drying swim stuff, washed out clothing etc

    ** old towels - we ask people if they are throwing out to donate to our trip as we can use these and then throw them at the end of the trip -

    ** also pillows - they are always much better than Motel 8 types and nice in the car

    ** also torch - we have been to many places where this has been essential

    ** laptop - for ease of communication free internet access to book room ahead and contact home etc also to use as route planner and guide also easy to downlaod pics at the end of each day

    ** photocopied pages of guidebooks that can be recycled once place has been visited

    **half bottles of shampoo toothpaste etc to avoid bringing back half empties

    **Tea bags and a travel kettle a recent addition but so worthwhile

    **and of course our iPod with 35+hours of good ole road trip tunes

    Of course there are loads more but I would be interested to see who else takes such a strange case full of objects
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-04-2011 at 07:40 PM. Reason: added some white space

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    We take some of the same objects. Here's what we find essential (and when we have to do a fly-drive, we miss some of this stuff!):

    * a small coffeepot, hand grinder, beans and mixin's (it beats the "coffee" that motels offer)
    * a bag of snacks, and a cooler with drinks and fruit (well...the fruit is for me)
    * the laptop, an Ethernet cord (just in case), a blank CD, and a surge protector device
    * a folder with the collected brochures, coupons, itinerary, and a diary
    * a bag full of AAA tour books and maps
    * THE NEXT EXIT (a valuable guide to all the exits off the Interstate - - nice for planning your next fuel stop)
    * pillows
    * beach towels - these come in handy as covers for car seats that get hot during the summer as well as at the motel pools
    * zippered bags in all sizes. We not only pack shampoo etc in a zippered bag, we also pack some extras to hold swimsuits that haven't dried yet, and extras in other sizes. So many uses! (Love your idea of clothespins, I'll have to remember those on our next trip).
    * a sewing kit for emergency repairs, including some extra safety pins.
    * extra hair ties - - covered rubber bands. Once again, for emergencies.

    I know people who pack old underwear, and on their last week of the trip, they throw a pair away each day instead of taking them home.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default One of these days

    Sometime in the near future you'll be able to go into a store and purchase one of three RTA "Go Kits" -- All of the essential items you like to have a road trip -- but can't carry on an airplane. As well as for those who want our recommendations for what you might want on a road trip. The three different kits would be for simple 1-2 day trips to full "expedition" level gear...


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default old underwear?

    that one seems a bit odd to me!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    That just gave me an idea on how to get rid of my old underwear and socks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default I could travel lightly, but...........

    Being restricted by flight luggage limits, I too need to watch what I pack. Most of the weight in my suitcases is taken up with jars of vegemite, tins of milo and dozens of packets of timtams, mint slices and arrowroot biscuits. Not forgetting the occasional jar of golden syrup. Yes, they may have lived in the US for a decade, but these items from home are what I am asked for as payment for my board and lodging. Add to that the presents for the grandchildren, family and friends, and one suitcase is already overweight.

    A local traveller told me a long time ago that she rarely takes anything much in the way of clothing (other than underwear), and visits the first charity shop she sees. These clothes are donated back at the end of the trip. Am yet to try that. With the charges at airports these days it sounds tempting.

    But no way will I travel without my pillow. It was given to me by my daughter-in-law in Boston, in 2004, and travelled with me in 2007 and 2009. Besides having your own pillow to sleep on, there's nothing like having your own full sized pillow on a 14+ hour flight.

    As for what essentials I carry in my vehicle, well, an electric jug would have to be top of the list. Yanks just don't know how to make a decent cup of tea. And I don't drink coffee. I have taken it into diners and cafes - including Panera Bread - and boiled the water to make a cuppa. Hot water is just not good enough! Most hotels / motels have coffee, or coffee making facilities, but I am yet to come across one where I can make a cup of tea in the room.

    And I always carry my own mug everywhere, at home and overseas. I object to polluting the planet with disposable cups. Besides, they are lousy to drink out of. Most take away places will make a drink in your own cup. If they won't, I'll go somewhere else.

    It goes (almost) without saying that I don't leave home without my camera and computer... and all the extras I carry with them.

    Fortunately I am able to leave items such as the jug and mug in the US between trips.

    Now, if I only carried the essential, I would travel light indeed. But unfortunately, that is never the case. In reality,by the time a couple of months have gone by, I drown in the stuff I have collected along the way.


  7. #7

    Default To acquire upon arrival...........

    I always travel with a fresh jug of windshield-cleaning fluid: high-potency bug-removal formula for warm weather months and de-icer formula for winter. The Western US airport rental agencies are pretty consistent with keeping de-icer topped off in winter, and most provide a combination ice-scraper/snow removal brush. For summertime hires, plan to visit an auto-parts retailer, or just the automotive department of a local Wal-Mart, to pick up a gallon of bug-removal formula windshield fluid, a squeegee with a nylon mesh-covered foam scrubber and a squeegee opposite side, and a roll of paper towels. Here again, the major Interstate travel plazas, particularly out West, are normally well-equipped for windshield cleaning during fueling, but I absolutely detest not being able to clean my "windscreen" several times per day, so I always provide my own materials/tools for doing so.


  8. #8

    Default Also have your glass half full.

    I must be too much of an optimist because if I have a decent vehicle, a good map and a few music CDís Iím off without worry.

    Reflecting on the many trips I have done the only incident which caused me a problem was a tire puncture on the extreme of The Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia. No phone signal and messy car instructions on how to change the wheel didnít help. The instructions had me fiddling about in the car boot to twist a cog to jack up the car but it was too sophisticated for me. The days of a simple jack and wheel spanner seem to have gone.

    Fortunately lady luck came to help Ė a couple of men working on a nearby isolated building saw my plight and helped out.

    But my wife is another story............

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