There are around 1.35 million people globally who die in road accidents each year, which translates to roughly 3,700 traffic accident-related deaths per month. In the U.S. alone, some 38,000 people figure in deadly road crashes annually, with some 4.4 million travelers requiring immediate medical care for the injuries they sustained. Additionally, road crashes are the top cause of fatalities among U.S. citizens aged 1 to 54.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), road accidents don’t just claim lives and cause serious injuries. They also financially and economically affect countries, families, and individuals. Data show that roughly 3 percent of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is wasted due to traffic-related accidents.
Meanwhile, individuals involved in road crashes and their families also suffer a great deal from lost opportunities and income. They also had to pay for expensive hospitalizations and physical recovery programs.
With such negative consequences, individuals and their families need to ensure not just their comfort, but more importantly, their safety whenever they travel. This is particularly the case for families driving for miles to enjoy a weekend holiday or spend their vacation. Fortunately, they are plenty of ways to achieve both.
Here are 10 things that you must bring with you to guarantee a comfortable and safe road trip:
Whether it’s a quick two-day trip or an extended week-long road trip, you should always bring with you some basic medicines such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, Imodium, and the like. If you or any family member has maintenance medicines, then be sure to bring them as well, including the doctor’s prescriptions. You’ll never know when someone inside the car will fall ill, hence the need to have a travel pouch with your meds in it.
2. Repair tools.
Cars, even those fresh out of the dealership, could get into mechanical trouble at any given time. If you don’t want to get stuck helpless in the middle of nowhere, be sure to grab essential vehicle repair equipment. There are plenty of kits in the market that you could buy for a few hundred dollars, so you’ll always have something to troubleshoot your car with.
3. Hygiene kit.
You should maintain your good hygiene no matter where you’re heading. Among the essential hygiene products to pack are toothbrushes and toothpaste, dental floss, soap, shampoo, wet wipes, ear cleaning kit, nail clippers, deodorant, cologne or perfume, fresh pairs of underwear, and many others (depending on hygiene regimen).
4. Travel pillow, blankets, earplugs, and eye mask.
It’s hard to travel for miles without having these things with you. Your body should be as comfortable as possible, plus you should have enough sleep as you travel, so you’ll arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to have fun.
5. First aid kit.
Expect for the worst whenever you travel and include potential injuries like cuts and sprain. You should, thus, grab a First Aid Kit from your nearest supermarket or order one online. A basic First Aid Kit costs just a few dollars and would be extremely helpful if anyone gets injured while you travel.
6. Travel documents.
Getting yourself into potential legal trouble because you lack proper documentation to prove your identity or travel purpose can be quite a downer. As such, be sure to take travel documents such as passports, IDs, and other documents that would verify your personality, itineraries, and accommodation details. If you’re making a cross-country road trip, these travel documents are a must-have.
7. Power banks.
If you love taking pictures or videos to document your road trips, you should not rely on your car to charge your devices. If you have to move around and leave your car for an extended time, then power banks should be a part of your Go Bag so that your electronic gadgets won’t run out of precious juice.
8. Packing cubes.
If you intend to have an extended stay on the road or in a hotel, you have to keep your clothes organized. You can easily do this by packing your travel clothes in packing cubes that maximize space inside your vehicle. This will allow you to have enough real estate inside your vehicle and not look like sardines in a cramped can.
9. Rain gear.
No matter how sunny it is when you leave your home for the weekend trip, the weather could turn sour at any moment while you’re out on the road. Therefore, you should have essential gear ready — rain jackets, an umbrella, a poncho, and rain boots.
10. Discreet money belt and ATM holder.
Lugging around bulky wallets is just an unsafe way to travel since they could tempt muggers to physically harm you to get your cash and ATM cards. You could avoid this by placing your hard cash inside a money belt and your ATM in a discreet holder hidden under your clothing.
With these essential travel items, you can expect a safe, fun, and unforgettable road trip with friends or family.