Whether you are planning your road trip for a few days or a few weeks, some things are just essential!
Car Hire – Your Choice of Car
The number of people travelling and the length of your planned trip (both in miles and time) will influence your choice of car hire. The 7 Seat People carrier is THE most versatile of all the cars for a long trip. It deserves consideration regardless of the number of passengers. Most of the seats will fold up or down and away. Pilot style seating converts to central tables. Many 7 seaters come with actual plug points in the USA, along with rear 12v charging points. We have had clients who have used these vehicles as mobile tents, whilst others have used them to carry their tents.
The large SUV’s can spring easily to mind when planning your road trip. However, in my opinion they are not as flexible inside as the seats rarely fully recline or fold away flat The miles per gallon of a large SUV could be as low as 15 mpg. A 7 seat people carrier is usually in the 25 mpg region.
For shorter trips then a family size car might be sufficient. While planning your road trip give careful consideration to the amount of room available for legs, luggage and general storage of all the bits and bobs you will accumulate. Often there is not a huge leap financially to the next category up from your usual choice. The extra room that comes with the bigger size may be very useful.
And finally, air conditioning! In the USA and Canada all hire cars have air-conditioning as standard. Air-conditioned cars can be selected when making a car hire reservation for elsewhere in the world.
A Sat Nav unit, or navigation app on a phone are road-trip essentials for obvious reasons (paper back ups also recommended!). Your favourite music might be your road-trip essential. All these devices need power – so we suggest you plan on taking plenty of charging options. 4 port USB in car 12v chargers are available for around £10 on Amazon. We have also taken a small extension lead and plug adaptor on our trips for several years. If your car has an actual plug socket, then this opens up more opportunity for in car charging on the road. Charge up multiple devices all at once in a hotel just as easily with one adaptor.
Hand wipes are top of our list for so many reasons! But we also recommend you save some precious space for emergency toilet roll – in case of ill equipped backwater service stations. Tissues, and bin bags for bagging up anything and everything from rubbish, to dirty clothes. A first aid kit (with scissors) is also useful when heading away from civilisation. Along with a torch for night-time comfort breaks.
Styrofoam coolers are cheaply available for keeping drinks and snacks cool on the road. The more serious road trip planner might want to invest in a powered chiller/cooler to keep a wider range of perishable food and drink safely chilled. The 7 seat people carrier with rear charging point shines at this point. Swallowing up the cooler, plus luggage/shopping/washing/tents etc. Such vehicles are often fitted with hidden storage pods under the foot-wells of the middle seats – useful for stowing smaller bits and bobs when out of the car. Your travel insurance may not cover your valuables if left in the car, so keep them with you.