Summer is in full swing and a lot of folks are getting ready to head off on summer road trips! Of course, we know that Colorado is breathtaking any time of the year, but there’s just something about summer that makes you want to get outdoors!
Here are some road trip essentials you’ll want to include on your packing list!
In Colorado, sun protection should be a no-brainer, but it’s also easy to forget the essentials when you’re excited about your trip! As a rule, you should always have a good sunscreen and pair of sunglasses (polarized is best for blocking glare) on hand. Other considerations might be a hat and an umbrella, just in case shady spots are few and far between.
Summer bugs—annoying, but basically harmless, right? Wrong, unfortunately. West Nile Virus is no joke. Colorado has plenty of bodies of water to attract mosquitoes, so they tend to breed and hang around in abundance during the summer. If you would rather avoid all of the harsh chemicals in traditional bug sprays, there are plenty of natural alternatives. (You can start your search here!) Just keep those pesky skeeters away!
You should always bring extra water on any road trip, but especially in the summer. Because some plastics can leak toxic chemicals when left to heat up in your car, consider bringing reusable water bottles made of metal, glass, or BPA-free plastic. Bring a cooler, as well, if you will be leaving the water for long periods of time in the car, because those bottles will heat up fast!
Wet wipes are a great idea to have around in the event of surprise messes. You may want to bring two different types, however, (one for surface messes and one for skin) to avoid skin irritation. A lot of wipes even come in a biodegradable variety now, which can cut down on the amount of waste generated by your road trip. Start shopping green wipes here!
Trash and Recycling Receptacle
Trash and recyclables can accumulate quickly on the road, so it’s a good idea to have receptacles available, especially since littering is never cool. Those plastic tubs you can use for cereal are perfect for makeshift trash cans, while something as simple as a bucket or cardboard box would be more than efficient for collecting recyclables. Just make sure that you anchor your receptacles so that they don’t migrate during the drive!
Whether it’s a sketchy restroom without soap or an impromptu diaper change, it’s always a good idea to have hand sanitizer on hand. There are some types of germs that just can’t be taken care of with wet wipes, so getting caught unprepared could get pretty … gross! The most common varieties of hand sanitizers are gels or sprays, and they are available in a variety of sizes, so they won’t take up too much space in a bag or glove compartment!
Even if you’re going on this road trip as a chance to unplug for a bit, it’s a good idea to have at least one phone handy for emergencies! Many cars come with charging ports automatically now, but they are also available for purchase, online or at car accessory stores. It’s not always the case that a stranger will have the same charger as you, so make sure that you bring your own!
Snacks (That Don’t Melt)
You should always have food on hand, just in case your car breaks down or you are unable to stop for food for a long period of time. There are plenty of snacks you can bring that don’t require a cooler, won’t melt, and will still keep you going until the next stop. Things like nuts, pretzels, dried fruit, and certain granola bars are a perfect grab-and-go choice!
Cash / Change
In this day and age, the need for actual, physical cash isn’t as great as it was even ten years ago, but it’s still a good idea to bring some along, anyway. (Think toll roads, pay phones in an emergency, and vending machines.) You never know when you may need an alternative to plastic or phone app payments, so it’s better to be safe than sorry!
This is, by no means, a complete list of gear, but it will sure make traveling a whole lot easier!
Have a blast on your road trip and from all of us at Quick-Set, drive safely out there!