Planning A Road Trip? Here Are Some Useful Van Essentials

Road trips can be wonderful experiences where you get to see more of the world at your own pace with people you love. It can also be a series of headaches and frustrations. If you’re new to road tripping, you need to understand that expert road trippers can take off without a plan, but for your first several adventures, it’s usually best to have a solid plan. The following will explore a few things you might want to keep in mind if you’re planning a road trip. The focus will be on vehicle essentials as your road trip vehicle is going to serve as your home for a few days, weeks, or even months.

Planning A Road Trip? Here Are Some Useful Van Essentials
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Understand Your Route

Before you start anything else, it’s important to figure out your route. You want to know what temperatures you’re going to be dealing with, as well as what forms of weather you can expect. This information is going to change up your van or vehicle prep as you want to have everything you need to handle the environments you’re going to be in.

Furthermore, planning your route out involves calculating how far you can drive in a given period of time, how long you’re going to stop in different locations, and where you’ll be able to gather more supplies. This can help you figure out which essential supplies (food, cash, hygiene supplies, personal medications) and supply storage items you should pack to make sure all your needs are met along the way. You’ll also be able to figure out when and where you can do laundry, so you know how much clothing you need to pack.


If you’re going to be camping anywhere, you’ll also understand what sort of camping supplies you’ll need. This way, you’ll know if you need to bring fire-starting materials, cooking utensils, wilderness supplies, or any appropriate licenses for fishing, camping, or hunting.


To get a handle on your route, start with a bullet point list of the places you want to go and include any specific dates if you need to be in a certain spot at a certain time. Plot these points on a map and then connect the dots. Online maps can help you gain a sense of distance/travel hours, and they can also let you know where motels, campgrounds, and other amenities are.

Get Clear On Your Supplies


You’re going to want to make a list of things that you need to bring with you after you figure out your route. In addition to this, you’re going to want to bring vehicle essentials, a fully-stocked first aid kit, and personal enjoyment supplies like a handful of books you might want to read if the weather is atrocious and you’re simply chilling in the van for a few hours. A deck of cards is a must.


Think about how you’re going to comfortably store and access all of these items on your trip. Clear containers can be helpful, but so can the methods by which you organize things within your vehicle.


Prep Your Vehicle

Once you know how much you need to bring, you can begin to approach the vehicle question. Some people will have a vehicle that can handle carrying all their supplies and whatever terrain they’ll be facing. Other people will need to rent, buy, or build out an already existing vehicle. If you’re planning a van build, be sure to seek out expert advice as you don’t want to sacrifice comfort or functionality. Airflow is really important, and you don’t want mistakes in this regard.


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Vehicle Maintenance Check


No matter what type of vehicle you choose for the trip, you need to check in with a mechanic. Be sure to specify that you’re planning on taking the vehicle on a long trek, as this might change the types of things that they look at.


Driving Practise

If you’ve driven your road trip vehicle lots in the past, you should be alright, but if the vehicle is new or a different size or shape than you’re used to, you might want to schedule some practice time. Many vans or larger vehicles don’t have a rear-view mirror meaning you’ll need to rely on the side mirrors for all your mirror needs. Further, it can be hard to park larger vehicles if you’re not used to it.


Insurance

Finally, you might want to revisit your vehicle insurance as many more of your possessions will be with you (laptops, cameras, etc.). If your vehicle is damaged or broken into, you’re looking at much bigger expenses (especially if you need to book a train or flight home because you’re so far away). Make sure you have a coverage policy that reflects your needs in this regard. If you’re traveling internationally, you might also want to look for health coverage that will keep you protected should you need medical attention.


The above list should help you get all the essentials in order for your next road trip. There are countless online videos and articles that showcase how individuals pack up their vans that can give you some space-saving packing tips.

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