As you might know, I’ve already been on a few roadtrips and my travelmates usually admired how organised I am. Well, after a while you just know how certain thing need to be handled and honestly it is a lot easier and relaxing if you have some sort of “plan”.
It is not that hard, so if you’re planning in doing a roadtrip at some stage let me help you out.
First things first: you need a car. I’ve already done roadtrips with my hostfamilies car and I’ve hired a van. If you have a car, use it! It’ll save you a lot money, but if not, don’t freak out. There are so many places where you can hire a car, even though they are usually not that cheap, especially if you’re under 21/25 (depends). Just do your research, usually there are always some cheap companies around, like in Australia WickedCampers. Don’t expect anything super new from those companies, but I was always pretty lucky and I would do I always again (already hired 3 vans with them).
Now you have your car and with it your date (with your own car you may be a bit more flexible weatherwise but if not, just go with whatever is coming), so it’s time to get organised. What do you need? In the end it doesn’t really matter how long you’re gone, you’ll need the same stuff.
Food and kitchen: I need real food, I cannot live a couple days just from sandwiches and I have no money, so going out for dinner is no option. If you hire a van it usually has a kitchen in the back with campingcooker and whatever you need, but if not you’re still not lost.
Buy yourself a campingcooker (I bought one for $20) or ask some friends if they have one and with that don’t forget the gasbottles, matches and a pot. Furthermore you need something to put your food on, so either bring a plate/ bowl or as I did a container, so you can also save it for later. Cutlery would be good, too, and I also own a pocketknife (a normal kitchenknife will do it,too).
What I liked to forget is something to clean my dishes with afterwards, so bring a little bottle of dishcleaner, a sponge and if you want to also a cloth for drying. I personally also like to pack some sandwichbags and papertowels (babywipes/ toiletpaper are also good).
What food to buy is fully your buisness, but my advice is: every backpacker always has pasta with him. Rice would also work, potatoes are not that useful, cause they’re kinda expensive and unpractial. Furthermore I’d prefer to eat sandwiches than rubbish, so you may wanna bring a loaf of bread and something to go with it (peanutbutter or jam is good, cheese and ham isn’t that clever especially during summer) and bring fruit and veggies (apples are the best, mandarines and bananas are also great and a nice carrot or capsicum wouldn’t hurt either). Oh, and allow yourself some snacks for the road!
Easy underratet are spices, like salt and pepper and if you have a frying pan also bring some oil!
To keep it all organised you may wanna bring some boxes to storage your stuff, so a fresh food box, a long-living food box, a dinnerware box, a cleaning box, … you got it, right?
Something you may not give a second thought is the amount of water you need. I am talking here about Australia-in-the-middle-of-nowhere conditions, but also somewhere else, always bring too much water than not enough. You’ll not only need it for drinking but also for cooking and cleaning. I once had the problem during camping that there wasn’t any water in the whole area and we hardly had any leftovers. Bring a big canister and you’re on the save side.
And what about sleeping? Depending on how you’re traveling you can either sleep in the car/ van or you’ll take a tent. Let’s say you don’t have a van with a mattress, so you ought to take a tent with you (I have a cheap $30 kmart tent and I love it). If you have an airmattress you might want to bring that, otherwise a yoga mat is also good. A sleepingbag should be obvious, but depending on the weather you might wanna bring a blancket, too. Many people forget about a pillow, and trust me, it’s a lot better with, than wihtout!
That’s the survival part, but there also some other things you should consider:
I hate using a navigation system and in the Outback or whereever you are, you might not have the best signal, so bringing a map could be useful. And you don’t need to plan every step in advance, but a lose orientation doesn’t hurt and makes sure you can see everthing you want to see, without skiping something great due to lack of time.
There are some great apps out there which make finding a campesite much easier (especially free campgrounds). Many people use Wikicamps which you have to pay for, I am personally a fan of Campermate (in Australia). It’s a free app which shows you most campgrounds and also activities to do.
I won’t tell you what to wear, but consider what you’re planing to do. Usually active-wear isn’t a bad idea and a jumper for colder nights. Just don’t make the mistake to bring to much stuff. Let’s be real, you don’t need your favourite dress when you’re going to go hiking.
Toothpaste and -brush could help, same as shampoo and showergel (depends on how long you’re gone), dryshampoo, deodorant, hair ribbons, insect repellent, sunscreen, lipbalm and maybe bodylotion.
I couldn’t leave without at least one good camera, which usually ends with me having my DSLR, my GoPro (which is somewhere swiming in the Ocean cause I lost it), my Polaroid and my phone…
For me it needs musik to make it a great time while driving for hours, so make sure you have a good playlist with you! To charge you technical devices you’ll need a car adapter and a charger.
And I know, Smartphones do have a flashlight, but trust me, having a real flashlight is really helpful, especially headlight, and if you go to a store like kmark, you’ll find some pretty cheap ones.
That’s a lot, but believe me, it looks worse than it is!
Have I forgotten something? What do YOU take with you on a roatrip?
Next time I’ll tell you how I DO my roadtrips, so check that out!
See you, Saskia xxx