Summer is the time where most people go on a road trip to escape the busy metro lifestyle for the lure of cooler mountain air or the white sands of the beach.
We generally prepare for such a drive by getting our gear ready, checking the car and loading up on provisions; that's normal. But in our haste and excitement there are also plenty of things that we forget to bring along; things that make any road trip that much more hassle-free.
So before you head out on the open road, take note of these things that we commonly leave behind when you load up any car, van, pick-up or SUV for any summer getaway.
Drinking water: Yes, many of us pack bottles and cans of soda, iced tea, juices and the like, but really, water should be at the top of that list. A couple of liters or bottles of cold drinking water is the best way to quench your thirst rather than flavored drinks such as juices and sodas.
Tap water: Most of us are probably guilty of forgetting to bring tap water whenever we go on a road trip. Clean tap (not drinking) water is just incredibly useful to have, particularly when it comes to addressing overheating issues in intense summer heat. A six liter container should do, and it shouldn't be a problem to store it in the trunk.
Toilet paper: Whatever the case may be, it's best to have a toilet paper on board especially when nature calls. In many rural gasoline stations, a readily available supply of toilet paper is the exception rather than the norm. It's not really a problem with us guys but if you have women or children in your group, a roll or two will be extremely handy.
12-volt USB charger: In this day and age, everyone use a mobile or a smartphone to communicate with everybody else. With that in mind, don't forget to bring a USB charger (dual port works best) for the 12-volt cigarette lighter socket, just so you can keep your phones' batteries fully charged and ready to shoot and post on Instagram.
First aid kit: You might say that bringing a first aid kit is unnecessary. As the saying goes, it's better to be prepared than sorry. Having basic bandages, alcohol, gauze, over-the-counter meds such as paracetamol, anti-motion sickness pills, aspirin and the like are just handy to have at any given time, especially if you're in the more remote locations in the country.
Spare cash: You surely don't want to find yourself having to refuel at a gas station somewhere only to find out that the credit card terminal is offline and there are no ATMs in sight amongst the rice paddies. Even if you budgeted your trip to the centavo, you should always have extra cash on hand, especially in these situations. Also, do yourself a favor and don't bring too many PhP 1000 and 500 bills; they might not have change. Bring smaller bills in denominations of PhP 100 and 50.
Exact toll fees: During peak travel seasons, toll plazas are typically packed with cars. To get through it faster, research the correct toll fees on your way and prepare your toll fees ahead of time, perhaps in individualized envelopes or bags to make the drive less of a hassle and a little bit quicker. It's also a good way to get rid of some of the loose coins most of us have lying around.
Spare car keys: It's actually easier than it seems to misplace a set of car keys amidst the excitement of seeing the beach, hotel, bar or buffet table, whichever the case may be. It's also common to forget them inside an auto-locking car with the engine running. Bring a spare set of keys and keep it on your person (pocket or wallet) at all times.
Early warning device and tools: Most of us forget to bring an early warning device and a set of basic tools which will come in handy whenever you have minor car problems. And no, a branch from a tree does not count as an EWD.
A good playlist: Long drives would surely be more entertaining if you have a cool playlist onboard. Aside from providing in-car entertainment, music can also pump you up while driving. However, don't get too carried away with the song if you're the one behind the wheel. Remember: safety first.
Having these things in mind, you're set to take your much awaited summer escape. Always remember, it is better to be prepared than sorry. After all, you don't want to ruin your summer getaway. Enjoy the drive.