They say there’s no season quite like summer. It’s a fleeting love affair that has stood the test of time, as The Beach Boys, Phineas and Ferb, and so many more can all attest. Whether you’re basking on the French Riviera, traversing the Cordillera Mountains, or taking it easy in the city, one aspect of the season sits at the pinnacle of all summer glory — road trips.
Picture this. The day has finally come, and you’ve long prepared for this trip. You’re a good eight hours away from your destination, but you know all too well what they say: “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” But more than just the excitement and momentum that a road trip builds as you get closer to your Promised Land, it’s something that you should definitely be ready for.
Things might not always turn out as glamorous as the movies, where you all drive off into the sunset with The Smiths blaring in the background and the wind caressing your faces as you swear that you are, in fact, infinite in that moment. So make a checklist, create a mental note, or slap it on your dashboard, as we give you a list of some road trip essentials.
- Playlists for days
Most, if not all, people hate the sound of silence in the car. Something about it makes the hours stretch longer than they actually are. But with the right tunes, you’ll be feeling like you’re in a music video in no time! Whether you’re pimping butterflies with Kendrick Lamar, constantly conversing to Passion Pit, or staying up all night with One Direction, music makes a world of difference to your road trip.
And no, we’re not talking about your Lola’s sinigang. All those occasions of religious packing for field trips must have taught you something by now (unless it was always your yaya who did it for you, in which case, it’s time to be independent). All you’ve got to remember is to keep it light, simple, and good for sharing. Being selfish won’t give you any points either. Channel your inner Julia Child with that sandwich!
Especially if you’re literally taking a hike, water is sure to be your handy-dandy best friend. Even if you aren’t, though, chances are, you’re bound to get thirsty on the road. It is also best to have it just in case you find yourself basking under the scorching heat of this perpetually tropical country.
- Sunblock and shades
Wherever you’re headed to, more often than not, you’re going to need protection. Even if you want that much-coveted surfer girl glow, slather on some lotion! Your skin will thank you ten years later. Pack your shades too, because, well, the future’s just so bright. You can deflect the sunlight and look stylish at the same time.
- Extra clothes?
Yes, please! Depending on your activities for the trip, always remember to dress accordingly and appropriately. Save that LBD for your next night out. And you wouldn’t want a peek-a-boo moment with that skater skirt during your hiking trip, would you?
- Your phone
In this day and age, bringing your phone everywhere you go is a no-brainer. But remember, you’re going on vacation! Take a breather from real life and a technological cleanse too, if you can. Your status update or Instagram post can wait. Instead, whip out your phone for important stuff, like for applications you might need. Got lost while taking a detour? Waze it. Car broke down and you need a lift? Try your luck with Uber or GrabCar.
- Good company
Of course, unless you’re soul-searching strictly for Eat, Pray, Love purposes, a lonely drive isn’t very fun. You wouldn’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with someone you don’t click with either. Needless to say, planning with the right people can save you from boring turns as the designated driver. Otherwise, prepare yourself for a snooze fest in 3… 2… 1….
You don’t want to be that guy, the one who just can’t shut up about the distance. There always seems to be someone guilty of having an internal timer that goes off every half hour, prompting the question, “Are we there yet?” Sit back, put your feet up on the dash if you must, and simply enjoy the leisure and sights that the drive should bring.
The list could go on, but these are just some essentials. As much as possible, pack light, but make sure you’ve got everything you need. Don’t take the highway to hell. Go up the stairway to heaven! If your car can fit, that is. But in all seriousness, let your road trip be your therapy. It’s not made to be difficult; it’s made to be a fun bonding experience with friends. And remember that despite being a cliché, the statement rings true — it really isn’t all about just the destination, but about the journey as well.