After months of being cooped up, no one probably wants to stay in during vacation season. The only problem is, you can’t be too cautious with the places you are going to. The best rule to follow is still the more you stay away from crowds and random people, the better.
With this in mind, going to fancy hotels and resorts might not be the best idea right now. Although they can vouch for the sanitary practices of their establishment, you will have to share several spaces with an unknown public. You will have to ride the same elevators, for example. You will be meeting a lot of different people in the lobby and hallways.
What might be a good getaway right now is to enjoy the great outdoors. If you are not into camping, just go on a road trip to places you’ve always probably just zipped through when you were busy with other parts of your life.
While camper vans and converted buses have become more popular, it is not that accessible to many people. But you don’t need to have one to go on a road trip. If you are willing to rough it out, you could still get an amazing adventure with these few road essentials.
Get your vehicle ready.
Of course, this is top of the list, and you may well know of this already. This is not your usual trip to the grocery or your work. This is driving through stretches of roads that could be isolated, maybe even places without a signal on your phone. You don’t want to have anything amiss with your car. Check your engine, brakes, tires, gauges.
Fix your windshield if you had overlooked some stress on it, and make sure your air windows can fully go up or down. Get a mechanic to give your car a once over even if you think you can figure things yourself.
Check road conditions and general safety.
You don’t want to drive into a series of unexpected detours. Well, if you are just driving around without any kind of purpose, maybe that wouldn’t be a problem, but remember that you are paying for gas and you are wasting time.
Check the safety of the areas you plan to visit. Can you camp out without getting robbed? Is there a safe place in that area you can set up for the night? In all stretches of road you plan to cover, what is the nearest gasoline station or mechanic shop? You have to prepare these ahead.
Pack a portable stove and kitchen utensils. OK, so you don’t have the fancy kitchen in those RVs and converted buses. But who’s to say you can’t cook your meal on the road? Thanks to the ever-growing interest in camping, there are now a variety of ways to cook your food in the open, certainly more convenient than the old spit-roast by the campfire.
To make it even more convenient, bring a foldable table you prepare your ingredients on. Again, it’s not like the retractable counter in repurposed buses, but it will serve its purpose.
Have a portable toilet at hand.
This is a bit bulky if you are traveling with a sedan, but it’s still worthwhile to bring. If you will be passing through various rest stops, doing your business there would be your best choice—provided you follow proper sanitary and disinfecting procedures (yes, carry with you that alcohol and disinfectant all the time).
But in emergencies where you can’t find a public restroom, at least you have your trusty loo. Bring lime sand to dump on your waste to cancel the odor in case you actually get to use it. Ash will also serve the same purpose.
Bring a foldable mattress. Unless you are planning to sleep on the seats of your car, enjoy a soft mattress. Just because you are roughing it out in nature doesn’t mean you can’t have a bit of comfort. It also adds a thick layer of protection against the cold ground.
Finally, know what you want to get out of your trip.
Do you want to see seldom seen territory through back roads? Do you simply want to cover as many towns as you could? Do you want to enjoy the scenery—camp beside lakes, wake up to a fog-shrouded morning near a gorge? If you know what you are planning to enjoy, then you will be able to bring the appropriate additional stuff—maybe a fishing rod, a hammock, or a cooler full of beer.
You do not need lots of money to enjoy an outdoor trip. All you need is a good sense of adventure and be ready to just live with the basics for a while. You wouldn’t need many additional gadgets to enjoy the natural beauty you had been missing in the hectic schedules we had before.