Any trip needs planning and preparation. Experienced adventures could tell you plenty of horror stories. But for now I will avoid scaring you and focus on the top 10 things you shouldn’t forget to pack before heading off on your journey. This list is preferred for the car / van short travel. Let’s begin 😘
1. First aid kit
This really goes without saying but you’d be surprised at how many people forget such an important part of travelling. Your first aid kit should include all important items you may need. With compact sizes these kits are small enough to be kept in any rucksack or hand luggage, They are very affordable and can be purchased from most online retailers. Personally I get mine from amazon. They have everything you could possibly need.
- Bandage tape
- Antiseptic wipes
- Hand Sanitiser
- Safety pins
- Instant cold pads
- Cotton balls
- Rubbing alcohol
You may think these items will never be used, Get a kit anyway, they are cheap and a must!! it is always better to have them and never need them rather than need them and not have them.
Even if you don’t like the taste of water, At a last resort you will be grateful for packing extra. On many occasions I have used bottled water to save the day, over heated car, thirst, boiling water to cook, cleaning wounds, helping strangers in need and generally having a wash when stranded. Sugary drinks are also good to keep for a quick sugar boost if you hit a tight spot.
Water doesn’t have to be top branded. Just a couple of empty bottles filled from a tap will do. Remember to dispose of all plastics in the correct manner, don’t be a litter bug!! Or do what myself and many other campers do and reuse them.
Water is very heavy so as well as taking a large 5l bottle, I’d also recommend taking smaller ‘bag size’ bottles to carry on your person’s if you head away from your vehicle.
So looking back about 5 years ago when I first packed my car for an adventure into the middle of nowhere, I didn’t pack any spare blankets! The worst happened!! My car broke down on the edge of the beach, the sun went down and I spent the night wrapped in my bags trying to stay warm. To this day I still remember how cold it was!
Remember to pack for any eventuallity. Despite the sun being a billion degrees, the weather can change in a heartbeat. Wind breaker, rain coat and most definitely blankets… Oh and spare shoes, beach trips almost always end up with sandy wet shoes.
I can’t count the amount of times I’ve snuggled under a ultra soft blanket in my car sipping hot chocolate from a local garage. The joys of travel.
4. Power Station / phone charger
This is definitely an important one. Who doesn’t rely on Google maps these days. Even as an experienced adventurer I still use online maps for most trips. Charging our portable devices needs to be planned in advance!! Check all charging wires and adapters work in your car! A portable power bank fully charged before leaving isn’t a bad thought. Remember to pack compatible wires and car USB port for the cigarette lighter.
Mobile data comes hand in hand with this one, increasing your data allowance wouldn’t be a bad idea. If this isn’t a viable option then take a look into offline maps, these usually have ad pop-ups but may help if you need quick directions. In your glove compartment you should also pack a map AtoZ.
5. Cash / Bank card
Not many people forget a purse or wallet but it can be easy to leave behind with the excitement of hitting the road. A valid driving license is just as important! Cash is useful for small purchases like snacks, but also if you arrive at a shop desperate for a drink and the card machine isn’t working. No one wants to be searching for the nearest ATM machine with the niggling fear of being cloned whilst gagging for some tasty spring water.
Parking comes at a cost, usually only being able to pay with cash it is most definitely a sensible idea to keep some change in your car for when you don’t want to drive around endlessly sear hing for a free location to camp.
I envy those who have been lucky enough to avoid sun burn, Who are these people?? You are truly blessed!! The weather in the UK is very unpredictable, One moment it may be all rain and showers but within a flash it could be hotter than freshly cooked pizza. Protecting your skin is one of the most important things to be aware of when travelling out in the elements.
Stick with factor 30 or factor 50 for best protection. The difference is minimal and both do wonders to protect your delicate skin from the ass kicking sunshine!
7. Torch and batteries
When relaxing on a beach or camping in the wilderness you can be left with nothing but car interior lights or phone light. Packing a torch is a good idea for finding your way back to the car if you’ve wondered off track or just taking a look around the tent if you hear strange noises at 4 in the morning. Rechargeable batteries are good but if you are unable to charge your flashlight you will be in a sticky situation. With batteries you can simply pop in new ones and woo… Light!
Depending on the type of torch you choose you can benefit for your own personal preferences. Think about size, weight, power, output, colour, brightness, battery capacity and even bulb, led ect.
8. Towel / Beach Towel
I personally always carry extra towels for those wet moments that cach you out. From washing, swimming, bad weather and general spillages. Pop the wet towels out to dry as soon as the sun is shining to avoid muggy smells in your vehicle. Towels are also very useful for makeshift comfortable padding to sit on when camping.
For the relaxing beach adventure it is always nice to have a beach towel to sprawl out on. Ever seen anyone lay on the sand? It’s not for me 😬
9. Food / Snacks
It is not unheard of for explorers to pack cooking stoves or camping grilles, this goes hand in hand with packing cooking equipment. This can take up a lot of space and cost more money. The cheaper equivalent is home cooked food,, packaged fresh in food containers. Using stainless steel cutlery has positives, but you must bare in mind the additional weight in any camping bag along with washing up and drying for the next use will be more difficult. I much prefer using plastic recyclable utensils. Always dispose all waste appropriately!
10. Toilet roll / Tissue
Sometimes, Just sometimes, you can be caught out needing some ‘quick to grab’ loo roll. Not only for the obvious but toilet tissue has many uses. Cuts and grazes, Suddenly struck with a cold, cleaning up surfaces, padding breakables when traveling and even padding shoes when wet. I take one roll for every two days I plan to be away. If longer than 7 days I plan a stop at a nearby store to get supplies.
These items don't amount to a lot of space but all as equally important as the wheels on your vehicle.
This is a small list of some of the most important belongings to take with you on any adventure, In reality the list will be a lot longer, when you include all of the other little bits and bobs this amount will dramatically increase. Below I have included a short list of some other items you may need when out and about.
- Pocket knife
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Makeup / makeup mirror
- Spare socks and underwear
- Sleeping bag
- Cushion or pillow
- Jerry can
- Breakdown cover
- Battery powered clock
- A to Z map
- Tool kit for car problems
- Dental floss
- Strong tape
- Bin bags
When planning any trip the excitement can really take over. The 5 steps that should always be followed are
1 – Plan. Having a solid plan can be the difference between exploring and being stuck in a tight spot. Plan what you will need to take with you. Plan for any eventuallity. Plan for delays in travel and plan for safety. If something makes you feel uncomfortable or unsure… Be extra cautious. Write up a map to how you plan to move about, plan to be in areas of petrol stations and never too far away from society. This moves us on to point two.
2 – Be Safe. Safety is by far the most important. If you have no idea of what to expect when you head out to a new destination, it could bring you unwanted attention, potentially bringing you harm. For example.. This one time I stayed the night on this quiet abandoned building car park. I was awoken to a group of men trying to get into the vehicle to ‘Talk’ to me. In a panic I jumped into the drivers seat and drove off. Doors should ALWAYS be locked and researching every location before you settle should be top of your list. Always make sure you rest and NEVER drive tired. It never hurts to let family and friends know of where you will be, Just incase the worst was to happen. They will know of where you should of been.
3 – Follow the law. Every town, city or location can have their own laws in place to keep order. Make sure you follow these to the T. Do your research. You do not want to be woken up by Mr police man at 2 in the morning asking you to move on from your location as you can’t be camped out there. Finding a new spot will be horrendous in the dark. Most laws are generally the same, no trespass, don’t litter, no indecent exposer, no speeding, the basics. Living with a vehicle could mean sleeping in your car or van over night, so make sure you have the correct full valid driving licence and the correct insurance.
4 – Checklist. Write down EVERYTHING!! For every trip I plan, I write about 3000 words as a checklist… I know this may be abit of an obsession but my ocd wouldn’t have it any other way. This helps to keep order and make sure not to forget anything important. Also jotting down a basic map plan with street names can help if you are ever left without your mobile or AtoZ. I have done many trips without a checklist and they can be just as fun. Just make sure to pack the essentials.
5 – Food and drink. This may sound less important, but always take a supply of food and bottled water. Store it away in your boot just incase you get stranded. You may rely on using cash, like many of us do, no one wants to head to a 24 hour garage in the middle of the night when they can just grab snacks from the trunk. I shouldn’t have to go into too much detail about water… You should know what happens if you don’t drink 👻😉
Whatever your current circumstances are, Given the opportunity, would you hit the ground running and travel? If your answer is yes… Go for it! It can be the most fun you will ever have. The troubles you find along the way will only add to your on growing experience, And not to mention the amazing people you will meet along the way. Go be free! Be safe! And have fun 🙂❤️
Read more about travel through the links below. Many more to come 🥰💕