I love travelling by road, just today we crossed the border and came from Bulgaria to Greece for some #Greeksummer! Road travelling can be so much fun, cheaper for larger families and create a different kind of memories. My nieces so far are loving the adventure. 🙂 For this post, I have asked the lovely Neymat from The Imperfect Muslimah to share her experience on road-tripping.
So, what’s road-tripping?
The basic definition is any journey taken by car. In practice, road trips can either be amazing experiences that you look back on and cherish or they can be an exercise in frustration – when done wrong. Some ways of road-tripping wrong include travelling with the wrong people, to the wrong place, or – most often – with the wrong supplies. Road-trips can also be much cheaper than airline travel while still being more comfortable than backpacking. I’ve been road-tripping since I was tiny because members of my family hate to fly and it’s a valuable way to travel despite not being for everyone.
My personal opinion is that road trips are great – there’s a freedom in travelling with your own transport and being able to move on to a new place whenever the fancy strikes. One of the best (and my favourite) advantages to road-tripping, as opposed to airline travel or backpacking, is that you have so much space! There’s an entire trunk/boot which can be stocked up with tons of useful stuff and, if you’re like me, every single inch of space will be used for a gadget or gizmo to help your road trip journey go smoothly. I won’t bore you with every one of the many things I have stocked up but I will share what I’ve found to be the top ten items to keep in your car if you’re prone to taking long journeys.
1 – Salaah supplies! There can be no success without salaah and, as such, it is good to store a musallah and compass in the car for the occasion when you cannot find a mosque and need to find the qiblah. I also like keeping a bottle of water in the car for making wudhu.
2 – A first aid kit. Now, I know some people debate the effectiveness of a first aid kit because any injury which cannot wait to be treated should necessitate a trip to the closest emergency room but I have always advocated having a first aid kit in easy reach just in case – making someone comfortable after an accident can help hugely mentally and emotionally, if not physically.
3 – Pillows, blankets and sleeping bags. Sleeping under the stars is an amazing thing to do if you find the right place so I love being prepared. All of these items can also be useful if your accommodation leaves much to be desired and can help get you a better night’s sleep in an uncomfortable hotel bed.
4 – Snacks. I love food. I love it dearly, I love it a lot. There is always food in my car. Snacks are a useful thing to have in the car just in case you’re not having much luck finding a halal place to eat or in case you’ve found yourself starving on a long stretch of open road.
5 – A spare tyre, spanner and jack. I know this one seems like a bit of a no brainer but then, I know some people who don’t have these three items in their car. Check these periodically – a spare that’s deflated is going to do you exactly zero good.
6 – A flash light & matches. A flash light is useful if you want to go exploring at night without risking draining your cell phone’s battery. Matches are useful in the event you want to camp a bit and need to start a fire for warmth.
7 – A notebook and pencils. This is useful for any number of reasons – to doodle or write, to take down directions.
8 – A book and an MP3 player. These will both help with boredom for a passenger or even for you as the driver in the case of having to wait for a tow truck or any other kind of assistance.
9 – Hand sanitizer & tissues. There’s no end of possible ways to get dirty in your car and it’s always nice to be able to clean up a least a little bit in an emergency.
10 – Finally (and this is a bit of a cheat) a paper map, an umbrella and a can of petrol. The map will help in the event that you have a phone tragedy and are lost, the can of petrol will help if you get lost on the way to a station and the umbrella – well, that one’s self-explanatory, I think.
There are many other things that can be kept in your boot, depending on the way that you travel and your usual needs. I know some people keep a few days’ worth of chronic medication in their cars and some others who keep swimsuits and other miscellaneous beach stuff in theirs. With time and experience, you’ll come to find what you use very often and what is just taking up valuable space.