Whether it’s your first big adventure on the road or just one of many, everyone can use a little help sometimes. Here are some travel hacks that we’ve learnt over the last year to help to keep us on the road
This article will help you understand why we have a massive combi (type of car pictured above) and still no place inside it for anything else, let alone other passengers.
Every road trip makes us realise that we are going to need something else for the next time we head for our next road trip. So, here is the list of luggage upgrades / travel hacks that we have carried out so far:
- Coins – They are a must have for toilets and tolls – yes they should accept card, but you’re leaving it to chance. If you ask us what was the most practical wedding present we received we would tell you that it was 5 euros all in coins – a real life saver, especially since we went on a road trip very soon after we got married, because how else would we celebrate?!
- A map – This is a very old-fashioned travel hack, but sometimes you just want to check if there’s a way out from the traffic and the sat-nav is being too stubborn to find the new route for you, or just tells you to turn around when possible. In weird destinations its also good to have it to compare the way, rather than having a few hours detour because the sat-nav was wrong (hell0 our trip to Albania).
- Water – There’s nothing worse than stopping every half an hour on a road trip because you realise you need to eat/drink/piss, bodily functions are such a timedrain! Now we are stopping only for the last one, but we are working on it.
Normally we have around 12l of water in the back, it’s cheaper to buy it in a normal shop rather than in the petrol station. We also take several big bottles of juice with us so that we can just combine the two and have something a bit tastier to quench our thirst with.
- A travel kettle – Much smaller than the normal one, it will help you in countries like Romania where you either have coffee machines or a kettle which doesn’t boil water properly. Seriously, if you have your own kettle you can take your favourite liquid power-up however and wherever you want to.
- Milk – This can be a problem if you don’t have a fridge, but you can buy vanilla/chocolate milk for kids, one box is around 200ml, and it’s perfect for two mugs of coffee and it doesn’t take much space. You could also buy the small containers of cream that you see at restaurant breakfasts, but if you’re addicted to coffee with milk then its just not the same (we’ve tried).
- Mosquito spray, sun cream and something like after sun lotion even if you think you don’t need it. It might seem like a waste, but if you’re going on a road trip then you really do have the space for a few extra tiny bottles and they may turn out to be something you’re very grateful for. (Hello, Romania!)
- Snacks – There’s a reason why Frodo took Lembas with him, and sadly it’s not because hobbits are great at travel hacks. Get whatever you like because sometimes the drive will be longer than you expect and a bit of a pick-me-up will do the trick to ward off those horrible traffic-jam feelings.
Also, for example, in Italy restaurants are closed until quite late, so there’s no point in looking for one around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. You probably going to have to wait until 7-8. Seriously, snacks.
- Bags for shirts – We have no idea how we could have packed without them. Probably Sandra’s favourite travel hack out of them all
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- Pills – It’s better to take it with you rather than trying to find the same medicine abroad.
- Pillows and blanket – Just in case something happens and you have to spend a night in the car – or when you need a nap (damn passengers and their constant naps.)
- Barbeque – In some countries you can have a barbeque wherever you like. We got one for our road trip to Scandinavia and it’s well worth checking out, especially if you’re a fan of barbeques. Definitely Adam’s favourite travel hack, and probably the tastiest.
- An extension lead – This is an idea that I got from my mum when i was complaining about the air condition in one of places stayed in. One hotel in Romania had air-conditioning but the cable wasn’t long enough to plug it in – having one of these with you will solve the problem.
- Proper cutlery – After a while the plastic ones will kill you.
- A power bank – Just in case your phone or ,even worse, camera will die.
- Backup storage – This is great for all of the photos you take. We are currently using the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB version and it comes highly recommended.
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- Camera mount – If you have an old camera lying about and it can record in decent quality then it might be a better option to invest in a simple camera mount rather than invest in a GoPro (look carefully at the first picture of the car and you can see that we have one for recording footage of the road with our old camera!)
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- Washing powder – if you were wondering then no, apartments with washing machines don’t come with washing powder. Luckily for us they come with fairy liquid. Lesson learnt.
- A travel iron – If you decide to wash your stuff you may as well iron them as well.
Some Extra Travel Hacks:
- Bin bags for dirty stuff – you then don’t have to mix them with clean stuff and the suitcase is lighter.
- Top up your phone – It might be obvious for you, sadly it isn’t that obvious for Adam.
- Pack 2 suitcases – We pack them for a week, each with the same amount of stuff, so that when we arrive somewhere we don’t look like cammels. We also have a small separate bag for cosmetics.
- Because we always start our days with a fruit smoothie we also take a blender wherever we go. Yes, you don’t have to leave your morning routine behind and can, in fact, pack that with you as well. This is probably the most beautiful thing about road trips, you can take some routines with you.
What do you think of our list of travel hacks? Maybe you have something to add? Let us know in the comments below and we look forward to interacting with you!