My Road Trip Hand Luggage Essentials & Some Other Little Bits of Advice

I am quite possibly the worst packer in history. I have been going back and forth to uni for three years now, and yet I’ll still pack an excessive amount of clothing for the number of days that I am going for, aswell as taking enough underwear to keep me going for a good month.
I find it extremely difficult to narrow down what I actually need and what I’d just like to be there ‘just in case’. Has the ‘just in case’ situation ever happened to me? No. But I’ll keep on packing those things anyway.

Each year my family goes on a UK trip, where for several hours in the car I have to keep myself alive, sane, occupied whilst being surrounded by my loud ass family. A mission indeed.
So, I thought I’d let you in on my hand luggage, in case you have a road trip coming up and may need a bit of help with what to pack to keep yourself occupied, or, like me, just to keep yourself sane.

1. iPad

My iPad is my baby, and it comes in handy in every situation that I need it to be in. Downloading apps such as BBC iplayer and 4OD are great for travelling. Before you head off on your trip, you are able to download programmes, and even sometimes feature films, which are stored onto the app and enable you to watch them offline. I always make a point of missing my favourite soap for a week (which is Hollyoaks by the way - trust me, it's not easy to miss out on), and maybe one or two programmes, so I have a good selection of programmes to watch on-the-go.
iPads are also great to play games on (although not Kim K whilst offline, boo hoo!), read books on,listen to music on, and also do some work on, if you're a motivated individual unlike myself. The Pages app is great for documents and note taking whilst your laptop is at home or in the boot of the car. And also, if you're into working on your ipad, these cases are a must have, they are great for things like train journeys too!

2. Camera
I take two cameras with me when I travel somewhere new - My DSLR and my small compact camera. I vary between using them both depending on what situation I am in. You probably won't need these during your car journey, but I keep them at my feet just for safe-keeping.

3. iPod
For when your Dad's in control of the radio and his music taste isn't quite up to date....

4. A toiletries bag
Okay, these are definitely one of those 'just in case' situation things - but you just never know!! Inside I include a travel toothbrush, mini toothpaste, roll-on deodrant (although those new compressed deodrants are also great for travelling with - and this one smells great), a hair scrunchie (these are great for car journeys too as leaning back with your hair in a stiff bobble just isn't comfy), a compact hairbrush, a spare pair of pants and a packet of tissues/baby wipes. The perfect refresh package.

5. Purse
Ensure you have everything that you need in it before you go. Bank cards, IDs, student cards (don't miss those potential discounts!) etc etc. And keep a bit of spare change in there in case you hit toll roads.

6. Snacks and a drink
Make sure you take a reasonably sized drink. Many times I have bought those 1 litre bottles of water, drank out of boredom, and soon after been busting for the toilet several miles away from a service station - if you have a smaller bottle you'll be more aware of how much you have left and won't drink it as fast. Trust me. Try not to take chocolate as a snack if it's going to be a hot day - putting your hand into your bag for your chocolate bar that you are super looking forward to, and picking up something that has turned squidgy in its packet is the saddest moment - pure disappointment.

And of course 7. Phone.

Other little bits of advice:

  • If you are taking your iPad, make sure it is well protected. I always have a smart case on it, but when I travel I put it in my Cath Kidston zip case, which is well padded but allows my iPad, with its smart case still on, to fit in nicely.
  • Make sure every gadget you take is fully charged. You don't want to be half an hour into your journey and your things already start dying on you. 
  • Remember to pack your chargers before you leave (I am very guilty of leaving my phone charger behind numerous times and having to buy new ones - oops)
  • Despite them being your friends/family, smelly crisps or sandwiches will never be okay in enclosed spaces.
  • If you must take your shoes off, make sure you have a pair of socks on/pack some socks in your bag. I have been in the situation including smelly feet,and let me tell you, it is gross! Don't be that person.
  • If you are a car napper, take a pillow in with you (A Pillow Pet is great for this - I have a lion and I love it), it's better for your neck (and your dignity).
  • If you're a gamer, a Nintendo DS is a great journey companion - but game sounds are annoying, so make sure you use headphones if you must use noise.
So, I hope this has helped at least somebody out there, and if it has, I hope that you have a great and entertaining journey!

Is anybody going on a road trip anytime soon or has already been on one? Leave your little words of wisdom below! You could be helping me out here too!

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