People who live full-time on the road shared their road-trip essentials.
They said you should bring a water bottle, a heater, and a vacuum.
For safety, they also recommend bringing a flashlight, a pocket knife, and a reliable phone.
For starters, you should purchase a reusable water bottle that is both large and made of stainless steel.
"I say big because if you don't have a place to refill it, a larger size one keeps you going longer," Watson told Insider. "Stainless steel because it's durable, and I hate the taste of water from a plastic container. I did glass for a bit but stopped after the second time I smashed it in my backpack falling off my bike."
If you're camping or spending the night in your car during your trip, you should bring a portable heater.
"A definite must is some sort of heating source," Shane Dennis, who has lived in his converted camper for two years, said. "Even if you're going into the desert, nights can be pretty brutal."
He recommends the Buddy Heater, which he describes as "the most popular portable heating system."
To make sure your vehicle stays clean, consider bringing a handheld vacuum.
Dennis said you could even use a small leaf blower to clean out a vehicle. In fact, he uses a 12-volt DeWalt blower.
"It's small in size and can be charged using the 12-volt outlets," he said. "[It] makes cleaning the area easy. You just open the doors and blow. Works awesome for dog and cat [hair] as well."
Bring food that helps you refuel and feel energized.
Road-tripping can get exhausting and tedious fast. To help keep you energized and alert on the road, Watson stressed the importance of keeping great snacks around. He said he usually goes for trail mix or granola bars, but he also enjoys bringing along guilty pleasures like Kit Kats and a family-size bag of sour cream-and-onion chips.
"I've made some epic drives in my time and couldn't have kept going if it wasn't for my favorite munchies," he said.
To stay entertained on the road, bring along games, music, podcasts, friends, or even pets.
Road-tripping can get long and lonely. Watson recommends bringing along your favorite audiobook or podcast to listen to while you drive. He also said bringing a friend can help, too.
Together, you can play with a portable board game, a deck of cards, or a game set — all of which can help pass the time while in traffic or when camping.
While bringing a phone on your road trip may seem obvious, you should bring one with a great data plan so you can access road-trip apps.
While on the road, a phone is incredibly helpful, according to Watson. For starters, it acts as a great form of entertainment when you're parked. You can access streaming platforms and e-books.
But Watson said it's even more important for the GPS.
"You gotta know how to get where you're going, and unless you stole your dad's paper map from his glove box, this is your lifeline," he said. "By the way, if you decide to go old school with dad's map be aware there are no blue lines guiding your way, nor a woman shouting at you when you're going the wrong way, so good luck ya crazy pirate!"
Plus, there are road-tripping apps you can download to make your journey easier. For example, Waze helps cut out traffic, Roadtrippers helps plan out routes, GasBuddy helps you save on gas, and Roadside America identifies attractions along your route.
For safety, you should bring a flashlight, especially if you're camping or sleeping in your car.
Dennis said not only should you have a flashlight but also a strobe light. If you're in a dangerous situation, a strobe light allows you to see the person or animal, but it's difficult for them to see you.
Additionally, a flashlight will help you see into the engine of your vehicle if it breaks down.
While a pocket knife is also great for safety on the road, it has many practical uses, too.
"I use my knife for practically everything — from building to cooking. It's super versatile," Dennis said. "I would recommend a small knife you could hold in your hand and hide easily. A small hatchet for chopping small pieces of wood for a fire is always a great tool to have as well."
Read the original article on Insider