So, how do we prepare for a road trip? Here are some of the things that we can't leave without.
1. WAZE or GPSI have been dependent on WAZE quite a lot when I'm travelling, even for short distance trips, as it gives first hand info about traffic conditions. This Apps is smart enough to direct us to detour to a less traveled route, through lots of shortcuts if it detects an accident or massive traffic jams ahead. However, signal could be weak at certain places, so it's better to be prepared with a GPS. Yes, in case we lost a signal, there's a backup to direct us to our destination. The only downside of GPS is that we have to update the maps or we'll end up going in a circle using a non-existent route. Yes, I have to keep reminding myself to remind hubby to send his GPS for updates before every road trip. Oh, and regardless of how techy all these seem to be nowadays, it's always safe to have a REAL map layout ready, just in case. We never know what could happen - battery running out, poor reception, or the gadgets suddenly go on strike and hang on us!
Well, we normally drive our own car, but just in case there's a need to take a flight instead, it's comforting to know that we can actually rent a car there from others. Turo came out with this brilliant idea by cutting out the middleman, so that standard cars are cheaper than car rental enterprises. It is certainly worth checking out, if their services are available at the places that you're planning to go.
2. IZUMIO = Water + First Aid Kit + OTC Medicines
How can we leave without our Hydrogen water supply? This not only serve as our handy 'water tumbler' due to its small size, but also as our first aid kit. During our last trip, when my toddler asked for a toilet break, and there's no toilet in sight, we stopped by an area which was quite rural. So she got an insect bite and had been scratching until it's red and swollen. Worried that it would get infected soon, I quickly poured some Izumio on her skin, and voila! The itch stopped right away. Ever since then, I would sprinkle the leftover Hydrogen water on her red skin and the swell subsided quite fast. Also, Izumio has helped keep fever at bay, or will come in handy in cases of food poisoning. You never know what bug you'll catch when travelling. Due to its multipurpose usage, Izumio tops my list of must-bring essentials.
3. SNACKSSome of my friends are surprised when I told them hubby does not allow food in his car. Well, even during our road trips, we keep it to a minimum. I would only select food that won't spill, or that won't leave too much crumbs. Good thing I managed to find some healthy organic snacks that fit my criteria easily. On another note, as I'm still breastfeeding my youngest girl, I MUST bring along my breastfeeding cover so that I can nurse her conveniently anywhere anytime. So it's always tucked inside my diaper bag.
4. BUGS REPELLENTThis is something that I often overlook. Especially if it's just a day trip and it's nowhere near the parks or nature. However, I learnt my lessons after a few incidents so this goes into my checklist as well. In fact, I bought a convenient roller type balm stick from Iherbs which is very gentle on the kids' skins and effective in keeping the mozzies at bay. Since it's so handy to bring along, I just tuck this into my diaper bag and it follows me everywhere.
5. SUNSCREENI don't normally bring a sunblock along unless we're heading for the beach or watersport activities. However, in our current weather nowadays, it's advisable to bring a sunblock along to protect your skin from the sun's damaging UV rays. During my recent trip to Dubai, I'm glad I brought it along with me as it's so sunny there. Save me from having sunburns and all.
6. LIPS BALMThis is a must bring along item for me and my kids especially when we're travelling. During normal times, we hardly need a lip balm. But when we're travelling, even if in the same country, I find that our lips are more chapped and dry. So to prevent that from happening, I'll apply this as a precaution to keep our lips moist all day.
7. ENTERTAINMENTHow would you keep yourself occupied on a road trip? Now that our handphones and iPads come with so many apps and games and songs, that's all we have to bring. Still, being a conservative mom, I don't prefer my kids to be glued to the screen whole day. So we'll come out with games ideas where they have to count the different types of vehicles that pass our view, or some simple brain-teasers and silly jokes. Since my girls love to sing, we entertain each other with our own version of 中国好声音 (Zhong guo hao sheng yin).
When I start a list, it will go on and on as I would want to have all areas covered. However, for now, I'll just stop at 7 Essentials, as 7 is a safe number, not too much, not too little. As long as we bring enough cash or credit cards, we're good to go. So are you ready for a road trip? Lets get going!