How to Pack for a Road Trip

How to Pack for a Road TripAs a driver in a four-season state, you are well aware that you have to be prepared for Mother Nature’s wrath at all times.  Surely there was enough of that fury the past two Winters in New Jersey, when snow and ice entered the equation in early November.  If your folks didn’t counsel you about what emergency gear to carry in the car when you bought your first vehicle, a handy list of items is listed below.  Make sure you have them with you at all times, whether it is day-to-day driving or a road trip.

Don’t let a road trip be daunting

Above all, when renting a car, don’t forget the transfer your emergency items from your car to the rental car!  Of course if you keep your vehicle’s insurance, registration and your driver’s license in the car, as opposed to your wallet, make sure to grab that first, as well as your motor club card so you are covered for any vehicle emergencies.  Most motor clubs permit using the card for other vehicles besides your own.  While you’re transferring those cards to your wallet or purse, make sure to take some cold hard cash with you as well.  You never know where you might develop car woes, and, if it is in a small town, some car repair places do not take personal checks and not all repair shops, will take debit cards or certain credit cards (like American Express), so always ensure you have some cash on hand.

Before the first frost hits, be sure to put your ice scraper, snow brush and a child-sized snow shovel in the back of your car.  It’s always a good idea to carry along a small can of lock de-icer, kept separately in a purse or a bag, if traveling in cold or snowy weather.

You can purchase ready-made auto emergency kits, but it is just as easy to get a tote box or duffel bag and store all your gear in one place.  Your emergency kit should include a variety of items at all times, but in the Winter you should ensure you carry a large warm blanket, extra woolen items (such as gloves or mittens, a hat, scarf and extra socks) to keep you warm in case you are stranded for a long period of time.  These woolen items are designed to keep your extremities warm, but you can also get added protection against the cold, by purchasing portable hand and foot warmers and/or an emergency Mylar emergency blanket at a local sporting goods store to have in your emergency kit.  A cheap plastic rain suit is also handy to keep your clothes dry should you need to exit the vehicle.

If thinking about potential disasters seems to be the theme here, well… it is supposed to sound like that.  As a driver, you must be proactive to ensure you and your vehicle are protected no matter what transpires over the course of your road trip.

You might recall the story that made the rounds on the internet last Winter when a pair of sisters who were traveling together were lost for two weeks after their vehicle got stuck on an unplowed and seldom-used road in a remote area of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  They survived on snacks like Girl Scout cookies and a bag of cheese puffs washed down with melting snow.  A few granola bars or high-energy protein bars are a good idea to keep in your vehicle at all times to give you sustenance and it is always wise to bring along some bottled water with your gear.  When the colder temps would freeze that bottled water making it undrinkable, always make sure you have a clean bottle or some type of vessel to melt snow to use as drinking water in an emergency.

Now that you’ve taken care of your personal comfort, you should take care of the car’s needs as well.  Before a road trip, while fueling up, wash and squeegee those car windows to ensure you get a good view of what is going on around you.  Check your oil and check your windshield washer fluid.  Stick a roll of paper towels and another gallon of washer fluid if you have the room for it into the car.  A set of jumper cables to fix a dead battery is a great idea but if you’re stranded and no one is around, it is pretty handy to have a portable battery jumper on hand.  Be knowledgeable about your spare tire, and tire jack should you need it.

You should compile some smaller necessities in a fisherman’s tackle box.  Be sure to put in a flashlight and some extra batteries.  A Swiss army knife, tire gauge, wrench, pliers and a pair of screwdrivers (Phillips head and slotted) could come in handy, as will a pair of heavy outdoor gloves in case you get a flat tire.  A pair of rubber gloves are also handy, as is a rubber mallet, not as a weapon to hit someone on the head with, but, it is handy to have in case you lock bumpers with another car, i.e. a minor fender bender or bumper crunch, not needing the appearance of a wrecker to the scene.  You merely bump the metal out and be on you way, that is… after the necessary groans and auto paperwork are exchanged.  A sign that says “emergency” can be purchased in an auto supply store and you should put it into your back window.  Likewise a white handkerchief tied onto your open car trunk will do the same trick, or, simply keep some flares so that they are at the ready should you need them.

You got this

Now you’re ready to roll… you’ve got all your bases covered, and you’re prepared, just like a Boy Scout.  So grab your sunglasses and your camera and get ready to enjoy your road trip.  Whether you prefer the old-fashioned means of navigation, i.e. a map, you use directions from Google Maps, or rely on a GPS device, they all will serve to get you to your destination.  Do consider having printed-out directions or keeping a paper map on hand in case of internet connection failure.

Now to be extra safe, no matter how many precautions you’ve taken as listed above, do yourself one more favor and listen to what Mom said and don’t pick up any hitchhikers.

Most Popular Wearable Tech For A Bike Tour

Smith Overtake HelmetEvery single year around June, 30 or so bike manufactures gather in Utah to reveal their most high tech and compelling bike products for the upcoming year.  This is a great way to get an idea of what is popular for that year, what’s trending and what people are buying the most of when it comes to wearable tech for bike riders.  If you love technology and you want to include that into your custom bike tour, get ready for some cool products below.  They include everything from wearable tech helmets, Fabric ALM Saddle, BKool Connect Sport Trainer and more.  So exciting!  Check these and much more out below.  Remember, these are all of the popular items for 2015! Continue reading “Most Popular Wearable Tech For A Bike Tour”

What to Pack for a Bike Tour

Pack for a Bike TourWhen it comes to any type of a vacation or getaway, there are certain things you want to pack.  But, in the case of bike tours, it’s less about swimming suits and surfboards and more along the lines of gear and types of clothing you should be packing.  If you have never been on bike tours before and you want to be ahead of the game, this list is a great place to start because it’s a checklist of sorts that talks to you about different locations and what types of gear you might consider taking with you on your scenic trip – long or short.  Be sure to read all of the tips below so you can pack accordingly.  By the way, your list may vary depending on if you are doing this solo – without a support van or with a support van.  For this list we have compiled a checklist for solo trips – without support vans.  Continue reading “What to Pack for a Bike Tour”

Bike Tour Destinations in North America

Bike Tour Destinations in North AmericaBike tours are one of those things that you either love or you hate.  It has a lot to do with riding your bike, yes, but it also has to do with so much more than that.  If you love scenic routes, enjoying fresh mountain air, or you just enjoy seeing how the other part of the world lives, you definitely need to check out bike tours around the world, in this case the United States.  North America is not France or Italy, by any means, but we still do have some amazing landscape, history and cultural experiences that anyone would be happy to join in on.  More than that if you love places like France and Italy, you might find that certain North American locations like California or Oregon have all the same dishes you love, but in a more English friendly locale.  If you want to take a look at some of the Top bike tours in North America as far as bike tours around the world are considered, continue reading below for more. Continue reading “Bike Tour Destinations in North America”

Bike Tour Destinations in Europe

Bike Tour Destinations in EuropeEurope is one of those places where you could visit a location a day and die without ever seeing the rest of it.  There are so many destinations that it’s hard to choose which places to visit, but if you like cycling and you love Europe, you might consider a few of the top locations for bike tours around the world, specifically in Europe.  In this list for the best bike tours around the world, we will be including Croatia, Switzerland, and Czech, Austria.  Each bike tour has its own prices and accommodations as well as the amount of miles you will have to bike each day, so be sure to read the entire description and make sure this is a trip that you not only can do, but want to do as well.  Continue reading “Bike Tour Destinations in Europe”

Bike Tour Trends

Bike Tour TrendsA custom bike tour is a great way to transform the way you see a specific destination – it could even be a place you’ve traveled to before.  Seeing a destination on a bike rather than a car, just gives you that extra little nudge to notice things you might not have noticed before; the way the trees look in that specific season, the way the road bends, how the sun glints off the water, or the scent of local trees.  These might not be things you ever noticed before in a car, but you can be sure that they will be things you can and will notice on a bike.  A lot of the bike tours around the world offer an option where they take care of everything under the sun including lodging and food, but they all offer different types of support from a guided tour with an experienced guide, a self-supported tour without a guide and a solo ride where you take care of everything yourself.  No matter which option you choose, you might be looking into bike tour trends – where to go for the best routes, the best scenery or the best landmarks.  Below you will find a few options for the most popular locations.  These are worldwide locations by the way so you may need to do some additional traveling or rent bikes along the way. Continue reading “Bike Tour Trends”