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For some people, relaxing on a sunny beach with a cold beer is the best way to spend their holidays. However, this isn’t the case for an increasing number of holiday makers who are in search of excitement and adventure.

This has resulted in road trips becoming an increasingly fashionable holiday choice; popularized by television programs such as Ewan McGregor’s ‘Long Way Round’ and films like Robert Downey Jr’s ‘Due Date’.

However, as proven by both McGregor and Downey Jr; things never go completely to plan when you are facing the unknown. It is therefore essential that you are prepared for every eventuality before setting off on your journey.

Let’s look at the five essential items needed on any holiday road trip:

5. Breakdown cover

The UK’s largest breakdown cover provider the AA reports that its roadside fleet attends to a different breakdown every nine seconds. It is therefore essential to make sure that you are covered for such eventualities by purchasing a breakdown cover package which can be bought for as little as £28.50 according to price comparison company Money Supermarket.

This is particular important when you are traveling in a foreign country where you may not be fluent in the local language; making arranging for repairs and even transportation to the nearest garage incredibly difficult.

However, not all breakdown cover packages will cover for this eventuality. If you are planning on taking your vehicle on a road trip into a foreign land, it is therefore essential that you find a policy that ensures protection in different countries. You should also check on the number of days you will be covered for travel outside of your native country. It will cost a little bit more for this added level of protection, but there is no doubt that you would consider it worthwhile if the worst case scenario occurs.

4. Car insurance

Most people mistaken assume that all car insurance policies will cover them in both a variety of countries and in a variety of different vehicles. On the back of the credit crunch and the subsequent increase in the number of fraudulent insurance claims being made by consumers, insurance companies have been forced to tighten their belts; ensuring that this is no longer the case.

It is therefore essential to make sure that your insurance policy guarantees that you will be covered for international travel in your particular vehicle. Failure to ensure this will not only result in your not being financially covered if an accident occurs; but also means that you would be breaking the law.

Remember that if something isn’t mentioned on policy documents; then it probably isn’t included. If you are unsure whether or not you have the required level of protection; then phone up your insurer to make sure.

3. Mobile Phones


The most comprehensive breakdown cover package available to man would be useless unless you had a means through which to contact your breakdown cover provider when a failure occurs. It is therefore vital that you have a good quality mobile phone which is covered by a network which permits international calling.

Of course it isn’t just car failures that could prompt emergency phone calls; with medical emergencies also a possibility.

You must also remember to bring a phone charger along with you on your travels that is compatible with the wall sockets used in other countries.

2. Wheel repairs or replacement

Punctures are responsible for 1/5th of the total number of breakdown call outs received by Green Flag every single year. Even with a comprehensive breakdown cover policy covering you; it is still a wise move to make sure that you are prepared for this inevitability with either a spare wheel or a puncture repair kit; or preferably both.

Punctures will be an even greater possibility if you are planning on traveling in countries with poor road surfacing and an inadequate a relative lack of garages to conduct the necessary repairs or replace damaged tires.  Having a spare tire or puncture repair kit will therefore potentially help you avoid unfortunate time delays and inconveniences.

1. First aid kit

It isn’t just your car that can be on the receiving end of the odd scratch or bump, and you should therefore prepare for any injuries that you may sustain on your travels. Bandages, plasters and anti-septic creams are all essential items for road trippers.

You may also need to consider insect repellents if you are traveling in countries where this may become a problem; and last but not least, do not forget to take any prescribed medications along with you on the trip.

What’s on your road trip list?

Please share in the comments below!