Going out for a day trip is one of the best parts of the summer. However, you can’t just hop into the car and drive off into the sunset. Well, you could, but that could lead to a few problems for you down the road. No, instead, you’re going to want to prepare yourself by packing a few day trip essentials that will save you as many grievances down the line as possible without weighing yourself down too much with all kinds of stuff. It’s a tricky balance to strike, but that’s what this list is for! Here are twenty-one things that are a must-have when packing for your day trip.
1. Baby Wipes
This might seem a bit odd to have baby wipes on a list for day trip essentials, but I promise you that these will be a godsend. You will be amazed by how it feels to wipe down your arms after a long hike and smell fresher than a rose. They’re even useful on the beach. Seriously you’re going to want to take these with you.
This one seems like a no brainer when it comes to day trip essentials, not only is Chapstick fantastic for a whole slew of reasons to bring with you, but it’s also just beautiful to have on hand in general. Besides, having chapped lips is always uncomfortable, especially in a new place.
Although not for the vegan in your life, jerky is one of the best things to take with you on a long day trip. Either it’s on a hike, camping, going to the beach, or just going out for a long drive, Jerky is one of the best things that you can take to prepare with you on a long journey ahead of you.
4. Power Bars
Much like jerky, but a bit more of a vegan-friendly option, and arguably much lower in sodium. These things are great for an on the go meal or if you need a little bit more of a pick me up as you drive to where you want to go. Not to mention that they come in a variety of different flavors so you can pick whichever one appeals most to you.
5. Water Bottle
Water is the source of all life on earth, and you do not want to be caught without it. Even if you don’t think you’ll need any water, it’ll be good to have a spare one on hand sitting in your car. Bonus points if you get a super-insulated water bottle so you can keep a bit of ice in it, making it as cooling and refreshing as possible.
6. Extra Charger
I can guarantee that every worst-case scenario you can think of involves having a dead phone while being stranded in the middle of nowhere. And for a good reason! If anything were to go wrong, you’re going to want to have something that you can use to call for help, so don’t be caught with a dead phone at the start of your horror movie. Instead, bring an extra charger, so that never happens.
Nothing is worse than having a great day outside on the beach or in the outdoors, and the next day you find out that you have second degree burns all over yourself. Sunscreen is one of the most crucial day trip essentials that you can get for yourself. Not just to make your skin get nice and tan, but also to protect yourself.
8. Bug Spray
Second to sunscreen, another must-have on the list of day trip essentials is bug spray. Because as much as we love being at one with nature and getting that good fresh air, no one likes being nibbled on and being covered with itchy lumpy bumps all over yourself. Save yourself a trip to the doctor’s later and wear your bug spray.
Band-aids are another thing among your many day trip essentials that you don’t ever need until you truly desperately need one. You don’t need a whole slew of first aid kits, but a good-sized emergency just in case pack or ziplock back that you can carry around with you in case will always be a good idea.
10. Wallet Strap
This is certainly something that I’ve found myself thankful for multiple times. The premise is simple: get yourself a small strap or cord that attaches to your wallet and then connect that somehow to either a belt loop or the inside of your pocket. Not only will this dissuade pick-pockets from reaching into your purse, but it will also prevent you from dropping your wallet anywhere without noticing.
11. Extra Shoes
Another thing that you won’t need until it’s immediate is an extra pair of shoes. Shoes are one of the most useful pieces of wardrobe that has much more utility than many people realize until they don’t have them anymore.
It’s not very fun getting lost, so why even take that risk? Aside from having a picture on your phone, also bring a physical map of the area that you will be in just in case. Not only will this help you get to where you need to go, but it will also serve as an essential tool for if you manage to get yourself lost.
13. Pocket Knife
Even if it’s cutting off a few vines that are in your way, getting rid of some twine that managed to get wrapped around your food in the surf, or just opening up some difficult packaging so you can have a snack, having a small knife on you is never a bad idea when going out and about for a day trip.
The weather is an unpredictable thing, whether we like to acknowledge this fact or not. Not every forecast the weatherman gives you is going to be accurate every day. So as another part of your day trip essentials, you’re going to want to bring a jacket with you just in case.
This is a bit of an extra among your day trip essentials, but I know from personal experience that music does make the journey a lot more enjoyable. So if you have the chance to pick up a speaker or some cheap headphones, take them along with you on your journey. Enjoy the sounds of nature, and your favorite artist at the same time to get the best of both worlds.
16. Extra Clothes
This is another one of those day trip essentials, which you won’t need them until you hands-down must have them. You never know when a wardrobe malfunction will happen, whether that’s tearing your pants, getting dragged through the mud, or even just getting caught out in the rain, taking an extra pair of clothes with you to help you feel clean is an automatic mood lifter.
17. Stashed Cash
Sure, a wallet is great to have, but when push comes to shove, you’re going to want your money to be spread out among your personal belongings. That way, if anything happens, you’ll still be able to do something and get yourself home. A handy place that you can stash a couple of bills I’ve found is inside one of your socks or with a ver handy cash stashing keychain.
This is something that everyone should know is a requirement when gathering together your day trip essentials, but even so, don’t forget to bring some form of ID on you. Whether it’s because you need to pick up an extra six-pack, or because you get lost, you’re going to want to make sure you have your ID with you. Especially important is that you have somewhere to put your ID in the first place.
A flashlight is a great thing to have on your when packing for your day trip essentials, not only because it can help you save battery on your phone, but it’s just useful to see what you’re doing in general. So bring one just in case it gets dark out before you anticipated.
20. Trash Bag
This is more a courtesy among day trip essentials, but when you go out, be sure to take all the trash you made back with you so that it doesn’t get left behind. You always want to leave the place you find better than when you found it so that the next people who come by can enjoy it just as much as you did.
A paramount among day trip essentials is a lighter of some kind. It doesn’t need to be super fancy or anything. Just be sure to bring a lighter with you. You never know when you’re going to need to cook something. Besides, it’s always nice to shed a little light on this if all else fails.