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10 essential things to take on a road trip

10 essential things to take on a road trip

Where would you go on your perfect road trip? Would you travel down Road 66 in the USA, or would you go through Europe? Would it be a long trip with sights along the way, or a short trip to visit somewhere closer to home?

Wherever you decide to go on your road trip, by making sure you plan your route before hand and pack everything you need, you can focus on enjoying your trip and exploring the world.

If you are getting ready to go, here are ten essential things you must take on a road trip.

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1. Bottles of water

Water is probably the most essential thing to bring on a road trip. You will be driving for long stretches of time and it’s important to keep hydrated. Pack a number of bottles and make sure you keep topping up your supply along the way.

2. Maps

Maps made out of paper, that is. You can’t rely on your phone or sat nav to be charged the whole trip, and you can almost guarantee at some point your electronic map device will not work. Having real maps at hand will mean that you won’t get lost (well, you’re less likely to get lost), and you don’t have to waste time waiting around for your mobile phone to charge. Speaking of which…

3. A USB car charger

If you have a lot of electrical equipment, or you want to use your phone on your trip (to capture all of those memories with, and to update Instagram, obviously), you’ll need a USB car charger. Better yet, get a charger with two ports so you don’t have to argue over who gets to charge theirs first!

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4. Plenty of CDs

Make a bunch of CDs so you have some playlists for your trip. Brining CDs might seem old fashioned but mobile phone batteries and mp3 players run out fast and there’s nothing worse than a long car journey without any music. Plus, if you stick to playing your CDs, then those songs will become synonymous with your trip, and will bring back wonderful memories when you hear them off-hand in a coffee shop or on the radio in the future. Music is a powerful way of creating memories that never leave us.

5. Snacks and food

You’ll need a lot of snacks and food for long trips, to keep costs down and avoid the temptation to stop at every fast food outlet! Bring easy to eat snacks like crisps, breakfast bars, fruit and sandwiches to keep you and your passengers satisfied. There are a number of benefits to packing your own food, even if it takes up more room, as you can control the nutritional value of the food you consume and you are flexible to eat whenever you wish. Relying on the food supplied by roadside cafes means you’ll be stuck with greasy fast food and unhealthy snacks.

6. First aid kit and emergency supplies

Packing a first aid kit and emergency supplies could be one of the most important things you do in preparation for your road trip. Depending on the road you are travelling on, if there is an accident or someone falls ill, it may be a long time until you can reach help. Therefore it’s essential to pack pain killers, bandages, scissors and plasters in the event of an incident.

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In the case of a breakdown, an emergency kit including a warning triangle, warm clothes, a torch, a spare mobile phone and some comfortable shoes will keep you protected as you wait for help.

7. A shoe organiser

Yes a shoe organiser, but not for your shoes! Hang it on the back of one of the seats and fill it with snacks, books, toiletries, electronic equipment and a bottle of water. If you have children, this is a great way of keeping everything in place for them to keep them entertained while keeping the car clean.

8. A car box

Car boxes are a handy way of creating more storage space, enabling you to bring more on your trip and saving room in the boot. Car Accessories Plus has written a handy guide to roof box compatibility so you can choose the right one for your vehicle.

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9. A spare car key

You never know when you might accidentally lock yourself out of the car…

10. A great friend

A road trip is always much better with a companion, whether it be a partner, family member or best friend.

Think of all the great road trip movies; Thelma and LouiseLittle Miss Sunshine and Road Trip. They are all about a group of people experiencing the road together; it wouldn’t be the same alone.

Have a great trip!

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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