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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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