Road tripping is a fun and adventurous way to spend a portion of the summer, offering the chance to see hidden gems all around the country. With things around Ohio beginning to open back up after shut-downs due to COVID-19, families around Columbus might be considering planning a trip before the fall.


Most will remember the basics: smartphone, snacks, a pillow, etc. There are several other things we recommend packing for the ultimate road trip survival kit. Take a look at the following checklist to help you pack.


The Essentials


There are a few obvious items you should never hit the open road without. These essentials include:

?      License and registration

?      A copy of your car insurance policy

?      Your car’s manual

?      Spare tire - Check to make sure it is in good condition first.

?      Roadside Emergency Kit - pack a flashlight, batteries, jumper cables, antifreeze, a tire inflator, an umbrella, etc.


Items to Help Make your Road Trip a Breeze


Beyond the obvious essentials, there are a number of items that will help make extended time in the car easier, safer, and more comfortable. Some things you might want to add to your packing list include:

?      GPS, a smartphone map app, or in-vehicle navigation

?      Paper map - never a bad idea to have one on hand in case your devices fail

?      Easy, mess-free snacks - choose something that is easy to snack on and can sit in the car for an extended period of time without melting or creating a strong odor

?      Cooler - food options can be limited, so bringing a cooler with a supply of healthier snacks and drinks will be helpful during the ride

?      Non-emergency car kit - trash bags, tissues, napkins, cleaning wipes, hand sanitizer, toiletries, and a laundry bag can go a long way for roadside meal stops and overnights

?      Medications - bring pain relievers, allergy medication, and any prescription medications you or your family members will need on the trip

?      An itinerary - some might like to plan out their stops at restaurants to make sure they stay on track with mealtimes

?      A playlist - an upbeat playlist full of good tunes is key to any road trip

?      Sun protection - whether you are staying in the car or planning to stop and stretch your legs to see the sights, sunscreen sunglasses, and sun protection is a must

?      Books or magazines - bring along a great read, audiobook, or magazine to help pass the time

?      Portable chargers - losing charge on a phone can cause issues whether you are using it for entertainment or relying on it as your GPS

?      Air mattress - if this road trip includes camping or staying with friends, a reliable and comfortable air mattress will go along way and folds down easily to pack away in your vehicle

?      Travel neck pillow - choosing an ergonomic travel neck pillow will help passengers spend hours in the car feeling relaxed and supported

?      First aid kit - it is always a good idea to keep a basic first aid kit on hand in case of aches, pains, or scrapes

?      Tide to Go - handle the inevitable in-car spills quickly with a Tide to Go pen

?      Seat organizer - keeping tissues, books, and hand wipes organized and easily accessible could make a big difference in a full vehicle

?      Road Trip Travel Insurance - it might be a good idea to consider travel insurance if you are taking a trip more than 100 miles from your home in Columbus

?      Tire-pressure gauge - this is a must-have for the road to ensure your tires are good to go after long stretches or rougher roads


Midwest Road Trip Ideas from Columbus, Ohio


Are you still figuring out what your Point B should be on your summer road trip? Take a look at these 5 popular midwest destinations all situated less than 10 hours from Columbus!


Decatur, Illinois - Just about five hours away, this spot offers plenty of swimming, boating, or fishing on Lake Decatur and the Sangamon River. Other popular spots here include the Chevrolet Hall of Fame Museum and the Scovill Zoo.


Smithfield, Virginia - This offers a scenic drive through the Appalachian Mountains to a town resting along the Pagan River. This 9-hour trip makes a great option for those who enjoy history and are interested in learning about one of the country’s oldest cities.


Gatlinburg, Tennessee - A popular spot for lovers of the great outdoors, this mountain resort city sits on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and offers hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities.


Harvard, Illinois - Called the Milk Capital of the World, this spot 7 hours from Columbus offers more than just milk. Visitors enjoy craft drinks at popular distilleries and the chance to pick apples at Royal Oak Farm Orchard.


Galena, Illinois - This spot is an 8-hour drive and offers plenty for the history buffs in your family. Galena was home to Ulysses S. Grant, Civil War Lieutenant General and eventual President of the United States. You can visit his restored former home that includes original furniture and belongings. Other than history, the town offers a popular distillery and the chance to enjoy views of the Mississippi River at Casper Bluff.


Schedule Vehicle Maintenance or Service before You Set Off


Now that you have a destination all picked out and a helpful packing checklist full of necessities and helpful items, it is time to consider what else you need to get done before hitting the open road. It is a bad idea to take extended trips if your brake pads are worn, tires need balancing, or your oil is due for a change. Even if you think things are in good shape, it might be smart to have a trusted service technician take a look. Our team in Columbus can inspect your vehicle, ensuring fluids are topped off and everything is in working order for a trip across the state or even the country!


Visit Byers Imports today for all of your automotive needs. We are conveniently located on the borders of Blacklick, Gahanna, New Albany, and Reynoldsburg.

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