These people live in vans: here’s their road trip essentials list
With Memorial Day weekend over, it’s the perfect time for a road trip.
Fox News Digital previously spoke to several people who live in remodeled vans and travel around the country about their essential travel items and tips, which are perfect for the unofficial first weekend of summer.
Jasmine Wilson moved into her fully renovated van on December 1, 2020, with her dog Ice, and her goal is to visit every national park in the US. As of this past fall, she and Ice have visited about 15 national parks.
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Wilson told Fox News Digital that his best advice for people taking road trips is to be aware of their surroundings and enjoy the experience, adding that he “try to live more in the moment.”
He also advised travelers to be prepared. He prioritized safety items and snacks so he didn’t have to stop.
“It’s better to have more than you need than not enough,” says Wilson. “I feel like there’s a limit to where you overpack, but it’s always better to be more prepared.”
He added: “I never let my gas go less than half because… you never know when you’re going to see another one [gas station].”
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Meanwhile, Will and Kristin Watson – along with their daughter Roam, 3, and their pitbull Rush – have been traveling on the renovated bus since April 2019.
Kristin tells Fox News Digital that the most important part of a road trip is the plan – and the hope that things will change.
“They said it wasn’t an adventure until things started to go wrong,” Kristin told Fox.
“We choose a destination and then go with the flow,” he added. “That’s how we achieve our goal. Because you can find a lot of cool things along the way that you might not have known about.”
Meanwhile, Will says road trips are all about enjoying the “little things along the way”.
“It’s the little stops and the little memories and the little things you can do along the way to the big destination that make the journey that much better,” says Will.
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Here are some “essential” items for road trips, according to Wilson and Watsons.
Snacks and water
Both Wilson and Watsons say they always have snacks with them.
“Snacks are a must have,” says Kristin.
Watsons says they usually stock sweet oranges because they don’t need refrigeration and are healthy. They also recommend that water is always available.
“When you change altitude or elevation, it’s a good idea to keep drinking water and stay hydrated,” says Will.
Kristin specifically recommends a water bottle that has a filter built in, so it’s easier to get water from any sink.
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Wilson says one of his favorite items in his van is a cooler. Specifically, Wilson has an Icybreeze cooler, which doubles as an air conditioner. The cooler runs on batteries and has a vent, which blows out cold air. Wilson said his dog Ice liked him.
“My dog literally just sits in front of it and stays quiet all day,” says Wilson.
At the top of Watsons essentials list is roadside assistance, in case of an emergency such as a flat tire or running out of gas.
Kristin says: “It’s just a great layer of protection to have and you can get it for your RV or car.”
As someone who travels alone, Wilson says having items for both self-protection — like a spray mace — and emergency situations — like multitools — is key.
“The two main things are being aware of your surroundings and having safety things within reach,” says Wilson.
Watsons told Fox News Digital that they use the Roadtrippers app to help them plan trips. Kristin says they usually choose “final destination” and the app will help them find other fun and interesting things to do along the way – and it tells them how long they have to drive to get there.
Watsons also recommends providing entertainment for both adults and children. Kristin says she and Will listen to a great audiobook, podcast, or playlist while they drive.
Meanwhile, they have toys for Roam to play with before they start reading him books or giving him coloring books.
“As a last resort, he has an iPad and we’ll let him watch if he gets too fussy and nothing else works,” Kristin said.
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Mirror dash cam
Since Wilson’s van did not have a rear window or mirror, Wilson purchased a rearview mirror dash cam, which can also serve as a backup camera for cars that do not have this function.
“This is very important,” said Wilson.