There’s nothing like the call of the open road on a vacation. If you plan your routes right, the drive can even be a spectacular attraction in itself. But, before you wind down the windows, blast the loud pumping music and drive off into the horizon, remember that fortune favours the prepared and check off this list of essentials for your next road trip.

1. Sunscreen
You will most likely be hitting the road in the day and a sitting duck for the sun at its fiercest. Thus, follow that old adage of “always wear sunscreen”, and protect yourself from harmful UV rays and unfortunate tanning on the one side of your body facing the sun. In this same vein, avoid wearing dark/black clothing that absorb heat and leave you squirming uncomfortably in your seat. True story.

2. Data SIM Card or Wifi Routerdriving-navigation
Don’t pay a daily rental fee for the GPS! Instead, purchase a data SIM card for your mobile phone, or rent a Wifi router, and Google Map your way to the destination. Bonus: access to road trip games online and rockin’ tunes on Spotify. As long as the route was plotted in, the map works even in zones without network.

3. USB Mobile Phone Charger
General rule of thumb is that the light needs to be behind you in order to get the most flattering shine on your subject.

4. Compasscompass
While applications like Google Maps are largely reliable, technology is only as good as its master. Hence, a compass is always a good tool to double check the direction you are heading to in case you do face palm things like key in the wrong address. Again, true story.

5. Candy/Chewing Gumcandy-bag
Driving is tiring, and the novelty, music and sparkling conversation with your road trip buddies can only power you for so long before said buddies nod off one by one. It has been scientifically proven that chewing increases blood flow to the brain and boosts alertness, so take a leaf out of many a basketballer’s book and chew the heck out of that gum.

6. Cash for Toll Boothstoll-booths
Have notes and coins within easy reach for highways with toll booths. Even when credit cards are accepted, overseas ones are often not usable, and you don’t want to be that guy holding a snaking line up while you wait for assistance.

7. Driver’s Licence
Not all countries require an International Driver’s Licence so check with your rental company before you take the trouble to apply for one.

8. Emergency Telephone Numbers
Emergency telephone numbers are essential to have in case of any unforeseen incidents. You really don’t want to be stranded in the middle of a mountain pass with an emergency roadside telephone booth and no network to look up these numbers.