So you’ve got a long weekend ahead and you plan to make the most of it with your friends. After some intense discussions, syncing your schedules, and picking out the best out of all the possibilities, you’ve finally chosen what you’re going to do: you’re going on a road trip on the Oregon Coast!
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as filling up your gas tank, piling into your car, and heading off on the open road. The Oregon coast is a long one, and if you attempt to drive that long stretch of highway unprepared, your much-anticipated road trip is probably going to end up in disappointment. Nothing spoils a vacation faster than spending hours crammed inside a car filled with irritated and complaining people, and you wouldn’t want to sour your vacation before it even starts!
Here is a quick checklist that you can use to ensure that you have the best possible time while on your Oregon Coast road trip!
This should go without saying but leave as early as possible! Not only will you beat the traffic and get a head start on your vacation, but there’s something so refreshing and rejuvenating about feeling the early morning breeze whipping through your hair as you drive down the West Coast. What’s more, if you leave early, there will probably be fewer cars on the road, which means less smog and noise as well!
Make an Itinerary
If you’re with a group of people who thrive on the unexpected and love to take unplanned adventures, by all means just get on the road and see where it takes you! However, unless you’re with someone who has taken this road trip before, this will probably mean that you will end up missing a lot of great stops along the way, especially those “locals only” places that might not be obvious from the road.
Plan for Frequent Stops
Depending on your speed, the West Oregon coast drive can take up to several hours and you should take several breaks to stretch, recharge, and go to the bathroom. Rest stops are necessary to prevent lower back pain, stiffness, and numbness in the legs, and you will be able to focus better even after a quick rest stop.
Here are the important things to have in your car for ANY road trip:
- Updated license and registration (never, ever leave home without these in your glove box)
- A copy of your car’s insurance policy (you’ll never know if an accident will happen on the road. It’s best to be prepared)
- Your car’s user manual (always know how to tinker with your car)
- A spare tire in good condition (flats are always a possibility on the road; check the tire pressure!)
- Emergency kit
Small Yet Critical Accessories
These small things might escape your attention when you’re packing, but they’ll definitely make your trip a lot easier and smoother if you put them in your car for your road trip:
- Maps (both digital and paper, because you won’t always have a signal)
- Multiple sources of cash (paper money AND credit cards)
- Sprays (insect sprays and sunblock – because bug bites and sunburn are not fun)
- Toilet paper (roadside bathrooms aren’t always the most hygienic and cleanest of places)
For Connection and Entertainment
No matter how much you enjoy being with your friends, a road trip is always better when you have electronic devices on-hand, such as:
- Power banks (to charge all your devices)
- Power cords (neatly tied up and enough for everyone. No one likes to have to wait for their turn)
- A great playlist (no road trip is ever complete without the chance to belt out to your favorite tunes. Throw in a good audio book if you and your friends just want to relax and listen to a good story against the backdrop of the Oregon coast.)
- Pocket WiFi (how else will you share all these amazing views on your social media networks?)
For Comfort and Relaxation
A car full of happy and relaxed people equals an enjoyable road trip. A car full of cranky and uncomfortable people equals torture on wheels.
- Sunglasses (protection against the glare of the sun AND you look good)
- Travel pillow and blanket (naps are an essential part of a road trip, too)
- Reusable water bottles (always be refreshed and be eco-friendly at the same time)
- Hand sanitizer/alcohol spray (you’re going to be touching food, money, etc. You don’t want germs to be another passenger in your car)
- Snacks (fuel for the road and a way to keep chatty people quiet for a time)
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