So, you want the freedom of the open road, with nowhere to go but onward.
But what the heck do you need to pack?
Berty and I always find ourselves on the road (our Instagram pretty much consists of road trip pictures!), so we created a list of road trip essentials to minimize stops, keep us entertained and save us money along the way.
If you are in the beginning stages (or dreaming up your next destination!) this post provides a great list to get you started, along with other road trip tips along the way!
Planning A Trip?
Make Sure To Read These Posts For More Road Trip Essentials:
30 Necessary Road Trip Essentials You Must Be Packing
Note: This post contains affiliate links of seriously cool items we love. Any purchase of things we recommend here will help us fund our next epic road trip to share with you all!
This is essential if you want to save money while you travel. Make sure to bring a good mix of healthy foods like baby carrots, apples, nuts, and crackers.
Bring a mix of sweet and salty things, but also indulge in some junk food as well. Need meal tips? Read our post full of easy camping meals.
2. Garbage Bags
Useful for regular trash and surprise cleanups too. Pack more than a few! Bonus if they smell nice!
If you are under the weather, this can save your other car mates from getting sick too.
Sometimes air conditioners can dry out the inside of the car. Bring chapstick to help alleviate that!
6. Car games/cards for delays or waits
If you are waiting, say, for a ferry or a traffic issue to clear, it’s always nice to fall back on classic card games (just not the driver!) or classic road trip questions to keep spirits up and your mind off the delays!
Sitting in the car for long periods of time can take a toll. Pack extra for some headache relief.
Driving into the sunset can seem romantic, but not when you’re staring straight into the bright lights for hours on end. Save your vision and protect your eyes with these road trip must haves!
9. Car Chargers
Berty and I have loads of tech we use on a regular basis. To make sure our batteries are charged we have a car adapter to use when we’re driving from place to place.
For me, I like to take off my shoes and get comfy on long road trips.
For those times when it’s not your turn to drive. A pillow is also useful for those times where you need some quick shut-eye at those rest stops to regain your energy and stay alert on the road.
For when you don’t want to talk to your car mates anymore. These noise-canceling ones are a little pricey, but worth every penny for peace and quiet.
Make sure to pack enough for each day you will be gone. On any given trip, we recommend no more than 3 pairs of shoes and always pack more socks and underwear than you need. Find our PNW Packing List here!
Stylish and functional, make sure you have something to cover your eyes and protect your skin on an extra sunny day.
15. Audio Choices
Music is one of the most important road trip necessities. Download playlists on Spotify and update them frequently. Download your favorite audiobooks too so that you can “read” while you drive or listen to podcasts from your favorite series. Make sure you have lots of options!
16. Little Bluetooth Speakers
Helpful in case you reach certain areas with poor reception, but still want to listen to music. We own this one!
17. Cozy Blanket
Whether it’s cold at your destination or the air conditioning is too much to handle, a blanket is an easy go-to comfort on a long drive. You can also use it as a privacy screen if you are sleeping in your car.
It’s okay to have your favorite indulgences in the car. That little burst of sugar will give you energy for the long drive ahead.
Studies show that chewing gum can help you concentrate on the task in front of you. So grab your favorite flavor and get driving!
20. Paper directions/screenshots on your phone
Berty and I constantly lose service when driving on remote roads. Make sure to screenshot the route on your phone, or track it on a map with a pencil in case you go out of cell range. Click our post on road trip apps to make your life easier.
21. Water Bottle
Ask at gas stations and convenience stores if you can fill your thermos with coffee instead of using their disposable cups. This reduces YOUR waste and probably does a better job of holding your hot beverage. I’ve got my eye on this Hydro Flask as my next purchase.
23. Empty Tote
Bringing an empty tote is an excellent road trip tip for its many uses. Pack a tote full of food and have a roadside picnic or bring it with you to a local farmer’s market to pick up goodies. Our favorite universal tote is this one, which has carried all sorts of things for us! You can also find our favorite adventure bag picks in this post.
24. Duct Tape
This seems to be the fix for everything.
It’s important to bring extra lighting for camping, night adventures, and emergencies alike! Our favorite outdoor lighting brand is UCO which make impressively bright headlamps and portable camping lights.
26. First Aid Kit
A simple one will do.
Make a list of items that may need a battery change on your journey and have a few extras of those on hand.
28. Proof of Insurance/ID
A driver’s license is a no-brainer, but make sure you have a hard copy of your proof of insurance! In addition, make sure your tabs won’t expire during your trip and you’ve got the proper registration forms.
29. Jumper Cables
30. Car Fluids
Things like oil and antifreeze are a must. Here’s a handy list of things to get your car ready for the road.
Need some USA Road Trip Ideas? Click on the map to discover where you should travel next!
Did we miss anything? What are YOUR road trip essentials? Let us know in the comments!
READ ROAD TRIP ESSENTIAL TIPS
*This post contains affiliate links, which means we may get a commission if you choose to purchase. But as always, we only recommend road trip essentials we already own or freaking love!
Follow our Road Trip Board on Pinterest for some inspiration for other road trip essentials!
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