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Road Trip Essentials- List of 53 Best Things to Carry

9 mins read
Photo by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash

A road trip allows you to discover authentic villages and natural beauties off the usual route rather than merely traveling from one location to another as other modes of transportation do.

Road tripping allows you to experience this, as it is often said that the journey is more beautiful than the destination.

For any road trip to be a success, you should have your road trip essentials listed for your convenience and ensure that you don’t forget anything.

Road Trips

Road trips are the best way to discover the unknown, both within yourself and in the world around you.

Road Trip Essentials
Photo by Maksim Tarasov on Unsplash. Copyright 2019

According to Lemony Snicket, we will be waiting for the rest of our lives if we wait until ready.

So, what are you holding out for? You do not require any plans or anything else. According to Jack Kerouac, all you need for a road trip are wheels, one in your hand and four on the road.

However, this is logically impossible.

To have a great road trip, you must be aware of all the essential items you must bring while traveling. The road trip essentials may differ from one individual to the next. However, after a lot of trial and error, we’ve come up with a list of essential road trip items that are a must-have regardless of your options.

So please don’t be concerned about how you’ll construct a list without forgetting anything because we’ve got you covered.

We present an ultimate road trip packing list to guide you through the numerous road trip essentials and needs and a slew of road trip tips and suggestions to keep the car – and you – going well and smoothly throughout the journey.

So let’s get going!

Road Trip Essentials

Unknowingly, we bring extra items with us and randomly store them. We must prevent this not only to avoid carrying unnecessary weight but also to save space.

Road trip essentials are a set of things you got to have while on a road trip. Do not keep your car going on the road without these essentials.

The Road Trip Packing List

Road Trip Car Essentials

You are not supposed to leave the house until you have ensured that these items have been added to your bags. In some situations, you will not even be permitted to drive and hit the road if you don’t have them, making these road trip essentials crucial.

1) Your Car Manual

Be it your car or a rental car, a car manual is a must add to your checklist.

When you land up in situations like you cannot turn on the AC or your headlight refuses to turn on, your car manual will have answers to all your problems and some other additional information.

Also, when you are traveling, you are most likely to lose your internet connection which makes this basic essential of utmost importance.

Most rental car companies keep the manual in the car with other necessities, but make sure you check it once before driving off!

2) Your Driver’s License and the Car Registration

Your paperwork is a must-have before you jump into the car. These stay the ultimate road trip essentials if you get pulled over by the cops.

3) Car Insurance Policy and Travel Insurance

Make sure you protect yourselves and the car against accidents. God forbid, if you get into an accident, these might help you get over, financially!

Your travel insurance policies cover it all right from trip cancellation to the theft of a property.

4) A Spare Tire

Check all your tires before you set off, and make sure you add a spare tire in case of breakdowns because there may be several reasons contributing to a flat tire.

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Photo by szefei/ Unlim photos
5) A Roadside Emergency Kit

This might be of fundamental importance if you run into trouble while you travel.

Make sure this kit contains all of the following

  • Tire pressure gauge

  • Jumper cables

  • A duct tape

  • Battery booster cables

  • Emergency rain poncho

  • Reflective vests

  • Washers fluids

6) An Extra Car Key

Make sure you don’t keep the extra car keys in the car itself, put them in your handbags for easy access when you need them.

Essential Accessories
7) Detailed Maps

A detailed map is ultimately essential to successfully reaching your destination.

Apps like Google Maps and Maps Me are free apps that help you to navigate along the way.

GasBuddy is another app that will help you find that the next gas station isn’t very far from now. It also helps you compare prices.

One of the most crucial long-distance driving needs is a backup map. Despite our reliance on technology, we occasionally lose phone reception when it fails. Particularly if you’re on a lonely road with no one to ask for directions. And hence, a paper map is equally important.

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Photo by MilanMarkovic78/ Unlim photos
8) First Aid Kit

Basic supplies like pain relievers, antacids, bandages, oral rehydration solutions, antiseptics, and other daily medications are added to your first aid kit.

9) Flashlights

Sometimes your car battery may die in the middle of the night. The other times, you might come across dark and rural places along your way where the lighting may be less than sufficient.

This is when the role of flashlights comes into the picture.

You might also need them when you are going to tonight’s camps.

10) Bug Sprays

A rental car may surprise you with a few free car bugs, and that is why you might need a spray to get rid of these bugs. This will also keep mosquitoes and other flies away.

11) A Multi-Tool

You might need this to fix various trivial auto repairs and provide solutions to everyday problems.

12) A Jack

Add this to your road trip essentials list and the spare tire.

Let The Fun Begin!

Entertainment on long road trips is critical to keep boredom away. These are those vital road trip essentials, without which your road trip will become monotonous. 

 

13) Of Course, Your Phone!
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Photo by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash. Copyright 2018

For enormous reasons like your entertainment, navigation, communication, finances, and other emergency services.

However, we are sure nobody needs a reminder to carry their phones because this is considered one of the most exceptional road trip essentials.

14) A Spotify Playlist

You might also listen to podcasts to keep your minds engaged. It would be best if you had an epic playlist with a combination of your and your carmate’s choice of music. Make sure you don’t raise the volumes too high, which would distract the one who is driving.

15) Some Good Books

If you like reading and are on a long road trip, this may be one of the best sources of entertainment for you.

16) An Instant Camera

To capture quirky and funny moments and cherish them later.

17) Your Favorite Camera

Carry a travel camera to make memories for a lifetime.

18) Some Travel Games

Road trip games like cards, mini board games, or any others which you and your children/friends are fond of are a perfect means of entertainment.

19) Chargers and USB Cords

To keep your precious electronics charged for communication as well as entertainment. Depending on what electronics you carry, a phone charger and others should be packed. It would help if you had the cables of your respective electronics to charge them with your car charger.

20) Bluetooth And Dashboard Phone Holder

To ensure the safety of the one driving and others as well.

21) A Pen and A Diary

To jot down the thoughts that rush through your mind while you travel.

22) Your Earphones or Headphones

If you don’t want to disturb your car mates or have a different taste when it comes to music. 

23) Netflix and Chill

Binge-watching can be a good alternative for long road trips.

24) A Portable Power Bank

To keep your electronics from dying.

25) A Portable WIFI Hotspot

When you need entertainment or need to track your way, you’ve lost your cell service.

After all, almost all your sources of entertainment are electronics. That is why cords and chargers are vital.

Food For Thought!

You will need some food and drinks to keep your thirst and hunger at bay when you cannot locate any supermarket or eatery nearby. You’ll also need them at rest stops.

 

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Photo by gbarkz on Unsplash. Copyright 2018
26) A Large Reusable Water Bottle

Get a large but lightweight water bottle along with you to stay hydrated and to quench your thirst. This is another one of the essential road trip essentials.

You can also use vacuum insulated bottles and hydro flask bottles to keep your water cold and hot, respectively, depending on the weather.

You can also carry a steripen to clean and disinfect the water, making it safe from drinking.

27) Snacks

Now when you are traveling, you are on your cheat days. So make sure you carry your favorite snacks.

Also, carry some high fiber and high protein snacks because you will be inactive for quite a few hours. Fruits, dry fruits, trail mix, cereal, or protein bars can be good options.

28) Mints

For a fresh minty breath.

29) Cold Drinks and Hot Drinks

Depending on your likes as well as the weather. Make use of thermal/hydro flasks and vacuum insulated bottles.

30) Prepare Some Own Meals

You can prepare some food items which don’t get spoilt. This can be a good option for your children.

Personal Hygiene and Beauty Products

These are some of the essential road trip essentials as you need to take care of your hygiene, skin, lips, and hair to feel and look fresh. These are trivial yet very important road trip essentials.

31) Toothbrush and Toothpaste

After all, oral hygiene is crucial. And also, if you use any specific type of brushes or pastes, you might not find these elsewhere, so you better carry them along.

32) Wet Wipes and Tissues

It might not be possible to stop the car now and then for a facewash. Wet wipes will do the work, making you feel fresh.

33) A Roll of Toilet Paper

You might land up using a roadside restroom with no toilet paper. Isn’t that the worst scenario?

34) Moisturizers

Because we know that road tripping can be dehydrating, and our skin does feel thirsty. Carry the one according to your skin type.

Moisturizers containing sun protection and SPF get bonus points.

35) Sunblock

A higher SPF and a water-resistant one can be an excellent option!

36) A Hand Sanitizer

It is needed as you touch unwanted things and places that can make you sick.

37) An Umbrella

Be it raining, snowing, or sunny, and it will protect your hair and skin.

38) Lip Balm

To keep your lips hydrated as well.

39) Hairbrushes and Hair Ties

So that you’ll not have to deal with a windswept look.

40) Make-up

Girls! We are sure we don’t need to remind you to add this to your road trip checklist.

You can keep all these tiny yet essential road trip necessities in the glove box of your car.

The Comfort Kit

It would help if you got too exhausted on your long road trips. And that it does not become difficult for you to explore and enjoy your destination.

Anything that provides comfort is essential. Hence, these are other essential fundamental road trip essentials.

41) A Travel Pillow

It can be helpful for those on the passenger seat who don’t get to lay down.

42) Sleeping Bags

If you plan to spend the night in the car or accidentally happen to do so, these bags shouldn’t go amiss.

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Photo by Wavebreakmedia/ Unlim photos
43) Blankets and Sweaters

They are required for cozy daytime naps or when you plan to sleep in the car overnight.

44) Window Shades

To protect you from the sun that travels along with you all along your way.

45) Hats

Because they are excellent!

46) Sunglasses

To make you look sassy and also to avoid squinting.

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Photo by Amos Bar-Zeev on Unsplash. Copyright 2016
Comfortable Clothing
47) Baggy Clothes

After all, baggy clothing is our comfort zone.

48) Sweaters

As the weather demands. Also, if the air conditioning in the car is too much for you to handle, a sweater can be your go-to clothing.

49) Towels

It will be helpful throughout your journey and in your motel if they don’t provide you with one.

50) Flip Flops

Flip flops are a perfect alternative to other not-so-comfortable footwear. 

Miscellaneous Accessories
51) Some Spare Money
In this era of online transactions, there might still be some places where cash rules. It can be some rural areas, parking meters and so on.
52) Spare Bags

It would be best if you had your bag to don’t throw litter on the road. Also, you might need it if you suddenly feel you want to puke. Or what if you locate a market on your way? That is when these bags can be used.

A few road trip essentials depend on the climatic changes you might experience along your way.

53) Optional Road Trip Essentials Depending on Your Destination
  • Like when you decide to stay in the car for the night, you might need a solar-powered light and other bonfire essentials.

  • If you are traveling to cold locations, you might need an ice scraper and an ice shovel.

  • A rain jacket and so on for a destination where it pours pretty often.

And this is how the needs of road trip essentials vary.

These items are vital, so make sure you have them with you so you don’t have to buy them all over again, and you can save money.

So now you exactly know in detail what your road trip essential checklist should look like.

We hope we’ve made things easy for you to have an epic road trip.

When in doubt just go through the titles of this article so that you don’t miss out on something and will not have to spend some extra money to buy them for yourselves while travelling.

Also, know your priorities and essentials. Make sure you don’t have more of luggage than people under the name of road trip essentials!

So for your next journey, don’t forget to carry these road trip essentials for a successful road trip.

But, in any case, don’t panic if you forget any of these necessities! Because there is just adventure and no discomfort when it comes to road trips. The attempts to locate and substitute for the neglected road trip essentials will be worth the laughs.

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Photo by averie Woodard on Unsplash. Copyright 2016

And that is why John Steinbeck said, “we do not take the trip; the trip takes us!”

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