Road Trip Packing List: Things To Bring on a Road Trip

Road trips include plenty of exciting things and could be one of the best ways to explore one’s adventurous side. It is never too late to explore the unknown scenic beauty and hop in the car to some amazing destination for a memorable road trip. While it sounds exciting to explore new places and cultures traveling via car, you must note that it requires a significant amount of planning. If you are planning to go on a long trip for several days, you can never go unprepared. Here’s a comprehensive guide with the essential road trip packing list that you must consider packing for your next adventure.

Road Trips are Good for the Soul

Road Trip Packing List

Traveling by car has a lot of benefits, but it also comes with various drawbacks. You should be specific about the location that you are picking. Cost and time are other two considerations that you must carefully analyze before planning your road trip. Here are some of the reasons why you should go on a road trip:

  • The biggest perk is that you are in complete charge of your trip.
  • You can plan according to your pace and schedule.
  • You can see the real world and explore nature.
  • It can save you huge money and can be an extreme adventure.
  • You may visit roadside attractions and can also take your pets along.
  • You can go solo or plan a road trip with your family.

As mentioned, there are certain cons associated with road trips. Here are some of the reasons that could impact your experience.

  • Driving takes time and can be a tiresome activity.
  • You may have to do the entire road planning and check the routes.
  • It may go expensive depending on the length of the trip.
  • Wear and tear on the car can lead to huge expenses.
  • You will have to look for ideal spots for parking.

It is always a good idea to consider both pros and cons and then make an informed decision. Plan the number of days and calculate the travel costs and time. You should also check if the destination is car-friendly. Taking a train or flying by air might be a better choice for certain locations. Consider all these aspects and make the right decision of taking on that adventurous road trip.

Road Trip Packing List

Road Trip Packing List

Once you have decided, you should start making the list of essentials that you might need on the journey. Here, we have created a comprehensive road trip packing list that you must check out. You can add or remove any of these items, as per your preference and convenience.

License and Other Documents

It may sound like a no-brainer, but many people tend to forget to carry these essential documents. If you are planning a road trip, you must ensure that you pack all the below-listed documents:

  • Driver’s license
  • Car’s registration documents
  • Car manual
  • Car insurance
  • Travel insurance

Pack all these documents for a seamless and safe journey.

Emergency Kit and First-Aid

It is always suggested to be prepared for the worst-case scenarios, especially when you are planning to go on a road trip. It may be difficult to locate a mechanic or a hospital nearby, in case of an emergency. Therefore, we will suggest you keep an emergency kit and a first-aid box ready in the car. Here are some of the items that you must keep in the emergency kit:

  • Spare tire
  • Tire Pressure Gauge
  • Window Breaker
  • 2 Light Sticks
  • Reflective Vest
  • Battery Booster Cables
  • Emergency Rain Poncho
  • Warning triangle
  • Whistle
  • Headlamps

Here are some of the items that you must keep in the first-aid box:

  • Bandaid
  • Bandage
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Moleskin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Tourniquet
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Alcohol wipes

Make sure to pack all the medications and prescriptions in the first-aid box kit.

Road Trip Essentials for Your Car

Road Trip Packing List

A small storage bin will help you eliminate the waste and keep the car clean. There are various other items that you must keep in your car to make the travel convenient for you. Here are some of them:

  • Extra car key
  • Duct tape
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Trash can
  • Protective floor mat
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Umbrella

Certain road trip essentials for a trip during winters:

  • Snow shovel
  • Ice scraper
  • Tire chains

Paper Maps

You must always have the navigation apps installed, but you can never trust the technology. The Internet may stop working or your phone may run out of battery. Therefore, it is suggested to carry paper maps of that particular location. Make sure you check the map in advance and plan the route prior to the trip.

Bug Spray

Bugs in the car are not fun and can ruin your entire mood. It is suggested to carry a bug spray to be prepared for the worst situation.

Phone Charger and Portable Wi-Fi

Wherever you are traveling, you cannot miss your phone charger. Consider investing in a universal adapter so that you can charge multiple devices at the same time. Carry a power bank to be on the safe side. Besides this, portable Wi-Fi will make your travel much more convenient and easier. If you have a camera or any other accessories, consider packing that.

Travel Pillow

You cannot sit straight throughout the journey. Driving can be tiring and you should consider investing in items that may add comfort to your journey. Get one or two comfortable travel pillows to make your journey safer and more enjoyable.


Whether driver or passenger, you may be exposed to excessive sunlight during the long journeys. It makes sense to invest in sunglasses and protect your eyes against the harmful radiations of the sun.

Blanket and Extra Layers

If you plan on staying or sleeping in the car, you should consider getting things that may add to the comfort. Take a comfy sleeping bag or a blanket for a good nap during the long road trip journey.

Road Trip Packing List

Road Trip Packing List – Your Personal Care Kit

These are some of the items that you must consider carrying for your personal hygiene and maintenance:

  • Toiletry bag
  • Body wipes
  • Sunscreen
  • Mini hairbrush
  • Lip balm
  • Hair ties
  • The Three Ts: Toothbrush, Toothpaste, and Tissues


Snacks are true travel essentials and can make your journey even more convenient. Consider stocking a few healthy snacks and juices for a perfect road trip.

Car cooler

You can use a car cooler to store drinks, juice boxes, sandwiches, and more items. If you are going for a long road trip, you can consider investing in a car cooler.

Spare cash

Do not forget to carry some extra cash. There are chances that you may land up in places where there is no availability of ATM or acceptance of online payments.

Right Footwear

Make sure to pack the right footwear according to the destination you are visiting. If you are planning to visit a snowy area, make sure to carry your snow hiking boots. You may pack flip-flops for the beach and other types of boots for the mountains.

Right Clothing

Check the weather of the location before you start your journey. Plan your outfits accordingly and pack the essentials. For winter and mountain conditions, consider packing extra layers and warm fleece clothing. Do not pack a lot of clothes and stuff your car. Plan the outfits for each day and pack in the right manner.

Dry Shampoo

You can consider getting a dry shampoo to protect your hair and keep them healthy during the road trip.

Backpack and Tote Bags

Consider packing two or more types of backpacks. A tote bag will be handy if you are parking your car and going out shopping. On the other hand, a backpack will be more convenient if you are going hiking in the mountains.

Travel Games

Travel games are one of the road trip essentials that you cannot miss. What will you do if the internet stops working and you don’t find any good place nearby? Travel games will even improve the bond between your family members and will be a great fun activity.

Road Trip Packing List – Wrapping Up

That’s a wrap from our side. These are some of the road trip essentials that must be on your road trip packing list. Keep this checklist in front of you and pack the right items. If we have missed out on anything, do let us know in the comments section below. Make sure to install some safety and navigation apps on your phone. Besides this, you must also keep your family and friends informed about the location you are traveling to. Keep following us for more such travel guides and updates.

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