Travel and Leisure

List of packing items for your road trip and essentials

Do you plan to travel? Here are the essentials you should bring to ensure an enjoyable road journey!

Are you making your first road journey? Don’t worry! Everyone has had their first adventures on the road, and the best part is that you’ll be able to gain from the mistakes we’ve made in the past.

This is why we’ve listed the top items for a road trip. The list could be different depending on your schedule and how long you’ll be traveling; however, keep in mind that this is a must-have list.

Also, we have an itinerary for international trips that you might like to read. Even if you aren’t traveling abroad, this checklist could help since some of the items can be used to travel.

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Essentials for a road trip list

1.The water bottle (or bottles)

Being hydrated is your top goal no, regardless of the weather. Some people might avoid drinking water or other beverages when traveling because it isn’t always possible to stop for a bathroom break. However, although this is the case, we strongly suggest not to let this hinder you from drinking water.

Reusable water bottles (or bottles) are the best option. It is a great way to drink water while traveling or take it for a hike, and there are numerous reasons you should carry a reusable water bottle along with you! There are plenty of places to refill it and avoid purchasing plastic bottles.


Don’t depend solely on credit cards! We can’t emphasize this enough. Based on the location you’re traveling to, cash might be the only option to pay. Change is also a good option for tolls. Don’t forget about these!

3.Essential documents you can’t forget.

Your documents are usually something you carry around inside your wallet anyway. Still, it’s always good to also check if you’re taking the car’s essential documents: the vehicle’s license/registration, the insurance policy and even the car’s manual — which may come in handy if you have car trouble (we don’t want that, but it’s always a possibility).

It is also worth noting that If you’re renting a car for your trip and typically don’t purchase insurance, make sure you buy it to protect yourself on the road! Learn more about the different types of insurance for car rentals here.

4.Portable phone charger

What’s the worst thing that can happen? A dead battery. If you’re looking to remain in touch on the road or capture photos, you aren’t looking to have to recharge the battery. This is especially true when using your smartphone to locate directions or use it as the GPS.

5.Paper maps

Paper maps sound like something from the past. However, they’re very present. This is especially important when traveling to a location where the internet connection isn’t as excellent, or you don’t wish to rely entirely on your smartphone.

6.First aid kit

First aid kits are an absolute necessity for any road journey. At the minimum, it should contain painkillers, stomachache, headache, and nausea tablets.

Suppose you’re planning on adding hiking or camping to your road excursion. In that case, we highly recommend adding gauze pads or plasters (in various sizes and shapes) and cutting tools, creams to treat skin rashes, creams to ease insect bites, and antiseptic spray/cream as well as other items to your kit.

7. Products that keep you entertained while on the journey

Let’s be honest. Traveling on road trip can be… Boring. Unless you’re driving all of the time (which isn’t a good idea either, and you must always have breaks and be able to share the steering wheel! ), You’ll be stuck in your car for an extended period between intervals.

Consider things that can keep you entertained traveling. The top choices are books, audiobooks or the kindle (if you’re capable of reading in your car and not becoming sick) and a fantastic offline road trip playlist. The handheld game console is also a good idea if you’re into gaming!

8. Bag of toiletries

It’s no surprise that you shouldn’t leave home without a bathroom bag. It is possible to add your items to the list, and we’ll admit it, it can vary significantly between people. However, some of the best things to keep in your bag include:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Dry and wet wipes
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Dry shampoo (not so obvious the item but essential when camping)
  • Lip balm for lips
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray

Honorable mention: toilet paper. If you’re in a place, toilet paper might be significant!

9. Daypack

If you’re planning to spend a long or short journey, It’s no surprise that you’ll require some small things to help you stay comfortable during the trip. A small backpack can be a great option when you stop along the way to go for a hike.

When it comes to what you should pack in the bag, allow your heart to direct you. You could put many items in this essentials list and other things that you value. Remember that, best of all, the backpack you choose to use will be light and compact so that it is easy to carry whatever the circumstance.

10.Car safety products

This is crucial, especially if you’re driving in a long-distance or on rough terrain or dirt roads: be sure to check the state of your spare tire. Always!

If you are able, other emergency kit items could assist you if you’re having car trouble in the far-off lands. Battery booster cables, for instance, are an essential item along with flashlights or, in addition, the headlamp.

If you’re driving on snow, be sure to have snow/winter tires and chains for tires!

12. Your collection of technological products

When it comes to technology products, each person has their preference. Other than your phone and perhaps an e-reader (which we’ve previously discussed), it is also possible to include additional devices, like cameras, headphones, wireless earbuds. Most important is to ensure that you have the USB and chargers!

If you need to, Bluetooth speakers might be a good option to listen to some music with family and friends.

13. Everything that is easily forgotten

These are things that are often forgotten and should not. Always remember to bring sunglasses and hats, as well as umbrellas and rain jackets. They are necessary for many reasons, but the most important one is to protect you from uncomfortable situations, such as sunburns.

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14. Snacks

Oh, yes! Who wouldn’t want to snack? Stopping for a snack to enjoy food for the entire day when traveling isn’t always feasible, and therefore having snacks available is always good.

We have a suggestion for you. It’s straightforward to purchase sugary snacks; however, dried or cut fruits and granola bars, as an instance, are also great (and more nutritious) snacks. If you’re considering something that requires cooling, then add a cooler to your travel essentials, and that’s all there is to it!

15. Stay cozy while in the car’ items.

Being comfortable traveling is essential. I don’t think it’s necessary to discuss the reason. Long hours in a car is exhausting, even when you’re not driving. Therefore, carrying a cozy blanket, a standard and travel-sized pillow, a cozy sweater, and other items that make you feel comfortable is essential.

16. Plastic bags or paper bags for the disposal of trash

Perhaps the most neglected thing to happen. The production of trash on the road is inconceivable to prevent, which is why keeping a small piece of a bag of plastic or paper is the most effective way to dispose of trash and maintain your vehicle (and road) free of smudges.

We hope this can help you to pack for your next road journey! If you’re a seasoned traveler and want to add your essentials, please leave a comment below!

Related: Tips and Tricks to rent cars in 2022

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