Essential Items To Pack for Your Road Trip

Essential Items To Pack for Your Road Trip

Taking a trip can be a fun and eye-opening experience. However, it isn’t so fun when you have to pack. Even for the seasoned traveller, it is possible to over or under pack. While the former could feel burdensome, underpacking means you will have to buy necessities you may have left behind. These can easily inflate your travelling costs and drag your travel experience. Here are a few essentials you can’t forget to pack for your road trip. 

First aid kit 

Photo by:

Paper cuts, scraped knees, and other minor incidents can happen on the road. Carrying along a first aid kit is one of the most critical hacks. It should contain antiseptic, bandages, scissors, and assorted items to soothe any pain or injury. You can tailor or expand your first aid kit based on the road trip’s requirements. Ensure to include any prescribed medication if you have a health condition. Despite this, it can be useful to talk to your primary health care professional to stay updated on vaccines or preventative measures.



Comfortable clothing, pillows, and blankets

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes if you will drive for several hours or perhaps all night. Many seasoned travellers have advised against wearing binding or restrictive clothing. For instance, shoes that are simple to put on and take off are a good option. Easy-wear shoes can let you wiggle your feet behind the wheel and quickly put them on during stops. You can also layer a jacket or sweater over a t-shirt. Get a small blanket if you are not travelling alone since your travel partner may disagree on temperature settings. It will be good to bring a pillow from home for the right amount of comfort when using hotel beds. 

Portable power banks

You will likely use your phone for many things when travelling. For instance, you may use it to look up places, stay in touch with family and friends back home, or get directions. These activities deplete your battery and can inconveniently interrupt your travel schedule. Additionally, you are not guaranteed power outlets on the road, so it is recommended you carry a portable power bank. The good news is that portable power banks are not expensive and easy to carry anywhere. Invest in one that can charge your device a few times before requiring a recharge. 

Reusable water bottle 

You’ll need to stay hydrated if you spend long hours driving through remote streets and locations. Finding water in some locations is not always easy. And so you can never go wrong with carrying a refillable bottle when travelling in unforgivingly hot or humid areas. You could purchase some water bottles on the road or when you reach your destination, hotel, or convenience store. However, they won’t come cheap. Meanwhile, there is a chance that you may not have such establishments nearby, especially when travelling to or through wooded or rural areas. 


Photo by:

It’s a good idea to pack lots of healthy snacks like granola bars, fruits, crackers, and some fun treats for the trip. This is particularly important when you are travelling routes with few dining options. Packing sandwiches is useful since it allows you to stay clear of luring fast food. Additionally, you can have a picnic lunch at the park. Eating out is expensive and can easily add up, especially when travelling unfamiliar routes. Snacks are great for keeping everybody happy and energised on long road trips. Taking a trip to the grocery store ahead of time can also save you money and time and reduce stoppages on the road. 

A map  

A part of road trip planning is getting a complete overview of your trip. A road map can keep you informed on your surroundings throughout the journey. Digitization is popular now and technology is at the heart of every human activity. Travelling, particularly road travel, is no exception. You likely have your route planned out. So you can enter the address and follow the directions regardless of how far away you may be. However, no two maps are built the same way, so it can be useful to consider the various features if you are considering using a navigation app. You can check out this Apple vs Google maps article to learn more about the two most popular mapping apps. 

Toiletries and other essentials

It is always advisable to keep some toiletries like paper towels, cleaning wipes, hand sanitisers, and tissues in your car since some rest stops aren’t well-stocked. You can also carry some antacids, pain relievers, and medication for motion sickness. It would be best if you carried along some sunscreen to apply throughout the trip to avoid sunburn. Sunglasses are also another road trip essential you shouldn’t forget.

Prepare a road-worthy playlist

Planning a road trip isn’t easy, and driving for long periods can be tough. A worthy road trip playlist can be useful, although it is often treated as an afterthought. Everybody has their favourite songs, and sometimes it is pleasing to hear music that isn’t coming from headphones. Put together a playlist of your favourite songs before the trip. And if you are not travelling alone, collect everyone’s suggestions and add them. Playing the music through your car’s sound system and singing along can be energizing and uplifting for every member of the travelling party. 

Travel companion 

Photo by:

Everything is more enjoyable with good company, and road trips are no exception. Spending time on the road with a spouse, best friend, or family can transform an ordinary trip into an exciting adventure. Aside from spending time talking and catching up, you can take turns driving while the other person takes a nap or reads a journal. You can prepare some fun road games or sing-alongs if you travel with young kids. For instance, the license plate game is entertaining and interactive and can help your young passengers stay alert. These activities can make the journey so fun that you won’t see the time fly by. 

Aside from these essential road trip essentials, you can’t forget to get your car serviced weeks before the trip. Change your oils, refill your fluid levels and check your tires to ensure a smooth trip.


Share This

About the author

Thomas has a university background in the UK and in Latin America, with studies in Languages and Humanities, Culture, Literature and Economics. He started his Asian experience as a publisher in Krabi in 2005. Thomas has been editing local newspapers and magazines in England, Spain and Thailand for more then fifteen years. He is currently working on several projects in Thailand and abroad. Apart from Thailand, Thomas has lived in Italy, England, Venezuela, Cuba, Spain and Bali. He spends most of his time in Asia. During the years Thomas has developed a great understanding of several Asian cultures and people. He is also working freelance, writing short travel stories and articles for travel magazines. Follow Thomas on

View all articles by Thomas Gennaro