Road Trip Essentials

I thought I would tell you guys what I usually pack for a road trips as well has some essentials and must-haves.

My packing list for a day trip is:

Basics:

(if you are driving make sure you have these)

  • License and registration – They are the ultimate road trip essentials!
  • Your car insurance policy and contact information
  • Your car’s manual – because you never know what light might refuse to turn off when your out of wifi range!
  • Spare tire – and check the one you have is in good condition before hand.
  • Roadside Emergency Kit – 1 Roll of Electrical Tape, Emergency Blanket, Flashlight, Mechanics Gloves, Jumper Cables, Tire Pressure Gauge, One Size Fits All Poncho, Windshield Breaker, Seat Belt Cutter / Extractor, Emergency Whistle, 12” x 12” x 12” Reflective Emergency Warning Triangle, etc
  • First-aid kit – Be prepared for all kinds of disasters. Basic supplies such a band-aids, bandages, antiseptic and safety pins can be invaluable when the closest town is 30miles away!

Must Haves:

Spare money
Whether paying for parking or going through tolls it’s always good to have some cash on you.

Flashlight with fresh batteries
There are countless scenarios where a flashlight would be helpful and you’d be far worse off without one. Sure, you’ll always have the bright light feature on your iPhone, but in the case of a true emergency, you’ll want to have an extremely powerful flashlight at your disposal. 

Screenshots of your directions
Avoid disaster! You never know when you’ll lose wifi or data connection while driving. Trust me you don’t want to get to a deadzone and end up missing your exit or lose all sense of direction. You can also download Maps.me. It’s a free app that allows you to download detailed maps which can be used offline and without cell service and acts as GPS. 

USB phone charger 
All that time spent on GPS and social media is going to take a toll on your phone battery. That’s why it’s a no-brainer to bring a car charger on any trip. This is an affordable Bluetooth car adapter that comes with two USB outlets.

Phone/GPS mount
My phone tends to overheat when I’m roading tripping. That’s why I like the AUKEY Car Phone Mount it clips right to the air vent. It’s compatible with most phones and it’s also not maginitic so there’s no chance of your phone battery getting killed or damaged. 

Water & Healthy drinks 
Stay hydrated and save money by bringing water bottles and other healthy drinks. Make sure to bring a good mix of healthy foods like baby carrots, apples, nuts, and crackers. Also look for foods like yogurt, fruits, dark chocolate, and almonds. And avoid the messy snacks that could spill when going over a bump.

Stainless steel water bottle 
Investing in a stainless steel water bottle is a must for staying hydrated (and environmentally friendly) on long road trips. I love the Gaiam brand. It’s Crafted from 18/8 double walled stainless steel, non-sweat, keeps your beverage cold for up to 24 hours, or y hot for up to 12. It has a wide-mouth, no-leak vacuum-sealed cap and it’s non-toxic, BPA-Free and available in 18oz or 32oz size. 

Comfy clothing & shoes
Let your body breathe and have the ability to rest comfortably. Think exercise apparel, something that absorbs sweat and keeps you cool. Spandex is usually my go-to. Also having a hoodie is a life saver. You can use it as a pillow or as a mini blanket.

Hat
I always bring a hat for the road. You can use it in the car to take a nap, cover up your bad hair day, and even use it when you get to your destination. It’s stylish and functional.

Sunglasses 
I’m really picky about my sunglasses. I like them to be a bit oversize so that way the sun has less of a chance to reach my eyes. My recent pair is Time and Tru from Walmart. The top half is darker and as you look down it becomes clear. Perfect if you want to read a book or use your phone in the car but want to protect your eyes.

Chapstick 
Sometimes air conditioners can dry out the inside of the car. Bring chapstick to help alleviate that! 

Journal 
A notebook, pen, and pencil. I love to bring these so I can write down my thoughts and feelings real time. That way when I go back to write a blog post it will be as if I’m accounting for everything as I was still present at my destination.

Books
I love my Kindle! I use Overdrive.com to upload an armful of books and it all fits in the palms of my hand. Reading makes the time fly by. These are the ones I’m going to be reading this year.

Music playlist
Confession time. I don’t listen to the radio at all anymore. I have a playlist for everything. Cooking, cleaning, driving, and chilling. You can find music on Apple Music, Pandora, or Spotify and create or use a premade playlist for every mood.

Headphones
To jam out to your own killer playlist. It also lets others know that you would like some alone time. These noise-canceling ones are affordable, with great sound quality, and will give you peace and quiet when you need it.

Blanket 
I’m always cold so I always bring a blanket. It comes in hand for when your environment is colder than you would like it to be. Plus it’s perfect when you want to take a nap or get comfortable in the car. It’s perfect for a long drive. I found this amazing travel towel that doubles as a blanket.

Something to pass the time
A deck of playing cards or classic road trip questions to keep spirits up and your mind off the delays! I always bring my craft bag which holds my current knitting project. Once I knitted a shawl while traveling in Asia.

Laptop (optional) 
This is optional because you may be trying to disconnect and enjoy nature. So this is mainly for bloggers, social media buffs, photographers. You can use your time on the road to write a blog post, edit photos, or watch a movie. 

Pain reliever/motion sickness medicine
Traveling for long periods of time can take a toll. Especially if you are sitting for a long time while going over a lot of different terrains you can get motion sickness or just a really bad headache. Bring medicines like Dramamine can help with that. Or you can use the cilantro essential oil as an alternative.

Big garbage bag
Please keep the car clean on the inside. Having somewhere to place your trash is so helpful. And it will keep the scents of food from lingering when you throw it out. A clean car will help keep a positive mood, plus you won’t have to clean the car out later.


My packing list for 8 day road trip from Florida to CA:

Outfits:

  1. Romper
  2. Black crop + black and white pant + converse 
  3. White shirt + Black stretchy pants 
  4. Green dress + leggings + black cardi
  5. Sweater + black jeans
  6. Band Tee + Black and white pants + Black Cardi
  7. Band tee + Work out pants, black sandals

Bags:

Things to pack in smaller bag

Essentials:

Things to pack in Weekender

Clothes:

  • Pj’s
  • 4 bottoms
  • 4 tops
  • 1 dress
  • 1 romper
  • Leggings
  • Jacket
  • Sweat pants

Shoes:

Accessories:

Hygiene:

Electronics:

Books:

Craft bag (wip):

  • Scrap Blanket

These are my packing essentials for road tripping. If I am missing anything please let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!


Read more:

Road Trip Planning Tool

8 day cross country road trip

Traveling Tips for Beginners

Shawl knitting Around Asia

Thanks for reading! Tell a friend if you learned something new, felt inspired, or just enjoyed reading my story. Exploration posts come out every other Friday. In the meantime, check out my upcoming destinations, join the journey by subscribing to our newsletter, and support OMK by making a donation below. Until next time!
– Olguine Brutus

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Published by Olguine Brutus

Just a girl and her yarn, going with God.

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