Advice Travel

Road Trip Essentials for your next vacation

Road Trip Essentials from Kelly Luvs

Road Trip Essentials

My family and I take a ton of road trips.  Last summer we did a 17 day epic road trip to Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park and White Water Rafting in Jackson Hole.  It was so much fun but only because we were prepared.  Even for shorter distances like a weekend away, these tips will help make your road trip go smoothly.  Here are my road trip essentials to keep your family happy and entertained.  I am going to break my road trip essentials down into 4 categories: Planning, Packing, Entertainment and Food.

Planning: Road Trip Essentials

First thing you need to do is figure out where you will go on your road trip.  Amazon has some great books to help you out such as Lonely Planet Best Road Trip.

First Tip in Road Trip Essentials: Car

Keep your car on the road with these  Road Trip Essentials
Obvious. Do NOT leave home without them.

    • A copy of your car insurance policy and the relevant contact numbers
      Hopefully you won’t need to use your insurance, but keep a copy in the car just in case.
    • Your car’s manual
      Because you never know what light might refuse to turn off when your out of wifi range!
    • Check your Spare tire and Tire Jack
      – and check the one you have is in good condition before you set off.
  • Roadside Emergency Kit  

Packing: Road Trip Essential

When it comes to packing you might think you have a lot of space until you actually start packing, lol.  When your on a road trip you need to have clothes for all the days your gone, unless you plan on a laundry day.  You need items to keep you entertained in the car (see tips below).  If you are staying in hotels you may not need AS MUCH but if you are camping you need to save space for food too. Space saving bags will help keep your luggage to a minimum which is important on a road trip.

Packing List:

  • A great suitcase and or a great
    • I have this one for all my travels and I really like it.  I also really like this duffel bag.
  • Clothes for the Number of Days you are gone (unless you have access to laundry)
  • Shoes (tennis shoes, flip flops, water shoes, etc)
  • Toiletries including hair dryer, soap, makeup, etc
  • Sunglasses
  • Umbrella/Rain Jackets/Heavy and Light Coat
    • Be prepared for any kinds of weather!
  • Hand sanitizer
    • Keep your family healthy while on the road
  • Blanket
    • Use as a picnic blanket or for extra warmth should you get stranded somewhere after the sun goes down. Warm people = Happy people. And if you’re planning on sleeping in the car/tent/camper/etc: sleeping bags like this one are needed!
  • Travel Pillow
    • Comfortable people = Happy people
  • Entertainment for the car and while your vacation
    • See ideas below
  • Car Chargers and Portable Chargers with a outlet will be an absolute lifesaver!
  • Cooler
    • for food and drinks (see below)
  • Re-Usable water bottles
    • Sealable vessels stop spillages and you can fill up with gallon jugs and save space from all those water bottles.
  • Portable blue tooth speaker
  • Cell Phone and Camera
  • Day Pack
    • For the times you want to go on a spontaneous walk/hike and need somewhere to store your water bottle/sunscreen/extra jumper etc.  We have this one and love it.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Kleenex and Wet Wipes



Road Trip Essentials: Entertainment

Having entertainment, especially for kids is CRITICAL to keep your family happy.  Even if you don’t have kids, entertainment can keep you and your road mates from losing your minds.

  • Electronics changers
    • Make sure you have cords, car chargers, wall chargers, etc.  All will make a huge impact on your happiness level.
  • Non-electronic entertainment suggestions
  • One way to keep my husband and I entertained is WIKIPEDIA.  While driving down the road we use Wikipedia to find out about all the small towns we come across.
  • Books



Food: Road Trip Essentials

First you need to bring a cooler!  We typically bring a hard side like this and smaller more portable versions like this.  We also have this amazing backpack cooler which gets lots of use.  It is easy to take out of the car for a quick site seeing trip or a long hike.  A cooler helps keep drinks and food cold while your in your car and if you are camping you will also need it to store food.

  1. Drinks: Water and something caffeinated is best.
  2. Healthy Foods like: Fruit that is cut up.  Apples, Bananas, etc.  You want to make sure it is easy to eat (for the driver)
  3. Salty Snacks: Nuts, Chips, etc
  4. Make sure you bring napkins, plates, wet wipes etc to keep your car clean
  5. Garbage Bags: Plastic grocery bags work great

So there you have it!  The Essential Road Trip Packing list including road trip essentials to keep the car and you safe, cozy & entertained on your next road trip.  And if you liked this information, please tweet, pin and share, much appreciated!

Roadtrip Essentials. Learn what you need to survive a long trek at

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