Planning an exciting road trip with your family, best friends, or even solo? A road trip is one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences a person could have, whether traveling across the country, down the coast, or just for a few hours from one town to the next. If road trip preparation feels overwhelming, many of the stressors can be alleviated with a comprehensive planning guide and a helpful packing checklist. In this post, we will take a look at a few of the most important things to bring with you on your upcoming road trip adventure!
If you are embarking on a long road trip — in your own vehicle or a rental vehicle — it’s a wise idea to have a few essentials on hand in the unlikely event that the car breaks down. The checklist of vehicle-related essentials should include a spare tire, a jack and tools, jumper cables, and roadside assistance contact information if you have these services. Traveling in the cold or during the winter season? Pack thick, warm blankets and heavy-duty winter coats, snow boots, hats, and gloves just in case the car breaks down. Additionally, if you are going somewhere cold and snowy, keep an ice scraper and brush in your vehicle at all times. Driving through a hot, dry climate? Store a quart of oil, a jug of coolant, and wiper coolant in your trunk.
There are different articles of clothing to bring with you on a road trip, depending on the region you will be traveling through and the time of year. As mentioned above, always pack extra snow gear if you are traveling during the winter. If you are planning a road trip to a warm, balmy locale, pack items like sundresses, summer clothes, and swimsuits. Riding in a car can become somewhat uncomfortable, especially if you will be on the road for several hours. Plan to wear comfortable, loose clothing for your car ride, such as shorts, leggings, sweatpants, cotton tees, and sweatshirts.
Whether traveling in a small sedan or a large van, it can feel pretty jam-packed if you are traveling with several people. Keep everything organized and tidy with the help of high-quality luggage, such as small suitcases and personal backpacks. Use your suitcases for trip outfits, shoes, and other apparel items, and think of your backpacks as the small carry-on item you would bring on a flight. The backpacks can be used to store water, snacks, small tech devices and chargers, and personal items like cash, a wallet, and medications. If you are going on a quick weekend getaway, stick to smaller luggage items like duffel bags and travel bags. Additional bags, like canvas totes, drink coolers, and beach bags (/shop/totes-beach-bags-travel/S-yde-xfd-xec), can be stored in larger suitcases until you reach your destination or make pit stops along the way.
There are a handful of items you can take with you on a road trip that you wouldn’t need if you were traveling by air. One affordable item every road tripper should have is a phone mount that can be placed up high so you can see the road clearly and see the navigations on your phone. If you don’t already have a car phone charger, invest in one before your big trip. Along with a car phone charger, it’s a good idea to buy a portable phone charger in the unlikely event your vehicle breaks down and you don’t have access to power.
Spending a long amount of time in a vehicle can get a little messy. To prevent mess, bring a small car garbage bin or even just a plastic garbage bag to throw away used napkins, food wrappers, and anything else you don’t want cluttering up the vehicle. That will allow you to keep the interior clean until you make your next stop to dispose of the garbage. Along with a designated spot for trash, pack tissues, napkins or a roll of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, body wipes, and a roll or two of toilet paper.
You can make a long car ride much more comfortable and even luxurious with the right accessories. If you aren’t driving, or if you and your travel buddies are taking turns at the wheel, pack things such as an eye mask, neck pillow, sunglasses, and a travel mug for comfort. Additional items you may want to take along with you include lip balm, hand lotion, pain medicines, and mints — all of which will help you feel fresh and relaxed the whole way.
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