Whether you’re going on a long road trip to a completely new location, or simply getting away for a little break, packing for a road trip is something that requires purposeful and intentional thinking.
Packing for a road trip needs to be planned out to make sure that you and your other passengers are comfortable and prepared. There are a few things to keep in mind when packing for your next road trip:
- How well does your air conditioning function (or heater, if it’s winter)?
- Do you have ample leg room in your car?
- Is your vehicle ready for a road trip?
Packing for a road trip can bring about unwanted anxieties and stress. The task may seem slightly daunting. This article explains exactly what you need to pack in your vehicle in order to have the best road trip experience possible! I broke down this article into 3 packing sections: safety, comfort/entertainment, and—of course—food.
What to Pack for a Road Trip
Before heading out on a road trip, make sure that you and your vehicle are prepared with safety precautions. Take your vehicle to a mechanic to be looked over to give you some peace of mind before leaving on your trip.
You never know what is going to happen, and it is always best to be prepared. Items such as jumper cables, road flares, warning triangles, and reflective vests can help you stay safe and get help quicker.
Look for a car emergency kit that has rope, jumper cables, a flashlight, road flares, and a reflective vest.
If you’re travelling with your family or a few friends, make sure that your first aid kid has enough equipment in it for everyone. While very unlikely, it is possible that everyone in your vehicle will require the same item from your first aid kit at the same time. This kit is packed and ready for a 4-person group and has all the necessary items for survival.
Grab a mini first aid kit If you already have first aid essentials and just require things like band-aids, gauze, tweezers, scissors, and acetaminophen caplets.
Make sure you pack some toilet paper (often gas stations don’t have the best quality)!
And don't forget to bring wet wipes to wash sticky fingers.
Don’t forget to pack hand sanitizer, as well, to minimize germs while travelling.
A road atlas can help you in case you lose your way, or it can help you discover new adventures!
Bringing a GPS will help you map out your road trip and stay on top of real-time notifications for things like construction, traffic jams, or accidents.
Having a portable WiFi device could be a handy item to pack as well.
Taking a road trip usually involves a lengthy amount of time in a vehicle. Comfort is important, and you’re going to want to think about it when deciding what to bring on your trip.
You need to bring a car pillow with you on your next road trip. This specific pillow is designed with neck shape in mind to give you the utmost comfort!
You don’t want the littles in your backseat to get cranky during your road trip, so grab them a kiddie pillow, too!
Eliminate the discomfort you feel from the edges of seatbelts—cover your seat belts with a soft cushion!
Despite the season, we all get a little chilled in a vehicle now and then, so make sure to pack a good blanket for yourself. Pick a blanket to bring that makes you feel cozy!
Being away from home can make children feel uncertain and anxious. Packing a soft blanket for your littles can help a lot to soothe their trip anxiety.
Let’s face it, traveling for any length of time in a vehicle with children can be incredibly difficult! Make sure to pack a portable DVD player and some of their favorite movies. Hours will fly by without you even realizing it.
You can even get each of your littles their own screen, so you don’t need to worry about who is hogging the screen.
Music is always entertaining, and there is always something for everyone. Music can help pass the time, and even help you unwind and fall asleep—unless you're the driver, of course.
If your littles are a bit on the younger end, a music player without a display may be easiest for them to operate.
Music is a very fun way to pass time. Load up your own playlist with all your favorite songs, and watch the time on the road fly by.
A notebook and pen are always handy to have in your vehicle, so definitely make sure you pack some for a road trip. You can use them if you are in a vehicular incident, as a place for doodling and recording your thoughts and feelings, and as a place for your littles to document the trip from their perspective.
Don't forget to pack a good camera for your next road trip. You will see amazing things that you'll want to take pictures of, so make sure to pack your camera. If you don’t have a camera yet, make sure to buy one that is user-friendly (unless you’re a photographer) and has a large enough memory card for your trip.
Reading is a great way to pass time. Bring your favorite book, or buy a new one, and spend some time reading. However, don’t plan on doing much reading on the road if you’re the driver!
You can’t go on a road trip without food!
Bringing a cooler will allow you to pre-plan and pre-pack food and snacks. Pack food in your cooler so you can reach it easily from your seat, and make a plan to avoid messes from melting ice. This K-box Electric Cooler can store about 60 cans of soda, which means that you'll have plenty of space for road trip snacks!
Bring along different granola bars to snack on throughout your road trip.
And pack some snacks other than granola bars, too, to keep everyone satisfied.
Make sure to pack your own reusable water bottle for your road trip. I love this motivational one because it helps me remember and stay motivated to drink enough water!
Packing for a road trip can be stressful, but not if you follow these steps. These steps cover safety, comfort, entertainment, and food—everything you need for a great road trip!