Essentials to Pack for Road Trip Season

Road trip season is here. You’ve got your Tommy Bahama button-up and your zip of khaki pant/short combo all packed, but here are a few items to check off the list before you put the pedal to the proverbial metal.


  • Pre-trip tune up – Making sure your vehicle is road trip ready not only brings peace of mind it helps to ensure your car will perform at its best as you log the miles. Even if a trip to the mechanic isn’t in order, it is crucial you check fluid levels including oil, windshield fluid, brake fluids and coolant and tire pressure before embarking. 
  • Water – Not only is it important to stay hydrated, you also want to have plenty of water on board should you run into any type of car trouble along the way. 
  • Cell phone charger – From navigation to communication a cell phone can be an essential lifeline while on a road trip. Bring a charger to ensure your phone has enough juice when you need it.
  • Jumper cables – Much like the cell phone entry above. A dead battery on a road trip is a real bummer. Having a set of jumper cables handy can help get your vehicle up and running in no time. You just need to find a friendly samaritan to help you jolt your battery back to life. 
  • First-aid kit – As with any excursion you want to be prepared. A general first aid kit equips you for any mild injury or illness that may occur while on the road.
  • Sunglasses – A sunny day with the windows down is where a road trip really shines. But that same sunshine bearing down on your eyes for hours on end strains your eyes, so be sure to safeguard your vision with a pair of shades. 
  • Flashlight – If you are driving during low-light hours, at night, or just need to take an illuminated look at something, a flashlight is a must-have. Either the standard flashlight or its handsfree sibling, the headlamp will help make sure you are never in the dark. 
  • Tote – A tote is an excellent addition to your road trip gear due to its versatility. From holding food, gear, clothes or anything else that needs to be organized a tote can go a long way in reducing the excess clutter in your vehicle. 
  • Snacks – The most obvious essential for any road trip. Nobody wants to be driving hangry. Having something sweet or salty to choose from helps the miles go by a little easier until the next stop. 
  • Cooler – Big gulps, gas station coffee and packaged food help to fuel a road trip almost as much as gasoline. But if you have a cooler on hand it is much easier to pack your own food and drink. And an ice cold drink is way more refreshing than a lukewarm one.
  • Music – Create a playlist of your favorite songs along with some new tunes. It will make the time go by faster.
  • Podcast – An intriguing podcast can help the time pass more than music while on the road, and it’s a great time to learn about a topic that interests you. Have your favorite podcast downloaded and ready to listen before beginning your next road trip.  
  • Cash – Roadside restaurants, shops, and stands are usually cash-only establishments, so paper money is still the preferred method of payment. You don’t want to miss out on a unique item or experience because you only have a card.
  • Extra Car Key – Pack an extra set of car keys so you don’t have to call AAA or a locksmith. Make sure you store the spare key on a person or in a bag that differs from the person or bag responsible for the main set.
  • Bug-Out Bag – Preparing for the worst while traveling can never be a bad thing. Adding a small bag of extra water, non-perishable food, and a heat source can ensure that if for some reason you get stranded, you have something to set you over until you can find help.
  • Comfy, closed-toed shoes – When we’re in the car for long periods of time, we want to be comfortable. However, wearing closed-toed shoes can be helpful if you have any car troubles and need to walk. No one wants to walk to the nearest gas station in flip-flops.


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