Do you know someone who is heading off a road trip? Send them off in style with a road trip care package full of essentials and fun tokens for the road!
What is a care package? It’s a receptacle filled with indispensable items, luxury items, food, money, and more that’s given to a loved one to show you miss them or care about them.
A road trip gift basket makes a fun way to show someone you love that you care, whether it’s your daughter or son heading out on his or her first road trip, your husband or wife taking a business trip for work, your best friend heading out on the adventure of a lifetime, or all the passengers who are joining you on the road.
Fill up a box (or bag or basket) with road trip essentials like snacks and games, necessities like chapstick and hand sanitizer, and a few fun extras like a reusable water bottle or gift certificate to their favorite fast food drive through.
Need some inspiration? Read on to find out how to make a road trip care package and what to put in it.
How to make a road trip care package:
Making a road trip care package couldn’t be easier! Here’s what you need to do:
- Buy all the gift box item you want to include (see below for ideas on what to get!). Most of the items you can grab at your local dollar store, any drugstore, or online at websites like Amazon.
- Purchase something to put it all in! Every care package needs a package! Look for something that can hold as much stuff as you need and has multipurpose use: a plastic bin can double as a car organizer, a tote bag can be reused for groceries, a drawstring bag can double as a day pack, or a car organizer can be used to, well, organize the car! I like using a soft-sided shower caddy with plenty of pockets (find the one I used here). The pockets allow you to organize all the goodies and the bag can be used in the hotel to tote around toiletries!
- Arrange the items inside. To make the gift basket visually pleasing, stack the tallest items in the back and shortest items in the front. Use some crumpled tissue paper or newspaper under the items if you need more height. A couple of gift cards or a big of chips popping out between items gives the gift box an extra pop.
- Add a colorful label to let the recipient know just what (and who) this road trip care package is for!
What to Put in a Road Trip Care Package:
You can put anything you want in a road trip care package but you mostly want to fill it with stuff that will be fun and useful while on the road. My top ten favorite items to include include road trip snacks, gift certificates, a cozy blanket, hand sanitizer, road trip games, a travel mug or reusable water bottle, wet wipes, a car air freshener, a road map or guidebook, and some chapstick or lip balm!
Other ideas for a road trip care package: include bottled water or soda, Tylenol, Dramamine, band-aids, sunscreen, bug spray, travel-sized toiletries, tissues, disposable cameras, journals, pens, markers, crossword puzzles, notebooks, or magazines.
1. Road Trip Snacks
Everyone loves road trip snacks to munch on in the car and so they should always be included in a road trip gift basket! Cater the snacks you include to the recipient’s tastebuds. Do they like salty chips? Sweets? Healthy granola bars? Include what they love. Avoid foods that might get messy: cheese puffs (while delicious) leave orange powder on your fingers and car and chocolate easily melts.
2. Gift Certificates
Gift certificates make great gifts for roadtrippers! You can buy gift cards for chain fast food places, national restaurants, coffee shops or even gas stations. Whether your friend loved McDonald’s or Taco Bell, Starbucks or a stop at a Shell, a gift certificate can provide anything from a quick meal to an afternoon pick-me-up, to a much-needed tank of gas.
3. Cozy Blanket
A good care package combines everyday essentials with a few special splurges. So a cozy blanket is a great luxury to include in your parcel amongst those bags of potato chips and licorice. Blankets keep passengers warm on long journeys, can double as a picnic blanket on a hike through a park, and offer a respite from itchy motel quilts. Everyone loves blankets and a cozy throw provides a warm hug from afar.
4. Hand Sanitizer
Let’s be real: you’re going to encounter a lot of germs on a road trip. From handling random gas pumps to sitting in old school diner booths to sleeping in run down motels to touching the balls of the world’s largest buffalo (not that anyone would do that), you’re going to touch a lot of germs. Hand sanitizer is a road tripper’s best friend.
5. Road Trip Games
Young or old: everyone loves road trip games. Throw in some road trip bingo cards, conversation starters, or Mad Libs for everyone in the car to play along!
6. Travel Coffee Mug or Water Bottle
Everyone taking a road trip should have a travel coffee mug and/or refillable water bottle. They save money by allowing you to fill up at the hotel’s free breakfast and are better for the environment than buying plastic bottles at the gas station convenience store. Add one of these to your road trip care packages and the recipient will thank you forever.
7. Wet Wipes
Wet wipes are always handy to have on hand in the car, especially on long car rides. Different types of wet wipes can be used in different situations: disinfecting the steering wheel, cleaning up a cola explosion, or in place of toilet paper when the gas station bathroom is out. Baby wipes can be used for many purposes and disinfectant wipes provide a stronger clean, so throw in a couple packs of each.
8. Car Air Freshener
After a few days in the car it can start smelling less than fresh. A car air freshener can help! Throw in some retro trees, something cute and quirky, or a modern air vent clip to curb the scent that can only come from a pack of people stuffed in a car.
9. Road Map or Guidebook
A road map or local guidebook for their destination or route is always a fun addition to a road trip care package! Buy something general that they can use again or again (like a USA road atlas) or something specific, like a Route 66 guidebook or map of Oregon, that will help them along their journey.
10. Chapstick or Lip Balm
There are lots of little filler items that can really round out a gift basket: packets of tissues, travel-sized sunscreen, packets of Advil or Dramamine. One of my favorite “stocking stuffers” (car package stuffers?) is lip balm! These little tubes go a long way, help your recipient feel refreshed, and add an extra something to your road trip care package.