Road Trip Packing List: What to Pack For a Road Trip

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Hitting the road and trying to figure out what to pack for a road trip? Putting together a road trip packing list can be a daunting task, I know. 

On one hand, you have the freedom to pack as much road trip gear into your car as you want. Car trips give you the luxury of trunk space and backseats to fill to your heart’s content. Plus, you don’t have to worry about TSA restrictions on how much shampoo you can carry nor do you have to pay extra fees for overweight suitcases.

On the other hand, you still want to pack light and pack smart. No one wants to spend precious travel time that could be used cruising the highway, admiring the world’s largest catsup bottle, or chowing down on fried chicken to instead sort through a messy trunk full of junk just to find their bathing suit.

Your road trip packing list should be thorough, yet concise. It should take into account how long you’ll be on the road, where you’ll be going, and what you’ll be doing on the way, all while balancing your ultimate needs for keeping safe and smart on the road.

Ready to pack your bags and hit the road? I’ve been taking American road trips for years, racking up tens of thousands of miles and perfecting the art of packing for a road trip along the way. So if you need help figuring out what to pack for a road trip, I’ve compiled this ultimate road trip packing list to get you organized and ready to travel. Let’s hit the gas and go…

Need more road trip packing inspiration? Check out these other articles about what to bring on a roadtrip:

Ultimate Road Trip Packing List: What to Pack For a Road Trip

Road Trip Packing List Essentials

These items are your road trip essentials: things you should never leave home without. You’ll always want to make sure you have the proper identification and your car’s registration along with access to enough money to get you where you’re going .

These are the physical road trip items that you absolutely need to pack, but it’s also a great idea to email yourself scanned copies of your passport and drivers license and have on hand relevant contact numbers for your insurance provider, doctor and pediatrician, roadside assistance.

Road Trip List of Essentials

  • Drivers License
  • Car Key
  • Passport (if driving to another country)
  • Credit Cards
  • ATM Card
  • Cash and Coins 
  • Copy of Car Insurance and Registration
  • AAA Membership Cards and/or Phone Number for Roadside Assistance
  • Your Car’s Manual
  • Prescriptions Medications

Our Picks for Road Trip Packing Essentials

Fancy Mobility Car Sun Visor Organizer - Auto Accessories Document Holder - Car, Truck, SUV Registration & Insurance Storage Pouch - Road Trip Essential Gift for Any Driver - Comes With a Unique eBook

Fancy Mobility Car Sun Visor Organizer

Organize your important documents in a convenient wallet that clips to your car’s sun visor. Never misplace your car registration or important documents again.

High Road Car Glove Box Organizer, Registration and Insurance Document Holder and Car Manual Holder with Flexible Secure Zippered Case and Note Pad

High Road Glove Box Organizer 

Keep all your registration and insurance documents in one place with a small folder that tucks into your glovebox for the ultimate in organization and convenience.

Road Trip Electronics

Even if you’re taking a slow drive down a classic road, a modern road trip isn’t complete without a little technology. You’ll definitely want your phone to document your road trip on social media, stay connected, snap some photos, and access your GPS and music (not to mention make a call in case of emergency). And, if you’re like me, and love taking photos of landscapes, roadside attractions, and your food, you’ll probably want a separate camera like a DSLR or a mirrorless model, for better quality snapshots.

If you’re traveling with friends or family, they might want some road trip entertainment, or distraction, while your eyes are on the road. So, for your traveling companions, extra tablets, e-readers, or iPods are essential.

And, of course, you’re going to need to keep all of those electronics charged and in a convenient place. Don’t forget to bring your chargers and consider getting an extra car charger and/or external charger to make sure your battery power lasts. Be sure to also invest in a phone mount for your car, so it’s easily accessible and visible when you’re using it as a GPS.

Electronic Packing List

  • Tablets, eReaders, or iPods
  • Electronic Toll Pass
  • Phone Charger, Car Charger, Portable Charger
  • Hands-Free Phone Mount

Our Picks for Electronics to Pack for a Road Trip

Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Camera with RF 24-105mm F/4L is USM Lens, Black - 3380C012

Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Camera

The Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Camera is a favorite road trip camera and an essential item in a road trip kit. This mirrorless camera is one of the most affordable full-frame models and offers sharp photos and 4K video in an easy-to-carry package. And the front-facing LCD makes taking road trip selfies a breeze! It’s perfect for capturing all the world’s largest things. Check out our full list of the best road trip cameras for more recommendations!

Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet, built for relaxation, 10.1' vibrant Full HD screen, octa-core processor, 3 GB RAM, latest model (2023 release), 32 GB, Black

Fire Tablet

Individual tablets allow car passengers to watch movies, listen to music, read, or play games on long car rides.

Qifutan Phone Mount for Car Vent [Upgraded Clip] Cell Phone Holder Car Hands Free Cradle in Vehicle Car Phone Holder Mount Fit for Smartphone, iPhone, Cell Phone Automobile Cradles Universal

Hands-Free Car Phone Mount

Having a car mount for your phone allows you to put it front and center on your car dashboard where you can easily see your turn-by-turn directions or take hands-free calls from the driver’s seat.

5-in-1 Car USB Charger Multi Port, 12V Car Phone Charger Adapter for Multiple Devices, Car Cigarette Lighter USB Charger with 5FT Extension Cable for Back Seat Charging

Multi USB Car Charger

If you have multiple passengers and multiple devices, you’re going to have a lot of electronics to charge. Keep everyone happy with a multi-port USB car charger to charge up to six phones, tablets, cameras, and more at once.

Road Trip Necessities for Navigation

You can’t get where you’re going unless you know how to get there. Maps, both electronic and paper, are essential items for your weekend trip or cross country road trip packing list. 

Sure, your smartphone or car probably has built-in GPS functionality so be sure you have a charged phone with an app like Google Maps installed (pro tip: Google Maps lets you download offline maps so you can still access them if you can’t get a data or wifi signal).

If you don’t have a smart phone, know your kids will be hogging yours the whole way, or have an older car, you might want to get a separate car GPS navigator to give you turn-by-turn directions and alerts for your drive.

Of course, even if you’re relying on a phone or GPS to guide you on your way, it’s always a good idea to keep a paper map on hand. I always keep an American road atlas in my car that shows all the highways and byways of the country.  That way if your phone dies or is lost or breaks, you’re not flying (or driving) blind.

Packing List for Road Trip Navigation:

  • Phone with GPS
  • Google Maps App
  • GPS Navigator
  • Paper Map/Road Atlas

Our Picks for Navigation Essentials

Garmin 010-02038-02 DriveSmart 65, Built-In Voice-Controlled GPS Navigator with 6.95” High-Res Display , Black

Garmin GPS Navigator 

Even if your phone has GPS capabilities, it’s a good idea to invest in a separate GPS navigator. That was you have that extra insurance in case your phone dies, loses contact, or is in use by a backseat passenger.

Rand McNally 2024 Large Scale Road Atlas - 100th Anniversary Collector's Edition (The Rand McNally Large Scale Road Atlas)

Rand McNally Road Atlas

If technology fails you, always have a backup. Explore the roads in all 50 U.S. states and over 350 cites and national parks. A road atlas is always on my list of road trip must haves.

Road Trip Clothes Packing List

When deciding what to wear on a road trip, the number one thing to keep in mind is comfort. You’ll be spending most of your travel time in the car and you don’t want to be dealing with too-tight jeans or a too-hot coat.

When dressing for a road trip, I like to throw on a short cotton dress, some slip ons, and a hoodie and call it a day, but it’s important to pack variety of road trip clothing when dealing with different locations and different climates.

What you pack to wear is entirely dependent on what you normally wear and where you’re going. If you never wear dresses, don’t pack them, there’s no need to dress drastically different for a road trip than you would back home. And unless you’re road tripping to a wedding, you probably don’t need to pack a suit.

That said, you might want to be prepared for different situations. Maybe bring a sports coat or dress just in case you want to treat yourself to a nice night out. Bring a bathing suit even if you’re not going to the beach – you might stay at a hotel that has a pool. And always be prepared for temperature changes just in case, bringing some warmer-weather clothes like t-shirts and shorts to colder destinations and a sweater and pants to warmer places.

I always keep a warm hoodie on hand just in case a restaurant is too cold for my liking. And, if I am planning on going hiking or to a beach, I like to keep those clothes in a separate, easy-to-reach bag and change once I get there. Wearing a bathing suit for five hours in the car isn’t exactly the most comfortable wardrobe choice.

And please don’t forget all the other road trip wardrobe essentials: bras, underwear, socks, and a variety of shoes.

Best Road Trip Clothes Ideas for Her

  • T-Shirts
  • Tank Tops
  • Casual Shirts
  • Blouses
  • Skirts
  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • Capris
  • Leggings
  • Hiking Pants
  • Dresses
  • Sweaters
  • Hoodies or Sweatshirts
  • Jacket
  • Rain Jacket
  • Bras
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Bathing Suit
  • Bathing Suit Coverup or Sarong
  • Pajamas
  • Workout Clothes
  • Sneakers
  • Sandals
  • Heels/Flats
  • Flip Flops
  • Hiking Boots
  • Wide-brimmed Hat or Baseball Cap
  • Jewelry and Accessories
  • Scarf
  • Sunglasses
  • Glasses

Best Road Trip Clothes Ideas for Him

  • T-Shirts
  • Casual Shirts
  • Dress Shirts
  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • Hiking Pants
  • Sweaters
  • Hoodies or Sweatshirts
  • Jacket
  • Suit
  • Sports Jacket
  • Jacket
  • Rain Jacket
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Swim Trunks
  • Workout Clothes
  • Pajamas
  • Sneakers
  • Sandals
  • Flip Flops
  • Dress Shoes
  • Hiking Boots
  • Hat or Baseball Cap
  • Belt
  • Ties
  • Sunglasses
  • Glasses

Road Trip Clothes for Kids

  • T-Shirts
  • Tank Tops
  • Casual Shirts
  • Skirts
  • Rompers
  • Onesies
  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • Leggings
  • Dresses
  • Sweaters
  • Hoodies or Sweatshirts
  • Jacket
  • Rain Jacket
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Swimsuits
  • Sleepwear
  • Sneakers
  • Sandals
  • Flip Flops
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Glasses
  • Diapers

Our Picks for What Clothes to Pack for a Road Trip

Amazon Essentials Men's Sherpa-Lined Full-Zip Fleece Hoodie, Red, Large

Sherpa-Lined Full-Zip Hooded Fleece Sweatshirt

No matter what the weather is like, when I’m road tripping I always keep a fleece hoodie close by. You never know when you’re going to enter a too-cold car, restaurant, or hotel room and that extra layer can go a long way.

Road Trippin Cool Retro Vintage Road Trip Distressed T-Shirt

Road Trippin T-Shirt

Wear your love of road tripping on your sleeve…or on your chest. Road-trip themed t-shirts like this vintage distressed shirt are always a fun addition to your road trip clothing wardrobe.

Ray-Ban RB3025 Classic Aviator Sunglasses, Matte Gold/Polarized Brown Gradient, 58 mm

Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized sun glasses are a must-pack item for any road trip. Protect your eyes from harmful rays, fight glare while driving, and look cool on the beach with a good-quality pair of shades

Road Trip Toiletries

One of the best reasons to choose car travel over plane travel is the ability to pack full-sized toiletries and as many of them as you like. There are no 3-ounce rules in your car. Still, you don’t want to go overboard or your trunk could easily be half-full of shampoo bottles.

How many bath and body products you bring really depends on how long you’re traveling and where you’re staying. For a quick weekend trip, some travel-sized toiletries may be all you need. For a longer vacation, you might want to add more to your list of what to bring on road trip.

Keep in mind that most hotels offer free travel-sized bathroom goodies. Also, if you’re traveling as a family, try to share wherever you can!

Don’t forget to bring any medications you need and some extra medicine for any foreseeable problems. You don’t want a headache or an upset stomach ruining your road trip.

Road Trip Supplies and Toiletries List

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Soap or Body Wash
  • Face Wash
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Floss
  • Razor
  • Shaving Cream
  • Aftershave
  • Perfume
  • Deodorant
  • Makeup (Mascara, Lipstick, Eyeshadow, etc.)
  • Makeup Remover
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Hand Lotion
  • Moisturizer
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Chapstick/Lip Balm
  • Prescription medicines
  • Tylenol or other headache medicine
  • Stomach medicine
  • Benadryl
  • Vitamins
  • First Aid Kit/Bandaids
  • Brush
  • Comb
  • Hair Ties
  • Hair Styling Products
  • Tampons, Pads, or Pantyliners
  • Anti-wrinkle spray
  • Towel
  • Kleenex Tissues
  • Toilet Paper Roll

Our Picks for Road Trip Toiletries

Convenience Kits International Men's Premium, Black, 15-Piece

Convenience Kits Men’s Premium Travel Kit

This 20-piece travel toiletry kit compiles everything you need in one package. Get shaving cream, shampoo, deodorant, lip balm and more in a compact package great for on the go travelers.

Convenience Kits International Women's Premium 16 PC Travel Kit Featuring: Tresemme Hair Travel-Size Products and Hair and Bathing Essentials (8118)

Convenience Kits Women’s Premium Travel Kit

Get everything you need in one convenient package. This 20-piece toiletry kit contains shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, disposable razor, and more.

Entertainment Options

While for some, the thrill of driving and seeing the country is all the entertainment they need, for others, a few extra entertainment choices can go a long way. 

If your car is packed with passengers be sure to have plenty of entertainment options packed, like road trip games, DVDs, and toys. Be sure to load up your iPhone with music, audio books, and podcasts before your journey and give everyone in the car a turn at picking what you listen to.

Things to Bring on a Road Trip for Entertainment

  • iPhone Loaded with Music
  • iPod
  • Headphones
  • Waterproof Cameras
  • Puzzle Books like Suduko
  • Road Trip Games
  • Road Trip Journals, Pens, and Crayons
  • Books and Magazines
  • Electronic Games.
  • DVDs and Portable DVD Player
  • Toys
  • Binoculars

Our Picks for What to Bring on a Road Trip for Entertainment

The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book: Everything You Need to Have and Record an Epic Road Trip!

The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book

Enjoy fun games and challenges to pass the time on your next road trip and have a keepsake to look back on for years to come with this entertaining must-have for your next vacation. The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book features fun and engaging journal prompts. plus 100 activities and games to play in the car, at your hotel, or at stops along your route.

WONNIE 10.5' Two DVD Players Dual Screen for Car Portable CD Player Play a Same or Two Different Movies with Two Mounting Brackets, 5-Hour Rechargeable Battery, Support USB/SD Card Reader

Portable Dual DVD Players

A duel car DVD player that clips to your headrests can provide hours of entertainment for road trip passengers. This one plays DVDs or digital files stored on a USB or card reader.

Road Trip Journal for a USA Road Trip | Lined Road Trip Diary for Adults and Kids

Road Trip Journal

Record your road trip adventure with a road trip journal, complete with prompts to help you document where you went, what you saw, and what you ate!

Nintendo Switch™ with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy‑Con™

Nintendo Switch

Play all your favorite games on the go. Keep your family entertained and never hear, “are we there yet?” again. The portable design of the Nintendo Switch makes it the perfect gaming system for road trips and back seat play.

Audible Audio Books

Sign up for a service like Audible before your next road trip and listen to audio books while you drive. Take a break from music and catch up on the latest best seller or classics like On The Road in your car. Sign up for a free trial or dive right in with a membership today.

Snacks to Take on a Road Trip

Whether you’re traveling near or far, it’s always good to have some road trip snacks on hand. I like to pack snacks ahead of time because it’s cheaper to buy larger quantities at the grocery store than it is buying one-off candy bars and Cokes at gas station shops.

What snacks to bring on a road trip is entirely up to you and your passengers’ tastes. Do you like salty or sweet? Healthy or meat? It’s good to have a mix of sinful snacks like candy and chips along with some healthier options like nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

I always try to avoid anything that is too messy: keep in mind that chips can get crushed and greasy and chocolate can melt. I always had a rule of no “orange” food, like Cheetos or Doritos, in my car because I didn’t want orange dust all over!

Be sure to also pack a cooler with ice packs for drinks and bring along a portable water bottle and coffee cup to fill up at hotels.

Road Trip Food List

  • Granola Bars
  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn
  • Chips
  • Trail Mix
  • Dried Fruit
  • Beef Jerky
  • Crackers
  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Cereal
  • Bottles of Water
  • Juice Boxes
  • Soft Drinks
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Pre-Cut Veggies
  • Fruit Snacks
  • Cheese sticks

If you’re planning on picnicking or camping, or just want to save money on dining, you might want to pack some extra food such as:

  • Hot Dogs and Buns
  • Hamburgers and Buns
  • Condiments
  • Sandwich Items (Bread, Meat, Cheese)
  • S’mores (Marshmallows, Chocolate, Graham Crackers)

And don’t forget to pack some extras to keep your food fresh, safe, and accessible: and your car (and passengers) clean:

  • Cooler
  • Ice Packs
  • Wet Wipes
  • Zippered Plastic Baggies or Sandwich Bags
  • Plastic Tupperware Food Containers
  • Paper Towels
  • Napkins
  • Reusable Water Bottle 
  • Reusable Coffee Mug
  • Toothpicks
  • Utensils 
  • Butter Knife
  • Sharp Knife
  • Paper Plates
  • Plastic Bowls
  • Cutting Board
  • Corkscrew
  • Can Opener
  • Bottle Opener
  • Reusable Shopping Bag
  • Portable Grill

Our Picks for Snack Things to Take on a Road Trip

RTIC Soft Cooler 30 Can, Insulated Bag Portable Ice Chest Box for Lunch, Beach, Drink, Beverage, Travel, Camping, Picnic, Car, Trips, Floating Cooler Leak-Proof with Zipper, Blue/Grey

Waterproof Soft-Sided Cooler Bag

If you’re packing snacks, a cooler is a must-have item on your USA road trip packing list. Stock up on drinks and keep them cold so you don’t have to buy a soda every time you stop for gas or load it up on sandwich fixings and hot dogs for a camping adventure. A high-quality soft sided cooler like this RTIC model is the way to go: it’s more flexible design allows it to squeeze into valuable trunk space and will keep your food chilled for days at a time.

Stanley Quencher H2.0 FlowState Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler with Lid and Straw for Water, Iced Tea or Coffee, Smoothie and More, Fog, 40 oz

Reusable Travel Mug

Reusable travel mugs keep cold beverages cold and hot beverages hot for hours. You’ll save money and time (and the environment) on road trips by filling it up at hotels so you always have refreshing water or pick-me-up coffee on hand.

CRAVEBOX Healthy Snack Box (35 Count) Spring Finals Variety Pack Care Package Gift Basket Kid Men Women Adult Nuts Health Nutrition Assortment College

Snack Chest Care Package

Can’t decide what snacks to pack for a road trip? Get a variety pack! You can get a big box of road trip snacks delivered to your door packed with your favorite treats. If you’re looking to snack lighter on your road trip go for a healthy snack pack filled with veggie straws, fruit snacks, granola bars, and trail mix.

Sunflora Picnic Backpack for 4 Person with Blanket Picnic Basket Set for 2 with Insulated Cooler Wine Pouch for Family Couples (Brush Beige)

Waterproof Picnic Backpack

If you’re planning on packing your own food, camping, or picnicking on your road trip, consider getting a picnic backpack complete with plates, glasses, and utensils. It’s better for the environment than using disposable plastic plates and forks, and will have every thing you need to eat your meals on the go.

Road Trip with Kids Packing List

If you’re a family road tripping with kids, you have a whole new list of packing needs (in fact, you might want to pack an extra car). I don’t have kids myself, so you’d make the better call as to what should go on your family road trip packing list. But ,when thinking about what to pack for a roadtrip with kids, here are some essentials.

Packing List for Road Trip with Kids

  • Car Seat
  • Bibs
  • Stroller
  • Wagon
  • Playpen
  • Folding Step Stool
  • Potty
  • Highchair
  • Baby Carrier
  • Bottle
  • Pacifiers
  • Sippy Cup
  • Games
  • Story Books
  • Blanket
  • Toys
  • Diapers
  • Pull Ups
  • Swim Diapers
  • Baby Wipes
  • Waterproof Sheet
  • Childproofing Items

Our Picks for Road Trip Necessities for Kids

Kenley Kids Travel Tray, Toddler Car Seat Lap Tray, Road Trip Essentials Activity Table,16.5 x 13.5 Inches (Blue/Gray)

Kids Travel Tray for Toddler Car Seat

This foldable, compact travel tray gives your child the freedom to keep his or her things at arm’s length and a surface to play on short or long car trips.

National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas, 2nd Edition

National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas

Entertain your kids with this educational book featuring maps, games, activities, and more.

Road Trip Items for Your Car

For the best long car trip experience, make sure you always have these road trip essentials on hand. These are little things that can make a big difference in the comfort of you and your passengers and keep your road trip running smooth. From organizers to keep you organized to baby wipes to keep you clean to an umbrella just in case it rains, you won’t want to shift into drive without these items on hand.

What to Pack in the Car for a Road Trip

  • Car Organizers
  • Trunk Organizers
  • Emergency Cash and Change
  • Toll Pass
  • Blanket
  • Car Air Freshener
  • Sunshade
  • Car Garbage Can or Extra Plastic Bags
  • Baby Wipes
  • Tide To-Go Pen
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Tissues
  • Paper Towels
  • Travel Pillow
  • Sweatshirt or Hoodie
  • Umbrella
  • Batteries and Chargers

Our Picks for Your Car Trip Packing List

Helteko Backseat Car Organizer, Kick Mats Back Seat Protector with Touch Screen Tablet Holder, Back Seat Organizer for Kids, Travel Accessories with 9 Storage Pockets 2 Pack, Black

Backseat Car Organizer

Keep everything neat and organized on your next road trip with a car organizer that slips over the back of the front seats and has room for tablets, toys, games, snacks, and all the other road trip essentials you need on hand.

DRIVE AUTO PRODUCTS - Compact Black Car Trunk Organizer with Adjustable Straps

Car Trunk Organizer

With three spacious compartments and some extra side pockets, a car trunk organizer like this one will help keep your snacks, supplies, and emergency items in one convenient place.

Lusso Gear Spill-Proof Car Trash Can, 2.5 Gallon Hanging Garbage Bin for Men and Women, Removable Liner, Storage Pockets, Keeps Automobile, Truck, Minivan & SUV Clean & Odor Free

Spill-Proof Car Trash Can

Keep your car clear of candy wrappers, messy napkins, and fast food receipts with a compact garbage can that attaches to the headrest, console, or side door.

Road Trip Safety Essentials

When planning your what to pack for a road trip checklist, you can’t forget the safety essentials. These are things to have on hand just in case, to protect you, your car, and your passengers, if something goes wrong.

You should definitely have a roadside emergency kit in your car. This will help you whether you run out of gas, pop a tire, or have a dead battery. You should also have a first aid kit on hand to treat any minor medical mishaps that might otherwise dampen your vacation.

It’s always best to be prepared, so don’t leave on a road trip without having these items packed in your car.

Safety Essentials Road Trip List

  • Roadside Emergency Kit
  • Air Compressor
  • Jumper Cables
  • Tow Rope
  • Window Hammer
  • Booster Cables
  • Flashlight
  • Spare Tire
  • Tire Jack
  • First Aid Kit (Pain Reliever, Band Aids, Antibiotic Cream, Benadryl, Tums)
  • Candles
  • Lighter
  • Tool Kit
  • Duct Tape
  • WD40
  • Empty Portable Gas Can
  • Washer Fluid
  • Transmission Oil
  • Brake Fluid
  • Rags and an Old Blanket
  • Extra Car Key
  • Gallon Jug of Water

For winter road trips or snowy locations you should also bring:

  • Tire Chains
  • Ice Scraper
  • Non-Clay Kitty Litter
  • Folding Shovel
  • Warm Clothes
  • Heavy Blanket

Our Picks For Safety Things to Pack for a Road Trip

Thrive Roadside Emergency Car Kit (104 Pieces) - Car Safety Accessories and Tool Kit with Jumper Cables and Mini First Aid Kit - Car Emergency Kit for Women and Men (Red Canvas Bag)

Auto Emergency Kit

You can never be too prepared when packing for a road trip. Keeping a car emergency kit in your trunk is a must for road trips both short and long. This one has an air compressor, reflective warning triangle, tow rope, hammer, jumper cables, and more to give you peace of mind that you’re prepared for any emergency on the road.

299PCS First Aid Kit Portable Red Camping Essentials Multiple Purpose Suivival Kits Plus Case Emergency Set Outdoor Backpacking Gear Suitable for Hiking School Car Home YIDERBO

Small First Aid Kit

Be prepared for anything by storing a first aid kit in your car. Choose a waterproof model like this one packed with everything you expect and need: antiseptic wipes, adhesive bandages, an emergency blanket, splinter probes, and more.

3pc Snow Survival Kit: Aluminum Shovel, Snow Brush with Window Ice Scraper and Mini Snow Scraper

3-Piece Snow Survival Kit

If you’re taking a winter road trip, you have to be prepared for the elements. You don’t want snow to ruin your drive. At the very least equip your car with a windshield ice scraper, a mini hand car windshield snow scraper, and an aluminum car safety shovel before you take off.

Road Trip Bags and Luggage

With all those items to pack for your road trip, you’re going to need a place to store them. Choose a duffel bag, suitcase, or backpack for your clothes, a toiletry bag for your bathroom needs, and a smaller road trip backpack and/or purse for use during the day. You might also want to bring along a laundry bag to separate your used clothes from your clean clothes and a couple of extra bags to organize your sweatshirts, snacks, and anything else you want to keep on close to hand in the car.

Looking for the best road trip luggage and bags? Check out these additional articles:

Luggage to Bring on a Road Trip

  • Duffel Bag, Suitcase, or Backpack
  • Small Backpack
  • Day Pack
  • Purse
  • Small Bags for the Car
  • Toiletry Bag
  • Laundry Bag
  • Camera Bag

Our Picks for Road Trip Bag and Luggage

Canvas Duffle Bag for Travel, 50L Duffel Overnight Weekend Bag (Dark Gray)

Canvas Duffle Bag for Travel

Duffle bags make for great road trip luggage. The soft exterior make them flexible when storing in the trunk, the straps and handles make them easy to carry up to a hotel room, and the multiple compartments make organizing your bag a breeze.

Osprey Daylite Commuter Backpack, Black

Osprey Packs Daylite Daypack

On a road trip, you always want to bring a small, empty backpack to use as a daypack. Use it to take only the essentials to the beach, hiking, or theme parks so you don’t have to lug around your luggage or go without.

VOLGANIK ROCK Crossbody Purses for Women Shoulder Handbags Lightweight Waterproof Nylon Travel Bag Ladies Pocketbooks(Black-Large)

Road Trip Purse

When choosing a road trip purse you should pick something that is bulky enough to hold all your essentials (wallet, phone, car keys, sunscreen, etc.) but not so big that you might as well exchange it for a backpack. I like a nylon crossbody bag that is easy to carry and has plenty of space without the extra weight.

Road Trip Packing List Printable Download

Ultimate Road Trip Packing List: What to Pack For a Road Trip Checklist

Download our free road trip packing list printable with all the essential ideas for what to bring on a road trip. Print it off while you’re packing your bags and cross out the items you go.

Pin this Road Trip Packing List to Save for Your Next Road Trip

Hitting the road and trying to figure out what to pack for a road trip? We’ve compiled this ultimate road trip packing list to get you organized. Whether you're traveling cross country or taking a weekend getaway this road trip packing list is full of essentials you can't leave behind. With road trip packing tips & hacks for kids, adults, and teens, your car and backpacks will be organized with everything you need.
#RoadTripPacking #RoadTripPackingList #RoadTripPackingHack #RoadTripPackingTips
Hitting the road and trying to figure out what to pack for a road trip? We’ve compiled this ultimate road trip packing list to get you organized. Whether you’re traveling cross country or taking a weekend getaway this road trip packing list is full of essentials you can’t leave behind. With road trip packing tips & hacks for kids, adults, and teens, your car and backpacks will be organized with everything you need.
Hitting the road and trying to figure out what to pack for a road trip? We’ve compiled this ultimate road trip packing list to get you organized. Whether you're traveling cross country or taking a weekend getaway this road trip packing list is full of essentials you can't leave behind. With road trip packing tips & hacks for kids, adults, and teens, your car and backpacks will be organized with everything you need.
#RoadTripPacking #RoadTripPackingList #RoadTripPackingHack #RoadTripPackingTips
Hitting the road and trying to figure out what to pack for a road trip? We’ve compiled this ultimate road trip packing list to get you organized. Whether you’re traveling cross country or taking a weekend getaway this road trip packing list is full of essentials you can’t leave behind. With road trip packing tips & hacks for kids, adults, and teens, your car and backpacks will be organized with everything you need.

Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

Plan Your Road Trip

Valerie Bromann

Founder & ROad Trip Expert

Valerie Bromann is a a website manager, content creator, and writer from Chicago, Illinois (currently living in Dallas, Texas). As an avid road tripper who has visited hundreds of roadside attractions, Val always pull over for a world’s largest thing. Founder of Silly America and author of The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book, she visits, photographs, and writes about all the weird tourist destinations she visits and offers road trip planning advice and inspiration based on her own travels so you can hit the road for yourself.

World's Largest Mailbox in Casey, Illinois roadside attraction

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Last modified: December 22, 2023
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The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book - Everything You Need to Have and Record an Epic Road Trip! By Valerie Bromann

The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book

Everything You Need to Have and Record an Epic Road Trip!

BY Valerie Bromann

Enjoy fun games and challenges to pass the time on your next road trip and have a keepsake to look back on for years to come with this entertaining must-have for your next vacation.

The road trip you’ve been dreaming of starts here! Journal about your stops and get to know your fellow passengers with activities and exercises designed to pass the time and bring you closer together. Instead of “Are we there yet?” you’ll find yourself asking, “We’re there already?”. Complete with prompts you can turn to while driving between locations, this journal will one day be a memento of your life-changing trip.