25 Essentials for Any and Every Road Trip

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If your summer involves planning the ultimate road trip, there are quite a few things you’ll need to bring along. So, whether you’re traveling across the state or across the country, remember to bring these essential items with you.

25 Essentials for Any and Every Road Trip:


1. Your License and Registration

Though it may to a forgone conclusion that you have these items in your glove compartment, double-checking is a must.

2. A Roadside Emergency Kit

If you plan to go anywhere in a car, you should have one of these at all times.

3. A First Aid Kit

Nothing fancy, but enough to address common traveling ailments like stomach distress, motion sickness and dehydration.

4. A Good Navigation System

It will help you navigate in unfamiliar territory. Get one that plugs into your cigarette lighter for more convenience.

5. A Smartphone

It does almost everything except drive the car for you.

6. A Smartphone Mount

The idea is to be able to use your phone hands-free and safely while driving. Whichever or however you choose one is up to you.

7. A Phone Charger

Just remember, not all phone chargers are created equal.

8. A Good Cigarette Lighter Splitter

Because the cigarette lighter remains a popular place to get some power. And if you need to plug in multiple items, you’ll need a splitter.

9. Map, Maps, Maps

Don’t always count on Google Maps or Mapquest as you might not always have cell service. If technology fails you, make sure you have backup plan in the form of a printed road map.

10. A Compass

It’s the most basic of orienteering tools and small enough to fit in the glove box. You’ll probably never use it, but when you need it you’ll be glad it’s there.

11. Toiletries and Other Essentials

Because rest stop isn’t always well-stocked.

12. A Spare Tire

Make sure it’s in good condition and full of air.

13. A Multi-Purpose Tool

While you might think it’s overkill, it’s the next best thing to keeping a fully loaded toolbox in the back of your vehicle and can be massively helpful when needed.

14. A Flashlight

For when you get a flat tire, it’s the middle of the night, and you’re in the middle of nowhere.

15. An Umbrella

You won’t regret this one.

16. Sunglasses

They are your best friend behind the wheel, especially if you’re heading on an east-west journey. Besides, no one willingly wants crow’s feet.

17. A Road-Worthy Music Playlist

Be sure to carry along a mix of tunes that cover every mood, from upbeat to introspective, to make the most of your trip and everyone can enjoy.

18. Audio Books

Because music will eventually get old. Besides, listening to books can be preferable to the often-nauseating act of reading hard-copy literature in the car.

19. Snacks and Food

Pack some couple healthy snacks so you don’t have to stop (as often) for food. Good examples include granola bars, fruit, pretzels, and nuts.

20. A Durable Travel Mug

So you can keep your drinks hot or cold for hours.

21. Comfortable Travel Clothes

Any experienced traveler will tell you that a road trip is not the best time to wear your tightest jeans.

22. Blankets

If you’re traveling with a companion, a blanket works wonders to help keep you comfortable if the two of you disagree on the inside temperature.

23. A Good Travel Pillow

You want something that won’t take up much space and can expand when it needs to.

24. An Auto Club MembershipAuto Club Membership

Because having an AAA membership offers peace of mind when you’re stranded roadside with no gas or a busted radiator.

25. A Camera

So you can capture the memories of your trip.

Adam Bailey
Born in Louisiana and raised in Alabama, Adam has lived, worked, and adventured all over the world: Australia, Zimbabwe, and Italy just to name a few. He claims he is jack-of-all-trades and an expert in none, Adam was a professional raft guide for thirteen years before settling down in Shreveport with his wife, Erin, and dog, Charley. When not writing, Adam works as an Urban Planner who enjoys his time off rock climbing, mountain biking, paddle boarding, and [email protected]

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