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What to Pack for a Road Trip

Posted by Roam Often on
What to Pack for a Road Trip

Road trips have always ruled the summer, but this year, they’re more popular than ever. With the COVID-19 crisis, we’re itching to get out of our homes. Road trips offer a safe way to do that.

As anyone who’s ever road tripped knows, road trips are a whole different beast than air travel. 

If this is your first time taking a road trip, no worries! We’ll get you up to speed. 

Here’s what to pack for a road trip!

Your road bag vs. your destination bag

You know how you always carry a purse or backpack with you to the airport, in addition to your suitcase? You want to do the same thing when you’re packing for a road trip. 

A tote, backpack, or day bag can hold everything you need when you’re on the road. For everything else, pack it in your suitcase to use once you arrive at the hotel or campsite. You won’t need your PJs when you’re hopping out to gaze at the Grand Canyon, so don’t let them take up precious space in your day bag! 

What to pack for the car

Now that you’ve got your road bag all picked out, what goes in it? A lot. Here’s what we recommend packing for the car.

Your essentials of the road

These are the things any roadtripper needs, no matter the destination.

  • iPhone and a car charger, with your road trip playlist queued up
  • Wallet with cash for tolls and rest stops
  • Driver’s license
  • Proof of insurance
  • Roadside emergency kit
  • Old-school maps (in case you drive through an area without cell service)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hydro Flask or Yeti, with a few extra bottles of water 
  • Hand sanitizer or disinfectant spray (it gets grimy out there!)
  • A roll of toilet paper (again, it gets grimy out there!)
  • A roll of paper towels (for eating while you stare out at the horizon)
  • Trash bag (to toss those roadside snacks in after you’re done)
  • A portable phone battery
  • Pads or tampons if you’re on your period

For your comfort

Driving all day can be tiring. Get refreshed with these creature comforts. 

  • Headphones (if you want to listen to something different than the group)
  • Book, magazine, or e-reader (if you need a moment of zen)
  • Travel pillow
  • Mint or gum
  • Lip balm or chapstick
  • Hand lotion
  • Lip gloss and mascara (for the ‘Gram)
  • Hair brush and hair ties
  • Mini bottle of Febreze or car air freshener (to freshen things up)
  • Travel-size perfume, deodorant, and face mist (to freshen you up)
  • Portable massager (to work out those kinks from sitting all day)

Girls sitting in the back of their car on a roadtrip

So you’re ready for any adventure

Who knows where the road will take you? Pack these and you’ll be ready for anything.

  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Cooler (to store your water, snacks, and that extra can of cold brew)
  • Portable speaker (to play tunes while you go for a dip)
  • A towel (to dry you off or to lay down for an impromptu picnic)
  • Cards Against Humanity or another game to play when you arrive
  • Flashlight (in case you lose anything at night)
  • Travel first aid kit (make sure it has bandaids, bug spray, ibuprofen, hydrocortisone, and hydrogen peroxide) 
  • Blanket (if your friends love to blast the A/C)

Finally, you need to pack your clothes. Read our guide to road trip outfit ideas so you’ll be cute and comfy!

And there you have it: everything you need to pack for a fun and fabulous road trip. 

Fortunately, not all of this has to fit in your car bag. It just has to fit in your car. That’s the beauty of a road trip! You’ve got a lot more room to work with.

So what are you waiting for? Get to packin’, sister! The open road awaits you.

Follow us on Pinterest for more tips on what to pack for your road trip.

Roam often, stay stylish.

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