Road trips are an awesome and cheap vacation option for all sorts of groups, from families looking for a personalized bonding adventure, to soul-searching millennials wanting temporary escape, to honeymooners seeking a magical new start. If a road trip is part of your plans for this summer, then you sure are one lucky duck. Summer road trips are notoriously sweaty, difficult, and even boring at times. Whether you’re heading on a weeklong trip with minimal driving or an open-ended trip with strenuous stretches of time spent in the car, having the right stuff on hand in the car will ensure that your trip is more pleasant than it is rough. Pack the items on the summer road trip packing list below to maximize comfort and fun!
Summer Road Trip Packing List
To Prep Your Car:
Equip your car with some practical auto accessories and your car will transform into a well-oiled road tripping machine!
- Chargers: Your group will rely on their phones and tablets for navigation and entertainment. Make sure there are enough chargers to go around!
- Auxiliary Cord: At some points on your drive, you may lose your radio signal. Playing music from your phone is a great way to avoid having to sit in silence.
- Phone Mount: You may be used to putting your phone on your lap or on the dash when you use it to navigate on short trips, but this will get exhausting and dangerous on a long trip. Get a reliable phone mount that keeps your phone at eye level.
- Trash Receptacle: Keep your car from being flooded with trash!
- Roadside Emergency Kit: If you don’t have an accident preparedness kit already, make sure you have one for your road trip! Anything can happen, anywhere.
- Vehicle Documents: License & registration; a copy of your car’s insurance policy; a car manual.
For Hygiene & Stuff To Wear:
- Sneakers & Walking Sandals: Whatever the nature of your road trip is, there’s likely to be lots of walking involved. Make sure to bring some great sneakers and/or walking sandals.
- Basic Clothing: To maximize the wearability of the clothes you pack, bring clothes in simple, comfy cuts and neutral colors. That being said, also bring the clothes that will make you feel confident: break out those eye-catching prints, flattering sweaters, and killer jeggings.
- Toiletries: Pack all your (travel-sized!) toiletries in a sealed baggie to prevent spills.
- Nail Clippers: Easily forgotten, these are necessary to keep you from turning into a long-nailed supervillain.
- Laundry Soap: For trips longer than two weeks, consider washing your worn clothes by hand. Laundry bar soap is a great item that doesn’t take up much space.
For Making Memories:
You’ll go to so many places on your road trip that you’ll forget many of them if you don’t make an effort to record your memories. Pack the following to preserve your memories for years to come!
- Lil’ Travel Journal: Bring a notebook and use it to jot down the names of all those breathtaking spots. Get one small enough to fit into your fanny pack or travel purse so you can whip it out whenever you want.
- Selfie Stick: No need to ask strangers to take your picture anymore!
- Disposable Camera: If you don’t want to obsess TOO much over taking photos, then consider using a disposable film camera to help you keep your focus on the magical moments themselves. You’ll love developing your photos and reliving your travels.
For General Preparedness:
- Cash: Many stores, restaurants, and even gas stations will only take cash!
- Toilet Paper: You’ll be encountering many kinds of restrooms on your trip, including, just maybe, improvised ones.
- Big Water Bottles: At home, water is available at all times. Out there, it’ll benefit you to be prepared when it comes to hydration. A big plus if you use reusable bottles!
- Mini Fan: Your car may be well air-conditioned, but you’ll need to keep cool when you step out, too.
- Lots Of Sunscreen: Get tanned, not burned.
- Bug Spray: To keep those pesky flies and mosquitoes away.
You’ll obviously have to cater your personal packing list to your own preferences, but the above list is a great place to start! Pack light, but include all the stuff you need for a smooth, comfortable, and memorable road trip. For this summer road trip of a lifetime, make sure to prepare well so you can play well!