A trip is not always about the destination but is about the journey. Road trips are fun and are full of adventures. We’ve put together this list to guide you through the various road trip essentials.
Sometimes, it might be anxiety-inducing, time-consuming, and a tedious one, but if planned well, you will thoroughly enjoy it.
Best Long Road Trip Essentials
It is worth experiencing an exciting long road trip, which allows you to see more of nature’s beauty and the picturesque locales. You can stop at many popular tourist places, you desire en route.
Keep your travel spirits high and read along the twelve useful road trip essentials to carry for a long road trip. So, if you are planning soon to hit the road, keep this list handy.
1. Travel navigation app
A lot of mobile apps have made many adventurous trips easy in recent times. For first-timers, Google maps come to mind.
Barring this, there are a few more road navigation apps, like Waze and so on. Various features and alerts make these applications useful.
Most of those apps have a feature to alert the drivers to the presence of any nearby re-fuelling station, road congestion, road accidents, speed breaker, and other obstacles, which might get your trip to a grinding halt.
Additionally, keep a road (paper) map handy. While traveling through the ‘no network’ zone, there will be instances where you will find a shortage of phone signals or internet connection.
Having a road map in real acts as a guiding light. You can also try one of the offline travel navigation apps mentioned in the guide above.
2. Chargers and power banks
Chargers are one of the must-have road trip essentials. Using Gps navigation, social media apps, and maybe taking pictures and video, will eventually drain out your phone’s battery.
Invest in a power bank, especially having a couple of USB outlets when planning for any long road trips. Make sure the power bank has multiple outputs (when traveling with a group).
Mobile roaming drains out the battery even faster. In today’s digitized age, charging hi-tech gadgets stand as the paramount importance. So, pack a right power bank or a charger along with your other packing items. It is yet again a useful item for any road trip.
3. Camera and photography equipment
Being excited before any trip makes us miss out on various utility-oriented things, like getting along with a good travel camera. It is a well-defined idea of packing a camera along with your belongings.
Irrespective of photography as your hobby, carrying a camera will assist you in capturing the travel moments that help reminiscing later.
Various exotic locales might turn into a ‘click-mode’ in your psyche, but without a camera, you can never frame them.
Along with the camera, pack the associated accessories like the lens-cleaner kit, folding tripods, fresh pack of chargeable batteries, and its charger. Also, keep a spare memory card handy, in case you require it.
4. Sufficient travel cash
In today’s card-friendly world, we hardly carry money in our wallet. During road trips, when you hit the highway, with wilderness on both sides, and deserts, there is hardly any chance to get hold of an ATM!
For a long road trip, keep enough cash and coins for the toll gates, car parking, and small roadside eateries. Also, keep some extra cash as an emergency expense.
Also, don’t forget to try one of those travel budgeting apps, it will help you manage your expenses using cards or cash while on the road. If you’re traveling in a group, it will be one of the road trip essentials you must have on your phone in order to split costs.
5. Healthy road trip snacks
While on any road trip, you should try eating healthy food. By eating light food and fresh natural drinks, you will feel energetic.
Choose your travel food based on your needs and not your taste only, your snacks’ list should contain one of these: yogurts, seasonal-fruits, chocolates, fresh juice, sunflower seeds, and nuts.
Include some canned food for the long trip where you can’t make a stop to have lunch or dinner. There might be chances of not getting any excellent eateries on the highways. So, cater for road trip friendly light snacks to keep yourself from falling weak or sick.
Remain well-hydrated by packing a couple of bottled water and healthy drinks. Avoid drinking too much water for a smooth drive. Also, keep away from drinking too much soda, as it will make you dehydrated.
A small hard candy packet acts as a great refreshment. You can pack the same in your glove compartment. While moving, if you start feeling some dizziness or motion sickness, chewing gum while driving or riding is very helpful.
6. Road trip essentials daypack
Irrespective of any road trip, short or long, plan to carry an all-purpose daypack. Pack whatever you consider essential or worth using for the day.
Place a set of change, a sweater or scarf (as a night road trip can be cold sometimes), basic toiletries, and UV protected sunglasses.
You never know, you might want to take a break while driving, and start the following day again feeling fresh!
Place your daypack on your car seat, and within your reach. Load the main items, like sleeping bags, camping gears, or else hiking cycle on your car roof racks.
7. Travel first aid kit
Prepare your travel first-aid kit and store it well with some quick-healing medicines like Aspirin and related items like bandages, cream, pain relievers, antiseptic lotions, and motion sickness pills.
Get along a muscle roller stick to avoid muscles and joint aches taking place, due to long hours on the road. Also, carry motion sickness medicines and some pain-relieving medicines handy for curing any relentless headache that you might suffer during the road trip.
Choose a good sunblock cream while traveling, especially on long road trips during summer. make sure to pick something with a higher-SPF, these will help you protect yourself from undesired suntan/sunburn while you are on the road.
Also, sunblock lotions reduce the risk of skin cancer. Keep the same in the medical kit, so that it is easily accessible.
According to both the EWG and the Skin Cancer Foundation; SPF 30 blocks nearly 97% of UVB radiation, SPF 50 blocks about 98%, and SPF 100 blocks about 99%
8. Wet wipes and tissues
Yet another road trip essentials but underrated traveling items are the soft tissues or the wet wipes. Place them neatly in a box and use the same for wiping your face, blowing your nose, or as a refreshing mask when getting tired.
You can also keep some small-sized towels handy. Most of the time, it works well to sweep away any grime and ensuring facial hydration during long trips.
9. Loaded your iPad or tablet
This one is for those who plan for a long road trip with kids. Sure enough, the kids do get bored quickly, while riding.
If the roadside scenery turns boring or the number-plate game isn’t enough exciting, then the boredom can make your journey a problematic one.
One of the top road trip essentials is a “well-stocked” iPad or tablet loaded with their favorite movies and games. It will keep them entertained while playing some constructive games or watching a good movie.
And, if your child loves reading, a kindle or any eBook app will be an essential help for those long road drives.
This tip isn’t limited to kids, some grownups feel bored even more, it will make your trip and theirs more exciting if they stop complaining about the long hours or even asking the legendary question “Are We Here Yet?”
10. Lightweight blankets and neck-pillows
Scheduling for a road trip can be fun. Keep a pair of soft and lightweight blankets and neck-pillows inside your car. You never know when you need one.
This particular road trip item has various functionalities. You can sometimes use it as a window shade, to partially prevent sun-rays. Also, it can be used as a ground-cover, or when you need a power nap!
Most of the adventure-loving travelers bring these while planning for a long road trip during the fall/winter season. It is hard for you to enjoy your road trip when you experience a chilly summer night!
11. Seasonal Road Trip Essentials
For summer road trips, pack a battery-powered fan and some caps or hats. These are useful when you plan to hit the beach or a hot and humid place. Your travel requirements might be different depending on the season.
Also, if you plan a road trip during winters, it is best to keep a shovel or snow scraper to get rid of the snow on the road or scrapping the ice on your car’s windshield.
It works like magic, and you will never regret packing such an item if you get stuck during or after a heavy snowfall. And again, always keep an umbrella to shield yourself from rain during the rainy season.
Lastly, make sure to fellow those road trip safety tips to enjoy the best of your long road trip, being safe is also something you can plan.
12. Road Trip Survival Kit
Especially when planning for a long trip, you need a survival kit. When you plan for some adventurous road trip, like camping or hiking, it is a must.
Besides your daypack items, having a survival kit is very utility-oriented, including a Swiss-knife, duct-tape, rope, light snack items, road maps, flashlight, batteries, pocket radio, water-proof matches, and a good binocular.
Whatever the reason, planning to hit the woods or spending the night watching the starlit sky, you should be self-sufficient, organized, and well prepared at all times.
Useful long road trip tips
Planning and picking the right road trip essentials is the initial step to have a good time while traveling.
Road trips require certain things, like a well-balanced shot of caffeine, loud music (or a chatty passenger), and a well-planned travel checklist.
Follow the useful utility tips and prepare your own travel essential list. The freedom of driving down the highway is seductive, unexpected, and liberating. So, when in doubt, travel and hit the road!!