Planning a road trip for yourself, or perhaps one with friends, or family? What to bring, though? That is the question, and we will answer it!
Of course, what to bring on a road trip will depend on if you’re going on a roadtrip to attend a concert with friends, or going up a snowy mountain to a cabin with your family. However, we’ve created some easy checklists that contain it all–you can just print this blog and highlight the items you need, then tick them off. Or save this blog as a PDF on your phone/tablet/laptop and do the same.
What items do you need to bring to ensure you have what you need in case of any issues with your car?
Hachtyre Inflate & Drive (emergency tyre repair kit that also re-inflates your tyre after a puncture–make sure to buy the right size can/several cans depending on the size of your wheel–much easier than changing tyres in the middle or a rainstorm)
Ice scraper or de-icer for your windows if going somewhere cold
Snow shovel (can also be used to shovel sand, stones, etc. if needed)
Multi-tool (that contains pliers, cable cutters, etc.)
Car charger (if going on a road trip that takes you to desolate places)
Document holder with your insurance papers
A can of gas
Some things on the below list may not apply to you. You won’t need a flare if you’re driving on popular roads, but if you’re driving into the wilderness, it’s great to have one or two of those in the car!
Sunglasses–you cannot drive safely unless you can see and they will also protect your eyes from UV light if going somewhere sunny, or a place with lots of snow
Flashlight and extra batteries unless it’s solar powered (bring two in case one breaks to be on the safe side, unless you have a flashlight on your phone, then just bring the one)
Power Bank for phones and tablets
Water–always have five or more liters in the car
Extra blankets (even if you’re planning to stay in hotels, your car may break down somewhere at night and it can get chilly fast)
First aid kit that includes not just plasters and a bandage, but a safety blanket (or two), something to treat burns, gloves, scissors, something to stitch someone up if needed, painkillers, a sanitizer, something to stop bleeding, needles and tweezers for removing splints, etc.
Bug repellants and stuff to treat bug bites (if going to an area with snakes, check what you should bring)
Epi pen if someone may suffer from severe allergies to anything at all
Swiss army knife
Fire extinguisher (the kind that works on oil) and fire blanket
Snacks that can take you through a day or so if you get stranded somewhere, or someone’s blood sugar levels suddenly drop (or just to keep your stomachs from rumbling if you get stuck in traffic…)
If you’re going somewhere there’s no cellphone signal you may want to bring some form of walkie talkie or radio for making contact with others
Water purification tablets and water purifier if you’re going to drink from a river or spring
Something to cool you down if there’s any risk at all of you getting stuck somewhere in the middle of nowhere in the hot sun–a cooler with ice, or a battery driven fan
A little gas kitchen (Bunsen burner) in case there’s any risk of you needing to heat something up and there’s no dry wood available, or you aren’t allowed to make fires
Homemade heater if going somewhere cold (a metal bucket and candle)
Getting smelly when traveling is usually part of the ordeal, but thankfully, there are ways to easily freshen up!
Body wipes if you won’t have access to a bath
Fast drying towel (usually found in sports/outdoor shops)
Soap (if you plan to wash in the wilderness, buy products that don’t pollute, and if there’s salt water only, buy products that work in salt water)
Washing powder (for handwashing if going somewhere with no washing machine)
Sunblock (even if you don’t like them, find an organic one if you’re going somewhere where it’s very sunny, even in the snow, as a nasty burn can ruin your trip)
Lip balm (lips tend to crack if you go somewhere cold, or somewhere with dry air)
Foot balm (in case you’re walking a lot–something like Badger Balm also helps make your footsies smell nice, which is good if you’re being active on your trip!)
Comb or hairbrush
Medication, birth control, vitamins
Toiletry bag to keep it all in one place!
As we have no idea where you’re going, it’s hard to recommend exactly what you should bring. However, if you’re looking to cover all bases, here’s a great list!
Underwear (always pack one or two extra)
Socks (if you plan to go somewhere and hike, check your local sports/outdoor store for great hiking socks that also help eliminate bad smells)
Thermal “underwear” (long johns and a sweater–two pairs of each if you can’t easily launder them)
T-shirts and/or tank tops
Pants, including ones that are comfortable driving in (i.e. not skinny jeans or super tight leggings)
Shorts and/or skirts and/or dresses if it’s warm where you’re going
Sweaters for cool and cold nights (i.e. something lighter and something warmer)
Jacket(s)–remember to pack more than one if you expect both rain and sunshine, or both windy days and warm days
Shoes for the occasion–be that snow boots, hiking boots, high heels, sneakers, or Wellies (i.e. Wellington boots)
Something to wear if you plan on eating out or simply want to look presentable
Gloves or mittens (light gloves can help protect your hands even in warmer climates, in case you’re going somewhere with mosquitoes…)
Hats (whether to keep you warm, or protect you from the sun)
Scarves (in cold weather to keep you warm, in warm weather to cover your shoulders in case the sun gets too strong)
Swimsuit in case there are hot springs, beaches, or pools where you’re going
Umbrella–while not strictly clothing, it’s a useful accessory
Walking stick–again not at all clothing, but great when out walking even if you don’t have an injured leg!
If you expect rain, remember to get a rain jacket with a hoodie (or buy a Sylvester!) and also waterproof pants and shoes.
Likewise, if you expect snow, a jacket alone may not cut it. You’ll need an overall, or ski/snow pants.
If you’re bringing the kids, remember that they often need more changes of clothes than adults as they have a tendency to jump in muddy puddles and do other such lovely activities.
Depending on the trip, you might want to bring some entertainment!
Downloaded films on Amazon, Netflix, or similar, ready to be watched
Online library such as Scribd, Audible, or Kindle with downloaded books and/or audio books
Playlist ready to be played (remember to download the songs if hitting the wilderness where there’s no wifi)
USB car charger and the aforementioned power bank (always have reserve in case of emergency)
Travel journal–whether electronic or the old-fashioned kind
Car games–there are plenty available on Amazon (and you can also read this blog with games for the kids to play in the car)
Headphones for your phone/tablet if you want to cancel out other noises
Apps for the road trip if there are any good ones (there are good games, but depending on where you’re going, there may be one that points out rest stops, monuments worth seeing, etc. and remember if you’re downloading games you need ones that work offline)
Food and Drink
If you aren’t camping, the only thing you need to worry about is water, snacks, and perhaps a cooler to keep your water in.
Snacks (protein bars are great if you need a lot of energy)
Sufficient food if you’re going into the wilderness–remember that if you’re going hiking you need more food than you do when sitting at your desk and consider getting lightweight food that contains a lot of calories–camping shops have dried foods that you can cook by adding boiling water)
Coffee/tea/chocolate/your choice of drink
Tin bowls and cups
Pots and pans (there are ones especially made for camping)
Fishing gear if you intend to catch your own food…
If foraging berries and the likes, an app for identifying ones and a reliable book for the same is in order–never eat anything you’re unsure of
If you’re camping in the wild, you’ll need a few things!
Inflatable mattresses (and something to inflate them with) or sleeping mats
Odd Bits and Pieces
Are there things you just can’t live without? Or something you know you’d use on a road trip? Then bring it along!
Diary–all the great adventurers kept one
Walking stick–after a long day of walking, you’ll appreciate it
Lantern for night light
Umbrella or gazebo for shade
Car freshener–without a car air freshener it easily gets smelly inside your car when driving long distances (and we’re taking this moment to recommend you buy a car freshener online here in the Amazon Sniff Drive store…)