17 Top Road Trip Packing List Essentials & Things To Avoid

woman looking at the map

Are you looking forward to hitting the road rather than taking a flight to your destination? Then you must make a road trip packing list to ensure that you’re carrying every essential thing. Road trips are one of the most fun and adventurous ways of reaching your destination. With road tripping, you have the chance to explore the hidden places of a country or city that you can’t while you’re traveling on a plane. Well, all of these were the mushy- mushy things about road trips. In reality, road trips are highly challenging and inconvenient too. It could be an experience that you would never forget.

Before taking on a road trip, always think about the things that you actually need when you’re traveling by car. Moving on, If you’re taking a road trip for the first time, you are bound to make mistakes. But remember to not make the same mistakes next time. The fate of your road trip is based on how well you plan everything. If you don’t have the essential road trip supplies, then things can go wrong in no time.

To save you from such situations, here we bring you the ultimate road trip packing list to ensure that your next road adventure is absolutely safe and filled with fun. With this list, we also bring a list of things to not bring on a trip and some FAQs.

Road Trip Packing List Essentials

Things To Pack For Road Trip

Car Documents

While making your road trip packing list, never forget to include the car documents. Without them, your road trip might turn into a nightmare. The car documents must consist of a driving license, car papers, insurance coverage, etc. If you’re on an international trip, ensure to have the necessary permissions. These documents can save you from any kind of problems relating to the trip or car.

Portable Charger

No matter if you’re taking a road trip or a flight to your destination, always carry a portable charger. It can be utterly useful in situations where there are no charging facilities. With a portable charger, you’ll not have to worry about your phone’s dying battery. Always ensure to have it in your road trip packing list.

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Cell Phone Holder

The laws regarding talking over the phone while driving are becoming stricter by each passing day. Not only that but the penalty has also been increased to unexpected strata. To avoid such penalties while going on a road trip, opt for a reliable cell phone holder. It comes in handy while looking for direction on Google maps and playing music.

Travel Trash Can

When you’re on a road trip, it is quite natural for you and friends or family to have snacks and soft drinks in the car. But sooner or later, all of this will convert into a bag full of trash. One of the best ways to manage this trash is to carry a travel trash can. When not in use, you can collapse it. Remember to keep it in priority while making your road trip packing list.

First Aid Kit

Ensure to carry a first aid box with all the essential medicines and supplies that could be of help while you’re on the road. First aid kit is the most important part of your road trip packing list as there are chances of encountering backaches while driving for long hours.

Travel Insurance

If you’re about to go on a long road trip across the country or overseas, you must buy road trip travel insurance. Opting for insurance will save you from unforeseen situations and also cover all your expenses.

Hand Sanitizer

If you’re traveling in the times of COVID – 19, then you should not forget to add hand sanitizer in your road trip packing list. It is one of the best things that can keep you safe from deadly viruses and also keep your hands clean after using the loo or changing diapers. 

Cooler and Ice bags

Before taking a road trip you must know that there are quite lesser food options available. Mainly you’ll have to be dependent on fast food. Always carry your own snacks as they are much affordable. In order to keep your snack and drinks in good condition, you’ll need a cooler.

Water Container 

It is quite expensive and difficult to find water on the road trip. So, never forget to add a water container to your road trip packing list. It can come in handy while refilling water bottles and cleaning supplies.

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Car Trunk Organizer

One of the best to keep all your things organized in your car is to use a car trunk organizer. These trunk organizers come with various compartments and are perfect for keeping your clothes, shoes, and other various things.

Mosquito Repellent

While you’re on a road trip, be ready to face various challenges, one of them is deadly mosquitos. They have the power to ruin your much-anticipated road trip. To keep them away, use mosquito repellent, and enjoy your trip.

Air Mattress

If camping is on your cards while taking on a road trip, you must add an air mattress to your road trip packing list. With this, you’ll not have to worry about beauty sleep while travelling the world.

Day Pack 

No matter what kind of trip you’re taking, a day pack is a must to make your trip comfortable and carry all your essentials in one single bag. A day pack can carry all your snacks, sunscreen, dry towel, etc.


A road trip might be a great idea for you but not for your skin. It is a must to add a sunscreen to your road trip packing list. Temperatures are quite high at noon, so always carry sunscreen and save your skin from harmful sun rays.

Car Emergency Kit

Have you ever thought about what you’ll do if your car breaks down on an empty highway? It could be a draining experience for sure. To face such situations and fix your car, always carry an emergency kit. This kit must consist of basic tools, a repair kit, an LED torch, etc.

Neck Pillow

Who doesn’t love sleeping in the car, but those jerks on the road just don’t let your neck stay at a place. Well, you can get rid of it by using a neck pillow and make your ride a comfortable one. So, don’t ever forget to add a neck pillow in your road trip packing list for a smooth ride.


When you’re on a road trip to a foreign country, a VPN will come in handy when you’ll use wifi at public places like hostels, hotels, cafes. A VPN will ensure that your cell phone and the laptop is safe from potential hackers. With a VPN, you’ll be able to access several sites that could be blocked in the country you’re in.

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What NOT To Take On A Road Trip


Do we have to explain anything about this? We all know drugs are illegal and putting them on your road trip packing list will lead to a big trouble.

Hard Shell Suitcases

Suitcases take up much more space in cars when compared to day packs or duffel bags. If you wish to have more space in your car, avoid carrying hardshell suitcases.

Unprepared Snacks 

Avoid carrying any snack that needs to be cut or prepared. It is advisable to carry snacks that are ready to eat like fast food, protein bars, etc.

Expensive Clothing or Jewellery

Road trips are as risky as they are fun. There are higher chances of getting robbed on a road trip. So, leave all your valuables like gold or everyday wear jewellery at your home and never add them to your road trip packing list.

Which car would be suitable for a road trip?

There is no need to pick a special car for going on a road trip. Any car would work, all you need to do is get it checked properly at the service centre.

How to pick a specific destination?

If you’re still confused regarding your destination, consider taking help from websites like Roadtrippers, Waze, Gasbuddy, etc.

How to take shower?

The best place to take shower is the hotel or hostel where you’re staying. If that’s not possible, find a clean stream and take a dip into it.

What is the cost of a road trip?

The cost of a road trip differs depending on the time length of your trip and your chosen destination. You can get the estimated price of petrol or gas by looking at the distance on Google maps and then calculate the amount. Once you’ve derived your petrol price, add the accommodation charges according to your budget. After this, you’ll arrive at your complete estimated cost.

Why opt for a road trip?

It is a quite fun and living experience. This journey becomes much more exciting when you’re with your friends or family. It would be a great time for all of you to bond and add life to your relationships. If this is a solo trip, you’ll get the time to discover yourself and meet new people and know about their culture and lifestyle.

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