Road trip essentials make the journey not only easier but more fun. What items are considered essentials? When it comes to road trips there are two things that make it great: being prepared and memories. I like to think of it as if I were on the road and got stuck, would I have all I need to get by.
Whether we’re going to Florida for Spring Break, heading to a campground across multiple states, or simply hopping in the car en route to the nearest metropolis, I’ve got a list you’re going to want to check…literally, check.
If you’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of cat this post is not for you. But if you enjoy being prepared, but not overly prepared, this is the post you’ll want to pin or better yet download my Independent Road Trip Check List. For more great free downloads, sign into my Freebies!
Road Trip Essentials
1. Car Insurance and Registration
Check to make sure your car insurance and registration are current. There is nothing worse than getting pulled over in another State and you can’t find your registration or you happen to see that it expired. This happened to us. Ouch.
Sunglasses! Make sure you have a pair of sunglasses for everybody in the vehicle. Not sure your dog needs them, but everyone else should have their own pair.
3. Phone charger or USB Cord
Phone Charger/USB Cord. Now that paper maps are on the way out, and GPS on our phones are an essential app, make sure you don’t run out of phone battery. Need a USB cord? Check out this one from Amazon.
Umbrella. Simple, yet super important, especially if you’re changing a tire in the rain. Been there, done that.
5. Blanket, but not just any blanket.
Blanket. I always have a blanket in my car, specifically a Mexican blanket because they are super warm and durable. Not only it is there for emergency slide-offs, but the dog can sit on it, the kid and use it, or I can sit on it.
Water. When we road trip, we simply buy water bottles at the grocery store. It’s so much cheaper and easier to hand someone a water bottle when they need it.
7. Hand Sanitizer and Extra Face-Masks
Hand sanitizer and extra face masks. These two items are not only essential during virus outbreaks, but they help us tremendously in the Rest Stop bathrooms. The mask helps with blocking the smell, and the sanitizers give us a little extra germ protection. Hey, I found these awesome disposable black masks on Amazon.
8. Emergency Kit
Roadside Emergency Kit that includes Jumper cables and First Aid Kit. There is a kit that is easy to use. You can check it out here.
9. Portable Air-compressor
Portable air compressor. I love this thing. Not only does it help with tire pressure, but if you’re camping it’s great for basketballs, air mattresses, and beach floats. This has been so handy on the road and off! A portable air compressor is the way to go. No more searching for air!
10. Towel. Don’t use your blanket.
Towel. Unlike the blanket, the towel is great for unexpected spills or a quick dry-off running through the rain…when you don’t want to bother with your umbrella. It’s also great for Fido to sit on.
Tissue. I can’t count the number of times I’m using a tissue to blow my nose. Make sure you get some before you leave the house. Napkins or even a roll of toilet paper works well too. Another good one to add here is butt wipes.
Snacks. This is essential. Snacks save you money and they save you from gorging on your next meal. Some great road trip snacks include trail mix, grapes, cereal mix, popcorn, meat sticks, or celery sticks.
13. Paper and Pen.
Paper and pencil/pen. As a passenger, I’m always thinking of my to-do list or my next great idea. Have paper and pen ready to jot down your thoughts.
Road Trip games. If you have kiddos and don’t want them to get tech-neck, grab a few games. Of course, the Alphabet game is super fun for everyone. There are three versions. The classic version is to find the letter of the alphabet in any form. The second is more challenging, find a word that starts with each letter of the alphabet…good luck on Q and Z. And the last version is to find an object that starts with the letter…this is super hard. Don’t forget to add Corn on Cob Song Fun to the trip!
15. Snow Scraper and Mini Shovel (weather dependent).
Depending on where you are going, you better throw in a snow scraper, a mini snow shovel, and a small bag of kitty litter. When I was in college and traveling out to Colorado, I always had my portable mini snow shovel in my trunk, and I used it! You never know when you’re going to hit black ice and end up in a snowbank or ditch. Mini snow shovels work a lot better than your hands!
Weapons. Yep. I said it. At least carry a pocketknife or pepper spray, heck, get a taser. A pocket knife is good to have on hand for lots of reasons. Pepper spray buys you some time, as does a taser. As for handguns, it depends on your opinion of them, where you’re going, knowing what States allow them, having your permit, and understanding the safety of them. Be smart, not stupid
All in all.
That does it! It sounds like a lot but it isn’t really. Most of the stuff is already in your vehicle. It’s always best to be prepared, rather than getting stuck and depending on some creepy guy. The best advice I have to offer any road tripper is to simply be aware of what’s going on around you. Pay attention to the road, know what’s happening around you when you make a rest stop, and be safe. Use that head of yours at all times!
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