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  • Writer's pictureJordan Hinsch

60 Essential Road Trip Packing List Items

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

Road Trips are awesome. My first trip was in 2018 and it changed my life. It was done completely solo from start to finish. For control freaks, it is arguably the best way to travel. I am not a control freak, but it is refreshing to know that you control your time, pace, and future destinations.

However, this dream journey of yours can go very wrong very quickly if you're not prepared. This list should be a good starting point with some road trip essentials to consider.

Road Trip Packing List

  1. Driver's License, Insurance ID card, and Registration

  2. Owner's manual

  3. Spare Tire, Jack, and know how to change it. Yes, flats happen. Know what you're doing by watching this video. Also make sure your spare tire is inflated!

  4. Emergency Roadside Kit. This one is good.

  5. First Aid Kit. This one has a lot of value.

  6. Sunshade. They're old school, but necessary to avoid driving in a furnace.

  7. Roadside assistance. This could be your car's roadside plan, AAA, cell phone plan, etc. God forbid you run out of gas or lock your keys in your car, it can't hurt to subscribe to something like this. AAA is renowned for having the best membership program.

  8. Instead of carrying fluids, make sure you get everything taken care of before you depart on your journey (oil change, washer fluid top off, etc).

  9. Gas Can. Just in case you run out of gas and can't reach your roadside assistance.

  10. Garbage Bags

  11. Scraper and Brush (for cold destinations)

  12. Change and Cash for Tolls

  13. Flashlight

  14. Chargers for your Electronics

  15. Battery Pack. Try this solar powered one!

  16. Headphones (if you're a passenger!)

  17. Bluetooth Speaker. It's a bit high end, but I recommend this one from Bose. It's waterproof and will fill a room, or forest with sound better than you can imagine.

  18. Roadtrippers Plus (this should be used to plan your trip). Use my code JORDINARY for a discount!

  19. HotelTonight app! If you plan on staying in hotels, it's best to book them the day of your stay. Use this app to find the best last minute deals.

  20. Some sort of camera! Yes, your cellphone will take great pictures, but it won't compare to a real camera. Invest in one to capture the best moments from your unforgettable road trip.

  21. A sick playlist (downloaded). Make sure you aren't streaming because you'll eventually lose signal.

  22. Podcasts and Audio-books

  23. Gas finder app like Gas Buddy.

  24. Offline Maps App. is what i used a couple of times last year, but Waze and Apple maps did the trick for the most part.

  25. Paper Map. It's ancient, but can't hurt.

  26. Day Bag. I use this one from Thule because I can carry all of my camera equipment. It's great for hiking and accessibility.

  27. A Legit Backpack. I bought this by Osprey. If you don't plan on camping at all, it's still good to have, just in case.

  28. CamelBak or just the 2 litre bladder for day hikes.

  29. 24 Pack of Water or a large jug of water.

  30. Water Bottle

  31. Travel Mug

  32. Disposable Ice Packs. Injuries happen. Reduce the swelling with this.

  33. Portable Chair. You never know when you'll want to pull over on the side of the road and enjoy some scenery.

  34. Toiletries

  35. Deodorant

  36. Benadryl. You don't want any nasty surprises.

  37. Ibuprofen

  38. Vitamins & Supplements - I personally always pack Vitamin C, Multi, Fish Oil, Turmeric when i travel.

  39. Tent or Hammock - in case you decide to rough it!

  40. Gum

  41. Tide Pods . Bring a few and put them in a Tupperware container.

  42. Laundry Bag

  43. Sunscreen

  44. Insect Repellent Bracelets. They really work if you put one on your wrist and one on your ankle!

  45. Purell Hand Sanitizer

  46. Purell Wipes

  47. Tissues

  48. Toilet Paper

  49. Swiss Army Knife. You'll need it, trust me.

  50. Travel or Camping Pillow

  51. Pens and Pencils

  52. Snacks

  53. Hoodies or Sweatshirts

  54. Bathing Suit, for a random quick dip.

  55. Gloves: in case you're going somewhere with some brisk evenings.

  56. Blanket: in case you need to spend a night in your car.

  57. Hiking Boots

  58. Sunglasses

  59. Towel

  60. Fix-A-Flat: hopefully you don't have tire trouble, but in case you do, you'll need this!

  61. Bonus item if you are driving the entire trip (as opposed to flying and renting a car): Portable Iceless Cooler! I had one last year on my trip and it was perfect!


Hey! I'm Jordan, a native New Yorker who is addicted to adventure travel, photography, content creation, investing, and fitness. Read on, enjoy, and Never Run Out of First Times!

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