The definitive packing list is complete with all of the requirements for a road trip that you require to go by automobile. We sell everything from bags to clothing to toiletries to culinary equipment and more, with separate sections devoted to men’s and women’s merchandise.
Everything you need to know about packing for a road trip may be found here in the Road Trip Packing List. Even though road journeys can run from a few days to a year or more, we’ve designed this list to work best for excursions lasting a week or so. It’s possible to modify it to suit your requirements, however.
Even while road trips aren’t constrained by airline baggage rules, it’s still a good idea to bring as little luggage as possible. We’ve discovered that packing light helps us have a clear head when on the road. It will also save you the time and effort of searching through a trunk full of things to find the few items you truly use.
As a result, we’ve tried to keep this list as short and simple as possible, keeping in mind both your comfort and your convenience. If you follow this list, we can’t promise that your trip will be free of mishaps, but that’s part of the fun. To avoid being overburdened with unnecessary gear, we’ve compiled this list to make it easier for you to bring only the things you require. Then you’ll have less to worry about and more time to enjoy the classic road trip memories.
Our team has together logged tens of thousands of kilometers on the road. We’ve taken the best and worst of what’s worked and put it all in one place—with one exception.
Vehicle-specific elements aren’t covered in this guide because they vary from vehicle to vehicle. Before you go, make sure to gather the following vehicle-specific necessities: tools, battery cables, a spare tire, nice windshield wipers (believe us, they’re worth the investment), windshield washer fluid, and so on. Be sure to bring your car handbook, insurance, and other necessary documents with you. Depending on where you’re going, you may also need to bring other items.)
As we all know, what works for one person may not be the best solution for someone else (even the Pack Hacker team differs). This list isn’t for everyone, so don’t be concerned. If you’re having trouble deciding on the right gear, check out our other lists, tips, and reviews.
There are a lot of other things to consider while planning a road trip (safety, finding lodging, packing your car, and more), so if you’re interested, you can check out our comprehensive guide.
Let’s pack up and head off now.
Make sure to add all of these necessities for a road trip to your packing list before you head out of the house. It’s possible that if you don’t have them, you won’t even be permitted to get behind the wheel!
License & Registration
Do not leave your house until you have compiled a list of all of these necessities for your next road trip. In certain circumstances, you won’t even be permitted to be on the road if you don’t have them!
Make sure that your road trip checklist includes the owner’s manual for your vehicle. It is a good idea to carry a car manual in your possession at all times, regardless of whether you are driving your vehicle or a rented one. This instructional guide is excellent for troubleshooting, as it offers information regarding the maintenance program for the vehicle, as well as safety information.
Have trouble turning on the air conditioner? Do you need to know the appropriate tire pressure for your vehicle? One of the things you should bring on a road trip is your car’s manual because it contains all the answers.
Car and Travel Insurance
There was a time when we didn’t have any travel insurance, and we won’t make that mistake again. Make sure that you and your vehicle are covered in the event of an accident.
Car insurance protects you financially if your car is hit or if you get into a car accident. In many countries, including Canada and the United States, driving without insurance is a violation of the law.
Depending on where you’re going, you may want to purchase additional travel insurance in addition to your automobile policy. Your car insurance policy may or may not provide coverage for bodily harm in the event of an automobile accident.
A flat tire can happen for a variety of reasons. Bad road conditions, heat, and even tire wear and tear are all factors that can lead to flat tires. Having a spare tire on hand is a good idea when embarking on a road trip.
Almost all autos have a spare tire. Many times, they are positioned beneath the vehicle or fastened to its tailgate. Ask the rental agency where the car is located if you’re renting one.
Roadside Emergency Kit
Having a roadside emergency kit on hand can save your life in the event of an emergency. Jumper cables, tire gauges, road flares, washer fluid, and oils are just some of the stuff you’ll find in a standard road trip necessity. It’s a great present for anyone who likes to go on road trips.
Despite how much we rely on technology, there are occasions when it fails. For long automobile rides, a backup map is a must-have. It’s even worse when you’re on a deserted road with no one to ask for help.
If you’re in a strange place, a paper map can be a lifesaver. It allows us to choose a different route from the one suggested by your all-too-smart GPS.
Maps.me is our favorite offline maps app if you don’t want to use a paper map. Download the map of the country or region you’ll be traveling in and experience detailed maps and navigation without the need for a wifi connection while you’re on the road.
The amount of light in rural areas may be lower than in cities. Bring a flashlight if you plan on driving at night or going camping. We like to pack a headlamp because of its adaptability and hands-free operation.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit for mild aches and pains is one of the first things you should carry for a family road trip. You may want to include the following if you’re building your own.
Tylenol is an efficient anti-inflammatory and fever-reducing medication.
Advil/Ibuprofen: a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory
Pepto Nausea, heartburn, upset stomach, and diarrhea may all be treated with Pepto if you haven’t seen the catchy commercials for it yet.
Traveler’s diarrhea is treated with Imodium.
Tummy discomfort and heartburn can be relieved by taking Tums, an antacid.
Allergies are treated with Benadryl, an antihistamine
Antibiotic cream Polysporin is used to prevent infection and hasten the healing process.
Wounds and cuts can be covered with a bandage.
Having a multi-tool on hand is a terrific way to handle small car repairs or come up with answers to everyday problems. A multi-tool has everything from scissors to wine openers and files, yet it doesn’t feel like it’s taking up too much space in your pocket.
When it comes to simple car repairs or everyday snags, a multi-tool is a godsend. When it comes to a multi-tool, you get everything from scissors to a wine opener and files all in one device.
Auto repairs and everyday snags are just some of the situations in which a multi-tool might be useful. In addition to scissors, file folders, and bottle openers, multi-tools are light enough to carry around with you all day.
Standalone Bags & Organizers
An excellent multi-tool can be used to handle minor car repairs or solve common problems. A multi-tool has everything from scissors to a wine opener and a file all in one lightweight package.
Clothing & Accessories
A road trip can include everything from a gourmet dinner with your grandfather to a camping trip to a goat farm or a day at the beach. (There’s also a lot of driving involved.) We recommend adaptable and robust apparel that can withstand the rigors of traveling. It’s also important to keep in mind that comfort is a factor. Who enjoys spending eight hours in a cramped car with skinny jeans? There is no one else. Antimicrobial characteristics and anti-odor treatments are also essential to us, so we prefer clothing with these features (for what should be obvious reasons).
Productivity & Tech
To name just a few possibilities, road trips often include everything from a romantic candlelit supper with your grandfather to a day at the beach. (Along with a lot more driving, of course.) Clothing that can withstand the rigors of travel is what we recommend. It’s also important to be comfortable. Wearing tiny jeans and uncomfortable car seats for eight hours isn’t fun for anyone. Nobody, that’s for sure. Additionally, we choose clothing with antibacterial or anti-odor characteristics (for what should be obvious reasons).
Toiletries & Personal Care
The smell of sunscreen and sweat is part of the enjoyment for us on road trips (…right?). In contrast, the people you see when traveling—grocery shop clerks, baristas, and park rangers—will praise you if you take a moment to freshen yourself.
Not all of the items listed here will fit in your Dopp kit, unlike the Toiletries & Personal Care sections in our other packing lists. Dopp kits should just contain items for showers and your morning and nighttime routine. Things like toilet paper rolls and coconut oil can be stored in the plastic bins we’ll discuss later on in this packing list so they are out of the way while you’re not carrying them around. As a result, you’ll always have quick access to the items you need, without having to go through the trouble of searching for your toothbrush every morning.
To save money and stay healthy while on the road, it’s a good idea to cook your meals while on the road. While the concept of cooking over an open fire in the great outdoors is appealing, it isn’t a viable option for a long-distance road trip. Even so, you don’t want to remove your best chef’s knife and porcelain pot and pan set from the kitchen.
Cooking out of your car can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a lot of space in your trunk to store all of the ingredients you need. Through trial and error, we’ve come up with an effective, but not excessive, list of items (of course, tailor it to your preferences).
This section is not relevant to you if you will only be staying in hotels and Airbnbs throughout your trip. But if you want to spend some or all of your vacation camping and sleeping in your car, you’re going to need certain items that can help you get a decent night’s sleep in the car. These items can include things like sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets.
Not everything that we suggest can be placed neatly into one of the categories above. Although they are not as essential as something like a toothbrush, the various goods listed below will make your vacation more enjoyable and help you reach new heights. You know, the types of things that you’ll be very pleased you packed up and brought along after a few days on the open road.
Why Do You Need A Packing List For A Road Trip?
It was unusual for us to depart on a road trip without forgetting anything at first. However, after numerous road journeys, we’ve established a list of necessary road trip items for every trip.
What are the essentials for a long road trip?
Please don’t use your smartphone’s smart light app as a flashlight! Get yourself a new pair of batteries for your high-powered flashlight. Pick certain medicines that you or your companions may demand in addition to the conventional first aid kit in your car.
How long should you spend on a road trip?
On a road trip, most individuals should drive between 8 and 12 hours per day. You might want to take a break every 2 or 3 hours to stretch and obtain some additional gas. If you have a tight timetable, you may need to drive for up to 12 hours. If you become tired or stiff when driving, limit yourself to 8 hours of driving every day.
How often should you stop and rest your car while on the road?
To keep alert and avoid the risks of driving for too long without a break, take a 15-minute break every two hours and don’t drive for more than eight hours in a day.
How come you should drive more slowly at night?
Slower reaction times are one of the key reasons why you should drive slower at night. Reacting to hazards, traffic signs, and other vehicles take longer when sight is limited. You will have more time to do the proper activities if you drive slowly.
Thank you for reading!