24 Summer Road Trip Essentials

Happy FRI-YAYYYYYY. Tomorrow my mama and I head out to Chicago to go to a baby shower for my aunt so we are packing the car up and ROAD TRIPPIN’. I am a huuuuuge fan of road trips with my favorite people so I’m really excited to get ready to go. Whether you are getting ready to traverse the entire United States of America, or just heading 2.5 hours down the road, you’ll LOVE these tried and true summer road trip essentials. These tips will keep you (and your car) running smoothly no matter how many miles you plan on driving. Let’s do this.


24 Summer Road Trip Essentials

24 Summer Road Trip Essentials

CAR ESSENTIALS:

License and registration

This pretty much goes without saying. You need these to legally drive – and if you get pulled over for any reason you have everything you need handy. I like to keep my registration in the glove box for easy access.

Relavent phone numbers and car insurance policy

I never thought about this but it’s really smart. If you get into an accident, it helps if someone is able to contact your loved ones right away so keep a hard copy of your emergency contact numbers in the glove box as well.

Car manual

This is super important. If something happens to your car, you need to be able to troubleshoot if possible. Also sometimes I need to reconnect my phone to SYNC and forget how. #whoops

Roadside emergency kit

Ok all of these in car essentials are basically preparing you in case you have an accident but it’s good to be prepared. Should you get stranded – a roadside emergency kit could come in hand. You can buy basic kits online but here is the gist of it:

  1. Flares or triangle reflectors. LED flares are also an option worth considering.
  2. A quart or more of motor oil
  3. A gallon of coolant
  4. First-aid kit
  5. Blanket or space blanket
  6. Flashlight and extra batteries
  7. Tool kit with screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench, pocket knife
  8. A can of tire inflator and sealant such as Fix-a-Flat
  9. Tire pressure gauge
  10. Paper towels
  11. Spray bottle with washer fluid
  12. Ice scraper (if you live in an area with snow)
  13. Pen and paper
  14. Granola or energy bars
  15. Bottled water

These should be separate from any duplicates you may have so you can grab and go in case of emergency.

24 Summer Road Trip Essentials

Spare cash

I like to put at least $50 in my center console or glove box in case of emergency. $50 can fill my gas tank and then some, so I feel confident that if I get in a touch spot and need to buy something it’s enough to hold me over.

First aid kit

This should be near your roadside emergency kit. You can also buy a full kit online but if you want to put one together yourself – here are the basics:

  1. small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings
  2. at least 2 sterile eye dressings
  3. triangular bandages
  4. crêpe rolled bandages
  5. safety pins
  6. disposable sterile gloves
  7. tweezers
  8. scissors
  9. alcohol-free cleansing wipes
  10. sticky tape
  11. thermometer (preferably digital)
  12. skin rash cream, such as hydrocortisone or calendula
  13. cream or spray to relieve insect bites and stings
  14. antiseptic cream
  15. painkillers such as paracetamol, aspirin, or ibuprofen
  16. cough medicine
  17. antihistamine tablets

Water bottles

You want to keep a case of water in your vehicle at all times. It doesn’t have to be totally cold but I like to have a case in there is (and I’m beating a dead horse now) an accident. The worst thing in the world would be crashing your car in a remote area and not have any water.

Jumper cables

Ok. I swear I’m almost done with the doomsday list BUT IF YOUR CAR WON’T START you don’t want to have to rely on someone else having jumper cables. Just keep them in your car so you don’t have to worry about not being able to find some.

24 Summer Road Trip Essentials

ELECTRONIC ESSENTIALS:

2+ iPhone chargers

I say 2+ because usually you aren’t road tripping by yourself and everyone is going to want to charge their phones. It is SO ANNOYING to have to play the “which phone is charged more” game. Just pack 2 or more and then everyone can have their own and nobody has to fight over it! Plus when you get to your destination, everyone’s got a charger.

Handsfree dash clip

This is important because you want to stay as handsfree as possible as the driver. These little dash clips are awesome because you can have your google map handy and easy to view without ever really taking your eyes off the road. 

An AMAZING road trip playlist

This goes without saying. You need to have a killer playlist for a killer road trip. It’s the RULES. 

Aux cord (if necessary)

In case you don’t have a car that automatically syncs your phone, make sure to pack an aux cord so you can hook up the sweet tunes and hear your google map tell you to make a u-turn because you missed your exit due to singing the high school musical soundtrack too hard. That’s never happened to me before. Just to a friend. A friend of a friend. Moving on.

24 Summer Road Trip Essentials

COMFORT ESSENTIALS:

Sunglasses for all

Everyone at some point is going to complain about the sun. Think ahead and just pack the sunglasses. I keep 3 pairs at least in my car at all time just in case someone forgets theirs.

Extra blankets

I personally like to sleep or snuggle up during long road trips so having a cozy blanket is a MUST for me. Adam and I also operate on WAY different body temps so he will crank the AC and I get FREEZING. I don’t want to make the car too warm for him, so blankets it is!

Neck pillows

This one is for obvious reasons. It can be so uncomfortable to lay your neck down on car seats – I always end up with cricks in my neck or a headache because of it. Neck pillows will save your life and let you doze in peace.

Hand sanitizer

For when you have to touch gas pumps. ‘Nuff said.

Headache medicine

I tend to get headaches during super long road trips because I’m concentrating so hard on the road (true story) so having headache meds on hand is a must. Plus – you never know when one will hit you and it’s miserable to drive with a headache.

24 Summer Road Trip Essentials

Lip balm

It’s a scientific fact that air conditioning dries your skin out – especially your lips. Stay ahead of the game with lip balm handy! I love the Physician’s Formula organic lip balm, myself.

Bobby pins

For those stray hairs that want to fall in your eyes at the world’s most inconvenient times.

Wet wipes

These are important because Doritos are a required road trip snack and cheese fingers are the WORST in the car. No matter what your snack of choice is – it’s always helpful to be able to clean your fingers when you are done.

Fuzzy socks

This goes hand in hand with the blanket. I don’t like wearing shoes in the car but also I don’t want my toes to get cold. Fuzzy socks are direct gifts from God I swear.

24 Summer Road Trip Essentials

MISC. ESSENTIALS:

Designated trash bag

Have you ever been road tripping and realize you don’t have a trash bag heavy so you have to make your mcdonald’s bag the trash bag and it keeps ripping because it’s paper and trash is everywhere and it’s gross and there are crumbs and everyone is upset? No? Just me? Avoid this exact scenario by keeping a designated trash bag up front to hold all your trash in one spot.

ALL OF THE SNACKS

This needs no explanation. All. Of. The. Snacks.

Car cooler

Keep all your drinks and lunches cool in a handy dandy cooler. I like to make sandwiches to eat on the road and often will pack apples, peaches or strawberries to eat so I’m not eating ONLY crap. Fill with ice and don’t worry about your food spoiling during the trip!

PIN THIS FOR LATER:

24 Summer Road Trip Essentials


I hope you found this guide helpful! I love traveling and road tripping is my actual favorite. I wish I could go somewhere new every single weekend!!

24 Summer Road Trip Essentials

Let me know what you thoughts of these tips in the comments below – and let me know if I let anything super important out so I can add it to the list!

About The Author

Taylor Mobley

25 COMMENTS

  1. Trish | 18th May 18

    What a great post — makes me want to take a road trip! Great checklist of items to take. I love having a cooler for water bottles and snacks in the car. Also, of course, the playlist! That is important on a road trip.

    • Taylor Mobley | 18th May 18

      Yes! Roadtrips are the BEST. And road trip playlists truly make or break the trip for me. lol

  2. Lily | 18th May 18

    Yes to ALL of this! I try to keep a few of these things in my car at all times…just in case. Loving your comfy outfit too!

  3. Lauren | 18th May 18

    I gotta update my emergency kit, thank you for reminding me since I’ll be taking some road trips as well!

    xx
    Lauren
    http://www.shoesandsashimi.com

    • Taylor Mobley | 18th May 18

      I know – I always forget to replenish after I use something and then I don’t have important items!!

  4. Rachel | 18th May 18

    Great tips! I’m heading on a mini-road trip next week so I’ll be using this as a checklist!

  5. Holly | 18th May 18

    Thanks so much for this list. I need to make sure I have roadside emergency equipment with me on my next trip. I think I have jumper cables and that is it.

    • Taylor Mobley | 18th May 18

      Most people ONLY have jumper cables – it’s important to double check everything for sure.

  6. Alix Maza | 18th May 18

    WET WIPES! I never realize how essential they are till I don’t have them haha. Great post!

  7. Coral Allen | 18th May 18

    I love this list! I always feel like I forget something on road trips, so I’m definitely going to bookmark this. Also, love that Instax camera. I’ve been wanting one of those so bad! They’re so cute and I’d love to hang the pics I take with it on my office wall. Cute!

  8. Kileen | 18th May 18

    This is such an awesome post girl! I love that you included items that often go unnoticed but always needed!!

    Kileen
    cute & little

  9. Stephanie | 19th May 18

    These are some seriously smart tips for road trips! I take a lot of those throughout the year, but they’ve lessened because my fiancé’s car doesn’t have AC, and my car’s AC rarely works haha which makes for veryyyy hot trips in the summertime. Here’s hoping we can get back on the road soon!

  10. Nailil | 20th May 18

    This is a great list. I would say the extra blanket is a must, I always get so cold while on the road.

    Xx, NaililPs.
    http://thirtyminusone.com/

  11. Erica @ Coming Up Roses | 20th May 18

    Come roadtrip with me next MK? Also that McDonald’s analogy gave me a flashback. TOO REAL.

  12. Whitney | 20th May 18

    I love this! so clever! first aid kit and blanket are always key – also toilet paper!

  13. Janet | 21st May 18

    This is such a great list! I’m ready for a road trip now! xo

  14. Alexis | 21st May 18

    This is a great list of essentials. I like to have the majority of these items in our car at all times. Our list is going to be growing as soon as Baby B gets here.

  15. Kimmie | 21st May 18

    Awesome post! I always make sure to bring alllll of the snacks to make sure everyone in the car is happy 🙂
    xo Kimmie

  16. Brita Long | 21st May 18

    Such good advice! My husband and I actually keep most of those emergency supplies in our cars at all times.

  17. Lauryn Hock | 26th May 18

    This is the perfect list! I’ll be using it next week for when I drive to Vegas!

  18. Tara Fuller | 28th May 18

    yes to having emergency kits – they are the number one most important thing!

  19. pinnacle sports | 1st Jun 18

    If you plan on getting into any kind of adventure and want to capture it on video a GoPro is an absolute must. If you aren’t sure how much you’re going to use it check out the GoPro Hero 4. If you are planning on capturing and editing tons of high quality video splurge for the Hero 4 Kit.

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