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
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.
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:
- Flares or triangle reflectors. LED flares are also an option worth considering.
- A quart or more of motor oil
- A gallon of coolant
- First-aid kit
- Blanket or space blanket
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Tool kit with screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench, pocket knife
- A can of tire inflator and sealant such as Fix-a-Flat
- Tire pressure gauge
- Paper towels
- Spray bottle with washer fluid
- Ice scraper (if you live in an area with snow)
- Pen and paper
- Granola or energy bars
- Bottled water
These should be separate from any duplicates you may have so you can grab and go in case of emergency.
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:
- small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings
- at least 2 sterile eye dressings
- triangular bandages
- crêpe rolled bandages
- safety pins
- disposable sterile gloves
- alcohol-free cleansing wipes
- sticky tape
- thermometer (preferably digital)
- skin rash cream, such as hydrocortisone or calendula
- cream or spray to relieve insect bites and stings
- antiseptic cream
- painkillers such as paracetamol, aspirin, or ibuprofen
- cough medicine
- antihistamine tablets
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
For when you have to touch gas pumps. ‘Nuff said.
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.
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.
For those stray hairs that want to fall in your eyes at the world’s most inconvenient times.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!!
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!