Road Trip Essentials: The Ultimate Packing List

Nothing feels good like a breeze in your hair and listening to your favorite tunes as the open road welcomes you to a day of adventure on a road trip. There is something about taking road trips that is so classic and liberating. To some, this is freedom taken to a whole new level: You are in control of your destinations, time, and space.


Keep in mind, however, that a road trip can go south if you are not well prepared. From personal things to must-carry things for your car, don’t forget anything on your road trip packing list, or else it could turn into a disaster.

The good news is, almost everything you need is here. Check out this ultimate road trip packing list to ensure you have a good and safe time.

road trip list

Road Trip Car Care Essentials

First things first, your car has to be in top running shape. Double-check whether your spare tire is in good working condition. However, this is not enough, as you must also check to see if you know how to change it. A jack and tire iron will help you change your tire in the event of a flat, and if you are not sure how to do that, check out tutorials online on how to change a tire.

Have an emergency car kit with you including gloves, flares, rope, and jumper cables. Wherever you are, check to see if you have your owner’s manual. You’ve probably never opened this bad boy before, but it can save you hours of frustration when you are wondering what a fuse box is or what that indicator light means.


If you are in an area such as the U.S., you will need roadside assistance. On the other hand, if you are driving a rented car across South America or Africa, you can get its equivalent or at least have relevant phone numbers. Check if you have enough fluids. (Yeah, it’s not only for you to stay hydrated.) You’ll need wiper washer, extra transmission fluid, brake fluids, and yes, oil.

Other must-have essentials for your car include an empty gas can, car refreshers, tire chains, a portable car garbage can, a snow kit, and a sunshade.

Personal Essentials

Baby Wipes

Yes, you heard that right. Everyone needs baby wipes. They can wipe faces, hands, and leave you with that fresh scent. As a bonus, you can use them as tissue or toilet paper if you run out.

Pain Killers

Who wants to get stuck on the long stretch of a beautiful desert with a migraine? Keep a few pain killers in your car for emergency’s sake. Better still, carry some Benadryl in case of that allergy reaction. You could be stung by a bee, unaware that you are allergic to it. It happens.


Changing your tire in the middle of the night? It could happen, and if it does, you are certainly going to need some light. Popping a squat behind that tree in the middle of the night? That head torch will come in handy. Grab one or both, just in case.

Road Trip Dress Code

This should have been at the top of the list. But, oh well, road trips need to be comfortable and relaxing. Wear those shorts and a pair of sneakers or flip flops. Better still, a pair of jeans could also come in handy. Whatever you decide to wear, ensure it makes you comfortable.

Choosing a Vehicle to Use

Who doesn’t love traveling by a campervan? The freedom that comes with this car is unfathomable. Stuck in the middle of nowhere? Your bed is right there with you. Don’t feel like traveling back to your hotel? Worry not, as you have a hotel on wheels. This car is very flexible, and I often say this car is the transportation and accommodation that you need on that road trip.


There you have it, folks. To enjoy your next road trip, ensure you have this checklist to avoid disappointment. Remember to carry fluids and snacks to sustain you along the way. Enjoy your trip!