The Complete Road Trip Packing List


Have you ever began packing for a street journey and simply knew you had been forgetting one thing? Don’t fear, we’ve all been there. The reality of the matter is irrespective of what number of occasions you head out on a street journey, there’s at all times going to be one thing you missed.

That’s simply the character of the street and it’s unpredictability. However it’s additionally why street journeys are so enjoyable and thrilling. You simply by no means know what you’ll discover over that far off mountain or round that subsequent bend within the street.

While you may by no means cowl each chance, our street journey packing checklist contains every little thing you’ll possible ever must journey safely, comfortably, and with type.

Our checklist contains street journey necessities in addition to just a few objects to make your drive just a bit bit simpler.

Road Trip Packing List

GMC convoy in cattle country

When planning issues to deliver on a street journey, there’s quite a bit to contemplate.

Is it an extended, cross nation street journey, or a brief journey an hour or two away? Is it a solo street journey, or a household street journey? Are you touring as a pair or do you might have 3 children within the backseat? Are you touring in winter or summer season?

This full checklist covers what to pack to your time on the street, irrespective of the situations.

Road Trip Essentials

Looking for absolutely the must-have necessities for a street journey? These are our picks for important objects on the street:

  • driver’s license
  • passport (if wanted)
  • bank card (most well-liked) or debit card
  • money
  • smartphone
  • maps (one paper map, and one with GPS or your smartphone)
  • automobile insurance coverage and registration
  • snacks and drinks (see under for a full checklist)
  • garments to your journey and vacation spot (full checklist under)
  • toll cross (if wanted)
Van and termite mound in Australia
Our van dwarfed by an Australian termite mound


Admittedly, insurance coverage isn’t the sexiest, or most enjoyable, merchandise on this checklist, however it’s completely important. Getting into an accident with out auto insurance coverage may very well be a significant catastrophe.

Good insurance coverage may even assist defend the contents of your automobile, and should embody protection for vandalism. Good insurance coverage, whether or not it’s automobile insurance coverage, or time period life insurance coverage, can really make life simpler by lowering stress and fear.

Clothing and Toiletries

Clothing is without doubt one of the most underrated issues to pack for a street journey.

The actual garments you select will rely if you happen to’re planning on scorching climate and selecting a summer season street journey packing checklist, or driving in cooler climate.

While we’re driving, we at all times select garments which are comfy for journey, and acceptable for the climate.

We additionally pack for our vacation spot, whether or not that’s a summer season seashore journey, or winter trip to go to household.

Here are our street journey musts for clothes:

  • jackets
  • swimsuits and towels
  • additional footwear
  • socks
  • pants
  • shorts
  • t-shirts
  • lengthy sleeve shirts
  • shirts
  • underwear
  • equipment

Exactly what you pack for toiletries is a private selection, however right here’s an inventory to begin:

  • prescriptions
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • hair merchandise
  • sunscreen
  • bug spray
  • female hygiene merchandise
  • hand lotion
  • Tylenol or different ache reliever
  • child wipes
  • umbrella or rain coat

Road Trip Snacks and Drinks

Road journeys are all concerning the snacks, proper?

On some street journeys, we take the time to prep wholesome meals for a cooler, and select wholesome choices like fruit and pretzels.

Kobukoro mochi snack from Japanese subscription box

If time is brief or we’re simply not feeling it, we’ll typically seize a choice of snacks that appears like an unsupervised six 12 months outdated was allowed to seize every little thing in a comfort retailer.

Whether you’re on the lookout for the perfect vegan street journey snacks, or going full carnivore, these are a few of our favourite street journey meals:

  • fruit (apples, oranges, berries, minimize up watermelon, and so forth.)
  • cheese strings
  • yogurt
  • nuts
  • pretzels
  • popcorn
  • potato chips
  • granola and protein bars
  • nuts and seeds
  • water bottles
  • juice bins
  • hummus and dippers
  • sandwiches and wraps
  • sweet

We keep away from smelly or messy street journey meals as a lot as we will and if sure members within the automobile are lactose illiberal or have points with sure meals, these positively don’t make it right into a shared automobile.

Let’s simply say we all know from expertise that driving cross nation with the odor of over-ripe banana baked into our automobile’s inside will not be a enjoyable expertise and possibly stopping for chili isn’t the perfect concept earlier than a 6 hour automobile journey to go to grandma.

Electronics and Entertainment for a Road Trip

I’m sufficiently old to recollect seemingly infinite street journeys with my mother and father, the place the one leisure was searching the window, speaking to my mother and pop, or enjoying I Spy. When we had been misplaced, my dad would pull over to the facet of some dusty nation street, and unfold the tattered paper map and cuss a bit greater than I used to be used to. I do NOT miss these drives.

Electronics have made street journeys with my children a lot extra manageable and arranged.

Couple with cute dog on bed in van

Smartphone and Apps

A smartphone is crucial for a street journey these days. It enables you to name roadside help if needed, communicate with family and friends, acts as a GPS and map, offers leisure, and extra.

We have Google Maps and Google Translate on our telephones always (particularly on worldwide journeys). To communicate with household and mates, we use WhatsApp, Signal, and Facebook Messenger.

Google Maps enables you to obtain offline maps, which is extremely helpful after we don’t have Wi-Fi or a cell sign and Google Translate can actually translate indicators and menus in actual time by way of your smartphones digital camera or permit you to have a head to head dialog with somebody in a distinct language.

How to make use of Google’s Offline Maps

You’ll must pre-install offline maps on Google Maps earlier than your Wi-Fi or knowledge cuts out. Here’s how.

On Android, open Google Maps. Select your Google profile photograph on the highest proper, and choose Offline Maps. Click Select Your Own Map, and zoom in or out to pick the world on the map you’d prefer to obtain. Click the Download button. To guarantee that the apps keep downloaded, choose the gear icon on the highest proper, then allow Auto-update offline maps and Auto-download beneficial apps.

On iPhone or iPad, open the Google Maps app. Tap your profile image or preliminary, and choose Offline maps. Tap Select your personal map. Adjust the map in keeping with the world you wish to obtain. Tap Download.

After you obtain an space, use Google Maps app such as you usually would. If your cell sign or Wi-Fi cuts out, the downloaded offline maps will information you to your vacation spot, however solely so long as your entire route is inside the offline map.


These days we primarily use Google Maps on our smartphone, however it does have some disadvantages.

Specifically, we discover that Google Maps instructions aren’t nice at lane placement, which is awkward in busy cities or intersections. You could also be higher off utilizing a devoted GPS unit like a Garmin Navigator with updated maps.

Audio books

Audiobooks are our favourite technique to maintain the entire household entertained on street journeys.

The 4 of us liked the Harry Potter collection narrated by Jim Dale, however we share another selections on our high audiobooks for street journeys, and our assortment of the greatest household audiobooks.

Portable Wi-Fi or mobile knowledge plan

Our new favourite street journey gadget is our Glocalme moveable Wi-Fi machine, which lets us keep Wi-Fi linked on the street, and it permits as much as six units can join. Check out our evaluation of the Glocalme right here

See Glocalme costs.

Phone mounts and chargers

A wi-fi automobile charger and cellphone mount holds our cellphone whereas travelling maintain the litter at bay, retains us safer on the street, and makes certain our Google Maps is at all times accessible. Even higher, it additionally wirelessly prices your cellphone.


We use our smartphone cameras to seize most of our street journey reminiscences, however we additionally deliver our Canon RP full body mirrorless if we wish increased high quality images, or use our GoPro or inexpensive AKASO VX-50 if we wish motion or water photographs.

Tablet or laptops for passengers

We at all times joke that it’s 1984 on our street journeys, that are stuffed with audiobooks, video games, and plenty of staring out the window on the surroundings.

Pretending it’s 1984 might not be your type of enjoyable, and a laptop computer or pill can relieve the boredom of lengthy drives by letting passengers watch a film or present, or play video games.

We love that you could obtain the greatest journey films or TV exhibits on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video if you’re offline. You can even obtain and watch the greatest journey vloggers on YouTube.

Micki Driving Our Van in Australia

Safety and Car Gear

Here are our high picks for security gear, and automobile necessities:

  • automobile security equipment
  • spare tire, inflated and in good situation
  • AMA or different roadside help card
  • tire jack
  • candles and a lighter
  • first assist equipment
  • primary instrument equipment
  • small empty gasoline can
  • flashlight
  • tire chains, ice scraper, and non-clay kitty litter (optionally available for winter driving)
  • rubbish bag
  • automobile organizer
  • air freshener
Calgary Stampede OH Ranch

A Paper Map

Even with a GPS navigator or a conveyable Wi-Fi hotspot, sooner or later you’ll possible be with out service.

Offline Google Maps can fill the hole, however it’s good to have a paper backup.

Looking for some extra packing suggestions?

Do you might have the rest so as to add to our street journey packing checklist? Let us know!


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