Heading off on a road trip is one of my favourite things to do. Whether it be a few hours down the road, a few days, weeks or even months, count me in. I have literally spent months living out of a car while I road tripped the west coast of the USA, and weeks living out of a car while road tripping in New Zealand. Not to mention that I hit the road every weekend I have free when I’m living in Australia. After so many road trip adventures I do consider myself a pro when it comes to being prepared, and that is why I am sharing my road trip essentials guide with you.
A Road trip buddy is your 1 road trip essential
After doing many road trips, I have come to realise that I prefer to road trip with a pal. While solo road trips are a great time to clear your mind and sing along to some epic beats, travelling with a buddy can take your road trip to a whole new level.
Road trip buddies inspire you to stop in at places you may not have stopped in at otherwise, think about things you never considered and laugh along the way.
But with all of this being said, you need a good road trip buddy, otherwise, you are better off road tripping alone. No one likes to sit next to someone they have to make awkward conversation with and most importantly, can’t enjoy a sing along with.
A good playlist
While a good playlist may not necessarily fall within Maslow’s basic Hierarchy of needs, so to speak, it certainly is a road trip essential. Any good road trip starts and ends with a good playlist.
I recommend downloading your favourite playlist for offline just in case you go through any areas of bad reception.
A lack of itineraries
When you’re road tripping, you come across hidden gems that you never expected to find. Being able to stop for a few hours, or days can allow you to create experiences you never imagined possible. I hate the feeling of arriving at amazing locations, knowing that you can only stay an hour before you have to hit the road. Places should be experienced with feelings. If you arrive and love it, you should be able to stay as long as you want (or as little).
Bluetooth speaker and Portable Phone Charger
If you’re driving an older car that doesn’t automatically Bluetooth to your phone, a Bluetooth accessory is key. Likewise to a USB port to charge your phone and iPad. These accessories can be picked up on Amazon for next to nothing and are an absolute road trip essential.
We all need our phones for Google maps, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Snap chat and whatever other app is essential to you. Plus an iPad (or Kindle) is a travellers best book because you can download as many as you want, without the weight of a traditional book.
Road trip snacks
Road trip snacks are an absolute road trip essential. If you aren’t prepared with snacks for your road trip, chances are that you will be eating unhealthy as service stations rarely have healthy alternatives and drive through Macdonalds is all too convenient.
Speaking of snacks, make sure you pack reusable utensils. Plastic utensils are not only terrible for the environment, but they are terrible for you too! Being prepared with reusable utensils won’t cost you a thing.
You are always better off having more water than less, so when you start packing for your road trip, make sure you pack more water than you think you need. A reusable water bottle (and coffee cup) is recommended for your road trip.
Reusable Coffee Cup
If you plan to pull in for a takeaway cup of coffee each morning, a reusable cup can help you lessen the cost to the environment remarkably.
Every road trip should be a comfortable one. Be prepared with comfortable dresses for a summer climate and trackies and ugg boots for a winter climate.
A pillow and blanket
I love cruising along with a pillow and blanket, all snuggled in with tunes pumping, snacks in hand and a road trip buddy of course.
Other bits and pieces
Some other road trip essentials that certainly aren’t as fun, but are important include headache tablets, a mini first aid kit, mosquito repellant and sunscreen.
At a minimum, pack deodorant, a hairbrush, dry shampoo, a toothbrush, toothpaste and wet wipes. All great additions to the road trip kit that will come in handy at some point.
Avoid being blinded by the sun as you drive into it. A good pair of polarised sunglasses will be your best friend on the road.
A towel or two are essential for your road trip. A towel will be useful if you pull in somewhere for a shower, or stop for a swim.
A Travel Camera
I don’t go anywhere without my camera. Like I said before, you will come across some amazing scenery and sights on your road trip and you will want to be prepared to capture these moments. An iPhone camera does do the job, but a real camera can create images that are more versatile in terms of being able to be posted on websites or printed to hang in the family home.
The boring stuff
Jump leads are important to carry with you, just in case you do break down. While I don’t personally car jump leads, I do have roadside assistance saved in my phone just in case.
A flashlight is also extremely useful for road trips, especially when you’re setting up camp at night time.
Fun road trip essentials
Other fun things to pack for a road trip include books, cards, crosswords, sudoku, magazines or whatever other forms of entertainment you enjoy, offline.
A bottle of wine, for when you park up for the night, is also an essential road trip item.
This is my guide to road trip essentials. What do you pack that I am missing?
Want to know more about why I love road trips?