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The Best Road Trip Essentials You Need to Have

Before you gas up and head to the car for your next travel experience, there are definitely some road trip essentials you need. Road trips are such a great way to travel because you can go at your own pace and also take breaks when you need to. Being able to stop when you want in the car is a wonderful way to explore new places along the journey. 

One of the things I often hear from people about taking road trips is they don’t know how to stay comfortable, occupied and organized in the car. To help not only make your travels easier, but also more fun, I created a list of the best road trip necessities. 

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What should I bring on a long car ride?

Since one of our family’s favorite ways to travel is by car, I have a lot of experience when it comes to this type of trip.

We drive everywhere including long weekend getaways from the Philly area, road trips to Disney World or even out west to one of my favorite resorts in Arizona.

Map in the car for a road trip essential

So what road trip essentials should you pack in your car? 

Some ideas for what to bring on a long car ride are: water bottles, foam tire sealant, emergency roadside kit, fire extinguisher and of course a variety of non-perishable snacks.

These items can help in case something should happen to your car during your trip, because we always want to make sure we put safety first. 

If you easily sign up for my newsletter, you will be instantly able to download a fun, printable map of the US to take on your next road trip.

Make the trip even more fun by coloring in the states that you have visited as you drive along. 

How do you pass time in a car?

How do you pass time in a car ride, especially when traveling with kids, can be a big question and worry for parents.

Of course kids and teens will most likely bring their electronics with them, but luckily I have some ideas for fun, non-tech road trip essentials too.  

Families can play the license plate game, road trip bingo, board games, scavenger hunts, create photo journals, digital vision boards and more.

Road trips are a great opportunity to talk, bond as a family, share stories and also catch up on some sleep (unless you are the driver). 

The best part of this list is that all of these accessories can be easily purchased right on Amazon, just like these best travel essentials, and most of these beauty travel essentials.

What should you not bring on a road trip? 

I know this post is all about the road trip essentials you SHOULD bring, but first let’s talk about some things you should NOT bring in the car:

  • leave the hard shell suitcases behind — too bulky and take up too much space
  • hard to eat and sticky foods – that unfortunately means no rice krispie pops 
  • too many toys or big items things like bikes (unless you have a bike rack
  • foods that need to be stored or spoils quickly
  • don’t overpack the car, especially if you have to stop somewhere at night and don’t want to have to unpack and repack it all

Let’s take a look at the 21 best road trip essentials you need to have, without spending a fortune. 

21 Best Road Trip Essentials 

Where should I go on a road trip?

There are so many wonderful road trips to take throughout the world.

If you need a little inspiration, here is a list of 10 of the world’s most spectacular road trips.

Within the USA some of my favorite road trip adventures are driving along the Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Barbara, Route 66, Page, Arizona and multiple destinations along the East Coast (Cape Cod, Boston, New York).

Route 66 sign

With all of these beautiful places to visit and road trips to take, you will always have somewhere new to explore. 

Now that you know the best road trip essentials you need to have, here are some additional travel tips for you: 


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