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The Ultimate Road Trip Essentials Packing List

Many travelers plan to hit the road and skip planes, trains and other public transportation for their next trip. Check out this list of road trip essentials

September 08, 2020

Road-tripping can be a fun way to get out of the house and take the scenic route to your destination. Sure, flying will get you there faster, but there’s just something special about having the windows down and blasting your favorite songs on a two-lane highway with your favorite people. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s especially nothing wrong with taking the long way to your destination to maintain social distancing. Just make sure to wear your face coverings at rest stops, gas stations and anywhere else you may come in contact with others along the way! 

Whether you’re taking a road trip across state lines in an RV or stuffing your sedan to travel down the road for a short weekend getaway, there are some things you just can’t forget. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with the best road trip checklist for your next trip!

1. Snacks

No road trip is complete without snacks. Whether you’re the driver, co-pilot or back seat napper, you’re going to get hungry eventually. Instead of stopping for everyone’s favorite snacks along the way, it’s best to plan ahead and get snacks delivered through Gopuff so you can have them ready when you’re craving them. 

We all know the ideal road trip snack bag is a good mix of salty and sweet. You can even make your own custom mix Snack Mix Recipes. Here are just a few road trip snack ideas to fulfill your snack dreams.

Salty Snacks: 

Sweet Snacks:

If you’re feeling adventurous, consider trying our mystery snack box. It’s packed with fifteen mystery snacks (we don’t even know what’s in it) that are perfect for a road trip. Open the box once you get moving and dole out the snacks among your fellow road-trippers!

2. A cooler with drinks

You’ll need something to wash down all those snacks. It’s great to have some variety in the cooler so you don’t feel obligated to make unnecessary stops. Think about how long your trip is and what you’ll need. If you want to be stocked for hydration and energy, consider the following drinks for your cooler:

3. Cleaning supplies

While they’re not the most glamorous thing to pack for a road trip, you’ll definitely need some cleaning products stashed in the car. If you’ve ever had the fear of getting a stain on the seat, sitting on a chip and watching it crumble into a million pieces on the floor or having sticky hands after eating just about anything, you know the need for this all too well. If you organize your list into cleaning supplies and paper and plastic products, it should only be a few items so it won’t seem too overwhelming.

Cleaning Supplies: 

  • Disinfecting wipes

  • Hand sanitizer

Paper and Plastic Products

  • Napkins

  • Tissues

  • Garbage bags

4. First-aid kit

It’s always good to be prepared in the event of a minor health issue, and a first-aid kit is something you should always have on hand in your car. Whether you or your passengers get carsick easily or get the occasional headache or stomach ache, make sure you have the necessary medicine and other items to handle the situation. This will ensure you don’t have to wait for a rest stop or gas station. 

Take care of the following basics in addition to a first-aid kit for smooth sailing:

5. Electronic devices & chargers

Devices and chargers are essential for any road trip. If you don’t plan to bring a GPS with you, or if you’re not into reading paper maps, don’t forget a phone charger so you can get from point A to point B and everywhere in between. 

If you’re driving, consider getting an air vent phone mount so you can navigate hands-free. If you’re not driving, bring a pair of headphones to tune out the noise.

6. Navigation apps

The tried and true Google Maps is always a good start as your go-to navigation app for a road trip. If you’re planning on taking a longer trip where service can be patchy, consider downloading the map offline to make sure you don’t miss a turn. If you’re looking to change up your experience, there are some other cool apps that get the job done, too. 

Roadtrippers is a fan favorite app among cross-country travelers and weekend adventurers alike. It helps you find fun things to do, places to eat and more while you’re on the road, so you can take the scenic route wherever you’re going.

If you’re looking to have a little fun and a lot of laughs with your travel buddies, Back Seat Navigator is another app available on Apple and Google Play that insults you while you’re driving.

7. Pillows & blankets

Long road trips can get draining. Not only should you wear comfy clothes for the drive, but you should also bring a pillow and a blanket in case you want to take a little snooze on the way. When it’s not your turn to be behind the wheel, taking a power nap can make the driving trade-offs easier for a longer trip.

 8. Clothes

Before you hit the road, it’s important to remember all the things you actually need for your destination. That includes your clothes for the week, shoes, undergarments, hats, hair accessories and anything else you’d pack in a duffel bag or suitcase. Pack enough clothes for each day of your trip, a few pairs of shoes and maybe a few extra backup outfits just in case. 

9. Toiletries

Toiletries and personal care items are key to remember before a successful road trip. If you’re taking a longer trip and planning on making a pit stop at a hotel or campsite on the way to your destination, you’ll want to come prepared with a few basics in your toiletry bag to keep you feeling clean and refreshed if you can’t get your hands on them elsewhere:

10. A good playlist

If someone gives you the aux cord on a road trip, consider yourself the DJ. It can be difficult to make a playlist that caters to everyone’s needs, especially if you’re traveling with an eclectic group. Look no further, as there are about a million options for curated road trip playlists on Spotify. If you know your passengers’ taste in music and are feeling a creative spark, curate a collaborative Spotify playlist that covers everyone’s favorite genres. Or, if you share a favorite podcast, put some episodes in the queue and chat about it when it’s done to pass the time.

Road trips can be a great way to create new memories with friends, family, a significant other or whoever else you decide to have riding co-pilot and backseat in your car. However you choose to cruise down the backroads to your destination, make sure to have fun and enjoy the ride. After all, they do say it’s not the destination, but the journey that matters. (And we think you should enjoy both!)

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