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The Ultimate Road Trip Packing List

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You: Revving up for that long-awaited road trip, but stuck in a packing dilemma with no idea what to put on your road trip packing list?

Us: Offering you a comprehensive item-by-item packing list for the ultimate road trip adventure!

Embarking on a road trip is a thrilling escapade, but knowing exactly what to pack can be a head-scratcher. Fear not! In this detailed blog post, we’ve curated the ultimate packing guide tailored specifically for road trippers.

To make your pre-road trip preparations even smoother, we’ve included a FREE downloadable PDF of this comprehensive Road Trip Packing List at the end of the post! So, buckle up and get ready to make memories – your ultimate road trip adventure awaits!

Road Trip Essentials

1. Travel Pillow

Maximize comfort during breaks or overnight stays with a comfortable travel pillow. Compact and easily stowed, they guarantee a more relaxed journey.

Designed for adventurers seeking superior comfort without added bulk, the Sea to Summit Aeros Premium traveler pillow is your go-to solution, providing excellent neck support in a lightweight and compact package.

Our Pick

2. Travel Blanket

A good travel blanket can serve many purposes on a road trip. From using it as a blanket to wrap up in the car or packing it on a hike or picnic, a travel blanket is a must-have on a road trip.

Indulge in a cozy night’s sleep wherever your travels take you with the Rumpl NanoLoft Puffy Travel blanket. Filled with a proprietary synthetic alternative to down, this blanket offers luxurious comfort and warmth for ultimate relaxation on the road.

Our Pick

3. Portable Charging Station

Ensure uninterrupted power supply for electronic devices with a portable charging station. Compact and versatile, devices like EcoFlow RIVER 2 provide multiple charging ports and high-capacity battery storage, ideal for recharging smartphones, tablets, cameras, and other gadgets on the go.

Whether you’re camping off-grid or exploring remote locations, a portable charging station keeps your devices powered up and ready for use, enhancing convenience and connectivity throughout your road trip adventure.

Our Pick

4. Suitcase

Opt for durability and protection with a hard shell suitcase. Designed to withstand rough handling and adverse weather conditions, a hard-shell suitcase provides robust defense for your belongings during transit. Featuring a sturdy outer shell, these suitcases offer enhanced resistance to impacts, scratches, and moisture, safeguarding your valuables throughout your road trip.

Experience effortless travel with the durable and lightweight L.L. Bean Hardside Spinner, featuring easy-to-maneuver spinner wheels, clam-shell style design for quick access, and zippered mesh dividers for organization, all in a sleek Nautical Navy finish.

Our Pick

5. Backpack

Don’t forget to pack a versatile backpack for day trips and outings during your road trip adventure. Ideal for carrying essentials like water bottles, snacks, maps, and cameras, a backpack offers convenience and hands-free mobility while exploring new destinations. Look for one with padded straps and multiple compartments for added comfort and organization on the go.


In search of a streamlined, technical daypack capable of accommodating your essential gear and more? Look no further than the Osprey Sportlite 25 pack. Designed with active hikers in mind, this pack offers reliability and functionality for a full day of exploration on the trails.

Our Pick

6. Packing Cubes

Maximize organization and efficiency in your luggage with packing cubes. These lightweight and durable organizers help compartmentalize clothing and accessories, making it easy to locate items and keep your belongings neatly arranged throughout your journey. With different sizes available, you can separate clean clothes from dirty laundry or categorize items by type, ensuring a well-organized travel experience.

With the REI Co-op Expandable Packing Cube set in small, medium, and large sizes, you can effortlessly pack and locate your essentials, ensuring everything has its place in your luggage.

Our Pick

7. Sun Glasses

Shield eyes from sun exposure with sunglasses, offering protection against UV rays and glare during outdoor activities and while driving.


Discover sunglasses with unmatched personality in the goodr OGs. Perfect for outdoor adventurers tackling rugged trails, these sunglasses feature nonslip frames and polarized lenses, offering both style and practicality for your outdoor pursuits.

Our Pick

8. Hat

Protect yourself from the sun while adding a stylish touch to your road trip attire with a versatile hat. Opt for a wide-brimmed sun hat for maximum coverage or a baseball cap for a casual look. Whichever style you choose, a hat is an essential accessory for staying comfortable and protected during your outdoor adventures.

The REI Co-op Sahara paddler hat offers full coverage with its front and back brim, while its cool mesh side panels and sweat-wicking headband keep you comfortable

Our Pick

Food and Drink

1. Snack Cooler

Keep your snacks and beverages chilled throughout your road trip with a reliable cooler.

Look no further for the ultimate large cooler than the RTIC 65 QT Ultra Tough Cooler. Perfect for road trips, this cooler strikes the perfect balance between size and portability. Despite its spacious capacity, it remains manageable for one person to carry. Keep your beverages, food, and meat chilled on extended camping trips with the ability to hold up to 64 cans plus ice.

Our Pick

2. Ice Packs

Don’t forget to pack ice packs to keep your cooler contents cold for longer durations. Whether you’re camping, picnicking, or road-tripping, these ice packs are essential for maintaining freshness and temperature control.

Sold in packs of two and offered in four sizes, these RTIC ice packs are your ticket to keeping your beverages and snacks refreshingly cold throughout your adventure!

Our Pick

3. Water Bottle

Stay hydrated on your journey with a refillable water bottle. Choose a durable and insulated option to keep your water cool and refreshing, ensuring you stay hydrated throughout your adventures.

Crafted from Tritan Renew copolyester, with 50% certified recycled content, the 32 fl. oz. Nalgene Sustain wide-mouth water bottle allows you to reduce your environmental footprint while staying hydrated on the road.

Our Pick

Roadside Safety Essentials

1. Multitool

Be prepared for various tasks and situations with a versatile multi-tool. Whether you need to fix equipment, open bottles, or perform small repairs, a multi-tool is a handy addition to your road trip toolkit. Choose a compact and durable option with a range of functions to tackle any challenge that comes your way.

Get your hands on the Leatherman Rev multi-tool, packed with versatile functionality to tackle tasks wherever you are – whether you’re tinkering under the hood, setting up camp, or handling chores around the house.

Our Pick

2. Jumper Cables

Be prepared for unexpected battery issues with a set of jumper cables. Whether you need to jump-start your own vehicle or assist a fellow traveler, jumper cables are essential for getting back on the road quickly and safely.

This innovative and versatile Scosche Powerup 700 Portable Jump Starter – PBJ700-1 boasts a powerful portable high-capacity Lithium-Ion battery, allowing for quick, easy, and safe jump-starts of a wide range of vehicles, while also featuring dual USB ports for charging mobile devices and a multi-mode flashlight for enhanced visibility in the dark—all spark-free and suitable for cars, trucks, boats, ATV/UTVs, and more.

Our Pick

3. Tire Repair Kit

Ensure you’re ready for unexpected flat tires with a tire repair kit. Compact and easy to use, a tire repair kit allows you to quickly patch punctures and reinflate tires, getting you back on the road with minimal downtime.


Smittybilt’s tire repair kit is a must-have for off-road adventures, with everything you need to fix a flat conveniently packed in a compact soft pack. Complete with 30 self-vulcanizing plugs, rugged aluminum hand tools, and more, it’s ideal for any vehicle, ensuring you’re prepared for unexpected punctures on the trail.

Our Pick

4. Flashlight

Equip yourself with a reliable flashlight for illuminating dark spaces and navigating nighttime emergencies. Choose a lightweight and durable model with adjustable brightness settings to suit your needs during roadside breakdowns or camping adventures.

Illuminate the darkest of nights with ease using the lightweight and rechargeable Coast XP11R Professional Series flashlight. With four modes and multi-beam capability, it delivers up to 2,100 lumens on Turbo mode for powerful lighting whenever you need it.

Our Pick

Health and Safety Items

1. First Aid Kit

Be prepared for minor injuries and emergencies on the road with a comprehensive first aid kit. Stocked with essential medical supplies like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers, a first aid kit ensures you can address minor wounds and discomforts quickly and effectively during your travels.

Pack the Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .5 medical kit for your 1- to 2-day solo adventures, ensuring compact and essential medical supplies are always within reach.

Our Pick

2. Prescription Medications

Don’t forget to pack any necessary prescription medications for your trip. Keep them in their original containers and ensure you have an adequate supply to last the duration of your journey, plus a little extra just in case.

Organize and protect your pills and supplements on the go with the Matador Waterproof Pill Canister. Featuring a sturdy aluminum shell and an airtight seal with an IPX4 rating, this canister ensures your medications stay dry and secure, even during the rigors of travel.

Our Pick

3. Personal Hygiene/Toiletry Bag

Keep your personal care items organized and easily accessible with a toiletry bag. Choose a durable and waterproof option with multiple compartments to store your toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, skincare products, and more.

Stay organized on the go with the spacious Sea to Summit Hanging Toiletry Bag. Its lightweight design allows for effortless packing in your backpack or suitcase, whether you’re embarking on a quick overnight stay or an extended journey. This is the exact toiletry bag we used on both of our round-the-world trips.

Our Pick

4. Hand Sanitizer and Wipes

Maintain good hygiene on the go with hand sanitizer. Choose a travel-sized bottle with at least 60% alcohol content to effectively kill germs and bacteria when soap and water are not readily available.

Combat bacteria on-the-go with Dr. Bronner’s Organic hand sanitizer, swiftly eliminating germs when soap and water aren’t accessible. Plus, enjoy the refreshing lavender scent that also freshens the air.

Our Pick

5. Sunscreen

Protect your skin from harmful UV rays with sunscreen. Opt for a broad-spectrum SPF formula and apply generously to exposed skin before heading outdoors, reapplying every few hours for optimal protection throughout your journey.

Regardless of the weather, sunscreen is a crucial part of skincare. The Sun Bum Mineral SPF 30 sunscreen spray offers UVA/UVB broad-spectrum protection with its zinc-based mineral formula, ensuring your skin stays safe from the sun’s rays.

Our Pick

6. Lip Balm

Keep your lips moisturized and protected from dryness and sun exposure with a nourishing lip balm. Look for formulas with natural ingredients like beeswax and coconut oil to keep your lips soft and hydrated, even in harsh weather conditions.

Experience the timeless tingle of peppermint while keeping your lips moisturized with the original Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm, a beloved essential for those on the move.

Our Pick

7. Face Masks

Ensure you have face masks on hand to comply with any local regulations or for added protection in crowded or indoor spaces. Choose reusable masks made from breathable materials for comfort during extended wear.

Before you step out, safeguard yourself and others with the Outdoor Research Essential Face Cover Kit. This kit features a durable, washable, and fully adjustable mask along with three filters for added protection.

Our Pick

Photography Gear

1. Camera

Capture unforgettable moments during your road trip with a reliable camera. Whether you prefer a DSLR for professional-quality photos or a compact point-and-shoot for convenience, having a camera allows you to document your adventures and create lasting memories.

The Sony A7R III is a standout camera thanks to its high-resolution 42.4MP sensor, fast autofocus system, and ability to shoot at up to 10 frames per second. Its in-body image stabilization also ensures sharp photos, making it an excellent choice for photographers of all levels.

Our Pick

2. Memory Cards

Ensure you have enough memory cards to store all your photos and videos. Choose high-capacity, high-speed cards compatible with your camera to avoid running out of storage space and to ensure smooth performance when shooting.

Capture everything effortlessly with the SanDisk Extreme PRO UHS-I card, boasting fast transfer speeds of up to 170 MB/s and engineered for 4K Ultra HD video recording, making it perfect for professionals in fast-paced environments.

Our Pick

3. Tripod

Stabilize your shots and achieve steady, clear images with a tripod. Whether you’re capturing landscapes, group photos, or long exposures, a tripod provides stability and versatility, allowing you to experiment with different angles and compositions for professional-looking results.

Peak Design 5-Section Aluminum Travel Tripod with Ball Head offers pro-level stability and features, all while packing down to the diameter of a water bottle. With lightning-fast deployment, ergonomic adjustment points, and durable construction backed by a lifetime guarantee, it’s designed for life on the road, making it the ultimate travel companion for photographers.

Our Pick

4. Portable Charger

Keep your electronic devices charged on the go with a portable charger power bank. Ideal for charging smartphones, tablets, cameras, and other USB-powered devices, a power bank ensures you stay connected and powered up throughout your road trip adventures.

The BioLite Charge 80 PD Power Bank is built to fuel the latest personal electronics, offering USB-C Power Delivery for quicker and more versatile charging capabilities.

Our Pick

Complete Road Trip Packing List

1. Vehicle Documents:

  • Driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Proof of insurance

2. Roadside Emergency Kit:

  • Spare tire and jack
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Basic toolkit
  • Emergency warning triangles
  • Flashlight and extra batteries

3. Comfort and Entertainment:

  • Comfortable clothing and shoes
  • Travel pillows and blankets
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Travel games or audiobooks
  • Playlist or podcasts for entertainment
  • Smartphone and car charger

4. Health and Safety:

  • First aid kit
  • Prescription medications
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Hand sanitizer and wipes
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Face masks

5. Snack Cooler:

  • Cooler with snacks like fruits, nuts, and sandwiches
  • Bottled water or reusable water bottles
  • Ice packs to keep items cool

6. Luggage and Storage:

  • Suitcases or travel bags
  • Backpack for day trips
  • Packing Cubes
  • Trash bags for keeping the car tidy

7. Photography Gear:

  • Camera or smartphone
  • Extra memory cards and batteries
  • Tripod for stable shots
  • Portable charger for electronic devices

8. Miscellaneous:

  • Sunglasses and hats
  • Travel guides or destination information
  • Multi-tool or Swiss Army knife
  • Travel insurance details

Free Printable – Road Trip Packing List PDF

Road Trip Packing List – Final Thoughts

In summary, preparing for your road trip becomes a breeze with this all-encompassing packing list. Covering essential clothing and gear, along with optional items to elevate your experience, meticulous planning ensures you’re well-equipped for the unpredictable twists and turns of the open road.

Whether you’re navigating scenic routes, setting up camp at picturesque spots, or capturing moments with your camera, having the correct items in your travel arsenal guarantees comfort, safety, and the flexibility to fully immerse yourself in the journey.

>>> Ready to go? Click here to check out our favorite road trip adventures.

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