Road Trip Packing Essentials {free printable}

Road Trip Packing Essentials

Packing for the ultimate road trip can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be with a simple and efficient checklist! I’ve been on MANY road trips, and I always seem to leave something behind every time. Hence, the need for a checklist. I’ve included links to some of my favorite products as well.

Of course, this list will be different for each individual and family. For example, if you don’t plan to visit parks or hiking, you’ll want to eliminate things like hiking boots and portable hammocks.

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Check out my Amazon Travel page for a list of traveling gift ideas for travelers, families, and adventurists! 
Road Trip Car Essentials:
  • Midwest Road Trip Adventures book
  • Car documents & insurance info
  • Road Atlas (Yes, we live in a digital age, but a road atlas has proven essential in places where I have no signal for GPS.)
  • Reusable insulated bottle or Stanley (reduces plastic bottle waste and keeps your beverage cool or warm for longer)
  • Cell phone mount (for hands-free driving)
  • Charging cables (for phones, tablets, etc.)
  • Bluetooth charger/transmitter (for hands-free calling and AUX output)
  • Hand sanitizer and wet wipes
  • A gallon of water, hand soap & paper towels (for those time times when handwashing stations are not available)
  • Sunglasses
  • Neck pillow
  • Extra blankets
  • Cooler with drinks
  • Snacks
  • Roadside emergency kit (jumper cables, flares, reflective vest, tire pressure gauge, window breaker, flashlight, etc.)
  • Tire iron and jack
  • First aid kit
  • Rain jacket or ponchos
  • Umbrella
  • Folding camp chairs or hammocks (for park stops, outdoor rest breaks, etc.)
  • Window screen covers (should you need for sleeping/privacy or heat protection)
  • Sunscreen and bug spray
  • Road trip playlist (music, podcasts, etc., in a playlist or download for your trip)
  • Cash and change (some tolls still take coins, and it’s always good to have a few extra bills on you for emergencies)
  • Ice scraper (if traveling in the winter or to colder climates)
  • Reusable shopping bags (to collect trash or store dirty clothes, shoes, sickness bags, etc.)
  • Travel journal
  • Motion sickness meds (and other medications)
  • Passport (if you are planning to cross borders)
  • Translator (if you are planning to cross borders)
  • Picnic blanket
  • Car battery charger (charge in advance of a road trip)
  • Camera and accessories (bag, tripod, batteries, etc.)
  • Toilet paper (hey, you never know!) and tissues
  • Binoculars (I wished we would have had these to spot elk on our last road trip!)
  • Daypack (to store items in for hiking and outings)
  • Gallon-sized bag with disposable plates/utensils (I throw a handful of disposable plates, napkins, utensils, etc., in a gallon-sized bag for as-needed convenience)


Personal Packing Essentials:

Kid’s Road Trip Essentials:

Pet Road Trip Essentials:

What Not to Pack:
  • Tons of toys
  • Containers
Free Printable:
Click here: Road Trip Essentials Checklist

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