The Ultimate Guide: Road Trip Essentials

August 15, 2016

road trip essentials ultimate guide packing list


Is your wanderlust urging you out on the open road? We can’t blame you.

There are few precious days left remaining with under the summer sun, and an escape – even if only for the weekend, can turn even the most lackluster of summers into a memorable one. So wherever your steering wheel takes you, here is our ultimate packing list and guide for your travels. Bonne Voyage!



Be sure to have a selection of songs to keep the right vibe throughout the trip from start to finish. If you use a streaming service; ensure you make your favourites available offline to avoid lofty data charged or outages/service interruptions in rural areas.



Gas for your vehicle is key, but just as important is your snack stash. Keep some nutrient rich snacks handy for your travels. A variety of options can keep your energy levels up in-between stops. We recommend CLIFF Bars, some mixed nuts, dried fruit, and a few salty snacks like pretzels or pita crisps.


Battery Life

Ensure you have all of your charging equipment with you, we recommend two for each device. One for the car, that will remain there, and another to bring with you to your campsite/hotel/ sleeping quarters. If you are really roughing it, investing in a backup battery to charge your phone when you are away from power sources.



Have an empty bag ready for trips away from the car. A backpack or satchel is easy to load up with snacks and essentials when opting for a picnic or an impromptu hike.



Don’t neglect sun safety. Sitting behind a pane of glass during the prime sunshine hours can cause serious havoc on your skin. Apply in the morning, and re-apply at rest stops. Pay special attention to the side directly aside the window; driver, passenger, what-have-you.



A cooler-bag with cold water and sugary drinks will avoid un-necessary rest-stop purchases, but will also keep you hydrated on the road.


Emergency Essentials

A standard car emergency kit will do, but be sure to check through it before you head on your trip for expired and missing items. If you are headed into the wilderness, be sure to have the added first aid essentials for bites, cuts, and scrapes.



It’s good to have a general plan for your trip; accommodations, rest-stops, etc. (This is especially true when travelling in the high season, you do not want to find yourself exhausted under a flashing NO VACANCY sign) But, be sure you are leaving a little spontaneity to your journey. Pay attention to local attraction signs on your drive. If you see something interesting, stop! The best places are the ones you discover organically.


Hygiene To-Go

We were going to group this under ‘Emergency Essentials’, but this one is too important – it needs it’s own point. Pack a hygiene bag, because you never know. In addition to your standards(deodorant, feminine hygiene products, etc. ); don’t forget the emergency hygiene items. Personal wet wipes, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, are key.  You may find yourself in a less-than-stellar bathroom situation, so best be prepared.


A Navigator

While solo trips can be fun, having a friend (or two) who can help keep you entertained and en route can make a trip even more enjoyable. It’s also better to have two heads if there are any emergencies or setbacks.


Podcasts and Audiobooks

Having music is good, but pre-downloading more audio-entertainment than you need can keep a long car ride from becoming a drag. Audiobooks and podcasts are great conversation starters, and they also can keep you entertained if the weather sours and you find yourself indoors more than anticipated. We recommend This American Life, Serial Season 1, and Ask Me Another.



Cards are great, but be sure to have some cash on hand for emergencies and rural stops.


Travel Documents / I.D

Especially important if you are travelling across border or into an area that is unfamiliar to you. Have all proper identification, car documentation, and print any travel itinerary you have.


Fun and Games

Have a few travel-friendly activities handy for when you need some down time or to stretch your legs. We usually pack a travel chess board and some basic badminton rackets to keep us amused, entertained, and energised.


Weather Proofing

Don’t let inclement weather spoil your trip. Pack towels, extra socks, an enough umbrellas for your you and your tripmates. If you’ll be camping during your trip, pack a ground tarp, extra tarps for a makeshift shelter, as well as rope and bungee cords.



What are your Road Trip essentials? Let us know in the comments below!

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