40 Must-Pack Road Trip Essentials - Checklist

road trip essentials checklist

It is almost road trip time, and you are scrambling to pack everything you will need for the long journey ahead. Not to worry, we have you covered. Our team went ahead and put together this comprehensive road trip checklist for the adventurers who are not quite sure what they will need to pack! In this checklist, you will find everything you need to stay connected on the road, stay prepared on the road, and stay confident on the road. We will be continually updating this checklist as more items come to mind, but below are some of the essentials you should be packing for your upcoming road trip.

There are a lot of items you need, and a lot more you might want to have. So, we broke this list up into different categories to help you skim through and find what you might need the most. Enjoy!

The Essentials:

road trip essentials

Starting off with the essentials! It is imperative that you always travel with these items. If you are on the road for a long period of time, it would be best to avoid the risks, and make sure that these are packed in your road trip kit. Going anywhere without them could lead to trouble that could had been avoided.

  • License and Registration
  • Vehicle Owner’s Manual
  • Copy of Insurance Policy
  • Emergency Car Kit
  • Tire Repair Kit
  • A Flashlight
  • Spare Car Key
  • A Spare Tire
  • Emergency First Aid Kit

For staying connected:

what to pack for a road trip

It is always good to stay connected with friends and family on the road. Whether you find yourself in an emergency, needing directions, or even just checking in on your loved ones. Be sure to make yourself available to reach by packing these items to keep your devices (phones, laptops, etc.) charged and connected to the internet. Follow the law and pull over or use a hands-free device holder whilst driving.

  • Phone Chargers
  • Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot
  • Rechargeable Battery Pack
  • Hands Free Phone Holder
  • 12V USB Adapter
  • Portable Power Inverter

For Personal Care:

personal hygiene on the road

You will want to make sure you have these packed for various reasons. For example, a bottle of hand sanitizer may not seem too important, but you are going to find yourself touching a lot of things in public (gas pumps, door handles, etc.), and the last thing you want is to fall ill on your lengthy road trip.

  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Toilet Paper
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Chapstick and Sunscreen
  • A Hairbrush or Comb
  • Deodorant Stick
  • Tampons or Pads
  • Face Masks

For additional comfort:

road trip checklist

The road can be long, tiring, and bumpy. If you need to stop and take a break at any time, you are going to be happy you packed some of these comforting items in your kit. Pull over and take a quick nap, read your favorite book, or even take a few minutes to clean up the loose crumbs and trash in your vehicle. Rest assured, you will feel re-energized and ready to get back on the road in no time!

  • Books to Read
  • Neck / Travel Pillows
  • Bug Spray Repellent
  • A Journal or Notebook
  • Vehicle Trash Can
  • Quality Sunglasses
  • UV Window Shades
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Comfortable Blankets

Going on a winter road trip?

winter road trip checklist

A road trip during the winter is an entirely different ballgame, especially if you are going to be driving through areas with lots of ice and snow. Icy roads make driving more dangerous if you are not equipped with the right gear. Be sure that you are prepared for the worst to come with the items listed below.

  • Snow Shovel
  • Ice Scraper
  • Tire Chains
  • Hand Warmers
  • Emergency Blankets
  • Tire Pressure Gauge
  • Quality Travel Mug
  • Recovery Tow Strap

That completes our road trip checklist! We hope you found this information useful, and wish you the best on your upcoming journey. Road trips are a lot fun so long as you are equipped with the right items along your way. If you would like to download this checklist you can do so with the .PDF provided below.

Download the Rhino USA Road Trip Checklist