My Road Trip Essentials

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Since I do so many road trips throughout the year, I thought I would share some of my personal road trip essentials! Road trips are such a fun way to travel and see new places. Let’s dive into the gear!

Amanda showing her road trip essentials

This is not a list of actual essentials like jumper cables, a spare tire, and gas money, but rather, it’s a look into the more personal items that I take on road trips to make things a little easier and/or more comfortable while I’m sitting in the car.

My Road Trip Essentials

1) A Good Duffle Bag

A good duffle bag is where I store all of my clothes, jackets, and toiletries.

I really like these duffle bags from Patagonia because they’re so durable and you can wear them like a backpack for easier transport to and from the car.

>> Shop Duffle Bags: Patagonia // Backcountry // REI

2) Portable Charging Products

We all need an easy way to charge our phones and other devices, right? These products from Anker are definitely my favorite for on-the-go charging.

I always leave a car charger in the car. This one has USB and USC charging ports so I can even use it to charge my laptop if needed.

I also carry this small portable battery pack for additional charging options when I’m traveling.

3) Lots of good snacks

No road trip is complete without all of your favorite snacks! I like to pack a good variety of snacks such as beef jerky, popcorn, trail mix, peanut butter-filled pretzels, protein bars, and apples. Chomps are one of my favorite on-the-go snacks!

4) Water Bottle

I take a reusable water bottle everywhere so I can easily stay hydrated. I almost always also have a large water jug in the car to make it really easy to refill my water bottle. Water bottles are also really easy to fill up at gas stations.

5) Coffee and a Coffee Mug

Coffee is essential every day. Maybe even more so on road trips! I always travel with my reusable coffee mug for a few reasons. One, I like my coffee HOT! A good mug helps to keep my coffee hotter for longer. Second, I usually pack coffee so I can make my own coffee on the go which saves me money.

If I’m camping along the road trip, I will have my camp kitchen setup and can easily boil water for coffee. If I don’t have my camping gear, I pack instant coffee and get hot water for free at gas stations. This is not only a quick and easy way to get your caffeine fix, but it’s also a lot cheaper!

6) Audiobooks and Podcasts

Make sure to download the audiobooks and podcasts at home before your road trip! That way, if you lose service, you’ll still be able to listen.

7) Book or Journal

I always travel with my bullet journal and a good book. If we’re not driving on windy roads, I can usually read in the passenger’s seat. I use a bullet journal for all my planning, calendar, to-do list, and as a place to write down thoughts and ideas. I love the bullet journal method of organization.

8) GoPro and Camera

Since I’m a YouTuber, I always travel with a camera! For quick video clips, I tend to use my GoPro a lot. The GoPro is so simple to use, it has great video stabilization, it’s waterproof, and it captures pretty good audio. I use it a lot for my travel vlog videos over on YouTube. I also use a Sony a7iii for other video clips and photos.

>> Shop GoPros: Amazon // REI

9) Medkit

first aid kit

I always have a fully stocked medkit in my car. Luckily, I haven’t needed anything in the medkit other than bandaids, but surprisingly, I’m always using them! It’s a good idea to always have a medkit in the car and make sure everyone knows exactly where it is. These Curad bandaids are definitely the best bandaids I’ve ever used.

10) Sun Protection

Sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, and chapstick! I’m all about sun protection for my face. I don’t use it every day on my legs and arms, but I do use it every day on my face and lips. Sunburnt lips are so uncomfortable!

11) Digital and Physical Maps

I like to use the Gaia GPS app on my phone to download the areas that I’ll be going. Once downloaded, the maps work even if I lose service.

I also have a road atlas in the car. If I forget to download something or I break my phone, at least I’ll have some other way to figure out the roads and get myself going in the right direction.

12) Blanket

A blanket is great to have for some additional warmth, but it’s also nice to have if you want to get out of the car and hang out at a park along the way.

13) Eye Mask

The older I get, the more sensitive to light I seem to become. I always travel with an eye mask now so I can sleep in the dark!

14) Napkins

How many times have you spilled something or tried to eat something in the car and needed a napkin? Yup. Pretty much all the time! Now I always keep a stack of napkins in the glove compartment of the car for those unexpected messes!

15) Binoculars

I’ve talked about my binoculars many times. They’re so fun to have on hikes and road trips so you can see more of the details all around you.

16) Handkerchief

Yes, I actually use handkerchiefs. I take them everywhere and use them every day. They’re so soft, easy to wash, and dry quickly. Don’t knock it until you try it!

What are some of your personal road trip essentials? Did I miss any of your must-have items? Chat with me in the comments below and share some of your favorite things to take on road trips.

READ NEXT >> Don’t miss these 7 money-saving tips for your next road trip!

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