Road Trip Necessities: 6 Helpful Tips When Preparing for A Road Trip

Knowing these road trip necessities will be helpful when you’re preparing for a road trip. Some are common sense, and others might surprise you. Either way, you’ll be better off once you’re sure you have these 6 important aspects of your road trip covered. Keep reading to find out what the are before you’re too far along in planning your trip.

road trip necessities

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn 6 tips for preparing for a road trip. These road trip necessities, include:

Road Trip Necessities | Essential Tips for Your Trip

Are you planning to head out on a road trip? It’s always fun to get away, but before you do, make sure you’re prepared with the six essentials! This article discusses what they are and how each one can help improve your experience.

1. Pack A First Aid Kit

It’s essential to be prepared for anything when you’re on the road. 

Injuries happen, even if it’s just a small cut or nosebleed, and it can be a real pain if you don’t have any first aid equipment on hand. 

So, ensure your kit is stocked with:

  • Antibacterial cream
  • Antihistamines for rashes and itching
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Bandages
  • Gauze pads of all shapes and sizes
  • Hydrocortisone creams
  • Ointment for burns or bug bites
  • Pain Reliever, like Tylenol or Advil
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Other medications you might need

Fitting all of that into a small bag can be tricky. Sometimes it’s just easier to buy a first aid kit online. Hopefully you won’t need to use it, but as any Girl Scout knows, it’s good to have on hand just in case.

2. Bring Along Some Electronics

Of course, you’ll want to bring your cellphone with you. Not only is it good to have it to listen to podcasts and playlists, but you can use it to:

  • Contact emergency services
  • Get directions
  • Check restaurant reviews before stopping
  • Take pictures and videos
  • Look something up online. 

Actually, taking a road trip without your smartphone is almost unthinkable. 

But what you might forget is the charger. Make sure you have car chargers so that everyone can keep their electronic devices fully charged at all times. Also bring extra wall chargers so once you arrive, you can keep your phone powered up.

Whether or not your laptop, tablet, or other electronics are road trip necessities is a personal decision. For some, they can be good things To bring on a road trip to keep you entertained. 

Just don’t forget the chargers.

3. Don’t Underestimate Paper Maps

One of the most important things to bring on a road trip are maps! You might think they’re no longer needed, with GPS and your Waze or Google Maps apps. But there’s nothing worse than being lost in the middle of nowhere and not knowing how to get back on track. 

You never know when you might get spotty wifi reception, so make sure you have detailed maps of the area you’ll be driving through. You’ll also want backup maps in case something happens to your originals. You can find paper maps at gas stations or online.

It can also be fun to navigate using ‘old fashioned’ paper maps.

You can rely on Google Maps and Waze as long as you have reception. And for those times that you don’t, pull out a proper map of the area so you can stay on track.

4. Deal with Emergency Matters Ahead of Time

No one ever expects to get into a car accident when they’re on a road trip, but it can happen. 

That’s why it’s crucial to make sure your car insurance is up to date and you have enough coverage before heading out on your road trip. If you’ll be crossing international borders, make sure your insurance covers out-of-country travel as well. 

It’s a good idea to get roadside assistance coverage, too. That way you’ve got an extra measure of protection if you:

  • Run out of gas
  • Need a battery jump
  • Get a flat tire
  • Lock your keys out of your car
  • Have mechanical issues and need a tow

In addition, carry with you a list of emergency contacts separate from your phone. This should include “In Case of Emergency” contacts for yourself and anyone traveling with you, your doctor’s phone number, poison control phone number, and the phone number for some good car accident attorneys.  

Hopefully you won’t need to use them, but if something does go wrong, you’ll be glad you’re prepared. 

Bring Along Food & Water for the Road

It’s important to eat and stay hydrated along the way, but don’t take too much! 

Make sure you pack snacks like granola bars, trail mix, dried fruit (which keeps longer), or even beef jerky for those who are hungry on long drives. Depending on what time of day you leave, you could pack a picnic lunch and then stop for dinner on the road.

Also, bring bottles of water that will last for at least a day. If they’re reusable stainless steel or glass bottles instead of plastic ones, even better–it’ll be better for the environment as well!

Plan to Take Regular Breaks

It’s vital to take frequent breaks when you’re on a road trip. 

Make sure everyone in the car gets out and walks around every two hours or so; this will help with fatigue and keep you feeling fresh! 

It also has a real medical benefit. Long periods of inactivity, like sitting in a car, can cause blood to pool and potentially clot. 

It’s also a good idea to enjoy a meal and bathroom break while stopping for a leg stretch.

Final Thoughts on Road Trip Necessities

Remember not to overpack when heading out on your road trip. It can be easy to get carried away with certain things (especially clothes) because you want to be prepared for any circumstance. Instead, focus on these six road trip necessities and pack light for the best road trip experience.

Want to continue learning more about planning your road trip? Then click here for a detailed guide.


Photo credit:  Dziana Hasanbekava (Pexels)

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.

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