As I’m getting ready to head on a month-long road trip from Boston to California, being prepared on the road is something I’ve put a lot of thought into! The last thing you want to do is end up stuck on the road, unprepared. My list ranges from comfort, to functional, to absolute necessities.
- Phone charger: Our phone is both our communication source and (for most of us) our navigation! A phone charger is an absolute must. If you have multiple people in the car, you may even want to invest in a multi-way charger to ensure all of your phones are powered up for your adventures!
- License, Registration & Car Insurance Documents: Do not leave home without these!
- First Aid Kit: Hopefully you never have to use it, but it’s always good to have on hand in case of emergencies. Here’s one that has all the essentials.
- Cash: Always have spare cash on you. You never known when you’ll run into an emergency (ie: parking, tolls)
- Ice scraper and shovel: If you’re traveling in the winter or cold conditions, a scraper and shovel are definitely worth packing. You don’t want to get stuck in a storm unprepared. This shovel is collapsable and easy to fit in the car.
- Knife – A swiss army knife is helpful to have during any long car trip – it can be useful in numerous situations
- Flashlight – In case your car breaks down in the middle of the night
- Umbrella – A travel umbrella is great to keep in your car regardless of the season; this umbrella is compact and easy to pack
- Batteries – Make sure your flashlight has a new set of batteries, but to be safe, bring extras with you
- Water & Snacks – Save yourself extra stops and come prepared! Snacks like apples, bananas and protein bars are all great on the-go options. I have a whole post on travel-snacks if you’d like to check it out
- Comfy Clothes: If you’re sitting in the car all day, you want to be comfortable! I recommend comfy pants, shoes, and bringing a sweater
- Pillow & Blanket: If you have kids, this can be especially helpful to bring. Regardless, it’s useful to pack in case you need a nap or are driving overnight with other passengers. This pillow is great for road trips
- Sunglasses: No matter the time of year, pack your sunglasses! You’ll want them both driving, and during outdoor adventures! For women, I’ve been loving the Warby Parker Raider lens
- Lip balm : Nobody likes chapped lips. Keep one in the car and one in your t0-go bag. My favorite lip balm is CoCoKind’s Matcha stick – it’s non-toxic and works for under your eyes too!
- Hairbrush & Hairties: Women, you understand the necessity of a good hair brush. If you’re in the snow, on the beach, in a windy area — you’ll want to bring this. Lately I’ve been loving scrunchies instead of hair ties – they don’t give me that headache, and I’m less likely to lose it
- Toiletries: A razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner. Acure Organics is a great non-toxic brand I love, and they make this travel pack
- Yoga mat: Sitting in a car for hours is never fun. A yoga mat is easy to pack in the car and great to roll out wherever you are – hotels, airports, parks, anywhere really. There are yoga studios all over the world, so if you wanted to drop into a class, thats one less expense. If you’re looking to invest in a good yoga mat, I absolutely love Manduka. It’s great for hot yoga too!
- Prana mat: Not only is Prana Mat eco-friendly, but it is so functional for a long trip. They have different products; you could get the pillow to have behind your head while driving, or the large pillow to lay on when you have downtime. The pins target all your pressure points, relieving pain that you’ll likely have after all that time behind the wheel.
- Cooler: This is definitely worthwhile to bring. Snacks are essential for long road trips. Whether you bring your own or stop on the way, you’ll want a cooler to keep your food fresh. This is also useful for adventures. For just under $20, you can buy the Coleman 24-Hour 30-can cooler, which works great
- Camera: If you’re taking a worthwhile road trip, it truly is worth investing in a nicer camera to capture all your memories. DSLR cameras can be both expensive and intimidating, which is why I recommend going with the Canon Rebel. Coming in at just under $500, you get a ton of bang for your buck with some really amazing shots. Not only does it have a videocamera, but it has a range in lens, making it great for portraits, landscapes, and closeups. I highly recommend!
- Thermos/Waterbottle: I love my Healthy Human bottles. They keep hot items hot, and cold items cold! It’s perfect for lattes and soups in cool temps, and iced-coffee or water when its hot. They also have reusable straws! If you can make one little change for our environment, it’s by using reusable straws! So easy to pack wherever you go
- Eco-Friendly Utensils: Ditch the plastic, and bring your own eco-friendly utensils. This will come in handy plenty throughout your trip. Whether you’re grabbing to-go from a restaurant, eating snacks in the car, or hiking/camping
- Pet wipes: If you have your pet with you, you won’t be sorry you packed this! After the beach, hike, or just walking through the rain. I’ve been loving these natural & organic wipes
- Towel: picnics, rainstorms; towels can always come in handy
- Reusable Shopping bags: Save plastic and bring your own reusable shopping bags. A lot of stores give them out for free with purchases (like Lululemon) or you can purchase them for cheap at stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or most grocery stores.
- Day bag: This is definitely great to bring on road trips. It’s useful for all the things that won’t fit in your pockets, but you want easier access to than in your backpack (like snacks, phone charger, wallet, camera) This Eddie Bauer Unisex bag is both stylish and functional — and only costing $30!
- Backpack: If you’re going to be exploring, I definitely recommend finding a good backpack. This is best for hiking, biking, boating, any adventure where you’ll want to be hands free and pack the most items. The Osprey Xena Womens Hiking Backpack can handle up to 70 lbs without breaking your back. For men, the Osprey Porter Backpack doubles as both a duffle bag and backpack, and is highly rated!
Have any other travel essentials? Leave your suggestions in the comments below! 🙂