road trip packing list
Family,  Travel

Road trip packing list – 14 essential items

Going on a road trip with the family? The most important part is to make sure you pack everything you need. If you’re going across the country, then it’s even more important to make sure you have your essentials with you. Here are our top 12 items to tick off your road trip packing list for your next family vacation.


Road trip packing list- the basics

One of the good things about going on a road trip is there’s usually plenty of space in the car and there’s no need to get too creative about squeezing all your things into a suitcase. With no airline weight restrictions, there’s no need to employ drastic measures such as packing things you can throw away as your progress on your journey. But going on a road trip means there’s a list of essentials you need to tick off. Here are five basic items to take. But first, here are some inspirational road trip quotes to get you in the mood.

#1  License and registration

You’d be surprised at how many drivers tend to leave their drivers’ license at home! Make sure you have it with you! If you’re driving overseas, check for regulations in the country you’ll be driving in. Most countries do not require any extra applications, but some countries might.

#2 Car insurance papers

A copy of your car insurance policy and contact numbers of the insurance company. Fingers crossed you won’t need to use hits, but it’s handy to have it at your fingertips.

#3  Car manual

It’s a good idea to have that in your glove box anyway, just in case something goes wrong.

#4 Spare tire

You’d be surprised at how handy a spare tire is. Make sure yours is in top shape.

#5 Roadside Emergency Kit

Things you might need are battery cables, tire pressure gauge, window breakers, light sticks and a reflective vest.

Road trip packing list – beginners kit

toad trip packing list

#6  Maps

Download your favorite map app. There are lots to choose from and some, such as will even let you download maps to be used offline when there’s no cell.
You’d be surprised at how many places there are where you won’t find cell phone coverage. That’s when paper maps can come in handy.

#7 Anti-Theft Backpack

An anti-theft backpack will come in really handy when you’re exploring new places. There are a range of different types suitable for hiking or just wandering around checking out attractions.  Here’s a useful review of anti-theft backpacks.

#8 Camera

#9 Loose change

There may be places where you need cash (such as remote service stations, road tolls, and toilets).

#10 Notebook and pens

Even in this digital age, it helps to have a notebook and a pen to write down ideas, lists, and notes as you travel around.

#11 First aid kit

You just never know when one of you might fall or cut yourself. If you’re traveling with kids, it’s especially important to have band-aids, bandages and antiseptic cream in case you can’t find a pharmacy.

#12 Electric toothbrush

As the saying goes…”have toothbrush will travel” or at least packing an electric toothbrush will help keep the dentist away!

#13  Flashlight

There’s nothing worse than rummaging around in the back of the car trying to find your first aid kit or water bottle. A flashlight or two is a useful thing to have on a road trip.

#14 Water Bottles

Staying hydrated while on the road is of utmost importance and in some cases (like when you’re in the desert) it could be the difference between life or death. Make sure you have at least one large water bottle for each person in the car, especially if it’s a summer road trip.

#15 Toilet Roll

Running for the toilet in a rest stop with no toilet rolls is not fun! Don’t get caught short!

Here are more ideas on what to pack for your road trip.

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