Packing up the essentials for your road trip


We’re axles-deep in the 2014 road trip season, but this weekend is going to be a BIG one. With AAA projecting 41 million people traveling for the Fourth of July weekend, there will be a lot of cars on the road and a lot of drivers and passengers away from the comforts of their own homes.

We dig that.

And we’re here to help with the essential checklist of items to be sure and pack for your next road trip.

  • Snacks – Bringing some snacks from home may save money.
  • Cooler – Great for drinks and perishables.
  • Bottled water – Staying hydrated is important.
  • Gum – It might help you with motion sickness or halitosis.
  • Paper towels – These are an indispensable cleanup tool.
  • Toilet paper – Just in case, bring one roll.
  • Maps/GPS – For most people, this will be on your smartphone, but in the event of CSF (Catastrophic Smartphone Failure), these will point you in the right direction.
  • Chargers and power inverter – An inverter lets you plug standard power plugs into your car’s electrical system. And don’t forget the charging cables for your electronics.
  • Camera and film or extra memory – Bringing a camera that isn’t your phone ensures that you can capture images while on the go. Film/extra memory ensures you won’t miss anything.



  • Sunscreen – A must for anyone with skin. Keep happy and healthy with re-application as necessary.
  • First-aid kit – Even a scrape can ruin your fun. Keep a kit for life’s little emergencies.
  • Mini duct tape – If you’ve never heard of Richard Dean Anderson, trust me, you might need this.
  • Spare car key/fob – Getting locked out is a quick stop to the fun. Put a spare key or fob in a different location or with another traveler.
  • Plastic resealable bags – These will prove useful for many reasons, but mostly for bringing food anywhere.
  • Garbage bags – Keeping the trash separate from everything else is essential in having a happy car.
  • Hygiene supplies – Q-Tips, tweezers, nail clippers, toothbrush, deodorant; these will be welcome tools in the fight against long-haul road funk.
  • Small flashlight – You might have one on your phone, but it’s a great idea to have more than one.
  • Towels – Don’t panic. But bring a towel.
  • Rain gear – Usually, this just means a poncho. Sometimes, a trash bag.
  • Toys and games for kids of all ages – Some of us haven’t been bored in decades. But road trip doldrums are a real thing, especially for kids, so analog or digital things to enjoy and explore are a must.
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