Travel-Tested Road-Trip Packing Essentials

It’s finally here! The day you’ve been dreaming about for months is just hours away: your big road trip adventure. Whether it’s a solo excursion or a family vacation, there are plenty of things to consider before embarking on the journey. Follow these travel-tested tips to start packing your vehicle with only the essentials for a safe and enjoyable trip.

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is always a must, as it can be challenging to find proper medical care while traveling. Pack some essential items like bandages and antibiotic ointment in case you need them, but don’t forget about the other essentials like sunblock, insect repellent, and anti-diarrhea medication. 

Some people also pack travel-sized toothpaste, mouthwash, and toilet paper. You can also include some over-the-counter medications like pain relievers, antihistamines, and decongestants.

If you’re traveling with kids or pets, make sure to pack some extra supplies for them, such as bandages and sunscreen. The key is to think about what could happen during your trip and then do your best to prevent it.

An Excellent Car

An excellent car is the first consideration. Most people prefer driving themselves or renting a vehicle that they can drive for long and wherever they please. This means an excellent choice of automobile with plenty of gas in the tank is essential. Ergo, visit a car shop where you might find unique cars like the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N for sale to mark your next trip.

A well-packed car has plenty of room to take along everything you want or need for your trip and still have enough space in the trunk, backseat, or passenger compartment as needed.

You should also think about the type of automobile you plan to rent, as that might affect your choice. For example, extra-long or wide vehicles are often unavailable for renting at busier times and in more popular destinations.     


The most important item in any road-trip packing essential list is snacks. You’ll be hungry at some point during your trip, and it’s best to avoid the temptation of stopping for fast food or gas station fare that will stall your trip. 

Instead, pack healthy options like individual containers of fresh fruit with a dipping sauce, nuts, raw vegetables with ranch dressing or hummus, as well as easy microwaveable meals like pre-cooked rice bowls.

Comfortable Clothes

The essential clothes you’ll pack are the ones that will make your journey as easy and comfortable as possible. Of course, comfort is king when it comes to things like socks, underwear, or sleepwear.

So, layer up with a few comfy T-shirts for cooler nights in hotels (or if you’re driving through a cold place) and bring an extra pair of shoes for hiking along some trails or just trekking around town on foot. 

For example, if you’re traveling with your partner, pack enough clothing, so you don’t do laundry regularly. Instead, a few pairs of jeans, a couple of sweaters and shirts or blouses should do.


Packing can be stressful, but it’s worth the effort to get your gear in order so that an otherwise great trip doesn’t turn into a bad experience. 

*Post contributed by peer travel writer and lover of the open road, Nancy Carson.*


Table of Contents

More Posts