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Don’t Hit the Open Road Until You Have These 7 Road Trip Essentials

A road trip is a perfect way to get away from everyday life without having to surround yourself with any other type of chaos. Once you load up the car, it’s just you, your traveling partners, and the open road. Before you lock the house and hit the gas, make sure you have all the necessary road trip essentials to ensure the best possible experience.

The last thing you’ll want to do is stop in the middle of your trip to backtrack and head back home to grab something you forgot. Although everyone’s road trip packing lists might look a bit different, the guide below lists several of the most commonly needed road trip items. 

Continue reading below to learn more!

1. GPS and a Map

A GPS is a crucial item to bring along with you if you want to ensure you get to where you’re going with ease. An actual GPS that you connect to your car will come in handy if cell service is unavailable. There are also ways to use your cell phone’s GPS while offline.

The only issue with this is you must download the area of the maps you want to use offline before losing the signal. Aside from your modern GPS and cell phone Maps, you should bring a paper map along with you as well. Paper maps won’t fail you no matter how far out of signal range you are. 

Paper maps also give much more detail about the surrounding area, which can come in handy during your trip. Even if you don’t plan on using it, fold it up, place it in the glovebox, and have it there as a backup. 

2. Hand Sanitizer and Wipes

Although washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to rid them of germs and stay healthy, you most likely won’t have access to a sink and soap during the majority of your trip. Every time you get out of the car to stretch, sightsee, or pump gas, your hands will become dirty.

You’ll then jump back into the car and touch your face and maybe eat a few snacks or two. Before doing either of these things, you should clean your hands as best as you can. That’s why it’s a great idea to have hand sanitizer and wipes in your vehicle at all times. 

Wipes also come in handy when needing to clean up spills. You’ll be thankful you brought them. You can also bring a car fogger with you that’ll help keep your car smelling fresh and clean!

3. Comfortable Clothing

Remember, you’re going to be stuck inside your car for an extended period of time. Even if your destination is a place where you want to slide into your heavy hiking boots or that favorite dress of yours, be sure you have a few comfortable clothes to wear during the drive. 

You’ll want to have free range to switch positions, take a nap when possible, and sit in a variety of ways to ensure your legs don’t fall asleep. This could be quite difficult if wearing constricting clothing. Pack all your other clothes in a bag and change once you get to where you’re going. 

4. First-Aid Kit

Road trips are for exploring, and what would a great exploration be without a small injury or two. Scrapes, scratches, bug bites, and other small injuries should be expected. When an injury does occur, you’ll want to have the proper first-aid kit items to clean the injury and keep it clean.

You should have items for an emergency as well and all your personal medical items. If you take certain medications each day, don’t forget to bring them with you!

5. Car Chargers and Entertainment 

Car chargers can save the day when a cell phone’s battery is running low. They’re also great for charging all your other electronic devices as well. You can even purchase car chargers that have an adapter on them for wall plugs to plug into. 

Be sure to bring lots of entertainment too. Portable DVD players, tablets, card games, and other fun things will keep everyone who’s not driving busy. 

6. A Good Amount of Cash

Debit and credit cards are good to have on you, but you’ll want to bring some cash also. During your travels, you never know when you might come across a fresh produce stand or a mom and pop shop that only accepts cash. 

Some campgrounds will only accept cash as well. Bring your cards with you, but do bring some cash to have in case you need it. It’ll save you from some ATM fees. 

7. A Cooler and Healthy Snacks

Let’s face it, a road trip wouldn’t be complete without a cooler full of snacks and drinks. Rather than wasting time and money while on the road, fill up a dry and wet cooler to keep everyone satisfied for the entire trip. 

Pack lots of water and healthy snacks as these will ensure everyone stays full and energized. Make a few sandwiches and put together a few different quick meals to grab and eat while in the car. 

Don’t Forget to Pack These Road Trip Essentials

When planning your next road trip, don’t forget to pack these road trip essentials. Having all of these items with you will only enhance the entire experience.

With these essentials, everyone will stay happy, healthy, safe, and full!

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