Road Trip Essentials

Do you get stressed out trying to think of what you need to pack?  Are you worried you’ll forget something?  Planning for a trip can be a little daunting.  Especially when you’re traveling a long ways and with kids.  You want to make sure you plan for anything that might happen and you don’t want to forget anything.  I know how you feel.  On my three week road trip a couple of months ago, we drove through five states.  We were traveling in late fall, so I was going to encounter warm sunny days and possibly snowy days.  So I had to be prepared for any and all weather.  We were sleeping at 11 different cities.  Some at family and friends houses and some at hotels, so I had to pack all our daily essentials we might need.  I spent a few weeks thinking of anything and everything I might need.  Here is my list of road trip essentials.

Road Trip Essentials Such a great list to follow when packing for a trip Need to remember this

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Since we were going to be driving through different weather, we needed to bring appropriate clothing.  I packed 5 days worth of clothes for each person and washed laundry about every four days.

  • short sleeve shirts
  • long sleeve shirts
  • pants
  • shorts
  • socks
  • underwear
  • sweaters
  • church clothes
  • bathingsuits/towels
  • church shoes
  • tennis shoes
  • pajamas
  • snow jackets
  • snow gloves
  • snow boots
  • beanies
  • scarves


  • tablets
  • kindle reader
  • phones
  • laptop
  • charging cords
  • wall outlet chargers
  • cigarette lighter chargers
  • books on cd
  • ipods
  • headphones
  • selfie stick(so I could be in all the pictures too)
  • night light(for my little kids)
  • radio(my kids listen to music at night)


We brought a lot of different activities so my kids could have a lot to choose from.  I didn’t want them getting bored with activities on a three week long road trip.  You can read my post on how to entertain your kids on a long road trip.


With so many different places to sleep, I didn’t want to be unprepared.  I thought of every place I would be sleeping and thought of anything my host wouldn’t be able to provide.  There were going to be six of us sleeping at hotels in two double beds and not all of them had roll away beds.  And some houses didn’t have enough beds for everyone so I had to plan accordingly.

  • Pillows
  • Sleeping bag (in case I didn’t have enough beds somewhere and someone could sleep on the floor)
  • Blankets
  • Air mattress/pump/batteries(I knew there weren’t enough beds at one house, so I brought my own)


  • Nail clippers
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Body Soap
  • Razor
  • Lotion
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Pee funnel (for my three year old that I new would need to go potty in the middle of no where.  We used it a lot!  I kept it in a quart zip lock bag in the car and used baby wipes to wipe it clean after each use.)
  • Portable toilet /trash bags(Just in case of emergency. We didn’t have to use it, but if we did, it came with trash bags and I brought extra.  Then I would have tied a knot in the trash bag and thrown it away at the next gas station.)
  • Gallon zip-locks for throwing up
  • Toilet Paper
  • Moist toilet wipes
  • Tissue boxes
  • Toothbrushes/toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Hair product
  • Makeup


My daughter has diabetes so I made sure I had enough supplies for her, and then some essential supplies for the family.  If you have any medical needs, you should plan on taking more than enough supplies in case you get stranded somewhere or don’t have immediate access to a pharmacy.  Especially if you have prescription items.

  • Kids tylenol
  • Ibprofen
  • Melatonin
  • Dramamine
  • Bandaids
  • Vitamins
  • Medication


I had to plan for different types of weather, which included snowy roads.  And my husband wouldn’t be with me most of the trip, so I took the car in for a trip check before we left and kept an eye on tire pressure along the way.  I really didn’t want to be stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire or something.

  • Tire chains/gloves (practice putting these on before your trip)
  • Tire pressure (check before and during your trip)
  • Oil level (check before your trip)
  • AAA membership or other road side assistance

I hope these road trip essentials are helpful to you while planning your road trip.

Did I forget anything?  What must-haves do you bring on your road trip?  Let me know below.



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