Road Trip Checklist

Road Trip Checklist

Whether it’s a trip through your home state, or a journey through multiple states, having all the essentials for a road trip is crucial.

I recently took a nine and a half hour road trip for a girls weekend in the Smoky Mountains, and in typical girl fashion, we packed like we were leaving for nine years. But, I am really glad we had a ton of stuff on hand for our long drive there and back!

Water Bottle and a Gallon of Water

Having plenty of water is a must have when traveling. I always have a bottle of water with me in the car, but on longer trips, it’s great to also get a gallon of water so you can fill up when you need to!

Snacks, Napkins and Bag for Trash

Snacks are a MUST on a long road trip! I love packing protein bars, apples and any kind of chips or pretzels you like. On top of snacks, always be sure to have napkins and a few small bags for trash that you can toss out at a rest stop.

A Map or Printed Directions

Let’s bring it back to the good ole days when you’d read your dad’s atlas in the back of the car! I’ve always loved reading maps and finding the mile markers when driving from state to state. But, even with the amazing technology that we have now, sometimes you get spotty service and your GPS stops working. It’s always good to have a printed back up if needed!

Blanket and Pillow

If you’re going on a long drive, it’s always good to have some creature comforts. Bring a pillow or blanket for yourself so you can catch some z’s!

Tunes and Podcasts

Make a fun playlist and download a bunch of podcasts to keep you entertained and awake during your drive. If you’re traveling with friends, make a Spotify playlist that everyone can contribute to so you have hours worth of fun tunes. 


Sometimes you just want to take a moment to yourself or even down out some noise when you’re trying to sleep. Be sure to pack some headphones so you can listen to whatever you want during your travels.

Phone Charger

Critical for all travel! Make sure you have enough battery life for your GPS and playing all your music/podcasts! I always like to have a car charger and a portable charge with me when traveling.

Reading Material or Things to Work on

For you lucky people that can read or work in a moving vehicle without getting sick, bring something to pass the time! Read those magazines you never have time for, or even catch up on email with a portable hotspot. If you have a long journey, it’s always nice to have something to take your mind off the drive for a while.

Comfortable Clothes

There is nothing worse than being uncomfortable on a long car ride! Be sure to wear sweats or leggings, a comfy top and a sweater. Light layers can be key when in a car with a bunch of people that like varying temperatures. Comfortable shoes or even sandals that you can kick off are also great. 

What are some of your road trip must-haves? Is there something I didn’t mention?

  1. […] a long drive ahead of us, we packed plenty of snacks, tunes and coffee. (Click here to see my full list of Road Trip Essentials!) We left Chicago around 5am with Starbucks in hand, and our playlist blasting. With a long 9+ hours […]

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