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Summer Road Trip Essentials

Amber Brandt  |  June 08, 2021

If you feel like your trip planning and packing skills have gotten a little rusty over the past 18 months, you’re not alone. But we’re here to help!

We’ve pulled together the ultimate list of summer road trip essentials below. Whether you’re planning to camp, stay with friends, or check into a hotel or Airbnb, use our handy checklist to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

[ ] Clothes, pajamas, and shoes (be sure to remember moisture-wicking items if you intend to hike and think in layers)
[ ] Toiletries
[ ] Swimwear and goggles
[ ] Packing cubes to keep your clothes and toiletries organized and accessible
[ ] Sunglasses
[ ] Sun hat or ballcap
[ ] Dry shampoo
[ ] Rain jackets or rain covers
[ ] Cooler stocked with healthy, protein-rich snacks and cold drinks (to help your family make good snack choices and save money along the way)
[ ] Dried fruit, individually wrapped snacks
[ ] Reusable water bottles
[ ] Travel mug
[ ] First Aid kit including Band-aids, hydrogen peroxide, A&D ointment, and pain reliever for adults and kids
[ ] Dramamine motion sickness pills
[ ] Emergency car kit with jumper cables, hammer, flares
[ ] Tire jack and spare tire
[ ] Pressure gauge for tires
[ ] Any camping gear
[ ] Portable charger backup
[ ] Travel umbrella
[ ] Travel trash can and trash bags
[ ] Trunk organizer with compartments
[ ] Neck wallet or fanny pack
[ ] Air mattress (if camping or staying with friends)
[ ] Quick-dry microfiber towel
[ ] Travel neck pillow
[ ] Baby wipes
[ ] Extra phone chargers
[ ] Instant stain removers like a Tide to-go pen
[ ] Mosquito repellent
[ ] Sunscreen
[ ] Devices and chargers
[ ] Travel games
[ ] Activity books, coloring books
[ ] Crayons or colored pencils for kids
[ ] Magnetic car games
[ ] Ball or frisbee
[ ] Flashlight and extra batteries
[ ] Your favorite camera and USB chargers
[ ] Day backpack
[ ] Binoculars
[ ] Headphones or AirPods
[ ] Blankets and pillows
[ ] A notebook, pen, and pencil
[ ] Headlamp
[ ] Laundry detergent
[ ] A pair of flip flops or slippers (for use in campground showers)
[ ] A book
[ ] Playing cards
[ ] Duct tape
[ ] Toilet paper roll
[ ] UV window shade
[ ] Hair ties
[ ] Lip balm
[ ] Hand sanitizer and lotion
[ ] Tissues
[ ] Tweezers
[ ] Swiss Army Knife
[ ] Earplugs

Before you go, make sure you have the following installed/up-to-date:

[ ] Driver’s License, registration, and insurance information
[ ] Map or an app like Waze
[ ] A list of relevant phone numbers (emergency contacts)
[ ] Your car’s manual
[ ] Spare cash
[ ] Playlists and podcasts

Check:

[ ] Coolant
[ ] Wiper fluid
[ ] Air pressure in tires
[ ] Oil
[ ] Brakes
[ ] Wiper blades