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The Ultimate Road Trip Packing Guide & Travel Planning Checklist


When you’re off to parts unknown by car or camper, you’ll need a few essential. Here’s our ultimate road trip packing guide to help you out!

couple on road trip packing guide checklist
Taken by Alex Jumper via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

A road trip is a great idea if you’re missing the great outdoors, want to escape the city you reside in, or simply want to discover new parts of your country with a good old-fashioned drive.

With the current climate of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be difficult to travel. With proper precautions, negative test results, and proper equipment, a road trip can be possible if you research and respect different state guidelines of self-quarantining, social distancing, and more. It’s also great to plan a road trip for when things are more stable and safer!

No matter when you’re taking your trip, browse the ultimate road trip packing guide so you can be prepared for anything that may come up along the road.


Clothing is an important thing to pack and is entirely dependent on how long you plan to be on the road, if you’ll have access to a washing machine for your clothing, and the weather of the areas you intend to visit.

The below list is designed for layering for any weather, and a week-long road trip can be easily adjusted to conform to a longer or shorter journey. Make sure you pack the following:

  • Two pairs of pants
  • Two pairs of shorts
  • One pair of nice bottoms
  • Seven shirts
  • Two tank tops or undershirts
  • Two sweaters, cardigans, or sweatshirts
  • A jacket
  • Tennis shoes
  • Sandals
  • Boots
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • At least one face mask, preferably multiple
  • Gloves
  • Seven pairs of undergarments
  • Eight pairs of socks
  • Hair ties for those with long hair

Related Read: How to Pack Light & Travel Better

Car Supplies

A road trip requires one essential thing: a car. Cars can have trouble and may need attention during your trip. While no one plans on having car trouble during a road trip, it must be prepared for in case it does happen.

Below is a list of the most essential things to keep in your car in case of car trouble or a breakdown:

  • A spare tire
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Tire pump
  • Emergency gasoline
  • Engine oil
  • A flashlight
  • The number of a tow truck company
  • Duct tape
  • Jumper cables
  • Tow rope
  • Rags

Related Read: 25 Places to Travel Without Leaving Your Home or Dealing With Crowds


There are other essential you’ll want to keep with you when you’re on the road. These are things to care for you and your passengers when you’re in a bind that can keep you comfortable and even help you enjoy the trip more.

Below is a list of some of the items you won’t want to forget:

  • A camera to capture the good times
  • A first aid kit with medical supplies—this is something you’ll always want to have with you!
  • Extra water and reusable water bottles in case of emergencies
  • Napkins, paper towels, or wet wipes to clean hands and spills
  • Hand sanitizer to keep you safe and clean
  • Soap to wash in case of immediate need
  • Snacks to stay energized and full
  • Portable, powerless phone chargers in case of an emergency without electricity
  • A great playlist to keep yourselves entertained on the road

Related Read: 3 Great Reasons Why Road Trips Are Better Than Flying

There are so many benefits to taking a road trip. It helps you bond with your road trip buddies, lets you get out of the city, and helps you to discover new parts of your own country you didn’t know existed. Stay safe, take all precautions, and follow our road trip packing guide should you choose to travel during the pandemic.

Elyse McFeggan
Written by
Elyse McFeggan
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