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Road Trip Essentials: Don’t Leave Home Without These Items

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Road Trip Essentials That Can Save You Time and Money

Summer is almost here and that means vacation season is almost upon us! Today I’ve joined with Brown Daub Fiat to bring you this list of road trip essentials that can not only make your trip more enjoyable but can also save you time and money along the way. So before you hit the road, make sure you have these items along for the ride.

Road Trip Essentials Don't Leave Home Without These Items mainImage via Pixabay

A Map

Although you probably have GPS, always bring along a paper map as well. Sometimes GPS units do not reflect the latest roads and highways, and there is always the chance that technology can fail. It’s best to play it safe. In addition, you never know when you may run into a traffic jam or a detour, or when you may want to check out an unusual site that is not showing on GPS. You can buy paper maps at many gas stations and truck stops, and you can also print out custom maps online.


In this day and age, almost every car has some type of GPS whether it’s on your smartphone or built into your car. It’s a quick and easy way to map out your route, find gas stations, food, and even tourist attractions. However, keep in mind that you never want to rely on GPS alone. Sometimes GPS unit may not update quick enough, or may not yet detect newer roads, streets or highways. Always play it safe and bring along a paper map as well.

Food and Drinks 

Make sure to pack plenty of food and drinks. It’s important that everyone stay hydrated, especially during the summer. We usually pack a small cooler with plenty of water, a few types of juices and perhaps a soft drink or two. In addition, bring along a selection of healthy snacks, such as trail mix, fruits, veggies, and protein bars. A couple of sweet treats never hurt as well!

You can even pack a few non-messy meals such as sandwiches for those extra long car trips. Bringing our own food and drink saves us time since we don’t have to stop whenever someone gets hungry. Plus, it saves us a fair amount of money that we can use on fun things once we arrive at our destination.

Baby Wipes

These are one of the handiest items you can have on a road trip. Keep everyone’s hands clean, and the car clean from accidental spills with gentle, non-scented baby wipes. They also work great for cleaning little handprints off the rear windows.

Entertainment for the Kids

As any parent knows, this one is a biggie! Keep the kids entertained on long drives with audio books, travel-friendly art materials, small toys, and a few printable road trip games. Make sure to alternate items every so often so they don’t get bored.

An Emergency Car Kit and Travel-Sized First Aid Kit

This are two things we make sure to keep in the car at all times. We also make a habit of checking and restocking each one as needed before we leave on trips. While there are all sorts of car emergency kits and travel-sized first aid kits that you can buy, it is just as easy – and less expensive – to put them together on your own.

For the car emergency kit, make sure you have a spare tire and jack, jumper cables, a flashlight, an extra set of batteries, a spare cell phone charging cord, a multi-tool, a blanket, and some type of roadside emergency flare or light, or reflectors.

For the first aid kit be sure to include several of those little travel packets of alcohol wipes, burn cream, and first aid cream, several sizes of bandages, aspirin, an Ace bandage, a small bottle of iodine, scissors, cotton balls, and Q-tips. 

What are some of your road trip essentials you take when you travel? Share with us in the comments below!


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