The Road Trip Essentials Packing List

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Navigating This Space - road trip essentials


Checklists are a lifesaver when packing for any type of trip. It takes the guessing game out of what you truly need to pack and what you simply should just leave behind. This road trip essentials checklist will guide you with packing only what is…well, essential.


Things to bring on a road trip 

Whether you’re taking the road trip solo or you’re traveling with a partner or your family, there are certain things that should not be left behind. Some of your essentials might not have made it on this list and that’s okay; your specific needs are different from mine or another traveler’s


Make sure to tweak this list to reflect you, remove and add whatever you please but keep in mind that this road trip essentials list is meant to keep your load light by packing only what you’ll need.


I use this list for all types of traveling but it’s easier to pack full sizes of your favorite bath soap for a road trip than it is for a carry-on.



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The Ultimate Road Trip Essentials






First aid kit

Homemade mosquito repellent 

Journal and pen

Waterproof and fireproof case



Bathroom caddy 






Face wash

Shampoo & Conditioner 


Quick-dry towel

Quick-dry washcloth

Portable shower 

Portable toilet

Toilet paper




If you’re doing a road trip in your car and you don’t plan on cooking, these are the essentials you’ll need to keep you going through your drive.


Fresh fruits (apples, oranges, tangerines…)

Dried foods (nuts, fruits, granola…)

Snacks (chips, seaweed snacks…)

Protein powder

Gary Null’s Red stuff (For all your daily fruit intake in one simple drink)

Filtered water bottle

Extra water (Walmart or Whole Foods sell the 5-gallon jugs of water that will come in handy when going for a long road trip, you won’t have to worry about running out of drinking water for a while.)



Don’t forget to fully charge each electronic before you head out and to double-check to make sure that you actually packed the full chargers for each item.


Laptop and charger

Phone and charger

Camera and charger 

Drone and charger

Kindle and charger

Portable power bank and charger




Give the electronics a break and dive into a world of creativity.


Sketch pad






Packing too many clothes has always been everyone’s problem. I’ve found that pairing the clothes you’d like to wear cuts down how many different pants and shirts you throw in your bag. If laundry won’t be a problem on your trip, pack half of your clothes and as you wear them, wash them so you’ll never run out of things to wear.


Underwear (2 for each day)


Casual Clothes for the number of days you’ll be gone or half the amount

1-2 Bathing suits (wash and repeat)

Walking/hiking shoes


Hair ties

Makeup kit


Work out gear


Don’t plan on working out? You might stop by a gorgeous trail and feel like going for a brisk walk, so always be prepared for the spontaneous moments.


3 Sports bra

3 work out shorts or leggings 

3 Dri-Fit workout tops

Exercise sneakers


Wherever you go and whatever you decide to see, make sure that you packed all the essentials you’ll need to have a stress-free trip. 


No more “Oh Crap!” Moments.





Jody is a creative writer, artist, graphic designer, and a digital nomad who also helps people live more fulfilling lives by finding creative solutions to their personal growth and development problems and lifestyle challenges.

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