The road trip essentials you need to pack
As Americans get back to all kinds of travel, car travel continues to dominate this summer. More than 91% of vacation travel this summer will be by car, according to AAA travel experts, so travelers should expect delays.
If you’re on the road for hours, or even days, you might have packed snacks, but are you ready for whatever might happen? We’ve talked to experts about what you’ll need to keep moving, entertaining, and making sure you’re covered for any issues that might arise on the road.
Zojirushi Travel Mug, 16 oz, Stainless Steel
No road trip is complete without plenty of snacks, especially if you are making long journeys and trying to avoid fast food. You’ll need storage to keep your snacks separate and cool, and insulated mugs for every traveller’s best friend – coffee.
“Zojirushi makes the best travel mug I’ve ever found,” says Konrad Waliszewski, CEO and co-founder of TripScout.
Zojirushi SM-SD60NM Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Mug, 20 oz, Matte Gold
“This Japanese-made mug miraculously maintains the temperature of coffee or tea for almost an entire day,” says Waliszewski. “I bring it on every road trip both to cut down on waste and to enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee the entire way.”
Reusable Stasher Storage Bag 100% Food Grade Silicone
Eating healthy – or just reasonably – is a huge challenge for any road trip, says Waliszewski. “You sit most of the day, and fast food outlets and gas stations are usually your only option,” he says. “To both stay healthy and reduce waste throughout the trip, I pack fruits, vegetables and nuts in advance in reusable zipper bags.”
Stasher bags are reusable bags made from platinum grade silicone, which is the highest grade of silicone. Read our rave review of them here.
YETI Roadie 24 Cooler
Perfect for a short trip or as a couple, this cooler will keep your snacks and drinks cool.
Waliszewski has a strategy, saying, “I find groceries along the way for a recharge every two days. I store everything in a Yeti cooler to keep everything cool and cool.
YETI Tundra Haul portable cooler on wheels
A larger crew? Try this large wheeled yeti for all your goodies.
“The Business and Information Book of the United States” by Dylanna Press
If you’ve ever been with kids on a road trip, or if you’ve been a kid on a road trip, you know the refrain “Are we there yet?” If you want to minimize this kind of fuss, there are a few ways to keep the kids occupied while you’re focused on the road.
“Cheer on the kids by bringing them information about the destination and follow the progress of your road trip together on a map,” AAA spokesperson Julie Hall said. “Also bring soft toys, books and games to keep the kids busy on the trip.”
Help them know where you are going and what they will see with this map and activity book.
Atlas National Geographic Kids Ultimate Road Trip in the United States
This atlas offers activities, maps, games, and fun facts to keep kids busy and engaged.
“We’re bringing in several types of imaginative games like magnetic boards where they can get lost in making their own little stories, lots of books, and an I Spy travel pack to help them search out the window for things like semi- trucks and types of panels, ”says Waliszewski.
Magnetic Drawing Board for Toddlers
This popular magnetic drawing board will help them create, without complaint.
Mudpuppy Eric Carle The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Friends Magnetic Character Set
They can tell their own stories with classic Eric Carle characters.
My Super Pops Popcorn Chips, White Cheddar
Waliszewski adds, “We find playgrounds along the way for them to quickly escape from the car seat and we always have a favorite snack on hand.
Kids love popcorn, and this healthy version is sure to satisfy them.
Rockin ‘Straw-Beary Kids Bars
Honestly, it doesn’t get much easier than a bar.
Good & Gather Mini Mozzarella Cheese Bites
Throw these cheesy bites in your cooler and you’ll have a hearty snack you’ll feel right at your fingertips.
Anker Soundcore Life Q20
It’s not just children who can get nervous. If you are making long journeys, it is important to decompress at the end of the day.
“A good pair of earplugs or earmuffs can be a lifeline when it’s time to rest after a long drive,” says Waliszewski.
Our pick for the best budget noise canceling headphones, place them over your ears and activate soothing sounds – or not – to block out ambient noise.
Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs
These inexpensive foam earplugs are popular for one simple reason – they work!
Hatch – Restore Sound Machine, Smart Light and Sleep Sounds – White
Can’t sleep with something in or over your ears? Take a small sound machine for yourself or for the kids.
Mavogel Cotton Sleeping Eye Mask
Have a happy face in the morning after blocking out the weird lights for a good night’s sleep with our pick of the best sleep mask of 2021.
Cabeau Evolution S3
“A travel pillow and blanket are definitely great ideas for the passenger to relax when they get the chance,” Hall says.
Our pick of the best travel pillow of 2021 will prevent neck pain if you doze off in the backseat.
The most comfortable cashmere scarf
This blanket scarf will keep you comfortable in the car, and in heavily air-conditioned hotels and restaurants – we love a double task!
Merino travel case
This chic kit has everything you need to stay comfortable and sleep well on the go.
Road emergency kit with jumper cables
“Always keep an emergency kit handy,” says Hall. “The kit should include: cell phone and car charger, flashlight with extra batteries, jumper cables or starter kit, basic tool kit (screwdriver, pliers, adjustable wrench, tape adhesive, plastic ties), tarp, raincoat and gloves to help keep you clean / dry while working by the roadside, rags, paper towels or pre-moistened wipes, warning devices (flares, reflective triangles or LED beacons), first aid kit, small portable and battery powered fan, windshield washer solvent and plenty of clean water, snacks or food for your passengers and pets.
Don’t have all of this at your fingertips? You can get almost everything you need from a pre-filled kit.
Thrive Car Emergency Kit with Jumper Cables + First Aid Kit
This kit comes with a first aid kit in addition to all the necessities of the car.
Syncwire iPhone car charger
If you don’t have a charger in your car, be sure to grab one before you hit the road.
And finally, Hall wants you to remember, “Before you go on a trip, make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip. AAA plans to save 9.4 million motorists this summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Before leaving, check all fluids, test the car battery, make sure your tires are at normal pressure, and if necessary have the oil changed, change your air filter and replace the wiper blades. -ice cream.