If you’re going on a road trip and need help with your packing list, then this road trip checklist is for you!
I’ve put together these road trip essentials for men, women, and families.
So no matter who you are, you’re covered!
Road Trip Essentials For Men, Women, And Families
Packing for a road trip is a pretty personal experience, because everyone’s got certain items they MUST have. The following lists are items that I feel are “MUSTS” for pretty much everyone.
Road Trip Checklist For Men
Depending on how long your road trip is, you’ll want to add more items to carry with you. For example, I like to have a lot of variety in how I dress, so I always pack many coloured t-shirts to swap around.
Also, the longer the trip, the more clothing you’ll want to take with you. You can consider buying small detergent packs to wash your clothes in a sink if you want to keep it light.
Road Trip Packing List For Men
- T shirts & Tank tops
- Sweater / Hoodie
- Pants (jeans, khakis, sweat pants, etc)
- Shorts (if it’s warm out)
- Swimming Trunks (if that’s what you’ll be doing)
- Shoes & Flip Flops
- Shampoo & Soap
- Face wash
- Sunscreen (if it’s going to be hot)
- Electric shaver / Razor
- Detergent packs (if trip is long)
- Cell phone & Music player
- Chargers for your electronics
- Wallet & Money
- Drugs (Advil, Pepto Bismol, etc.)
- Disinfectant wipes / Toilet paper / Napkins
- Important documents (passport, itineraries, tickets, ID, etc.)
- Sleeping bag & Pillow
- Laptop / Tablet
- Travel cup / Mug
- Musical instrument
- Swiss Army Knife
- Bottled water (you never know when it will come handy)
- First aid kit
- Umbrella / Rain jacket
- Books / Magazines
- Games (like a deck of cards)
- GPS & Google Maps
And if style is your thing, this is a great post about what to pack for road trips while staying stylish.
Road Trip Checklist For Women
I think you have more specific needs than your typical guy, so adjust this list as you need. I think I cover the essential items pretty well. Let me know if I am missing anything.
Road Trip Essentials List For Women
- Underwear & Bras
- Bikini / Bathing suit
- Tops (tank tops, shirts, etc.)
- Pants (leggings, sweat pants, jeans, etc.)
- Shorts & Skirts
- Shoes & Flip flops
- Jacket / Hoodie / Sweater
- Makeup (mascara, bronzer, lip gloss, etc.)
- Cream / Lotion
- Disposable razor
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste & Dental floss
- Soap & Shampoo
- Purse / Tote bag
- Cell phone & Headphones
- Chargers for electronics
- Important documents ( passport, itineraries, tickets, etc.)
- Essential drugs (Advil, Pepto, etc.)
- Nail clippers
- Lip balm
- Hair clips
- Sun glasses (essential especially for a summer road trip)
- Heels & Flats
- Laptop / Tablet
- Magazines & Books
- Small detergent packs (great for longer road trips)
- First aid kit
- Musical instrument
Road Trip Planning For Families
If you’ve got small children, toddlers and/or babies, here’s what you want to pack for them.
You want to pack similarly to the clothing and hygiene care items listed above, with the addition of the following items:
- Breast pump
- Baby bottle
- Powder formula
- Baby snacks
- Coloring books
- Travel potty
- Baby carrier / backpack
- Baby monitor
- Travel crib
What do you think about my packing lists? If you have any suggestions, let me know in the comment box at the bottom of this page.
10 Road Trip Tips On Packing Light For an Epic Road Trip
Packing light is the name of the game. Here are some excellent ways to keep it light while staying practical.
- Only pack what you need:Whether your trip is short or long, packing just the essentials will keep your bag lighter and give you more space in your vehicle.
- Pack detergent: I’m always astounded at how much clothing weighs when stacked together. I like to buy detergent and wash my clothes instead of bringing a lot of different clothing when I want to go minimalist.
- Learn to mix and match: Bring clothing that can be paired with just about anything. A pair of jeans and a few coloured tops will set you up for a few nights out!
- Research where you are going: Many items can be bought “on the road” if you absolutely need it and/or tossed out when you’re finished with them. Some of these items include magazines, books, and umbrellas.
- Bring small bottles of everything: Travel sized bottles are your best friend. Either head to the dollar store or drug store and buy travel size shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, etc, or buy travel sized bottles and fill them up!
- Share your stuff: Sometimes it makes sense to coordinate who brings what. For example, I’m not picky with what shampoo I use, so I usually borrow someone else’s shampoo. It helps me reduce weight and save space. A little here, a little there, and you get a big difference.
- Zip lock bags are your friend: I put all my toiletry stuff in a ziplock bag, and all my electronics accessories like chargers in another. It keeps my stuff together while reducing bulk, and keeping my stuff lightweight.
- Roll your clothes: Instead of folding them traditionally, roll them. Not only does it reduce wrinkling, it saves space too! The first time a friend showed me this, it blew my mind because I had traveled for so long and had no concept of this easy travel hack.
- If it makes sense to use a wheel bag, do it: You may not be using a wheel bag that often while road tripping, but if you can, I would absolutely go for it. The less you have to carry the better!
- Check the weather: If mother nature calls for sunny skies, then ditch the umbrella and rain jacket. If it calls for warm weather, then I would probably only bring one hoodie/jacket just in case it gets cold at night.
8 Tips On Making Your Road Trip Vacation Everything You Expect It To Be
Planning your road trip takes a lot of your time and attention away from important things in life.
There’s nothing that irks me more than wasting precious time.
To make sure your road trip is everything you expect it to be (if not more), here are 8 road trip tips to make your vacation a memorable one:
- Plan your trip every step of the way: Some might disagree with me, but I’m not a “wing it” kinda guy when it comes to maximizing my travel time. If you’ve got only a week of road tripping, you want to create an itinerary that you can follow day by day.
- Have a “loose” plan: Having said that, you also want your itinerary to be “loose” in the sense that road tripping almost never goes as planned. You run out of gas, the car breaks down, Kelsie gets a stomach virus, etc. So while you want to follow your itinerary daily, you also want to have a loose second plan of action when life happens, so don’t also forget about road trip car essentials, spare tire, etc.
- Get a GPS: I get really frustrated when we waste time because of a preventable mistake. One of those common mistakes is “getting lost.” A GPS will solve this problem. You already have one in your phone, too!
- Choose easy going people: Honestly, when I travel I don’t necessarily go with people I get along with, rather I go with people who are easy going. Because they are “down for whatever,” they go with the flow and don’t become a nuisance. You don’t always have control over who you road trip with, but if you have some say, choose your travel mates wisely.
- Read reviews: Take time to read as much as you can about your road trip destinations and about other people who have taken a similar road trip. You’ll learn so many little pieces of advice that will save money and time for you – the two most important things on vacation.
- Bring good music: The difference between a good road trip and a GREAT road trip is music! I remember driving to a neighboring city for 3 hours once, and we jammed to music the entire time. It felt like a 30 minute ride.
- Bring good games: Similar to music, games will kill time in the car and also helps you connect with your road trip mates.
- Delegate Tasks: If you’re the planner, you can’t do everything. It’s hardly a vacation when you plan, organize, and drive the car. That’s a TON of work. So make sure everyone has a chance to take part in various duties of your road trip.