The Ultimate List of Road Trip Essentials

After driving hundreds of miles a day, we really learned to identify gear that improved our ability to travel well and have fun doing it. We wanted to share our insight to help those who are new to roadtripping or just looking for new tips and tricks.

When we first started out there were several items we initially thought were “essential” (looking at you, Vitamix …) only to find they did not warrant the valuable space they occupied. Through trial and error we discovered some great and practical items that made our trip much more comfortable and enjoyable. This is our current list and we’re always looking for ways to make it better but as it stands these are personal items that we bring on almost all long-distance road trips. You may decide that some of our items aren’t essential to you or your family and that’s okay! This is our list and meant to inspire – nothing more, nothing less.

When we first started traveling we had a smaller sized sedan and, between two full sized humans and varying animals, it was a tight fit. As of early 2021 we’ve upgraded to a 1989 Toyota Land Cruiser which offers us a bit more storage but we still try to keep a minimal packing list. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on our list, please let us know in the comment section below. We love to hear from our community and look forward to sharing your tips!

Our priority is packing in such a way that we hit the sweet spot of comfort and organization while using as little space as possible. If you’re traveling with other people you may be able to share some of these items and therefore save on space.


Personal Items

Car Comfort and Organization



Tech Gadgets


Travel Apps



Car Emergency Kit

First Aid Kit

If you’re on a schedule and need to see all the recommendations now in an easy to digest format I’ve created a printable spreadsheet with each of the above categories and their corresponding items and recommendations which can be found here.

If you’re looking for travel tips instead of a gear list please keep an eye out for our upcoming list of road trip travel tips.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please leave them below! And if you’re curious about other items we bring during our travels, sign up for our tiny newsletter or just keep checking back here.

We were not paid in any way for these reviews and recommendations. All of these items were purchased with our own money. We strongly prefer to shop locally when and where possible. We’ve decided to forego affiliate commissions to avoid biased opinions. If you see an affiliate link, please let us know so we can remove it. If you want to support this agenda-free experiment, please consider becoming a patron.


  1. Pingback:Personal Items to Bring on a Long Road Trip -

  2. Great post! I love the photo of your car with the snowy mountains.

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  4. Pingback:An In-Depth Review of the Aer Travel Pack 2.0 -

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