Summer Road Trip Essentials Sunglasses

Road Trip Essentials: 10 Must-have items

emilysintransitOctober 26, 2021

Summer is just around the corner, which means it’s time to pack up the car and head on an adventure. Road trips are a great way to have an epic holiday and explore somewhere new. Here’s are 10 road trip must-haves to ensure your trip is everything you hoped for.

1. Car charger and battery pack

While your goal might be to get away from it all, having access to a fully charged phone is still a must on any adventure these days. You’ll use it for directions, music, photos, and it’s always good to have around in case of emergency.

I have both an in-car charger and a large rechargeable battery pack which last a couple of days. Also, do yourself a favour and take a spare cable or else you will have to buy one from a petrol station in the middle of nowhere and pay whatever price they’re charging (true story)

Summer Road Trip Essentials Phone Charger

2. Phone mount for the car

While we’re on the topic of phones, get a phone mount for your car. It will be a lot easier to follow directions and means you won’t lose your phone in the passenger’s seat or your bag.

3. Maps!

Cell phone coverage can be a bit spotty in New Zealand, so before you go on your road trip it’s always a good idea to download a map to use offline of where you’re going, just in case. I also keep a paper New Zealand road map in my car just in case my phone dies, all my cables are broken, and I have no idea where I am. I’ve only ever had to use the paper map once, but I still like knowing it’s there.

Summer Road Trip Essentials Maps

4. Snacks

Even though driving is mostly sitting, it takes a lot of effort and energy. Pack snacks so that if you get hungry and there’s no food insight, you’ll have something to keep you going until your next stop. Bringing your snack is also a great way to save some money and avoid services station prices for a bag of chips.

5. Sunscreen and sunglasses

Hopefully, I don’t have to explain this one in too much detail. Sunscreen will keep you safe from the suns aggressive rays (there’s nothing worse than having sunburn before your holiday even starts), and sunglasses will make driving easier on your eyes.

Summer Road Trip Essentials Sunglasses

6. A big water bottle

Staying hydrated on the road is so important. Sitting in a hot car for hours without water is guaranteed to make you feel terrible by the time you arrive at your destination. Yes, you can buy water along the way if you forget, but this a) cost more and b) leave you with a bunch of plastic bottles that are just going to end up being tossed.

I have a one-litre reusable bottle with a built-in straw which makes it super easy to drink from while driving. I highly recommend. 

Summer Road Trip Essentials Water Bottle

7. First aid kit

Scraps and scratches are a part of life, and they are a lot easier to deal with when you have a first aid kit on stand up. I have one that I got from a pharmacy that lives in my car at all times. Before I go on a trip, I double-check that it has everything I need in stock, and then nine times out of 10, it stays in the car. 

8. Wet wipes

Wet wipes are so handy! I went on several trips where I wish I had bought wet wipes before adding them to my essential road trip list, and I’m disappointed in myself that it took me that long. 

9. Reusable bags

Picture this; you’re at the supermarket picking up your cheese and cracker for your DIY charcuterie board, when low and behold, you realise you have nothing to carry it to the car in. So you sigh and then resign yourself to purchasing yet ANOTHER reusable bag even though you have several dozen at home.

Do let this be you chuck a bunch of reusable bags in the boot of your car; they will come in handy.

Summer Road Trip Essentials Reusable Bags

10. Pens and paper

You never know when you’re going to need to write something down or fill out a form. So save yourself the 5 minutes of rummaging through all of your possession, hoping to find a pen and pack one in an easy-to-access spot.

Bonus: Your sense of adventure

Road trips are a great way to get out there and explore the world around you. So now that you’re fully prepared, don’t be afraid to stop off at the random lookout, explore that small town for hidden gems and have a fantastic trip!

Summer is just around the corner which means it’s time to pack up the car and head on an adventure. Road trips are a great way to have an epic holiday and explore somewhere new. Here’s my complete list of road trip must-haves to ensure your trip is everything you hoped for.

Woman taking a photo above a cloud inversion with the southern alps in the background

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