Road Trip Essentials for Summer Travel

There’s no better time for a fun road trip like summer. Whether you’re looking to escape the heat in your hometown or simply looking to disconnect and get away for a weekend, nothing compares to a long drive with your favorite people.

Group of multi ethnic people taking a selfie near the car. Young men and women together on road trip making selfie.

I have several trips planned this summer and all the travel will be by car, which is no accident. There’s something magical about being in charge of your own journey. Being able to dictate what music you listen to, which stops you make (or don’t), and when you arrive at your destination. And if you’re like me and love chatting up a storm during the hours of commuting, then there’s no better opportunity to do so.

If you have any upcoming road trips this summer, there are some essentials that’ll make your drive an unforgettable one.

First aid kit

No one plans to get hurt, but things happen. Whether it’s a jammed finger from changing the tire, or motion sickness from the long drive, first aid kits always come in handy. I like to keep mine stocked with essentials like band-aids, disinfecting alcohol wipes, and my new favorite, feverfew for migraines.

Hands-free phone mount

If you rely on a GPS like me (and most drivers) than a hands-free phone mount is essential. Not only does it keep your hands free and on the steering wheel while guiding your drive, but it also keeps your phone at eye level while driving.

Car phone charger

GPS and music streaming apps are known for draining phone batteries. That’s why it’s essential to keep a car phone charger handy for your drive. And let’s be honest, they come in handy during your normal commutes as well.

Cooler with drinks and snacks

As a mom of a 7-year-old, I’ve learned about the importance of traveling with snacks. Whether it’s a bag of crackers to get them through the next meal, or a juice box to keep them hydrated on the long drive, snacks can be lifesavers. I recommend keeping them in a small cooler to keep things organized and cool throughout your trip.

Garbage bag

Whether you’re traveling solo or with kids, one thing’s for sure, the car will get messy. From gas station receipts to empty bags of chips and water bottles, your car can quickly turn into a moving trashcan. I like to keep a grocery bag handy for all trash throughout the trip. Once I arrive at my destination or a rest stop, I’ll dump the bag and have a new one handy.

Baby Wipes

From snacking to accidental spills, baby wipes come in handy during travel. I use baby wipes to clean my hands after a quick bite, my daughter’s face after a messy snack, or even to clean items like the steering wheel or my phone.

Hand Sanitizer

Germs are everywhere. So, whether you’re looking to disinfect your hands before a snack or after using a rest stop restroom, you should always keep a travel hand sanitizer handy.


A blanket for a summer road trip? Yes. Call me crazy, but I’ve realized that blankets can serve so many purposes during a road trip. Whether you’re looking for something to keep you warm or protect your skin from the sun, a blanket can do that. I also love keeping one handy to roll up into a makeshift pillow.


A long drive can put a lot of stress on your eyes, so it’s important to protect them as much as possible. Make sure to travel with a pair of good sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun. I like to keep an extra pair in my glove compartment in case forget. There’s nothing worse than hitting the road without your favorite sunnies.  

Comfortable outfit

There’s nothing worse than sitting in a car for hours at a time wearing an uncomfortable pair of jeans, top, or sneakers. It can ruin the entire experience. While looking and feeling my best is a constant goal for me, I value comfort over anything. The best part is that comfort and style can be combined. So next time you’re checking your closet for your road trip outfit, remember to keep comfort top of mind.