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6 Road Trip Packing Ideas

We give you some helpful tips to get the most out of your road trip.

Summertime means it’s time to hit the road for a fun-filled road trip! One of the not-so-fun parts? Packing. Packing for a road trip can be quite daunting. How many outfits should you bring with? Do you plan on eating out, or bringing your own food to eat along the way? Are you staying in a hotel or setting up camp in a national park? No matter your destination, learning how to properly pack for a road trip is a must.

1. Check Your Car Emergency Kit

Road Trip Packing Ideas
Going on a road trip is one of the staples of summer fun. Get the most out of your road trip with our helpful road trip packing ideas.

The last thing you need on a road trip is a faulty car emergency kit. If you don’t already have a car emergency kit, you can buy one or make your own. A dead battery or flat tire shouldn’t ruin your road trip. It’s also a good idea to get your car checked out before going on a road trip. If you’re a DIY auto mechanic, read through our 10 vehicle checks before a road trip article. Make sure you have a spare tire and that everything is in working order.

2. Prepare for Messes

Before you hit the open road, you’ll want to be prepared for any messes along the way. A spilled soda, sticky hands from a snack, whatever the case, you’ll be happy you remembered to pack cleaning supplies. Bring along paper towel and moist wipes for easy cleanup.

3. Ditch the Suitcase

While a suitcase may look like it has more room, it will definitely take up more space in your trunk. Opt for a soft-sided duffle bag or backpack when packing clothes, toiletries and medications. Duffle bags can be wedged around other objects in the trunk, unlike a suitcase.

4. Pack for Convenience

This may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t pack things you’ll need during the trip in your trunk. Keep snacks, games, etc., all in the car with the passengers. If you don’t, you’ll not only have to pull over to get stuff from the trunk, but you’ll have to repack the trunk. It’s wasted time and wasted space. If you want cold beverages during the trip, bring an insulated cooler tote that can be easily stored between passengers or on the floor of the car.

5. Choose Comfortable Clothes and Shoes

You’re going to be in a vehicle for a long time. Dress for comfort. It’s a good idea to layer clothing that can easily be taken off or put back on. It might get hot in the car, but once the air conditioning is on you’ll reach for something warm. By dressing in layers, you won’t be reaching for your duffle bag in the trunk. Wear shoes that easily slip on and off.

6. Bring a Cooler for Easy Snacks and Drinks

Eating on the road can get expensive if you’re stopping at restaurants and gas stations all along the way. Stock a cooler full of water, soda, sandwiches, fruit and other easy-to-prepare finger foods. Bring along snacks such as beef jerky, snack nuts and chips for snacking. Of course, don’t be afraid dine out along the way…it is a vacation, after all!


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