Road Trip 101: The Essential Travel Gear You’ll Need for a Road Trip

It’s that time when you finally have a few days free from work and you decide to go on a road trip. But before hitting the road, are you prepared with the right supplies? 

Road trips can be fun, but then again, you have to consider that anything can go wrong, especially if you’re not prepared well enough for the unexpected. A successful road trip can be in your memories for the rest of your life, and so will a terrible road trip experience. The good thing is that more often than not, what you want the narration to be is under your control.

Road Trip 101: The Essentials You'll Need Before Hitting the Road

Unfortunately, most of us would want to experience life beyond the horizons having no prior experience on what a road trip needs to be. The results are terrible experiences and bad memories that you may carry with you for many years to come. To avoid such circumstances, it’s imperative to prepare early and have all that it takes to ensure a successful road trip. Nothing beats the feeling of fresh air brushing against your skin, new sights to explore, new friendly faces, and the whole shebang. To help you out, here are the essentials you’ll need before hitting the road even if you’re completely clueless about road trips.

The Essential Travel Gear You’ll Need for a Road Trip

1. Mode of Transportation

Road Trip 101: The Essentials You'll Need Before Hitting the Road

Depending on your destination, you’ll need to find the best means of transportation. Considering that you may encounter different types of terrain, an all-terrain vehicle can be your best option. You really don’t want to compromise on your security, convenience, and comfort by choosing to go on a road trip to the wild mountains of Sandia Mountain, New Mexico on a Toyota Prius-like vehicle. It may save you some mileage costs, but believe it or not, on your way back, you’ll likely need the services of experienced mechanics. To avoid this, it’s imperative to choose your mode of transportation wisely depending on your destination.

Additionally, the fact that you may also need to carry a few or more supplies, a trailer may come in handy. This is especially the case where you have the whole family with you, a tent, and supplies to last you a week in a camp. The guys at HoistNow, which specializes in winches, lifts, hitches, jacks, and cranes, insist that it’s imperative to make sure you have balanced weight on your trailer, lest it’s going to compromise on your steering wheel balancing. In this case, you’ll want to bring tools such as a weight-distribution hitch or an electric trailer jack to ensure your safety and get prepared for unexpected incidents that may ruin your weekend road trip adventure. All the same, choosing the right mode of transportation based on your destination location could go a long way into preventing some unforeseeable inconveniences.

2. Entertainment

As earlier mentioned, road trips can be full of fun depending on how well you plan for it. This is why you need to plan in advance to ensure that the road trip is as entertaining as it possibly can get. This means finding the best entertainment mediums to keep you awake through all the adventures and encounters. They say that music is food for the soul. How about downloading a playlist that keeps you entertained all the way? Songs that you and your kids can sing along to. Some radio stations may also be entertaining, but then again, if you have kids around, you want to ensure that the radio station is age-appropriate. To avoid second-guessing, carry your USB cable, USB storage devices ready and loaded with all your favorite music to last you through the road trip. You can also get a portable Bluetooth speaker in case the reliability of your vehicle’s music system is questionable. 

3. Emergency Kit

Do not be part of the statistics as one among the thousands of people who realize the importance of having an emergency kit in their vehicles when it’s too late. When traveling on a long-distance journey, most especially on a road trip. Having an emergency kit on standby can save your life as well as that of other road users. Your emergency kit needs to include an emergency cozy blanket, car chargers (portable power bank), pain relief medication, and jumper cables. The thing is, you don’t know how long that car battery is going to last, so packing up on emergency torches, a backup battery, emergency flares, and an emergency medical kit could save you a lot of heartaches.

4. Vital Documents

Depending on your destination, you want to ensure that you’ve packed all the necessary vital documents. Do not leave home without your Identification Card, car documents such as the certificate of insurance, pollution under control certificate (PUC), and driving license. Other documents that may come in handy include health insurance documents, credit cards, vaccination certificates, and passports.

5.  Snacks

As a savvy traveler, saving money on your road trip needs to be on your top priority list. To make this happen, you’ll need to pack a few snacks. A lot of time and money is often spent by travelers on stopovers to get snacks and food. Bring a good mix of snacks and healthy foods such as nuts, crackers, fruits, and drinks. 

Occasionally, you may be tempted to try out junk food. However, this is not good for your health, especially if you have an underlying medical conditions or are on a weight loss program. The fact that you’re on a road trip doesn’t warrant indulging in unhealthy food practices.

Road Trip 101: The Essentials You'll Need Before Hitting the Road

6.  Make-Easy Road Trip Essentials

Some necessities may seem like “extra-no-need” but having such items on your road trip can save you a great deal of trouble and inconvenience. These include maps, a compass, and loose change. It may be trouble for you to carry some of these items, but think of the trouble a map can save you in case you lose direction.

7. Extra Car Keys

If you’ve ever been locked out of your own house then you know how important it is to bring an extra car key. When traveling with other people in your car, you may not want them to solely rely on your driving skills. Chances are that you may either overindulge or get weary and without noticing, having an extra car key could save your comrades a great deal of trouble waking you up! But if you’re carrying an extra set of keys, it’s imperative to notify one of the passengers on where to locate them. Otherwise, it’s going to be of no good carrying them when no one can find them.

There’s no question about it, road trips are a fun way to get everyone involved and to also have fun while at it. However, if you don’t have the necessary essentials, it can be an expensive trip that doesn’t guarantee your safety and convenience. You also don’t want to go buying stuff by the roadsides. Thankfully, the above guide can help make your road trip a success and an experience you’ll live to tell. 

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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