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Many folks love to hit the road when the weather turns nice. There is an unmistakable freedom in open windows, open roads, and great tunes piping through your car speakers. It’s an irresistible combination for many. But you can’t just hop in the car and go. You could, but you might not get too far. There are things to consider and things to plan for. My ultimate road trip checklist and packing guide will give you all the essentials to make your next road trip epic. I love road trips and am happy to share all my tips!

Phone selfie, friendship and car road trip or nature safari holiday travel in Africa together happy for adventure. Mobile photography of excited men, women or young group of people on summer vacation.
Photo credit: – Yuri A/Shutterstock.

The ultimate road trip guide, checklist and packing list for a successful adventure. What to pack for safety, entertainment, clothing, and more!

Road trips are a great way to see more of the world and can be economical, too! You might want to know more about taking a road trip with a dog, plan a road trip in Canada or even find the perfect road trip captions for when you share all your photos.

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Photo credit: – Yuri A/Shutterstock.

Road Trip Essentials To Research Before You Leave

Use this as a road trip checklist before you leave to ensure nothing is forgotten. Road trip tips and hacks will ensure you enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

  1. Local attractions.
  2. Weather conditions.
  3. Safety considerations.
  4. Healthcare facilities and emergency services. Know where they are because you never know when you’ll need one.
  5. Accommodations. Where will you be staying? Did you make reservations?
  6. Restaurants you don’t want to miss out on.
  7. Outdoor activities you’ll enjoy at your destination.
  8. Events, festivals, and local celebrations.
  9. Historical and cultural landmarks.
  10. Shopping and markets.
  11. Internet and cellular connectivity. (Do you need to upgrade your plan for this trip?)
  12. Accessibility for folks with disabilities.
  13. Travel or weather advisories.
  14. The best road trip apps to help make your trip better.
Car, road trip and girl with sign of peace, crazy high energy and on fun transportation adventure in Australia countryside. Hands, travel journey and black woman happy and excited on safari excursion.
Photo credit: – Yuri A/Shutterstock.

Road Trip Apps

Before embarking on a road trip, consider downloading these essential apps to enhance your journey.

Waze – A reliable navigation app that provides real-time traffic updates and the best route options, ensuring a smooth drive.

Spotify – With a vast library of music and podcasts, it’s perfect for creating road trip playlists and keeping everyone entertained. One of my favorite road trip playlist mixes is below!

GasBuddy – Helps locate the cheapest gas stations along the route, saving money on fuel expenses.

Roadtrippers – Ideal for discovering interesting stops and attractions, making the journey more enjoyable.

Airbnb – Easily find and book accommodations, offering a comfortable stay during the trip.

Google Maps – Offers detailed maps, real-time traffic updates, and street views, ensuring a hassle-free journey.

Pro Tips: Brush up on your Google Maps skills. These are some of my tips for getting the most out of it for road trips.

1. Plan Multiple Stops: Use the “Add Stop” feature to plan and optimize your route with multiple destinations, ensuring an efficient and well-organized road trip itinerary.
2. Offline Maps: Download maps for offline use to navigate areas with poor or no internet connection, ensuring continuous access to navigation guidance.
3. Explore Nearby: Utilize the “Explore Nearby” feature to discover restaurants, gas stations, and attractions along the route, making it easier to plan stops and find amenities.
4. Real-time Traffic Updates: Stay informed about traffic conditions and delays by enabling real-time traffic updates, allowing for efficient route adjustments to avoid congestion.
5. Share Your Location: Share your real-time location with friends or family members to keep them updated on your journey’s progress and ensure safety.
6. Custom Labels: Use custom labels to mark specific locations, such as potential rest stops or scenic viewpoints, for easy reference during the road trip.

iExit – Provides information on upcoming exits, including food, gas, and lodging options, making it easier to plan stops.

HotelTonight – Allows for last-minute hotel bookings at discounted rates, perfect for spontaneous travel plans. – A great alternative to Google Maps for offline maps.

Audible – Offers a vast selection of audiobooks, perfect for long drives and keeping passengers entertained.

Yelp – Helps discover local restaurants and attractions, ensuring memorable experiences along the way.

Road trip travel, fashion and african couple with car and smartphone for social media update, location check and countryside lifestyle. Influencer black people or youth with summer clothes and transport.
Photo credit: – Yuri A/Shutterstock.

Road Trip Car Essentials

Planning a road trip? Check out my comprehensive checklist to make sure you’re fully prepared for the open road. Planning a vacation can be overwhelming, but there are a lot of resources out there to assist.

Phone, call and road trip with a woman in need of roadside assistance after vehicle breakdown while on vacation. Car, travel and communication with a young female calling for help during an emergency.
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Road Trip Car Maintenance And Needed Items Checklist

You or a qualified person should inspect the car you’ll be driving to ensure it’s functioning properly for a road trip, even if it’s a rental car. This is really important and don’t leave it to the last minute. Getting your car ready for a road trip, at a minimum, should include taking a look at these things:

  1. Vehicle Maintenance
  2. Oil Change
  3. Tire Inspection
  4. Brake Inspection
  5. Fluid Levels
  6. Air Conditioning and Heating
  7. Wiper Blades
  8. Lights
  9. Check the life of the car’s battery. Have an extra car battery if you’ll be in remote areas.
  10. Emergency Kit ( What to include in your car emergency kit)
  11. Roadside Assistance
  12. Fuel Efficiency
  13. Comfort Features
  14. Entertainment System
  15. Navigation System
  16. Jumper cables
  17. Tire pressure gauge
  18. An extra car key
  19. Car manual
  20. A good spare tire
  21. Duct tape

Pro Tip: If your tires are starting to look worn out, you can use the penny test to see if it’s time for new ones. Just put a penny into the tread groove with Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, then it’s time to replace your tires.

Aerial view of a Pacific Northwest road with a car on it.

Long Road Trip Must Have’s

Packing for a road trip differs slightly from packing for flights or cruises. Yes, you are packing many of the same things, but you have to be more strategic about it. Having a comprehensive road trip checklist will ensure you are ready for all that comes along.

Packing Cubes

Try using compression packing cubes to pack all your clothes. Compression cubes will free up a lot of space in your car or suitcase, allowing you to either bring more as needed or to make more room in the car for other things.

If you don’t have compression cubes, consider rolling your clothes instead of folding them. You’d be surprised how much extra room this creates, and it also helps cut down on wrinkles.

Double Duty Items

Pack items that can do double or triple duty. For example, a beach towel can also be a picnic blanket or a makeshift curtain for privacy in the car. It also makes an excellent shield in the event that you need to squat on the side of the road. Don’t laugh; we’ve all been there.

Consider your wardrobe. Lay out all the pieces you want to take, and think about how to pair different pieces together to make different outfits. Having fewer pieces that make several outfits allows you to pack less overall.

If you are taking a jacket, consider a thinner wind-breaker material. This material will keep you warm while taking up much less space. Plus, it’s easy to roll these types of jackets up for packing.

Woman at a beach during a road trip with feet out window of car.

Organizing The Little Road Trip Essentials

  • Are you taking jewelry? Try organizing it in pill organizers. They will keep chains from getting tangled together and keep small earrings from getting lost.
  • Take a reusable shopping bag for groceries, beach shells, and souvenirs.
  • Store liquids like shampoo and other items that can leak or get wet in zipper-top bags.
  • You’ll want to take a small first aid kit. If appropriate, make sure there is room for your medications here or in your toiletry bag.
  • If space is a real issue, make sure you are taking travel-size toiletries. Avoid packing big containers of shampoo or full-sized toothpaste.
  • Keep a couple of small to medium carabiners handy for attaching water bottles, hats, and even sunglasses to the outside of your bags for easy access.

Pro Tip: A car first aid kit should contain essential items for addressing minor injuries and medical emergencies on the road. This may include adhesive bandages, gauze pads, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, scissors, disposable gloves, instant cold packs, pain relievers, and antihistamines. Additionally, it’s important to have a first aid manual, emergency contact information, and any personal medications that may be needed in case of an emergency.

Couple in a car, travel and adventure happy on romantic road trip during summer holiday. Black woman and man Safari, search luggage and smile, love and bonding together on sunny vacation outdoor.
Photo credit: – Yuri A/Shutterstock.

Essentials To Keep In The Car

  1. A collapsible laundry hamper or empty plastic bag separates dirty clothes from clean ones.
  2. A reusable water bottle, and a gallon or two of filtered water for emergencies.
  3. A portable phone charger or power bank. Also, consider a USB car adapter.
  4. A travel-sized umbrella. It can be tucked into a corner or under a seat so it’s out of the way.

Road Trip Food Hacks

Pack a small, portable cooler or insulated bag for snacks and foods that need to stay cold on your trip. Great options for this are small yogurts, hard-boiled eggs, cheese cubes, cheese sticks (string cheese), hummus cups, fresh veggies, fresh fruits, and hard-boiled eggs.

Ensure you have ample road trip supplies of snacks that do not require refrigeration. Crackers, granola bars, protein bars, nuts, trail mix, dried fruit, seeds, beef jerky, turkey jerky, popcorn, pretzels, rice cakes, rice crisps, dry cereal, peanut butter packets, veggie chips, banana chips, apple chips, or fruit leather are all road trip necessities that will save you money.

Food, travel and friends eating on a road trip, happy, relax and laughing while bonding in a car together. Fast food, diversity and face portrait of smiling people enjoying freedom and adventure trip.
Photo credit: – Yuri A/Shutterstock.

Pro Tip: For longer road trips, bring reusable containers, a cooler, and utensils to make a grocery stop for snacks and easy meals. Not only does this save time and money during the journey, but it also ensures that healthy and satisfying options are readily available, reducing the need to rely on fast food stops.

Budget Hacks For Road Trippers

Before you leave, you’ll want to check your budget. Road trips can become expensive quickly if you don’t budget properly. There are many options for saving money on traveling.

Pro Tip: Signing up for gas station rewards programs, using apps for finding the cheapest gas prices, and researching hotel and dining deals can help you save significantly on expenses throughout your journey.

Phone couple looking at mobile online content together outdoor.
Photo credit: – Yuri A/Shutterstock.

Plan Your Route

Try to avoid toll roads where possible, and make sure you are taking the most direct route to avoid wasting gas on the scenic route.

Pack Your Food

All the snacks mentioned above will keep you from getting hungry on the road and save you a lot of money on purchasing food en route. Eating in restaurants gets expensive fast, so having food handy and ready to eat is always a great idea.

Affordable Accommodations

Lodging is the most expensive part of any trip. If you are on a budget, consider looking for hostels, campgrounds, and cheap vacation rentals to cut down on costs.

Find Free Activities

There are so many ways to enjoy a trip without spending oodles of money on things to do. Hiking trails, local festivals, picnics in scenic spots, beachcombing, photography, wildlife watching, stargazing, geocaching, local markets, and watching the sunrise or sunset are great things to do on vacation that won’t cost a dime. 

Use Reward Credit Cards

If you have to charge something, make sure you get some benefit from it. Use cards that offer cash back, points, or miles on your purchases. 

Travel Off-Season

It can be tempting to take a summer road trip. But if saving money is a top priority, consider taking that road trip in spring or fall when prices aren’t sky-high for tourist season and the weather is still reasonable.

Parking Options

Parking is worth checking out in advance because it can be expensive in some areas. Research ahead of time where the most affordable or free parking is at your destination. Also, if you are staying at a hotel, ensure the hotel offers free parking. Some do not, and some don’t even have parking to offer.

Set Your Budget

While budgets are sometimes stretched on vacation, it’s worth setting a budget and doing your best to stick with it so that you don’t come home to a mailbox full of stress-inducing bills after a relaxing vacation.

Travel, road trip and black people couple driving by countryside for holiday, journey and freedom with happiness. Trendy sunglasses, fashion and gen z friends in a car drive for vacation lifestyle.
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Road Trip Weather

Checking the local weather is a habit for many people. But have you checked the forecast at your destination? What about the areas you’ll be driving through? At the very least, it’s important to be aware of any dangerous weather that may affect your time on the road.

Car driving on road through a national park.

Road Trip Travel Documents

While road trips rarely require much paperwork, there are some documents you’ll want to ensure you have on hand when you get behind the wheel. If you are traveling across a border, check the requirements in the country you are traveling to. Add these items to your summer road trip essentials checklist to make sure you are prepared. Documents you may need are:

  1. Driver’s License
  2. Vehicle Registration
  3. Proof of Insurance
  4. Roadside Assistance Information
  5. Emergency Contact List
  6. Travel Itinerary
  7. Maps or GPS – Download Google Maps before you go.
  8. Vehicle Manual
  9. Health Insurance Card
  10. Prescription Medications and a prescription in case you lose your medications.
  11. Medical Information
  12. Passport or ID
  13. Travel Insurance Policy
  14. Vehicle Maintenance Records
  15. Vehicle Rental Agreement
  16. Pet Documents if your furry friend is coming along for the ride.
Friends, car road trip and game of cards on a road trip holiday.
Photo credit: – Yuri A/Shutterstock.

Family Road Trip Essentials

If the whole family is piling into the car, you’ll want to prepare for any number of events and stay organized. Long car rides can get messy fast, especially if you have kids in the car.


Put a few travel organizers in the car to keep snacks, toys, and entertainment items in good order.

Drink Holders

Use a shower caddy to hold individual drinks for each person.


Having a road trip playlist at the ready with songs that everyone in the car loves will make for much smoother sailing.

Small Toy Organizers

If you have kids in the car, small toys can easily get lost under seats and baggage. Try using a hanging shoe organizer to store toys, books and even small game boards within reach in the back seat. These can be attached behind the front seats, over the back of the middle seat, on the side of the center console, on the back of the driver or passenger seat, or on the headrests.

DVD Players or iPads

Most parents have discovered that DVD players and iPads can be lifesavers on long road trips. Pack one with a few favorite movies for the kids to watch on long stretches.

Planned Entertainment Stops

Make sure you pre-plan stops at places like parks, playgrounds and other local attractions that the kids will enjoy during your road trip. Because at some point, everyone will need to stretch their legs anyway. You might as well make it enjoyable!

Cookie sheets make great lap desks for coloring, drawing, or playing games in the car, and when they aren’t in use, they are easy to tuck away under luggage without taking up hardly any room at all.

Take Empty Bags

Having trash bags in the car serves multiple uses. Not only will they keep your car tidy, but they are also great for packing up wet clothes or holding over yourself to run through pouring rain from your car to your hotel room. Reusable bags are a must-have for shopping or carrying smaller items.


Bring a potty for emergencies if you are traveling with young kids. 

Suction Cup Shower Caddies

Bring a few to attach to car windows for holding lightweight items like small snacks and toys.

Window Shades

Nothing will create a screaming child quite as fast as the sun beating down on them through the car window in the middle of summer. Window shades will save many tears and frustrations.

Pack Comfort Items

Don’t leave home without comfort items such as pillows and blankets for the car, especially if you have kids who are still taking naps.

Couple on road trip, smile in car mirror reflection and happy smile with love on desert holiday road trip drive. Summer vacation in the outdoors.
Photo credit: – Yuri A/Shutterstock.

Personal Items To Bring on a Road Trip

Here is a list of road trip must haves for more comfortable road trips.

  1. Lip balm
  2. Sunglasses
  3. Laundry bag
  4. Bug spray
  5. Hiking boots for outdoor adventures
  6. Spare cash
  7. Plastic bags
  8. Camping gear if camping – Review this handy camping checklist
  9. An empty duffle bag for items you purchase on your trip.
  10. A road trip packing list of personal things you don’t want to forget.
Travel, luggage and couple packing in car for road trip vacation, journey or adventure together. Love, happy and transportation with man and woman excited for summer holiday with suitcase and bags
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Road Trip Packing List And Considerations For Pets

If your furry friend is coming along for the ride, make sure their road trip is safe and comfortable. I have compiled a comprehensive blog about road trips with dogs if you are thinking of bringing your canine along. Plan accordingly because bringing pets will add to your road trip checklist.

Should they be there? The first thing to consider is whether your pet should be making this trip. Is it too hot to leave them in the car for five minutes while you run to the bathroom? If so, they should stay home.

Pet policies – Check the pet policies of any place you plan to stay and budget for any animal fees hotels and other accommodations may charge. Remember that “pet-friendly” doesn’t mean free, and not every place you plan to stay will be pet-friendly unless you plan accordingly. 

Road safety for pets – Use a pet seat belt, travel crate, or carrier to keep your pet safe on the road. While it’s great to have them on our laps, not only can they become a distraction while driving, but they can also be seriously hurt (or worse) if an airbag goes off while they sit in your lap. They will be far safer in their own seat in the back, securely fastened.

Tags and chips – Update ID tags if needed, and be sure that microchip information is current and up to date in case your pet gets lost.

Pet supplies – Bring their food, water, bowls, leashes, bedding, waste bags, medications, and favorite toys. A favorite blanket that smells like home will help relieve stress they may have on the road.

Potty breaks – Like it or not, if you travel with a pet, you will need to make more frequent pitstops. Plan accordingly.

Pet medication – Before you leave, ensure your pet’s vaccinations and monthly flea and tick meds are current. Nobody wants to bring home fleas from vacation! If your pet gets motion sickness, bring medication for that, too. Also, pack a pet first aid kit for emergencies.

Constant companions – When you take your pet on the road, it’s never smart to leave them unattended. While most people will need to make pitstops along the road for food and restrooms, make sure you take your pet with you when you leave the car, especially if the weather is warm. It gets much hotter in the car than outside, and your pet can overheat quickly. 

Road trip vets  Doing some research on vets along the path of your road trip or at your destination will put everyone at ease and reduce stress in an emergency. Make a list of emergency vets and keep it handy in the car.

Plan pet-friendly pitstops – Humans aren’t the only ones who need to stretch their legs and have fun. Plan stops that your pet will enjoy, too. Whether that’s a dog park or a pet-centered local event, include your pet in what you do to keep both of you happy.

Provide shade – The warmer months mean your pet will need shade, even in the car. Use window shades as needed.

Road trip, driving and black couple drive to travel on a summer vacation with a smile. Happy girlfriend and boyfriend laughing together using motor transport for a getaway with love and happiness.
Photo credit: – Yuri A/Shutterstock.

Road Tripping Safety Hacks

We all need to watch our surroundings, especially in unfamiliar areas. But you can take precautions to keep yourself safer on a road trip.

Create a communication plan – Plan to check in from the road at regular intervals and let somebody you trust know where you are. While it may seem silly at first, it’s always a good idea to let somebody know where you are in case of an emergency, especially if you are traveling solo.

Be flexible – If you plan to stay at one location but don’t feel safe once you arrive, finding somewhere else to stay is perfectly acceptable. Sometimes, the safest thing we can do is change course.

Keep emergency contacts handy – Make sure you save them on your phone and label them as such. This way, emergency personnel can contact your loved ones if something happens.

Don’t drive drowsy – This should be common sense, but each year, approximately 100,000 crashes and 1,550 fatalities occur because of drowsy driving, according to the National Safety Council. So make sure you get plenty of rest before hitting the road.

Emergency supplies – It’s worth keeping emergency supplies in your car at all times. But it becomes especially important on road trips. Keep a supply of water handy, a blanket, a tool for breaking car windows, and first aid items.

Avoid isolated areas – Stay alert to stay safe, particularly in remote areas and gas stations.

Park safe – Park in well-lit areas and areas that aren’t overly remote, and keep your car locked. Keep valuables out of sight.

Download maps – Doing this before you begin your road trip will ensure you always have a map to guide you. Google Maps is handy for bookmarking all your stops and can work offline. is another handy option for offline maps. Consider taking paper maps as well if you are more comfortable with them. That way, if your phone dies, you have a backup.

Travel insurance – Consider taking out a travel insurance policy, especially if you are road-tripping out of state or out of the country. It will not only insure your trip, but help you out in emergencies as well.

Travel with others – While solo travel is on the rise, road trips are an especially good opportunity to take a friend for safety reasons.

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Photo credit: – Yuri A/Shutterstock.

Road Trip Entertainment Tips

Long drives are great, but even the best of us road warriors can get a little bored when the miles start ticking away. Here are some ideas for how to keep your brain occupied on the road and for making the long stretches a bit more entertaining.

Audiobooks – Pick out a few books you’ve been meaning to read and listen to them on the road. It’s a great way to multitask while driving without being distracted.

Podcasts – Learn something new, have a laugh, or catch up on your favorite road trip podcast. Pick a few out before you turn the car on, and let those podcasters do what they do best while you drive. There are some curated road tripping podcast lists by Condé Nast and some suggestions for families from KOA.

Road trip games – While you never want to be distracted from the road, there are some games you can safely play with others in the car.

Pro Tip: A few ideas for road trip games are 20 Questions, Would You Rather, or the License Plate Game to pass the time and get to know your travel companion(s) better in the process.

Playlists – Nothing makes a road trip better than great music to sing along with at the top of your lungs as you drive. Create a playlist ahead of time of songs you know you’ll enjoy.

Trivia – Some trivia games are easy to play while you drive and won’t distract you from the road. Plan ahead for this and put a travel buddy in charge so you can focus on driving.

Learn a language – A road trip is a great opportunity to listen to language podcasts or audiobooks which can help you learn a new language while you drive.

Storytelling – While this is great for kids, even adults love a good story. Let your travel companion tell a few good ones or even read a book out loud while you focus on the drive.

Couple, selfie smile and phone for travel road trip in summer vacation together in happiness. Happy man and woman enjoying holiday traveling smiling for photo.
Photo credit: – Yuri A/Shutterstock.

Making Road-Tripping Memories

Road trips should be epic. But how we decide to document them is what keeps them alive in our memories. Here are some road trip essentials for documenting your best memories.

Take photos – This one is obvious, but make sure you plan for stops at scenic spots, landmarks, and local, Instagrammable places. Don’t forget to find the perfect caption for your road trip pics!

Journal your trip – Take a blank journal along, and each night before bed, write everything about your day in your journal. That way, you can relive all the little details you might forget over time.

Pick a souvenir – Pick one small thing you know you can find at each place you visit. A fridge magnet or a postcard won’t take up much space in your car and will give you a reminder of the places you’ve been.

Local cuisines – We all have to eat, but making sure you try the traditional foods of the area you are visiting is a great way to make your trip memorable.

Look for quirks – While you won’t find unusual things in every place you visit, it shouldn’t be too hard to find quirky landmarks or attractions on your road trip. Visit a haunted hotel, a spot where a favorite movie was filmed, or anything that will create a unique memory.

Head to the great outdoors – No matter where your car may take you, there is undoubtedly a place to stop and hike, swim, or explore outdoors. Find nature trails, national parks, or scenic drives for memorable road trip experiences.

Look up local events – Festivals, farmer’s markets, and cultural celebrations and parades are all a great way to make your road trip a great trip. A quick Google search will tell you what’s going on in the area you are in.

Send postcards to yourself – Each day, write yourself a postcard from someplace you have stopped with the day’s details and send it home. When you return home, you can have these bound so you have a book of your daily experiences on your road trip with pictures of where you’ve been.

Pro Tip: Collect small mementos from each location visited, such as postcards, ticket stubs, or local souvenirs, to create a tangible reminder of your road trip adventures. A collection of road trip scrapbooks will be something you can look back on for years.

Road trip, travel and black couple happy about a holiday in a car mirror reflection together. Happiness and love smile of a girlfriend and boyfriend on a vacation trip ready for summer fun driving,
Photo credit: – Yuri A/Shutterstock.

Road Trip Basics For Staying Healthy

There are few things worse than coming home sick from vacation. Here are some tips and hacks for staying well on the road. Make sure your summer holiday packing list includes all the things you need!

Drink your water – Stay hydrated, especially in warmer weather.

Healthy snacks – Avoid roadside dives and snack on healthy foods instead like fresh fruits, nuts, and granola bars. Good nutrition is a great way to keep your good health during a road trip.

Rest – It can be hard to sleep in strange beds, but good rest is important, especially if you are driving.

Plan stretch breaks – Nothing will make you feel stiffer than spending hours in a car. Make sure you plan stretch breaks to avoid stiffness and aching muscles.

Wear sunscreen – This one is obvious, but every year, people come home with sunburns and blisters. Don’t forget to put your sunscreen on.

Wash your hands—After a worldwide pandemic, we all know how to wash our hands properly. Make sure you do so frequently to prevent the spread of unwanted bugs, colds, or flu. Also, keep hand sanitizer in your car for times when you don’t have access to a sink or soap.

Bring a mask – While none of us wants to wear one these days, the truth is, they are totally appropriate in some situations. If you need to, don’t be afraid to wear one. 

Motion sickness medication – Getting car sick can hit you out of the blue. Make sure you have something to combat it when needed. Keep it in your toiletry bag or in the glove compartment. Somewhere where it will be easy to find and access but will still be kept safe from young children who may be along for the ride.

Pro Tip: A hack for dealing with car sickness is to sit in the front seat or the driver’s seat if possible. This can help reduce motion sickness by providing a better view of the road and minimizing the effects of motion on your senses. Additionally, focusing on distant objects outside the car and keeping the air in the vehicle well-circulated can also help alleviate symptoms of car sickness.

Travel, freedom and road trip by woman on a break in the countryside, smiling while enjoying the view. Summer, van and black woman relax in nature, looking proud on a solo adventure.
Photo credit: – Yuri A/Shutterstock.

Types Of Road Trips

Does your road trip need a theme? There are many types of road trips you can take.

National Park Road Trip

Road trip your way around a few national parks you’ve always wanted to visit. Hike scenic trails, discover hidden waterfalls, and camp under the stars. Take photos of amazing places inside the parks, pick up a few souvenirs from park gift shops, and pick up a postcard to send yourself or somebody you love. If allowed, do a little fishing for a fresh-caught dinner over a campfire.

Coastal Road Trip

If you want to be a beach bum, take a drive up or down your closest coast for sun, sand, and good vibes. Continue the theme by eating lots of seafood, visiting aquariums, and exploring coastal towns and villages for their charm and souvenirs.

Wine Country Road Trip

While you will want to make sure you don’t drink and dive, try road-tripping through wine country with several stops at unique vineyards. Sample local wines, pick up supplies for a vineyard picnic, and maybe stop for a massage along the way. Wine tasting and spas always seem to go together. 

Historic Route Road Trip

Plot out a few historic routes like Route 66 or the Great River Road and follow the path of pioneers. Stop at local landmarks along the way, and don’t forget to check out the local cuisine for unique and tasty experiences.

City Tour Road Trip

Plot out a few big cities you’ve always wanted to visit, along with some of the main attractions in each city, and enjoy city life, dining, and nightlife. Go dancing, try some fine dining, or discover local hotspots.

Culinary Road Trip

This type of road trip is positively delicious. You can take cooking classes during the day and dine at local restaurants in the evenings. Explore fine dining, or discover those little hole-in-the-wall places that only the locals know about. Sample local street food, visit food markets, gourmet food shops and local restaurants.

Music Festival Road Trip

Plot out a calendar and map for attending music festivals and concerts for your favorite band and local musicians. Visit local music clubs, bars, and other music venues. Don’t forget to budget for band t-shirts!

Adventure Road Trip

For outdoor enthusiasts who love adventure, plot a road trip to enjoy spectacular hikes, camping, rafting, kite surfing, or any snow or water sports you enjoy.

Spa Retreat Road Trip

If there is an area you’ve been wanting to road trip to, make it a relaxing experience by scheduling appointments at different spas throughout along the way. Relax, get pampered, and enjoy the road all in the same trip. 

Fun Park Road Trip

Plan a road trip that will take you to fun parks and amusement parks. Enjoy days filled with roller coaster rides, carnival-style popcorn, and sticky cotton candy.

Family Fun Road Trip

Plan family adventures to zoos, interactive museums and outdoor adventures that both kids and parents will enjoy, all while being on the road and seeing new places.

Cultural Heritage Road Trip

Learn more about your heritage or the culture of others with a road trip focused on visiting cultural heritage sites, museums, and landmarks. Make sure to enjoy local restaurants offering the food of the cultures you explore to round out the experience.

Literary Road Trip

Follow the footsteps of your favorite famous authors and literary characters by visiting landmarks and settings from your favorite books and stories.

Film Location Road Trip

Want to see where your favorite movies were filmed? Plan a road trip to different destinations where filming took place. Follow in the footsteps of your favorite actors and maybe even reenact your favorite scenes for an Instagram reel.

Wildlife Watching Road Trip

Whether you love bird watching or prefer to spot larger critters, plan a road trip to observe these beautiful creatures in their natural habitats. Visit wildlife museums, watch wildlife movies in your hotel room, and pick up a few souvenirs or postcards to commemorate the trip.

Historic hotel in Gold Country in California.

After Your Road Trip

Once you return home, there are a few things to do.

  • Unpack and do laundry.
  • Clean out the car completely.
  • Organize all your souvenirs
  • Have photos printed or turned into photo books.
  • Have any needed maintenance done on your car.
  • Leave reviews online for your favorite spots.
  • If applicable, redeem travel reward points for a future trip.
Woman looking at milky way at night in a national park.

Once you’ve done those things, you’ll have great memories to enjoy and share for a lifetime. Road trips may take a little extra planning, but they are well worth it in the end. Start planning early, make a road trip checklist, and you will be road-ready. Where will your next trip take you?

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.


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