The Ultimate Packing List for a Road Trip

Packing List for a Road Trip

The Ultimate Packing List for a Road Trip

I have completed my fair share of road trips while on my travels, from driving the Italian Alps, travelling from the east to the west coast of America, taking on Europe by train or simply exploring my own back yard, Ireland. Just before setting off on an adventure, I get that horrible anxious feeling that I have forgotten something. That is why over the years I have jotted down anything I have had to purchase while on the road and compiled it into one big list. So if you are packing for your next adventure and have no idea where to start. Look no further, because I have put together the ultimate road trip packing list.

The packing list will be divided into 8 sub sections, so feel free to skip a head to the areas that interest you.

  1. Luggage & Bag Essentials
  2. Road Trip Clothing List
  3. Technologies and Gadgets
  4. Accessories and Toiletries
  5. Car Essentials for any road trip
  6. Camping Gear

1. Luggage & Bag Essentials Packing List for a Road Trip

The big question? RUCKSACK OR SUITCASE?

Before I go on any long road trip, I always have one big question. Rucksack or suitcase? I am always torn and can never decide. At the end of the day, it all depends on the type of road trip I am planning.

A suitcase is ideal for easy access, the ability to take things in and out, without making a big mess.

Whereas a rucksack is ideal for more spontaneous adventures. Like road trips that involve a lot of walking and moving around, particularly camping trips. They are also easier to squish into the truck of a car.

Rucksack or Suitcase

Either way, one any long haul road trip. It is essential to bring a large bag to fit all personal belongings, clothes and accessories. 


Day Bag

A day bag is essential for those hoping to hike and go on a mini one day adventure while road trippin’. I’d 100% recommend the Deuter Speed Lite day bag, I bring it everywhere I go. It’s small, and compact, yet fits so much. It is a little on the pricey side but has truly lasted the test of time.

Another day bag option for long road trips would be an anti theft backpack. These bags are ideal to keep your valuables safe at all time and free from splash and stains from the great outdoors.

Dressy Backpack

It is a good idea to bring a small dressy bag for any city stops. I like to bring a little backpack that fits my camera, phone and purse.


2. Road Trip Clothing List Packing List for a Road Trip

It is hard to narrow down specific clothes to bring on a road trip as so many factors come into consideration, for example, the climate, the season and the itinerary. With that being said, here is some general guidelines.

The Basics…

  • T-Shirts / Tank Tops
  • Shorts
  • Gym Leggings/Jog Bottoms
  • A hoodie/Sweater
  • Lightweight Jacket (summer)
  • Heavy Jacket (winter)
  • Water Proof Clothing (Depending on Climate)

For Some City Stops…

  • Denim Jacket
  • A Pair of Jeans
  • A Dressy Outfit
  • A Dress/Playsuits (Ladies)

The Extras…

  • Pyjamas
  • Normal Socks
  • Hiking Socks
  • Underwear
  • Bras (Ladies)
  • Sports Bra (Ladies)
  • Swimwear/bikini

Essential Footwear…

  • Hiking Boots
  • A Comfortable Pair of Runners/Sneakers
  • Flip Flops (ideal for showers)
  • Casual shoes
Packing List for a Road Trip

3. Technologies and Gadgets

If you are going on a road trip. Odds are you plan on stopping at some phenomenal places. Places that are sure to have you reaching for your camera. On the road, it’s difficult to keep all our beloved devices charged. I’ve put together a list of gadgets that come in useful on any road trip.

Starting with the obvious gadgets… 

And some easily forgotten gadgets…

USB Car Adapter

Try purchase a USB car adapter, this device is a true life saver when on the road. Particularly, when camping with a limited electricity flow.Those with two or more ports also allow for more are perfect for multiple devices.

A Portable Charger

A portable charger is another great way to keep all devices well charged. The one picture charges phones 5 to 6 times before needing to be charged itself. It can also run on solar energy.

A Gorilla Tripod 

I bring my gorilla tripod everywhere I go. It is light weight and ideal for getting steady photography shots, for Vlogging and solo travellers. It can be attached to tree’s, railings and more…

An Adapter

For those planning on jumping on a plane over seas before starting their road trip. One of these bad boys are 100% needed.

  • iCloud / Online storage

4. Accessories and Toiletries

  • Hair Bobbins, Bobbles, Ties
  • Bobby Pins
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Makeup (Ladies)
  • Torch
  • Sunglasses

Water Bottle

I love this water bottle! Not only does it hook onto the side of any bag strap, it also keeps water cold for 12 hours straight. Ideal for hiking in hot weather conditions.


Travel Towel

A Micro fibre Sports tower is perfect for any road trip. They are fast drying, light and take up little space.



Packing Cubes

Cubes are the best way to organise clothes & accessories. Helps avoid having a messy case.



5. Car Essentials for any road trip P

  • Licence, Tax & Insurance
  • GPS (Google Maps)
  • Spare Key
  • Spare Tire
  • Road Side Assistance
  • A Map

A First Aid Kit

A portable First Aid kit is such a valuable item on any road trip. You never know when it may come it need. And It is always good to be prepared.


Emergency Break Down Kit

No one wants to break down while on a road trip but sometimes these things are impossible to prevent. Therefore, an Emergency Break Down Kit essential to get yourself out of an unwanted sticky situation


Items for the colder months…

  • Snow Chains
  • Windshield De-Icer

6. Camping Gear Packing List for a Road Trip

Those planning on camping while on a road trip, there are an extra few things you need to consider bringing.

A Pillow

This pillow above is ideal as it rolls up into virtually nothing, also super suited for long drive days.


A Sleeping Bag

Again a lightweight one that won’t take up extra space in the luggage & trunk





A Camping Mat

This leads to a much better sleep!


A Cooler

Needed to keep the food cold and refreshed.




Cooking Equipment

If you plan to cook while road tripping. Bringing some of the basic utensils are necessary. This compact set is perfect. And hooks nicely onto bag too!



So this brings us to the end of the Ultimate Road Trip Packing List. All of you planning your road trip adventure be sure to let me know where you are going in the comments below.


Road Trip Packing List
Road Trip Packing List

Be sure to check out my video of my US Coast to Coast travels on my Youtube Channel.


Disclaimer: This post contains Affiliated links, meaning I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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