My Road Trip Essentials

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Happy Monday! I just got back from a road trip last night and I’ve been going on a lot this fall for various reasons, so I thought I’d share my road trip essentials with y’all. I know some people hate driving in the car for long periods of time, but I absolutely love it. Everyone in my family enjoys road tripping—that’s our “thing”—and it’s such a great time to catch up, especially after everyone starts spreading out for college. It’s also a great time to be reminded of how annoying your siblings can be. 😉 Anyways, read on for some great items to pack for your next adventure.

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Cheetos. I don’t know why, but I’ve been slightly obsessed with Cheetos lately. They’re just so cheesy and delicious. 🙂 If you don’t like Cheetos, then obviously you can grab whatever snack you like (Cheese-Its? Swedish Fish? These were also top contenders.)

Movies. Way-back-when before car DVD players were a thing, we used to bring a small, portable DVD player and prop it up on a milk crate, which we strapped to the middle console between the driver and passenger seats. We were committed. Nowadays, some cars come with little TVs or you can watch movies on your laptop/phone. However you do it, movies are a great way to pass the time.

A Travel Journal. I highly, highly recommend getting yourself a travel journal where you can write down all the fun stuff you do on your trips. My mom helped me start one way back in 2004 and I’m so glad she did! Now I can go back and reminisce on all the cool trips I’ve been on. It’s just a neat thing to have, especially when you’re older and want to share those memories with your own kids.

Apples. I always like to bring some fruit on my road trips to balance out all the unhealthy snacks. Apples are good because they don’t get super squishy easily and they don’t leak a lot of juice. While I love bananas, I wouldn’t recommend bringing any because they turn brown so easily and then make the whole car/all the food smell and taste like banana.

Sunglasses. You should probably bring sunglasses everywhere, both for the style and the good that they do for your eyes, but they’re especially important on road trips. The sun always finds a way to annoyingly beat down on your face as you’re in the car. Sunglasses can help fight some of that annoyance (and make you less squinty in photos–guilty).

A tiny pillow. This one is obvious. Car naps. Enough said.

Your favorite blanket. Bringing a blanket is a great idea also because cars can get really chilly, and blankets just make the ride ten times more snuggly.

Gum. Let’s say you stop for lunch and someone in your car eats a bunch of garlic. You’re going to want some gum to get you through the rest of that car ride.

A water bottle. I’m pretty bad at this, but you should always be hydrating during a road trip. It’s best to bring a plastic or metal reusable water bottle so that you can refill it for the car ride back.

CDs. Call me old fashioned, but I still like to listen to CDs. Lately I’ve been jamming to Ed Sheeran’s Divide. CDs are the best for when you’re driving through a place with no service and your iPod is dead (happened to me yesterday).

Your iPod (and aux cord). More music! Good music makes for a great road trip. If your car has it, bring an aux cord so you can plug your iPod into the speakers.

Wet wipes. Wet wipes are always a great idea. I end up spilling/getting sticky/needing to wash my hands all the time during road trips, so wet wipes are a good thing to have on hand.

Braided hair. Okay, so this isn’t an item that you pack, but I always try to French braid my hair on road trips for two reasons. My hair seems to get greasy twice as fast in the car, so by pulling it back, I can prevent some of that. And you want your hair down so you can get super comfortable. Do not put your hair in a bun or ponytail because then it will awkwardly hit your seat and keep your head forward. No fun.

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I hope you enjoyed reading through these road trip must-haves! What do you have to bring on a trip? Do you like long car rides? Let me know in the comments!


Miles of smiles,



Blue Plaid Flannel: hand-me-down, originally from American Eagle // Red Quilted Vest: Francesca’s, bought on sale for $20 // Black Skinny Pants: hand-me-down // White Athletic Sneakers: Soccer Etc., $60

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