30 Essentials for a Long Road Trip

Road trips have always had a timeless appeal. There is just something so liberating about hitting the open road and having the freedom to go wherever your car will take you. They are perfect for exploring the world around you, without watching it go by from 30,000 feet up in the air. But before you drive off into the sunset, make sure you pack these 30 road trip essentials … and remember to call shotgun!


The paperwork:

#1: Licence and registration

Before heading out, make sure you have all the paperwork you need to prove you can legally drive wherever you travel. Some countries require an international driver’s licence, so check with local authorities. Additionally, you will need your car registration to show that you, your passenger, or a friend or family member, own the vehicle.

#2: Car manual

Another key document to have on hand is the car manual. This book provides car safety and maintenance information and how to work vehicle features.

#3: Insurance

Don’t leave home without car and travel insurance. You want to make sure you are protected in case of an accident. Furthermore, car insurance is mandatory if you are driving in Canada or the US. If you are road tripping internationally, you may also need travel insurance.

#4: Printed map

While most of us rely on mobile navigation apps and GPS nowadays, having a printed map as a backup is smart if you lose cell service. Plus, it makes a great souvenir.


The “I hope I never have to use these” essentials:

#5: Spare tire and jack

Road trips have their share of risks including flat tires. Be prepared before you go. Learn how to change a tire and ensure you have a spare tire and jack in the trunk.

#6: Roadside emergency kit

If you do run into issues along the way, your roadside emergency kit will be a welcome addition to your packing list. Typically, it includes

  • jumper cables,
  • tire pressure gauges,
  • flares, washer fluids,
  • oils.

If you plan on heading out in the cold weather, you should also pack:

  • an ice scraper,
  • emergency reflective blanket,
  • hand and feet warmers.

#7: A multi-tool

All the basic tools you need to fix everyday problems in one: from a pocket knife to pliers to a screwdriver to scissor to wire stripper to a file and ruler. It even includes a cork screw!

#8: A first-aid kit

Every car should have a first-aid kit. You can buy premade kits or make your own. In addition to essentials such as plasters, bandages, gauze, tape, alcohol wipes and so on, we recommend adding pain, fever and anti-inflammatory tablets, antacids, antihistamines, medication for upset stomach, and an antibiotic cream.

#9: Flashlight and batteries

Don’t leave home without them. Or, pack a headlamp for its convenience and hands-free use. Perfect for setting up a tent after the sun has set or grilling in the dark!


Traveling with children?

#10: A cuddly, plush companion

Whatever you do, don’t forget to bring a plush animal for comfort! While away from home, your child will need a source of comfort and security. A trip goes outside of their regular routine and usual comfort zone. It is entirely normal that your child may feel a little unsettled. The plush animal will help ground them. The Magic Bag Warmys are the perfect companions for your child during your trip. What’s more, they can be cooled or heated to soothe any bumps, bruises, or tummy aches at the same time.

#11: Entertainment – Games and toys

If you want to avoid the ‘are we there yet’ question on repeat, we recommend bringing along some sources of entertainment for the children. Here are some ideas:

  • Reusable sticker booklets
  • Crayons and coloring books
  • Activity books
  • Reading books
  • Colorful paper for origami
  • Compact board games
  • Tablet with seat mount so they can watch a show / movie
  • Guessing game

And if you can, sit and play with them.

The technology:

#12: Chargers and adapters

Our mobile phones are our connection to the outside world. From our music to podcasts to email to navigation apps, it is hard to imagine going anywhere without them. If you have other electronics like laptops and tablets, you can get a car adapter with USB ports to have everything charged for when you need it.

#13: USB cable

Most electronics, including cameras and Wi-Fi hotspots, require a USB cable to charge. Remember to pack one or two along with your car adapter and chargers.

#14: Navigation apps

In addition to your daily navigation apps, download reliable apps with offline features in case you lose cell service. Apps like or The Dwyrt are great options.


For in-car comfort:

#15: A travel pillow and blanket

There are some great compact yet comfortable travel pillows and blankets that are perfect for catching some Z’s in the car.

#16: Slippers/flip flops

Having slippers or flip flops on hand is great for getting comfy and kicking off your shoes. We like ones with hard soles, so you won’t mind getting out of the car at pit stops.

#17: Sunglasses

A good polarized pair of sunglasses are a driver’s and passenger’s best friend!

#18: Chap stick

All that air conditioning can really dry out the air in the car. Keep lips moisturized with a good chap stick.

#19: Sunhat, sunscreen, and bug spray

For your summer road trips, pack a lightweight sunhat and high-quality sunscreen with SPF30 or higher to keep you protected from the sun and heat. A must if you plan on stopping at the beach or going on hikes. And don’t forget the bug spray!

#20: Travel towel

Travel towels are compact and quick drying, which make them ideal for freshening up. And great to have on hand if you spill something.

#21: Hand sanitizer

Not all rest stops or camp site washrooms have hand sanitizer or soap, so packing an extra bottle is a must.

#22: TP and tissue

Again, as you may make pit stops in remote areas, packing a roll of toilet paper and a box of tissues is crucial!

#23: Garbage bags

“Leave no trace” along the way and pack a few extra garbage bags. We are fans of the compostable ones as the rolls are easy to pack and they are better for the planet.

#24: Reusable totes

Reusable totes always come in handy. For snack stops, groceries, souvenir shopping, or even a roadside picnic.


For your entertainment:

#25: Playlists, podcasts and audiobooks

Set the soundtrack to your road trip with great playlists. Create your own with apps like Spotify and Apple Music or save your favourites for easy listening. You can also binge listen to your favourite podcasts or download the latest crime thriller to keep you entertained.


Food and drink:

#26: Snacks

Nobody wants to spend time with a hangry driver … or passenger. Make sure you pack plenty of healthy snacks that are high in fibre and protein. We love nuts, bananas, apples, baby carrots, and trail mix. A little junk food is okay too … after all you are on vacation.

#27: Gum and mints

Road trip food can leave a bad taste in your mouth. Keep breath fresh with sugarless gum or mints. In addition, chewing gum after a meal helps prevent tooth decay and other oral health issues.

#28: Travel mug/thermos and reusable water bottle

In addition to keeping your drink hot for hours, a thermos or travel mug make it easy to do your part by keeping single-serve cups out of the landfill! Ditto for the reusable water bottle. Plus, it’s super important to stay hydrated on long road trips.

#29: Collapsible containers

Store snacks and leftovers in containers to keep them fresh. We love the collapsible silicone ones as they pack compact when you are not using them.


For your health:

#30: Comfy Supporo compression socks

Spending long periods sitting and being inactive is not great for your leg health. To avoid leg aches and heavy legs and promote better blood circulation, slip on a pair of our comfy compression socks. We are fans of merino wool compression socks as this natural fibre is great in both the heat and the cold. A definite must for any long road trip!

Sitting in the car for prolonged periods can lead to poor blood circulation, especially in the legs. Whether you suffer from leg health issues such as heavy legs, swelling, or leg aches, or not, compression socks make a great travel companion. Learn more about the benefits of wearing compression socks and get your pair today at