How to pack for a long road trip

When packing for a vacation, how you are getting there always determines how you get to pack.  Airplanes require being efficient and packing the least amount of items that you can survive with so you don’t have to check your luggage (to avoid fees) or so you don’t have too many bags to check (to avoid even more fees).  With a road trip, what you pack is only restricted by the space that you have available in your used jeeps.


On a road trip you never know how far it will be between populated areas so it is best to be prepared in the case that something happens.  Better to be prepared and nothing happen than not being prepared and ending up stranded on the side of the road.

The following is a list of great items to have in your vehicle before you set out:

First aid kit Spare tire, jack and tire iron Flares Snow chains (depending on the time of year) Gas can Important documents (insurance card, vehicle registration and vehicles owner’s manual)

road trip


If you are traveling a long distance with children, it is a good idea to bring activities for them.  This will make the journey not only more tolerable for the kids; it will also help maintain the sanity of the adults in the vehicle.

Pack items that you know the children will like to do according to their interests.  If you are not sure try the following; portable music players (with headphones), handheld portable games, activity books, crossword puzzles, toys that they play with at home and blank pieces of paper with crayons or color pencils (no markers).

Food Only

You may be wondering why only packing food is being suggested.  There are two reasons behind this.

One, most people like to keep their drinks either hot or cold depending on what they are drinking.  It is impossible to bring along a drink on a road trip for hours later down the road and expect to be able to enjoy it hot and to keep a drink cold you have to pack a cooler with you.  Coolers, from experience, take up much needed space in your car and have to be constantly poured out when the ice melts and then refilled with fresh ice.

Second, stopping to get a nice cold or hot drink gives you an excuse to get out of the car to stretch your legs for a little bit.  You also get to enjoy a drink that is just the right temperature, without having to deal with all the work that is required to make your drink just right.

road trip

Pack Extra Space

The nice thing about a road trip is that you get to take whatever you want with you and bring back all of those great souvenirs that you can’t take on a plane (at least without having to pay to check your bag).  So don’t forget to leave space in your vehicle for all of the new things that you will be bringing back with you from your trip.

One way you can do this is to pack an empty suitcase in the vehicle.  This will not only reserve the space, it will also give you someplace to put the souvenirs without having to rearrange everything and worry about keeping them from getting broken.