How to Pack For a Long Road Trip

A road trip can be an exciting prospect, whether it’s for a touring holiday or as a means to reaching a single far-off destination.

Maybe it’s something you’ve done many times before, or maybe it’s your first big driving-related adventure having finally torn off the L-plates, seen off the supervised driving and swotted up for the driving theory test to take possession of that full driving license.

Preparation is Key

In order to make the most of your trip and enjoy it to the full, thinking ahead and packing for comfort and convenience will make a big difference.


Cases and bags: firstly, think of the space in the car. If you can use softer duffel-type bags and hold-alls rather than hard cases, you’ll have more room in the boot.

Chargers: don’t forget in-car chargers for you and your passengers’ electronic gadgets such as iPods, mobile phones and tablets. It’s worth investing in a charger with multiple sockets so more than one device can be charged – and a ‘generic’ charger rather than one made by your device manufacturer is fine.

First aid: you never know when even a small plaster could come in handy for the odd nick or scrape. Make sure your kit is fully stocked and up to date (if it’s an older one that hasn’t been used for a while). Don’t forget a few other handy items such as a pair of small scissors.

Cleaning up: wet wipes are ideal for general cleaning up. Don’t forget plenty of tissues or maybe a few kitchen rolls – a roll or two of loo paper isn’t a bad idea just in case a rest room isn’t so well stocked.

Maps and sat nav: a sat nav system is a must these days, but you’ll still need a humble paper map or road atlas as a back up if you lose signal or charge.

Car equipment: don’t forget basic essentials such as a break down safety kit, replacement bulbs and jump leads as shown here.

Clothing: think of clothing to travel in and clothes that will be appropriate and flexible for when you stop off or reach journey’s end. Avoid tight fitting clothing such as skinny jeans to travel in; looser and lighter clothing is better – you can always add layers if required.

A useful tip is to choose a few coordinated colors for all clothing. That way, more of what you bring will match thus covering most eventualities such as weather conditions or spills en route.

Comfortable shoes are important – feet can swell a little on long car journeys, so looser fitting footwear is best. If you’re driving, beware of too-loose fitting shoes though, you can’t afford to slip off the pedals.

Entertainment: audio books are better than paper books or Kindles. Long periods reading in a moving car can induce travel sickness.

Stock up your iPod and advise traveling companions to do the same – it’s surprising how a road trip can eat up even the most varied music collection.

Food and drink: avoid messy snacks and drinks. It’s far better to drink bottled water than sticky fruit juices from a potential spillage point of view. Similarly, cereal bars and harder fruits such as apples are a good idea.

Rubbish bin: a flexible car bin or even a plastic bag is advisable as the car can soon become rubbish-strewn on a long trip.

Finally, take plenty of breaks and enjoy the trip!

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