30 Road Trip Essentials You Shouldn't Hit the Highway Without (2024)

30 Road Trip Essentials You Shouldn't Hit the Highway Without (1)

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Whether you're itching to take the whole family on a budget-friendly road trip, go on a solo adventure, or just prefer driving over flying (especially as we continue to weather the global pandemic)—a little preparation is the key to a hassle-and-drama-free car ride.

When it comes to road trips, helpful tools span the gamut from utilitarian things like maps, backseat garbages, and roof racks to extend the useable space, to health and wellness items like anti-nausea medication and hand sanitizer to keep you healthy, to amusing add-ons like a handheld video game console and a Polaroid camera for entertainment.

To help you come up with the ultimate packing list, we've compiled more than two dozen road trip essentials that will make your travels safer (and more fun!), regardless of whether you're headed to the beach 10 hours from home or embarking on a multi-week cross-country journey. There are plenty of gadgets and gizmos for everyone in the family—couples, kids, toddlers, tweens, and even dogs. So before you strap in, besides your road trip playlist and travel-friendly snacks, make sure you have these ready to go.

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1

For Solo Road Trips

APEMAN Dash Cam 1080P FHD DVR Car Driving Recorder

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1

For Solo Road Trips

APEMAN Dash Cam 1080P FHD DVR Car Driving Recorder

In the event of an accident, a dash cam—a dashboard-mounted camera—ensures you have the proof you need to show you weren't at fault. And bonus:Sometimes your insurance company will even give you a break on your monthly premium just for owning one.

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2

For Couples

Huzi Infinity Pillow

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2

For Couples

Huzi Infinity Pillow

Now 10% Off

To ensure safety on the road, it's important to take breaks every two hours, saysa senior program manager for the NationalSafetyCouncil. For couples traveling together, take turns driving withyour co-pilot and prepare to comfortably snooze with this fluffy infinity pillow wrapped around your neck.

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3

Amazon's Choice

Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover

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3

Amazon's Choice

Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover

Spills happen, but having this small and mighty stain stick handy will help ensure you don't have ketchup on the front of your shirt when you reach your destination.

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4

For Emergencies

General Medi Mini First Aid Kit

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4

For Emergencies

General Medi Mini First Aid Kit

Now 31% Off

It's wise to have a first-aid kit on hand in case of emergency so that a little cut or a jammed finger doesn't ruin the fun. This mini kit includes nearly 100 hospital-grade supplies, including band-aids and antiseptic, but is easy to stash in a glove compartment or center console.

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Though you might not initially think you need a physical map—that's what the GPS on your phone is for—Redditors say it's a must-have, since technology and, particularly phone service, can fail.

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6

Nintendo Switch

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This compact game console (it's just 6.2 inches!) will provide endless hours of fun in the car for kids and adults alike.

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7

LittlePartyDesigns Custom Photo Air Freshener

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7

LittlePartyDesigns Custom Photo Air Freshener

Okay, so it's not technically an "essential," but these whimsical custom-made air fresheners that come in nine unique scents can be personalized with any photo you like, so even if your toddlerisn't along on the journey, she'll always feel close.

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8

For Cross Country Trips

Beam Electronics Universal Smartphone Car Air Vent Mount

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8

For Cross Country Trips

Beam Electronics Universal Smartphone Car Air Vent Mount

Taking your eyes off the road—even briefly—can have dire consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, looking down for even 5 seconds when you're going 55 mphis like driving the equivalent of a football field with your eyes closed. If you count on your phone's GPS to guide you, this smartphone mount will help you focused straight ahead.

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9

For Family Road Trips

PALMOO Seat Back Organizer

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9

For Family Road Trips

PALMOO Seat Back Organizer

These organizers feature spots to cradle a tissue box, cup holders, and more to setbackseat passengers up for a comfortable ride. It also has space to fit an iPad if you're looking toprovide endless entertainment for kids.

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10

For Cross Country Trips

High Road StashAway Car Trash Can with Lid and Storage Pockets

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10

For Cross Country Trips

High Road StashAway Car Trash Can with Lid and Storage Pockets

Now 35% Off

Any good road trip includes plenty of snacks, especially for kids, but all those wrappers need not end up on the floor. Hook this portable leak-prooftrash can onto the back of the center console to keep your car tidy en route.

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11

For Long Drives

S'well Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

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11

For Long Drives

S'well Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

When the hot summer sun is beating in your windows and thirst strikes, the miles between rest stops can feel extra long. Alternatively, if you're roadtripping through the cold winter months, there's nothing like having a steamy beverage in your hands.This water bottle, which keeps liquid cold for up to 24 hours—or hot for 12!—will help you stay hydrated throughout your journey.

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12

For National Park Trips

Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler

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12

For National Park Trips

Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler

Whether you're planning to stop for a picnic or simply want to bring some perishable snacks along for the ride, this cooler plugs into your car's dash to keep food and drinks as cool as 36 degrees—no ice required.

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13

Dramamine All Day Less Drowsy Motion Sickness Relief

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13

Dramamine All Day Less Drowsy Motion Sickness Relief

Now 34% Off

If you have a long 10-hour drive ahead of you, but are prone to motion sickness, this non-drowsy formula may provide some relief.

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14

For Families

HOTOR Car Vacuum Cleaner

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14

For Families

HOTOR Car Vacuum Cleaner

It's not easy to eat in the car especially if you have a toddler in tow, but once you've finished lunch, you don't have to sit in a bed of potato chip crumbs for the rest of the ride. This compact, but high-powered vacuum plugs into your dash to assist with quick clean-ups.

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15

TOZO T6 True Wireless Earbuds

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15

TOZO T6 True Wireless Earbuds

Now 37% Off

Traveling with an angsty tween or teen? Give them their own set of Bluetooth headphones to help keep the peace during your journey.

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16

For Babies And Toddlers

Charmin Freshmates Flushable Wet Wipes

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16

For Babies And Toddlers

Charmin Freshmates Flushable Wet Wipes

Now 19% Off

Hands covered in French fry grease? Need to wipe your toddler's face?Or maybe the rest stop is out of toilet paper? Either way, these flushable wipes will do just the trick.

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17

For Couples

Vietnamese Coffee Portable Pour Overs

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17

For Couples

Vietnamese Coffee Portable Pour Overs

Now 27% Off

Don't settle for subpar coffee from any old rest stop; stash these packets in your glove compartment instead. Simply drape the origami-style pouch over your thermos, filter water through, and add the condensed milk to your liking for barista-style coffee—no special tools required.

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18

For Solo Road Trip

InnoGear Car Diffuser

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18

For Solo Road Trip

InnoGear Car Diffuser

Fill this USB powered diffuser with your favoriteessential oilsto help relax, refresh, and rejuvenate on a long drive cross country.

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19

FieryRed Car Roof Bag Cargo Carrier

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19

FieryRed Car Roof Bag Cargo Carrier

Now 58% Off

If your car is jam-packed, free up valuable space byadding a cargo bag to the roof to stowanything you won't need enroute. This waterproof soft-sided carrier is a great option, since you don't need any special roof racks for installation.

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20

SABRENT Portable USB Hub

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20

SABRENT Portable USB Hub

Like an extension cord for your USB-powered devices (smartphones, e-readers, and more), this small gadget provides ample space to power up, soyou and your passenger won't have to squabble over who needs the charger more.

30 Road Trip Essentials You Shouldn't Hit the Highway Without (2024)

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