There are certain things that you just can't road trip without...Ian and I just returned from a 35+ hour trip this weekend, so I made a list of everything we brought and everything we wished we brought! This list covers everything from the obvious essentials to fun suggestions to keep yourself entertained on your next long drive.

1. Car Charger

The most basic of all road trip essentials, and yet, I have forgotten it before. We always use this trusty, cigarette-lighter charger that has two usb ports and charges lightning fast.

2. Aux Cord ~or equivalent

What was once the second-most basic of road trip essentials seems to be going out the window as phones quickly abandon headphone jacks and default to bluetooth. If you're lucky enough to have a headphone jack, get a $5 trusty aux cord. Otherwise, make sure you have a converter or are successfully connected to your car's bluetooth before you hit the road.

3. Phone mount

In many cities, it's now illegal to be on your phone while driving, so it's probably time to get a car mount for your phone anyways- especially if you don't have a DJ / navigator / road trip buddy in your passenger seat. This mount is under twenty bucks and has nearly 15k reviews.

4. Water

Save the world, bring a reusable bottle. While any old bottle will do, you might want to consider the following for long hours behind the wheel:

Built-in Straw - so you don't have to mess with lids

Infuser - so you don't get bored with plain ol' h2o

Oversized - so you don't have to stop for refills

Extra cute - with an extra cute lid, so it catches your eye and reminds you to drink

Spill-proof and insulated - so you're not taking any chances

5. Snacks

Our Snack Rules: easy to eat with your hands, not too messy (I'm looking at you Nature Valley granola bars!), some filling and some just for boredom, and decently healthy so we don't hate ourselves as we sit in a car for hours.

Our Strategy: We try to pack healthy snacks and water ahead of time, and then halfway through the trip, treat ourselves to a piece of candy and coffee, tea, or soda to keep us going!

Mustard pretzels! You can only get them in gas stations and airports so that's my travel treat! -Jamie

6. Gum

Because snacks!

7. Wet wipes and Tide To-Go Pen

Because snacks!

8. The Perfect Road Trip Playlist

Not to be confused with a general perfect playlist- the Road Trip Playlist is special. It needs to be cheerful and feel-good so you can roll the windows down and soak in the sun, and approximately 14 hours later, it needs to be energetic as you try to stay awake under the stars.

Your top recommendations: The Lumineers! The Spice Girls!! Glee anything!!!!!

My recommendation: George Ezra and Spotify Premium- so you don't have to resort to the old burned CDs in the glove compartment when you lose service in Arkansas.

9. Book

As fun as it is to stare out at the beautiful, unfamiliar scenery and jam out to the perfect playlist you made together...sometimes the scenery is just a cornfield and you need to make the time pass. If you "don't like reading," you just haven't found the right book yet.

10. Audiobook

Because you can't read if you're driving! An audiobook can bring a story to life and make time fly by as you get caught up in it. You can listen to anything from Jurassic Park to The Book on Rental Property Investing to Winston Churchill's biography. Or you can just relive Harry Potter all over again.

11. Coloring book

Another way to get your mind off the drive- we all know that coloring books aren't just for kids anymore. You name it, you can color it: Animals and mandalas, Swear words, Lisa Frank, Harry Potter...just don't forget the pencils.

12. A Sense of Humor

Unfortunately, you can't pick this up at Buc-ee's along the way, but it's still 100% necessary when you spend hours locked up with another human and limited means of entertainment. On our most recent road trip, we found that listening to comedy specials of comedians like Nate Bargatze, Brian Regan, and John Mulaney had us in tears from laughing so hard!


I recently found out that Buc-ee's is only in Texas, and frankly, I'm shocked they haven't taken over the world by now. What started as a gas station focusing on cheap ice and clean restrooms, is now a beaver-themed Texas empire. No Texas road trip is complete without Buc-ee's, where you can stop for the cleanest restrooms in America, get a good lunch from the bbq counter, snack on Beaver Nuggets, buy anything from fishing gear to home decor, and if you're lucky, take a picture with Buc-ee the beaver mascot himself.

Good luck on your road trip and stay sane! Let me know in the comments if I forgot any road trip essentials!