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Road trip essentials: The ultimate packing checklist for your adventure


Few people like to pack their bags, even if they have an exciting journey ahead. Start preparing for the trip in advance, there are things that are not done the night before departure. These include: issuing bank cards, buying currency, choosing an international communication tariff, copying documents, washing clothes, and buying medicines. Make a list of things and pack them properly. Act according to the plan and then you will have time for everything and will not forget anything.

The list of necessary things for the trip

To maintain lists, there are ready-made interactive tables with standard options, you can create your own Excel spreadsheet and save it on your computer or use a mobile application. I write the lists by hand on an A4 sheet, mark what I have collected with pluses, and cross out what I don’t need. Do what is convenient for you, the main thing is that you can not only look at your list but also interact with it. A well-written list will be useful to you on every trip. I have two basic lists: summer and winter, there are not many differences between them, because the principle is the same – all things are divided into categories.

Documents and money

It is better to keep money and documents separate. Keep them with you or in your hand luggage, do not put them in your luggage! It is advisable to have important information (contacts, reservations) not only in electronic form but also in paper form.

  • Save copies of all passports on a virtual disk (Yandex, Google), you can make copies.
  • Medical insurance (online policy is more reliable in electronic form)
  • Air tickets. Print boarding passes at online check-in
  • Driver’s license, international driver’s license. If you are driving your car: documents for the car, green card insurance
  • Hotel reservations, apartment confirmations, and other types of accommodation
  • Your notes: route, phone numbers, addresses, contacts
  • Money on credit cards, cash in foreign currency. Divide it into several parts and put it in different places


For chronic diseases, take the medications that your doctor prescribed for you. For carrying in hand luggage, it is advisable to have recipes.

  • From the headache;
  • Painkillers;
  • From an upset stomach;
  • From spasms;
  • Aspirin;
  • Bactericidal patch;
  • Hygienic lipstick.

Personal hygiene items

You should not take large packages, they weigh a lot and can leak into your luggage. If any of the cleaning supplies run out, you will always buy them on the spot.

  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste;
  • Razors and shaving products;
  • Hairbrush;
  • Wet wipes and disposable handkerchiefs;
  • Shampoo, shower gel, soap. Give preference to 2-in-1 products and single packs. Keep in mind that in most hotels it will all be in the room;
  • Deodorant;
  • Manicure accessories (nail file, scissors). Manicure-pedicure and other procedures should be done before the trip;
  • Decorative cosmetics. Lipstick/lip gloss, sustainable mascara, small mirror;
  • Hair clips, elastic bands;
  • Creams that you use;


Before the trip, check and charge all devices, and clear the memory. Do not forget to take chargers, additional batteries, accumulators, and adapters.

  • Mobile phone. Set a favorable tariff plan for the duration of the trip. Be sure to charge your phone in advance. Sometimes the road and the journey itself can be long, so download movies, e-books, and games to your phone, for example, the Betamo. This is an application with the best online games that are available anywhere in the world. So even if you go to a distant island in the middle of the ocean, you can have a lot of fun online;
  • Camera/video camera with memory card;
  • Laptop, tablet (if you need them);
  • When traveling by car, a navigator with downloaded maps. It can be replaced with a tablet or smartphone;
  • Hair dryer (if not in the hotel and you use it).


Take complementary items: several T-shirts to one pair of trousers and shorts. One headdress, one pair of street shoes, a jacket, a sweater, etc. Give preference to comfortable clothes, do not take high heels, evening dresses, and jewelry. Leave a place for shopping in your suitcase.

  • Several changes of underwear;
  • Addresses according to the season;
  • Outdoor shoes and slippers. Do not take a new pair that has not yet been worn, you can rub your feet with it. In the cold season, it is very important that the shoes do not get wet, so treat them with a special product;
  • A swimsuit or swimming trunks for a beach holiday, or a visit to the pool or sauna.


Things that don’t fall into the category, for example:

  • Umbrella;
  • Corkscrew;
  • Watch;
  • Small souvenirs for new friends;
  • Travel Guide;
  • Toothpicks;
  • Folding knife.

Packing process

When all the things are laid out, you can start collecting them. Divide things into 2 parts: what you will carry with you (hand luggage) and what you will put in your luggage.

In your hand luggage you need to take: money, documents, equipment (phones, camera, laptop and further down the list, no charging needed), the most necessary medicines, personal hygiene products, a notebook and a pen. If you are flying by plane, then there should be nothing sharp and liquid in your hand luggage. Grab a small book or magazine to read on the road.

A suitcase should never be hammered to the stop. Firstly, you may have an advantage (most airlines have a baggage allowance of up to 20 kg per unit of baggage). Secondly, it will be inconvenient for you to search for your belongings or get them at the request of a customs officer. Thirdly, you will not have room for souvenirs and other purchases.

Pack all liquids in tight bags, and distribute clothes, shoes, and the rest of the contents evenly, most suitcases have a special pocket for underwear. Many people advise me to roll clothes into rolls, so I stack them, filling the gaps with hosiery. Put a folding bag with a zipper on top, if overweight, you can put some things in it, and then use it for trips to the beach or shopping.

There are always things that need to be put in at the last moment: house keys, phone, food for the road. Mark them in your list separately so you don’t forget. To protect the suitcase from dirt and mechanical damage, you can wrap it with a film or buy a beautiful cover, with it your suitcase will be visible on the luggage belt.

A list of required things for a comfortable trip by car

If you decide to travel by car, then here is another additional list. He will help you prepare the car for a long train ride. Good preparation will help you make your trip safer, calmer, and more comfortable.

  • All necessary documents for the car. Be sure to check the validity of your rights, and insurance policy;
  • Spare wheel and jack. I think many people always have a spare tire, but it never hurts to check its integrity before a trip;
  • Fire extinguisher, toolbox (including tow hook and cable), and consumables (e.g. wipers, headlight bulbs, flashlight);
  • Fuel reserve in the canister. At least 5 liters. On some routes, there were gas stations where the fuel ran out, and the new one would only be in the morning. And if you are planning a trip abroad, it is better to take more fuel, because sometimes refueling there will be decently more expensive;
  • Blankets, pillows, including pillows under the driver’s neck, a pouf under his feet (if the car allows), a massage cape for the driver – it’s more comfortable and cozy to travel;
  • Stock up on snacks for the road: lollipops, nuts, dried fruits, crackers, vegetables – fruits – berries;
  • And make a supply of water for drinking and technical needs;
  • Download movies, cartoons, and playlists in advance. The radio on the highway catches very poorly and very rarely;
  • Throw a few rags into the tools and into the salon, which you do not mind throwing away after use.

What should always be nearby when traveling by car?

When traveling by car, some things should always be easily accessible to the driver and passengers.

  • Wires for charging the necessary gadgets;
  • A small amount of cash for various expenses. For example, to buy a fresh snack;
  • Wet and dry wipes;
  • Antibacterial hand remedy;
  • Toilet paper + wet toilet paper (not always available in roadside toilets);
  • Eye drops (after a few hours of driving, the eyes may get tired);
  • Food bags (it is convenient to use for small debris in the car, for example, for apple cores);
  • Garbage bags (if you plan to have picnics);
  • Headphones;
  • Sleep mask and earplugs (for passengers).

Final thoughts

Preparing for a road trip involves more than just filling up your car and hitting the road. It’s about careful planning and packing to ensure everything goes smoothly. Before you depart, ensure you have taken care of the essentials like issuing bank cards, buying currency, setting up international communication tariffs, copying important documents, washing clothes, and buying necessary medicines.

Follow this list from this article or make your own based on this article. The list will help you not to forget anything and create a calm atmosphere on the trip. Thank you for reading this article. We hope it was useful to you. Enjoy your vacation!


DISCLAIMER – “Views Expressed DisclaimerViews and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the official position of any other author, agency, organization, employer or company, including NEO CYMED PUBLISHING LIMITED, which is the publishing company performing under the name Cyprus-Mail…more


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