Road trips are as American as muscle cars. Good friends, good tunes, and the call of the open road: wherever you’re going, your in for a great time. But you never know what the road will throw at you, so it’s best to be prepared. Here’s our complete guide for the essential items to bring on any road trip to make it an amazing experience you’ll never forget.
You’ll realize very quickly that hitting the highway without a pair of sunglasses is a terrible idea. The sun is fierce in the summer, blasting your retinas with blinding light and radiating off of every car on the road. With this stylish pair of Ray-Bans, however, your eyes will be comfortable and you’ll look like a million bucks. Buy a pair here.
Spending all day on the road is tiring, and with the lull of the engine and the hum of tires on asphalt, your eyelids are bound get heavy. This innovative travel pillow may look unusual, but thousands of highly satisfied customers on Amazon tell it straight: this thing’s incredible. It offers full chin support and is minimally designed so you don’t feel like you’re in a headlock, like you do with a regular travel pillow. Trust us, buy the J Pillow here.
Roadside Emergency Kit
Like it or not, bad things happen, so smart travelers hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. A good roadside emergency kit is a must-have when the unexpected happens. This 42-piece kit from AAA has everything you need in case your car breaks down, you get in an accident, or encounter any other roadside emergency. It comes with a flashlight, jumper cables, first-aid kid, batteries, and of course duct tape. Never leave home without it. Buy one here.
You never know when thunder clouds will roll in and put a damper on your day. That’s why you need an umbrella in your car. This one from LifeTek is big enough to keep you dry and sturdy enough to withstand strong winds, but when you close it, it’s small enough to toss under your seat. Grab one here.
Multi-port car charger
Put a few 20-somethings in a car for hours at a time, and everyone will need to charge their phones or tablets before too long. You’re going to need a multi-port car charger, and this one fits the bill nicely. It’s as small as can be, but it packs four USB ports, so everyone can charge their devices at once. Buy one here.
Summer road trips are all about freedom, and nothing is more liberating than sleeping outdoors. This tent from Coleman sleeps eight, which means it’ll fit a busload of people in a pinch, but it’s nice and spacious when you’re traveling with a lower headcount. It’s a cinch to set up, and its patented WeatherTec System is guaranteed to keep you dry. Buy it here.
You’re exploring the country like Kerouac, Steinbeck, and many others who came before you. The experience is worth reflecting on. Sure, you could record your thoughts on your phone, but experiences like this are better kept in a real notebook, made of paper. No one makes a better notebook than Moleskine. This one is small enough to put in your pocket, it’s made of high quality materials, and it’s tough enough to withstand life on the road. Buy one here.