Top 10 Road Trip Essentials

So, for those of us on a tiny budget but born with boots made for walking (or driving, flying, sailing, etc.), booking a last minute plane ticket to some faraway place isn’t exactly realistic. Or responsible. BUT there are plenty of ways to have a mini adventure without having to break the bank! Student loans don’t pay themselves, people. One of my all time favorite excursion types is the ROAD TRIP! Seriously, do you know how far you can go/how much stuff you can do in just one weekend?? I’m going to talk about that in a different post, but for this one, I’m giving you the low down on the things you NEED to keep in your vehicle if you’re going for a loooooong drive.

1. A USB dual port car charger

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got more than one electronic device needing that outlet at a time. Powerpacks, Bluetooth headphones, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, you name it. If it’s a long enough drive, eventually they’re all fighting for a spot. Or, you know, if there’s another person, you miiiight have to share your port. *shudder* It’s just a good idea, folks! This one‘s under $10.

2. Healthy snacks

Don’t get me wrong, I love gas station junk food binges just as much as the next person. But you’ll feel a LOT better if you pack a few healthy snacks to munch on instead. Things like nuts, vegetable/sweet potato chips, and fresh fruits or veggies will end up energizing you AND giving you a few extra dollars in your wallet. I actually wrote a whole post all about my favorite “good for you” munchies!

3. Sunglasses

I know that sounds ridiculous, but you have no idea how many times I’ve gotten in my car for a trip and realized I didn’t pack any sunglasses!! When I came to Dallas a couple of years ago, I was driving straight into the setting sun during rush hour over the bridge and thought I was going to ACTUALLY DIE. Don’t forget the sunnies, guys.

4. Water

Just because you can never be too prepared, I always keep a couple of bottles of H2O in my car on long trips! You never know when you’re going to break down in the middle of nowhere with nothing but the summer sun beating down on your black car. Take my word for it. Water could come in handy. Should that specific situation arise.

5. Cooler

No, it doesn’t have to be an industrial sized one. Just big enough for you to fit some of those veggies and water in! Hehe. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with a little cooler for salad stuff, lunch meat, whatever! I’m all about saving money on road trips. The more food you make, the less you have to buy on the road!

6. Camera (and maybe a tripod)

If you’re like me, you love taking pictures when you travel. Anything can be a photo-op if you believe hard enough. 😉 If you’re on a solo trip, make sure to bring along a tripod! You might also want to snag a remote to avoid the “just pressed the button now have to run and pose and fix my hair and try not to look embarrassed” situation!

7. Cash

It’s always a good idea to keep some cash hidden away somewhere in your vehicle. Whether your debit card gets lost or stolen or you come up on a fresh produce stand that doesn’t take cards, a little cash comes in handy!


Because what good is a road trip without a soundtrack?! I’m a musical theatre geek, so it’s a given that I’m going to listen to Hamilton and/or Dear Evan Hansen at SOME point. I actually share Spotify playlists here, so check it out if you’re looking for some inspo! We’re talking variety, people. There’s something for everyone. Sometimes if I’m not really in the belting mood (let’s be real, that’s pretty much only when I’m sick and my throat’s sore), I like a good audiobook! I rarely have the time to devote my *undivided* attention to reading, so driving is the perfect opportunity to listen to those books I haven’t gotten a chance to read! A couple of my recent favorites are The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

9. Blanket and Pillows

I’m a BIG TIME car sleeper. My sister always talks about how jealous she is that I can sleep literally anywhere. I guess it’s a gift! Even in the summer, a couple of pillows and a blanket are never a bad idea. There’s also this travel pillow I saw Kate from Lonestar Southern use and it looks AMAZING! I’m legitimately getting it next time I’m going on a long trip.

10. A Good Friend

Not to be cheesy, but road trips are just SO MUCH BETTER when you have a travel companion! It’s hard because all of my friends work a 9-5 job 5 days a week, so spur-of-the-moment road trips aren’t usually an option. But who says you can’t go somewhere for the weekend?? Seriously, grab a friend and leave Friday after they get off work! Drive until you find a town that interests you, then find a cheap hotel or sleep in your car. The next day, drive some more! Make as many stops as you want. You don’t have anywhere you have to be! 😉 Anything can be an adventure if you want it to be.

I hope this post got you pumped to go on a road trip SO SOON! I may or may not already be planning my next one… Comment with your next road trip destination!




  • Savanna

    So much yes in one post, especially sleeping in the car + packing your own food + sunnies! I am going on TWO multiple week road trips next year and lists like this have been so helpful in the planning process!

  • Fran

    I love the tips and I really have considered sleeping in my car but are you not worried about safety? Where would/have you slept that you felt the safest?

    • KristiannaLynx

      To be honest, one of the main reasons why I like traveling with someone else is so we can take turns driving – and sleeping! But as far as sleeping somewhere for the night, I’d recommend a well-lit parking lot of a nice hotel! A lot of the time if you talk to the concierge and explain your situation, they’ll be cool with you sleeping in their lot for a few hours. Another option would be the parking lot of the welcome/visitors center of whatever state you’re in! I hope that helps!

  • Taylor

    I love his post so much! My next road trip is to Waco but that’s only 5.5 hours. Barely enough time to listen to the first Mary Poppins book but in a short 10 days I’ll be driving to AR and that will entail a lot of the things you suggested!!! Great post! 💕💕💕

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