Lists are a lifesaver whenever you are planning a trip, be it things to pack, attractions to check out or local specialties to try out. So we got our heads together to come up with an extensive road trip packing list for you. What you pack depends on the destination, time of the year and number of days you are travelling, amongst other things.
When you are packing for a road trip though, there are certain essential things you should remember to pack to make your time on the road fun and comfortable. So here we go with the road trip packing list essentials by ScoutMyTrip.
Road Trip Packing List Essentials
1. Medical Kit
Besides the usual first aid items like Band Aid, crepe bandage etc., pack specific medicines that your fellow travelers and you might need. Remember to also pack motion sickness meds, anti-allergens, antacids and ORS, for the minor health issues. These are very essential to any road trip packing list.
2. Car Emergency Kit
A lot of car companies now provide roadside assistance and there are always repair shops along the Indian highways. It does help to pack an emergency kit with the basic tools, puncture repair kit, car jack and jumper cables, to have them handy in case of an emergency breakdown.
Here are some items to be kept at all times in the Car Emergency Kit
- Duct tape & WD40
- Extra wiper shamoo, engine oil, engine coolant and some brake fluid
- A set of combination spanners, a crescent wrench or pliers, multiple tip screwdriver and a hex key set (also called ellenki pana set)
- Roadside reflective warning signs
- Spare belts (alternator, fan and air conditioner belts)
- Stepney or a spare tyre. Always check this before hitting the road, and try and fill this with nitrogen gas instead of the normal air. Nitrogen sticks around longer, and a safer bet for a wheel you might not use too often.
3. Multi-port USB car charger and USB cables
There is nothing worse than discharged phones/tablets when you are on the road, especially when your maps and entertainment are on them. Having USB Cables helps you charge up the electronics on Power Banks and then charge your Power banks while you are in the car. These are most often forgotten items in a road trip packing list.
4. Wet wipes / Hand Sanitizers / Liquid soap
It’s easy to map rest rooms on your road trip route using ScoutMyTrip. How well-equipped these rest rooms are, is not anybody’s guess. So it would definitely help to carry your own cleaning wipes and soap. It also helps to clean up any spills and messes in the car.
It’s necessary to always have enough water bottles in your car. Although mineral water is now available in most roadside stops, do not completely depend on them and keep a tab on the water stock in the car. In our recent road trip to Ladakh, we actually carried 50 liters of water in the Scorpio.
Roadside restaurants and dhabas offer some of the best food experiences. However, it is not always possible to make a pit stop. So make sure you pack enough snacks and drinks and also replenish them when you make stops for food. These are again very crucial for the perfect road trip packing list! You can also read about our post on road trip food to keep you going!
7. Plastic bags that seal / Shower cap
Good quality plastic bags are useful in keeping humidity and insects out of your eatables, toiletries and other knick-knacks. Shower caps can be used to cover shoes to protect your car interiors from dust & mud your shoes carry in. This was mentioned as part of our article about Road Trip Hacks as well. So check that out too!
8. Disposable glasses, spoons & plates
Pack a bag with napkins, paper cups, disposable wooden spoons cutlery and paper plates. You might even find disposable plates made completely of dried leaves in certain cities. It’s Indian innovation at it’s eco-friendly best! This is especially helpful when traveling with kids and when you are carrying snacks / food from home. Did you know we carried around 100 paper plates, spoons and disposable containers for our Ladakh road trip?
9. Sunscreen / Moisturizer
You will be spending a long time outdoors on a road trip. While it will help you up your dose of Vitamin D, do keep a sunscreen handy in the car. Also the constant air-conditioning in the car may dry your skin, so it helps to keep your skin constantly moisturized. This item on the road trip packing list is somehow the most forgotten item. We recommend you keep a bag handy with this and other cosmetics mentioned in one separate bag which you can just dump. Like the ‘first-cosmetic kit’.
These days, we tend to depend on the camera torch for help. What you need to carry on a road trip is a high power flashlight fitted with a new set of batteries. Another must in the road trip packing list.
11. Towels, pillows, bed sheets
During a road trip, you end up spending a lot of time in the car. So it’s best to make yourself as comfortable as possible for the long hours. Also these things prove extremely helpful, in the unforeseen circumstance that you end up sleeping in your car
12. Specs/contact lens
Never forget to pack an extra pair of specs/contact lens, especially if you are driving.
13. Music Playlist
Have you ever kicked yourself for hitting the road and not being prepared with a playlist already? Take some time off and make a road trip playlist with the right moods and we promise you it will make a whole lot of difference! In fact apps like Wynk, Saavn, Gaana also have curated road trip playlists but don’t rely on them too much! Here is a road trip playlist we have made for you!
14. Reading Material or a Kindle
We all have some time once in a while on a road trip. So for those quiet moments, why do you want to miss out on reading some books? A kindle doesn’t cost too much these days, and it makes for a perfect companion for every road trip packing list!
15. Pen, Pencil and Notepad
Often forgotten as part of the road trip packing list, these are great to just jot down notes which you can refer to later or someone else you may know.
16. Maps and Directions (Preferably offline)
On ScoutMyTrip, you have a road trip planner with stops, petrol pumps, eating joints, attractions and much more. Just head to the planner and save it, and download the itinerary for easy offline navigation. Just give it a try and make it part of your road trip packing list.
17. Loose change and cash
While there has been a movement towards cashless modes of payment, its good to carry cash and change always. One thing we do before every road trip, is to start accumulating change we can give at tolls a week before. Having smaller currency makes your exit at tolls faster for you, and better for others. Remember, not everyone has a road trip packing list like yours to plan the road trip better, do they? 🙂
18. Miscellaneous box
When you are on the road, you realise that there are lot of small things that you never thought you might need. Safety pins, paper clips, rubber bands, toothpicks, matchbox/lighter, pens, notepad are just some of those things. You can pack these items into a cookie tin or a medicine box and keep them handy
So summarizing the entire list for the road trip packing list
- Medical Kit
- Car Emergency Kit
- Multi-port USB car charger and USB cables
- Wet wipes / Hand Sanitizers / Liquid soap
- Plastic bags that seal / Shower cap
- Paper glass, spoons & plates
- Sunscreen / Moisturizer
- Towels, pillows, bed sheets
- Specs/contact lens
- Music Playlist
- Reading Material or a Kindle
- Pen, Pencil and Notepad
- Maps and Directions (Preferably offline)
- Loose change and cash
- Miscellaneous box