Ultimate Summer Road Trip Packing List

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It’s August! Time for that long road trip you’ve been planning all summer.

Getting the car ready is easy – check the oil and tire pressure, fill up any liquids that are low, and boom, you’re good to go.

Packing for the trip, well, that’s not so easy. So many things to consider. For instance, nobody wants to spend time in a laundromat. Cramming the clothes you’ll need into a suitcase or duffel bag is the way to go.

But how do you do it so that everything fits?

National Geographic did a little test. They compared folding vs. rolling, and rolling your clothes won! You get more space to add more stuff when you roll.

Keep in mind, you don’t have to pack a lot of clothes. Use travel-size stain removers for those splotchy bits that show.

Bring clothes that don’t show dirt easily and wear each piece multiple times, or at least until your companions start crying due to the stinky fumes in the car. Don’t forget shoes including closed-toe, flip-flops, and sandals.

Other stuff to bring:

Beach towels

Smaller hand towels

Wet wipes

First aid kit

Reliefbands for all who get carsick or experience other forms of motion sickness, or morning sickness, if one or more of you is pregnant


Chargers for each thing that needs charging including the car

Magic Tank — a product that you put in your tank when you’re running on fumes — Good Housekeeping swears by it

Blankets and pillows

Backpacks (small)

Ziploc bags — the bigger the better for packing electronics or wet things or any of 100 items

Larger plastic trash bags for wet or dirty clothes that can’t be worn another day

Grocery store bags for trash

Cooler, or maybe two — one for cold, one for nonrefrigerated snacks. The cooler keeps snacks from getting crushed

Case of water

Paper map/atlas – GPS isn’t always right, but between the two you’ll get where you’re supposed to go


Tissues, paper towels, toilet paper

Audiobooks/music/books/games and activities for the kids

Preloaded apps: Waze, Around Me, TripIt, Postagram, GasBuddy, HotelTonight, Instagram, Snapchat. Well, there are so many. Add your favs in the comments!

What else? What did we forget? Share your tips in the comments and let’s all have a great August!

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