The Beginner’s Road Trip Packing Guide

We are less than 24 hours away from leaving for the big road trip, and what better way to procrastinate packing than telling everyone else how to pack for a road trip?! In all honestly, I love making lists and packing like a total weirdo, so I thought I’d use my anal-retentive tendencies for good.

Download the entire list, and keeping scrolling for some beginner’s insight. Note: this doesn’t involve food, mostly because we haven’t figured that out yet! I’ll let you know how that pans out once we’re back…

I divvied things up based on how easily you should be able to get to them in the car as well as what activities you’d like to do. Start with showstoppers that you definitely can’t get out of the driveway without – keys, wallet, phone, etc.

Make sure you have some cash with you since you never know what places won’t take cash when you’re in the middle of nowhere. You may also want to consider getting some rolls of quarters so you can stop at a hotel or laundromat to get your clothes clean. If you’re staying at an AirBnb, make sure laundry is available to save yourself this step.

Keep any medical supplies easily accessible in the car, including sunblock (and aloe for when sunblock inevitably fails your pasty ass) and bug spray. If you’re prone to athlete’s foot and will be doing a lot of hiking, throw in some spray or powder to keep that at bay.

Skip commercial first aid kits and buy your own with supplies on Amazon – you’ll spend the same for practically a lifetime supply of items versus a kit with one or two of each. Duct tape is always a good fall back for blisters, and make sure to include your preferred method of splinter removal – I opted for tweezers.

If you have seasonal allergies, pack some Benadryl for the evening. It’s been a lifesaver for when I can’t sleep (due to allergies or screaming children in a neighboring campground).

Calculate how much clothing to bring based on how long you’ll go between access to a washing machine. Always through in a few extra underwear, socks, or even other layers if it’s going to be really hot. Always pack layers for camping – the nights are colder than you think.

Packing extra of the small things like batteries or ways to light a fire (ie matches as a back-up to your lighter) will save you in a pinch since those things never happen when you’re close to civilization.

One last back-up plan (I’m fun aren’t I?). Print out directions to each destination and print your reservation information for campsites. Although I’m speaking as someone who has chosen to use T-Mobile, you never know when you’re going to lose service and not be able to fire the GPS up.

Have I forgotten anything? Let me know in the comments!

 

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