12 Things You’ll Need for a Smooth Road Trip

Published on: May 17, 2021fb-roundtwitter-roundemail-round
Skimm Picks Road Trip HeaderDesign: Lindsay Lange, Credit: Amazon

If you’re itching for a getaway this year, we get you. Hitting the open road with your crew is a great way to see new places. Plus it's a good alternative to flying if you're just not comfortable enough yet. Of course we recommend packing the essentials: hand sanitizers, masks, and disinfectant wipes (just in case). 

We also recommend planning stops ahead of time (looking into food and overnight accommodations, and toll situations). To help you with packing needs, we rounded up some products to stow in your car. Wherever you choose to go, always wear a seatbelt and remember that life is, indeed, a highway.

For more helpful tips, check out the CDC’s considerations for travel.

Trunk Organizer
For when everyone throws a bag in the trunk with zero order…

Organize via cube. So you don’t have a Jenga situation going on. You can keep smaller items grouped together. Or you can designate a cubby to each passenger. Easy peasy. ($34.99, The Container Store)

Buy it

Escape Tool
For when you want to start the road trip on the right foot…

Remember, safety first. This tool can cut seatbelts and break windows. Just in case of an emergency. Because you should always be prepared when hitting the road. No excuses. ($11.99/2 pack, Amazon)

Buy it

screen-free activity backpack for kids during travel
An backpack filled with screen-free activities that'll keep kids occupied...

It includes a magnetic cube set with a magnetic pad, a journal, gel crayons, dry-erase mazes with markers, and something to organize it all. The backpack is made from durable neoprene fabric, with lots of pockets for snacks, other toys, and a water bottle. Your kids will be busy in the backseat as you drive. ($165, ternPaks)

Buy it

reusable food storage bags
For when you want your sandwich to be fresh, not soggy...

Use reusable bags. These are leakproof. So you can pack whatever you want without it getting waterlogged. Dig in. ($20.69/24 pack, Amazon)

Buy it

utility organizer with customizable sections
A utility organizer that can hold random items...

With eight adjustable dividers, you can place weirdly shaped items into the container without them rattling around. You can fully customize the sections, making room for batteries, a mini flashlight, and more. ($21.99, Wayfair)

Buy it

Cooler Bag
For when you get a bit hangry a couple hours into the drive…

Reenergize with a meal. This cooler has an insulated, leakproof inside that can keep items cold for 36 hours. And a dry pocket for napkins and utensils. Once you’re done, it can fold flat. So it won’t take up space in your trunk. Violá. ($34.99+, Amazon)

Buy it

Car Charger
For when the entire crew wants to charge their phone at the same time…

Split the juice. And charge five devices at once. No matter the type. Yes, Androids included. ($19.99, Amazon)

Buy it

For when you need to sneeze while highway cruisin’…

Grab a tissue. Right from your car’s cup holder. So you don’t need to use the inside of your elbow. Aka, less germs floating around. A clean car is a happy car. ($15.99+/4 pack, Amazon)

Buy it

Roadside Kit
For when the ‘check engine’ light comes on halfway through the drive…

Pull over. This emergency duffle comes packed with road trip must-haves. Like a first aid kit, jumper cables, tow strap, flashlight, and more. Sigh of relief sold separately. ($39.95, Amazon)

Buy it

Toilet Seat
For when the only restroom in sight looks a bit dirty…

Cover the seat. And maybe hold your breath. These covers are sticky so they’ll stay in place. So you won’t have to hold a squat while you go. Save leg day for later. ($24.99, Amazon)

Buy it

Car Garbage
For when you’ve got a sea of wrappers sitting below your feet…

Collect your trash. You can attach this mini garbage to the back of your passenger seat. So you’ll have a place to put chewed gum and used napkins. P.S. throwing stuff in the back doesn’t count. Stop doing that. ($11.99, Amazon)

Buy it

Neck Pillow (copy)
For when leaning your head against the window isn’t an option…

Pack a pillow. This one will provide support, but can be rolled into a ball when not in use. It’s also lightweight, so adding it to your backpack will be no big deal. Sweet dreams. ($60, Uncommon Goods)

Buy it

PS: These are editorially selected, but if you purchase, theSkimm may get something in return. PPS: If something’s out of stock, oops, it was there when we published. And prices were accurate, too.

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Skimm'd by Alexandra Napoli, Emmy Favilla