The concession guy at your local movie theater knows you by name and you’re already ripped from hauling your cooler to the beach every other day. So, what’s next on your list of summer adventures? When it’s blue skies as far as the eye can see, a road trip is the perfect opportunity to shake up your summertime routine.
Whether you’re planning a quick camping trip or heading out for a long weekend at an Airbnb, the key to pulling off a successful road trip is preparation. We’ve rounded up the best and most essential tools, gadgets and other items you’ll need for the best summer road trip ever.
Get OrganizedULEEKA Car Backseat Organizer
It’s easy to treat your car like a trash can when you’re on the road. Plus, kids are well-known for leaving their toys all over the back seat. But you can say goodbye to all that clutter with this next-level ULEEKA car organizer that ensures your car is neat and clean so you can focus on driving.
The Go-Everywhere ToteYETI Camino Carryall
Any seasoned road tripper will tell you having a durable, easy-to-carry tote bag is absolutely essential for any kind of trip. Not only does it give you extra storage inside the car, this YETI Camino tote bag is also perfect for those times you drive by a picturesque picnic area or spot a hidden trail that begs to be hiked.
Want to Play a Game?Cat’s Cradle Book Kit
Cat’s Cradle is a fun and easy-to-play game that’s perfect for passing the time on long car trips. Plus, it doesn’t involve refreshing a social media feed or getting carsick! And the best part? It’s compact enough to have two or three on hand for when everyone in the car wants to play.
Start PackingBagail 6 Set Packing Cubes
Packing for a road trip is like playing an elaborate game of Tetris, where you need to get everything to fit just so. The durable exterior of these Bagail 6 Set Packing Cubes has a handy mesh cover so you can quickly see what’s in each cube, and the finished interior seams protect clothes and delicate items. These colorful, practical cubes are designed to fit into suitcases, backpacks and other luggage to help you make the most of the space you have.
Charge It Up6-Port USB Car Charger
Cell phones, tablets, cameras: Nearly everything you might need for a road trip needs to be charged at some point, and this 6-Port USB Car Charger from Jelly Comb can handle it all. Its six charging ports ensure you’ll always have an open slot for a last-minute battery emergency, and the slim profile fits easily into most center consoles.
Never Miss a MomentVAVA Wi-Fi Dash Cam
A dashboard camera should be at the top of your list of things to buy before hitting the open road. This VAVA Wi-Fi Dash Cam is a smart investment, thanks to a built-in GPS tracker, 360-degree rotatable lens and powerful night vision sensor. You should always expect the unexpected, but that doesn’t mean you have to be caught off guard.
Stay SafeDeftGet First Aid Kit
Along with a spare tire and a jug of water, a first-aid kit is one of those things you should always have in your car. This 163-piece DeftGet First Aid Kit is a must for road trips because a skinned knee, twisted ankle or campfire burn doesn’t care if there’s a doctor or hospital nearby.
Work Hard, Play HardKids Travel Tray for Toddler Car Seat
It’s mile 206 of your drive and you’re listening to a podcast when you realize you haven’t heard a peep from the kiddos in a while; no whining, no fighting, no shouting for apple juice. That’s because this cleverly designed Kids Travel Tray
Be Your Own AAAThrive Auto Emergency Kit
Whether you’re driving 1,000 miles or 10, this Thrive Auto Emergency Kit should be the first thing on your packing list. Its lightweight and compact design means it won’t take up much room in your trunk or back seat, but don’t be fooled, because it’s got everything you need to keep you and your family safe on the road.
No Bathroom? No Problem.Handzies Natural Soap and Water Hand Wipes
There are a lot of things to worry about on a road trip, but thanks to these Handzies Natural Soap and Water Hand Wipes, staying clean won’t be one of them. Keep a few in the back seat for the kids to use after having sticky juices and fruits, or stash them in backpacks for when you’re out hiking or exploring.
Ready, Set, Bingo!Regal Games Original Travel Bingo 4-Pack
For a new twist on an old favorite, try playing Travel Bingo the next time you hit the open road. It’s simple enough for children as young as three years old to play and engaging enough to keep older kids and adults entertained for miles. Who will be the first to call "Bingo"?
Survival Essentials13-in-1 Survival Gear Kit
With over a dozen tools packed into a case the size of a small book, this 13-in-1 SurvivalGear Kit from TRSCIND is designed with safety and security in mind. Each piece is made of heavy-duty alloy for extra stability, and the entire kit weighs less than a pound so you can take it with you camping, hiking or wherever your adventure takes you.
Drink UpEpica Stainless Steel 4-Pack Drinking Straws
One of the consequences of eating on the road is generating a lot of trash. If you’re the kind of person who religiously recycles, it can be hard to see all that plastic end up in the garbage, which is why these Epica Stainless Steel Drinking Straws are a small solution to a big problem.
Need a Hand?Ofspower 4-Pack Car Headrest Hanger
This is one of those items that, once you use it, makes you wonder how you ever lived without it. The Ofspower Car Headrest Hanger lets you take advantage of extra space in front and back of the seat, and is ideal for solo travelers to hang bags, purses, groceries and more!
Drink UpYETI Rambler 14 oz. Stainless Steel Insulated Mug with Lid
Long hours on the road aren’t easy, so make the most of your rest stop coffee breaks with this YETI Rambler.The double-wall, insulated design keeps 14 ounces of your favorite morning beverage hot for hours, or at least until your next stop.
Take It EasyWildhorn Outfitters Sand Escape Beach Blanket
Don’t let something as small as not having a blanket stop you from exploring the ideal beach you’ve just discovered. Simply toss this WildHorn Outfitters Beach Blanket in the back seat and you’ll be ready to hit the water in no time.
#HammocklifeLegit Camping Double Hammock
After a gorgeous hike on the trail you discovered by the side of the road, the last thing you want to do is fumble with a complicated hammock setup. This super lightweight and sturdy Double Hammock from Legit Camping takes only a few minutes to set up so you can start relaxing right away.
Feeling Thirsty?AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler with High-Density Insulation
If you’re the kind of person who requires ice-cold beverages, stop worrying about how long until you reach the next rest stop, and pick up this Original Soft Cooler from AO Coolers before your next road trip.
Keep It FreshWiLEES Car Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser
This small but powerful Car Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser by WiLEES is designed to keep your car smelling fresh no matter how long you’ve been on the road. Its compact profile clips onto your dashboard vent for a burst of fresh air whenever you need it.
The Quick-Dry SolutionRainleaf Microfiber Towel
If you’re a Douglas Adams fan, you already know that seasoned intergalactic travelers never leave home without a towel. It’s not a bad idea, even if your journey is a bit less interstellar, and this quick-drying Rainleaf Microfiber Towel is the best of the bunch.
Rain, Rain, Go AwayLingito 8-Pack Rain Ponchos
You never know what Mother Nature has in store, so it’s always a good idea to keep a few of these Lingito Rain Ponchos on hand. They come in a variety of bright colors, and are great for when you get caught out in a storm or don’t want to carry an umbrella all day.
Maximize SpaceRoofBag Waterproof Car Top Carrier
Sometimes, despite your best efforts to be a master planner and packer, not everything you need for your road trip will fit in the car. This Waterproof Car Top Carrier is ideal for storing extra clothes and gear safely and securely. Plus, it can be installed in mere minutes.
Go Old-SchoolFujifilm Mini 9 INSTAX Camera Bundle
Posting vacation selfies is practically mandatory these days, but there’s something wonderfully retro about documenting your trip with the throwback look of an Instax camera. Fujifilm’s Mini 9 INSTAX Camera Bundle comes with everything you need to make documenting the trip almost as fun as experiencing it.
Beat the GlareSUNGAIT Vintage Round Polarized Sunglasses
You always wear a hat and slather yourself in sunscreen when you go out in the sun, but are you protecting your eyes with the same dedication? It’s just as important when you’re in a car to be mindful of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, which can actually be intensified by the glass in automobile windows. That is what makes these SUNGAIT Polarized Sunglasses a road trip must-have.
Made in the ShadeAutoamerics 2-Piece Window Sun Shade
Is there anything worse than getting into your car after it’s been sitting in the sun all day? Protect the interior (and your legs!) with this 2-Piece Window Sun Shade from Autoamerics. It helps keep the inside of your car cool while shielding it from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Get MovingDVEDA Ultra Lightweight Backpack
Most hiking daypacks are big, bulky affairs that don’t lend themselves well to spontaneous hikes or on-the-fly excursions. The DVEDA Ultra Lightweight Backpack folds up into its own packable bag so you can throw it in your purse or bag to have ready at a moment’s notice. Plus, it comes in a variety of fun colors.
Sleep Under the StarsGazelle T4 Pop-Up Tent
It’s nearing the end of the day and you’ve made it to the perfect, off-the-beaten-path campsite. You’re tired and not looking forward to the hassle of putting up the tent, but luckily you have the Gazelle Pop-up Tent that sets up in minutes so you can start relaxing pronto.