Road Tripping 101: The Ultimate Road Trip Packing and Preparation Checklists

Road trips are quintessential American vacations, and packing for road trips has taken on a mythology of its own. We’re here to add to that mythos with our own set of road trip checklists.

While road trips offer the freedom to travel on your own schedule and bring along more of your life than you would otherwise, they also require you to pack for more eventualities.

What if your car breaks down? What if you have to take an unexpected detour? What if it’s cold out?

Because of all these different scenarios, a road trip packing checklist is more involved. The good news is, you probably have a lot of these things in your car already.

This road trip packing checklist will help you make sure your vehicle is road-ready and none of the essentials get left at home. Except the kids; you’re on your own for that.

Also read: Road Trip Travel Insurance - Why It Makes Sense

Road Trip Packing Checklist

You can download our Road Trip Packing Checklist by clicking the button below. The accessible interactive PDF can be digitally checked off using any device or easily printed for your use.


  • First aid kit
  • Car jack
  • Jumper cables
  • Road atlas
  • Wiper fluid
  • Basic tool kit (Crescent wrench, Vise-Grips, screwdrivers)
  • Work gloves
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Tire repair kit
  • Electrical tape
  • Flashlight
  • Snacks
  • Water bottle
  • Driver's license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Car insurance info
  • Owner’s manual
  • Cash
  • Coins
  • Roadside assistance contact info
  • Roadside hazard kit (cones, flares, etc)

Also read: How travel insurance can help when you rent a car


  • Sunglasses
  • Reading glasses
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Over-the-counter pain relief
  • Travel mug
  • Wipes
  • Napkins
  • Tissues
  • Mints or chewing gum
  • Umbrella
  • Cooler
  • Microfiber towels
  • Multi-tool
  • Bug spray
  • Travel blanket


Personal items

  • Hat
  • Scarf
  • Earplugs
  • Sunscreen
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Toiletries
  • Hygiene products
  • Lip balm
  • Haircare items
  • Duffel bag
  • Laundry bag


  • Trunk organizer
  • Tow strap/bungee cords
  • Extra batteries
  • Car trash can
  • UV window shades
  • Fanny pack or daypack

Driving on Vacation: How Travel Insurance Can Help

Winter Travel Insurance - How it can Help When Trips Get Rough


For winter road trips, the Canadian Automobile Association recommends the following, in addition to items already mentioned:

  • Collapsible shovel
  • Cat litter or sand
  • Candle
  • Matches
  • Gas-line antifreeze
  • Lock de-icer
  • Paper towels
  • Extra fuses for the vehicle’s electrical system
  • Warm blanket
  • Hand and foot warmers
  • Ice scraper/snow brush

Before You Go - Road Trip Checklist

You can download our Road Trip Before You Go Checklist by clicking the button below. The accessible interactive PDF can be digitally checked off using any device or easily printed for your use.

Before you leave, according to the American Automobile Association, you should:

  • Check tires and tire pressure
  • Secure and test the battery
  • Top off engine oil and other fluids
  • Replace wiper blades and replenish windshield cleaner
  • Check belts and hoses

To which we’d add:

  • Give the inside a good cleaning.
  • Make some road trip playlists. Again, the more content the better.

Right before you leave, we recommend:

  • Double-checking the security of anything (especially bags) affixed to the outside.
  • Double-checking the security of car seats.
  • Double-checking whether suitcases or other items might shift and hurt occupants.
  • Ensuring sunglasses are handy.
  • Ensuring that snacks and drinks are easily accessible.

Also read: Where to Travel for the Most Scenic Drives in America

Travel Protection

Road trips can be as fun as they are memorable. You can contribute to the enjoyment of your trip by choosing travel insurance and assistance services from Generali Global Assistance. Our plans can cover all sorts of trips, including road trips more than 100 miles from your home.

Get a quote today or learn more about how travel protection works on a road trip.


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