One of the surest ways to make a relaxing holiday a stressful ordeal is to forget to pack properly. This is one of the central elements of holiday planning, which is similarly stressful and best done well in advance. 

Of course, different types of vacations call for different types of packing. If you are going to rent a vacation home, then you naturally need a bit less than if you were going for a mountain or nature trip. Hot Springs Village Rentals, a vacation home resort in Arkansas, would advise minimum packing simply because places like theirs provide so many amenities. If you are off to Yosemite National Park, on the other hand, it would be quite a different story. 

So much is obvious. But there’s one type of vacation that is perhaps a bit of special case where packing is concerned. That’s the road trip. There are several things that make packing a bit different for this type of vacation. 

What is so special about road trips? Well, what marks them out is the fact that the destination is not so important (and there could even be several destinations). Packing appropriately for all of them is difficult. Furthermore, because a road trip could be headed anywhere, it is even harder to give an authoritative packing checklist for them. 

The other thing that marks out the road trip as a special case is the fact that half of what you’ll pack will resemble any other vacation, but the other half will be related to your vehicle. You need to pack things to keep your car functional, and on the road there are specific security concerns and then there are the emergency items.

Packing For a Road Trip 

Accordingly, packing for a road trip can be quite the headache. Nevertheless, the best advice is to tackle it methodically and break it down into the distinct categories of items that you will need for various aspects of the road trip. 

One thing that is especially important to bear in mind is, of course, that picking up the things you might have forgotten can be both possible and impossible. It might be possible when passing through a town or city; it could be impossible when on a long stretch of highway with nothing around for miles. 

Here follows a rough checklist:

For the Car 

Your Papers 

Specifically, this means your driver’s license, your car registration and insurance information, and your breakdown service details. This can be extremely useful when you traverse state lines and find yourself under different road jurisdictions that you might not be entirely familiar with. 

Breakdown and Security Essentials 

This means an extra car key (and not on the same keyring), a spare tire (of course), and a tool box. If disaster strikes at night, you are also going to need flashlight. Moreover, for emergencies, you should be sure to have a phone and power bank for charging it up. Depending on where you’re driving, it might be worth bringing a few jerry cans of oil, wiper fluid, coolant and, of course, gas. 

For Survival Out on the Road

For survival when you are out on the road, you will need food and water, which can hopefully be replenished at your pit stops. You should also be sure to bring along an extra blanket in case you have to sleep in the car or you cannot find adequate accommodation for the evening.

Beyond what is listed here, what you will bring along on your road trip will depend on where you are going – and that can be anywhere. That’s the fun of a road trip.