Summer Road Trip Must-Haves

Who doesn't love a good summer road trip? Packing the family up into the car and hitting the open road, bound for adventure, is something that makes up summer dreams. When making your packing list, you should include a few essentials you can keep in the car as you travel. Out on the road, you never know what you may encounter, and being prepared is the best prevention for an emergency. These nine items will be welcome additions for any summer road trip, and even if you end up not needing them, you'll be glad you had them!

Summer Road Trip Must-Haves:

  1. Water
    • Of course, with high summer temperatures, staying hydrated is of the utmost importance. This is especially true if your adventure leads you out into the wilderness where water isn't readily available. As a general rule, you should try to bring along a gallon of water for each person traveling. Having access to fresh, drinkable water at all times is extremely important when you're losing fluids in the summer heat. Plus, having extra water in the car means you can also use it to rinse off your hands and feet after getting out in nature. Store the water in a closed container that won't easily spill, and consider
  2. First Aid Kit
    • A first aid kit in your car is an excellent idea for any road trip. Fill the kit with supplies like bandages, an antiseptic wash, gauze, and some sort of wrapping. For summer adventures, it's also a good idea to include mosquito repellant and anti-itch cream in case of insect bites. While you won't be able to fix severe injuries with a first-aid kit, it could potentially still save someone's life by buying more time to get back to a hospital. Apart from serious injuries, having a first aid kit will ensure you are ready to deal with the minor scrapes and bruises that accompany outdoor escapades.

  3. Sunglasses
    • Nobody wants to deal with the sun in their eyes all day, and sunglasses are an easy item to forget at home when you hit the road. Keep a few pairs of sunglasses in the car so you will always have them when you need them. Most cars have a built-in compartment to store sunglasses safely out of the way, meaning you can get out there and enjoy the season while protecting your vision.

  4. Jumper cables
    • Anytime you embark on a road trip, it's a good idea to prepare for the unexpected. While nobody wants to think about their car breaking down on a trip, it is a very real possibility and you'll be glad you prepared. Keeping a small jumper kit in the vehicle will make it significantly easier to restart a car if you need it. Many people are willing to help you jump your car, but you cannot trust that everyone will be equipped with the cables to do so.

  5. Snacks
    • This should go without saying, but any road trip is better with some good snacks! Pack things that won't melt in the summer heat, and consider grabbing some smaller, individually packed snacks to enjoy while hiking or at the beach. Make sure if you are enjoying a snack outdoors that you properly dispose of the packaging and help protect the environment.For camping adventures, keep food away from your campsite or stored safely so as not to attract animals.

  6. Flashlight
    • For any summer excursion, it's not a bad idea to bring along a flashlight or two. These can come in handy for all sorts of situations, including camping or even late-night beach adventures.

  7. Sunscreen
    • While enjoying the summer sun can be a lot of fun, it can also be quite dangerous. The sun emits powerful UV rays that can easily burn exposed skin in a short amount of time. Therefore, keeping sunscreen in the car is essential for your summer road trip. Keep in mind that certain types of sunscreen are more prone to melting in high temperatures, so keep it away from direct light and never let a pressurized can overheat.

  8. Phone charger
    • It can be great to unplug and connect with nature in the summer season, but you don't want to be left without power when you need it. You can opt for a phone charger that plugs directly into the car, or you can grab a portable power bank to keep with you.

  9. Battery-powered fan
    • When battling the heat, it's always a good idea to have a way to cool down. A battery-powered fan is perfect for keeping cool while out and about. Most battery-powered fans are small enough that they can be tossed in a purse or a backpack and taken with you on your next adventure.


Before you embark on your journey, make sure that you are stocked with these summer road trip must-haves. Not only can they come in handy on a long drive, but they could also save your life if you find yourself in an emergency situation. Storing these in a bag in the trunk, where they are out of the way but easily accessible, will ensure you are ready for whatever the summer brings!