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How to Pack Your Car for a Summer Road Trip

Whether you’re driving to the next state or across the country, using your own car or having scored a great car rental deal, there are three main goals for any long drive: comfort, entertainment and energy. Making sure to pack the following items will help you achieve road trip balance. 

Practical and Emergency Items

Bring your driver’s license, car registration, car insurance card, car rental coupons and auto membership card. Make copies of important documents in case you misplace them. Other must-have items include a phone charger, jumper cables, flares, a flashlight and a tire gauge, plus a GPS and backup maps in case your gadget fails mid-trip.


Food and Beverages

The more food you pack, the less money you’ll spend on the road. What’s the use in gettingcar rental discounts if you’re going to spend a ton on gas station snacks? Bring a combination of yummy treats and healthy foods. If you invest in a quality cooler and add ice packs, your food will stay cold for up to 48 hours. Stay alert while behind the wheel by keeping caffeine on hand. Coffee won’t stay hot for long, but iced tea and chocolate will give you a jolt when you start getting groggy. 

Even if you completely ditch a healthy diet during vacation, you’ll still need to stay hydrated. Bring refillable water bottles so you don’t have to purchase plastic bottles every time you make a pit stop. Not sure where the next water source will be? Make like an experienced backpacker and bring a filter.


Road trips are significantly more enjoyable than they used to be, thanks to technology andcheap car rentals. Load up your MP3 player with audio books, comedy albums, custom playlists and podcasts. Save space by putting games, books and magazines on tablets instead of packing a bunch of hard copies. Every so often, unplug and play classic car games, like I Spy and license plate bingo.

How to Organize Your Luggage

Put the heaviest items as far forward and as close to the floor as possible to keep the car from getting top-heavy. Light items placed on top of heavy luggage should be secured. Keep essential items within reach and don’t forget to use under-seat space. Most importantly, make sure you can still see out of the windows.

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