5 Must-Haves for Road Trips


The weekend before last, I embarked on a wonderful road trip adventure with my cousin and his family. We traveled to Destin, FL. The ride was surprisingly short from our hometown. And, there were many interesting sights along the way that made for some humorous conversations. I hadn’t been on a vacation for nearly a decade. So, a fun getaway was long overdue.

I only had a few days to prepare for the journey. I also had a limited budget I could dedicate to the trip. Fortunately, my cousin paid for just about everything including new clothes for myself and my son. (Yes,  he’s an amazing cousin). But, there were a few things I felt that I needed that either I forgot about (duh, a pillow) or hadn’t considered (audiobooks because, ya know, carsickness). I thought these items were just what nerdylicious gals need en route to their vacation destinations. So, here are my 5 must-haves for road trips.

Power Banks

Close up of hands charging mobile phone

Living in a device-driven world means battery charging sources are in big demand. Vehicle manufacturers have kept up with the demand by adding accessories like USB ports and electric plugs to more recent models. USB charger adapters that plug into the vehicle’s 12-volt accessory outlet (AKA the cigarette lighter) are still commonly used to recharge devices. But, what happens on a road trip when there’s a car full of riders who need powering up? Potential chaos. This is why power banks are at the top of the 5 must-haves for road trips list. For some serious charging capability, the bestseller Anker PowerCore 10000 is ideal for multiple devices. Need a quick boost to your iPhone’s battery? Try a stylish QBracelet. It’s portable enough to take around when you’re sight-seeing and taking tons of pictures and videos. When that evil red bar pops, plug in your bracelet for enough juice to make it back to your hotel room. Large or small, power banks are here to save the day (or night) on your road trip journey.

Radio Play


Music is the star of any road trip whether those sweet tunes are coming from an old school mix cassette tape or a digital playlist. If you’re using the latter for travel songs, it’s easy to understand how this might become a problem. There’s the task of having a free device dedicated to music. Not to mention that playing songs on a device uses up plenty of battery power. That’s when it’s nice to rely on an old stand-by: the radio. Before you complain about having to scan through stations, understand that scanning is a thing of the past thanks to the internet. Radio Locator is a site dedicated to providing available radio stations based on your geographic location. You can make a list in advance to have handy while you travel, or find radio stations on the go. If you have riders with varied tastes in music, you can use this as an opportunity to explore and appreciate different genres. This will open up some amusing conversations and make the travel time go by much faster.

Healthy Food


Vacations offer the perfect chance to indulge in food and beverages without worrying too much about those pesky things called calories and fat. There’s nothing wrong with practicing a little restraint because your health and wellness goals matter. But c’mon! You’re on vacation. Live a little. Still worried? Well, a great way to offset any extra calories or fat consumed during the trip is to eat healthy meals and snacks while traveling on the road. Ignore the burger joints and truck stop diners, and opt for food that’s light and lean. Pinterest is a great inspiration for perishable and non-perishable healthy food ideas like these 5 simple snack boxes. You can also find inspiration from Cooking Light’s Copycat Starbucks Bistro Boxes, or from traditional and western-style bento boxes. Preparing healthy meals and snacks for the road is worthy of being one of the 5 must-haves for road trips because these foods will provide ease of mind in terms of health and wellness. And, it will help save money to go towards the party in your mouth when you arrive at your vacation destination.

Digital Entertainment


Old school road trips included leisure activities like guessing what someone spied with her little eye, or punching a fellow rider anytime a Volkswagon Beetle drove into view. Nostalgic games are a great way to bring travelers together and pass the time. But, it’s cool if you feel as if not getting in that Pokémon GO! fix will cause you to hurt people. You’re a nerdylicious girl living in a digital world, and those Pokémon aren’t going to catch themselves. That’s okay. Save the “I Spy” for moments when everyone is alert and social. Then, use personal activities when things move to a more chilled, individual phase. Be sure to check out the virtual store of your device’s operating system for promotions or freebies before hitting the road. For example, Kindle offers games in the Underground apps section that are totally free with no in-game purchasing required. Most app stores offer some ebooks, games, movies, and more at discounted prices or for free. And, if you suffer from carsickness after reading in a moving vehicle, invest in a few audiobooks. Trust me, your tummy will thank you.

Cozy Comforts


Riding in a vehicle over long distances can be uncomfortable. There’s very little leg room to stretch out. Sleeping results in heads bobbling all over the place. And, at least one body part will “fall asleep” after being in the same position for too long. There’s a good reason why cozy comforts is on the list of 5 must-haves for road trips. They can be brought along on the voyage to make traveling a little more tolerable without taking up too much space. A throw blanket and travel pillow are ideal cozy comforts because they are compact and can be stored easily. Not sure which blankets and pillows are for you? Frequent traveler Roger Stanley published recommendations for the 5 Best Travel Blankets that offer plush covers in a variety of price ranges. Travel and Leisure writer Richelle Szypulski created a list of 14 Best Travel Pillows that take away the guesswork for the right cushion. Investing in the right cozy comforts will make uncomfortable sleeping (and bobble heading) a distant memory on your road adventures.

So, are you ready to hit the road? I hope my 5 must-haves for road trips will help prepare  you for many vacation journeys to come. Remember that power banks can help prevent battery emergencies, and give longevity to devices. The radio is your friend, and with the right website, finding stations is easy.  Healthy meals and snacks on the road save money and waistlines. Digital entertainment is cool to enjoy, and there are tons of free or low-cost options to choose from. And, cozy comforts bring a little taste of home on the road to make the journey more pleasant. Use these 5 must-haves on your next road trip, and be sure to create some memorable and less stressful occasions.

Do you have a list of must-haves for road trips? Share them below in the comments section. 


One comment

  1. I love this post! I have a small family. I’m the only child, so we don’t really have to fight over the car charger. (I’m the only one who has a phone). I love bringing a blanket and a pillow to get all comfy in the backseat. I also bring headphones to listen to music and relax. But when it comes to the food I don’t take the healthy route like I should. I’m all about bags of salty chips and candy, which I should stop doing haha.


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