Siblings in the back seat of a car sleeping

Road Trip Essentials & Checklist

Updated May 2, 2022 . AmFam Team

Before you head out on your next great adventure, get prepared with the ultimate road trip checklist and make sure you have all the essentials to have a safe and unforgettable trip.

You work hard at your job to provide for your family, and you save up your vacation time so you can hit the road with them. There’s nothing better than exploring the world together and making great memories . But the pre-vacation excitement can quickly fade if you haven’t prepared properly.

That’s why we’ve come up with some tips to make your car trip as fun and memorable as the sightseeing itself. Read along, learn what essentials to pack for your summer road trip and be ready for the road ahead!

Play car trip games

Try putting the devices aside after a while and play some good, old-fashioned car games. The alphabet game (Opens in a new tab), 20 questions and finding state license plates are classics that are great for passing time. Put together your own version of road trip bingo based on the sites you plan to see to keep everyone involved.

Tips for a Stress-free Road Trip

Traveling for long periods of time in your car can be stressful. Thankfully there are easy things you can do to remain calm and keep everything you’ve packed organized. The less things you’ll have to worry about while driving, the better.

Pack smart

Load your car with the items you won’t need on the road first in areas where they won’t be able to be accessed as easily, Store these items in places like the back of the car or in the trunk. Place the things you’ll need and want in easy-to-find travel bags that you can stow between your feet and under the seats.

Keep your car clean

After you’ve rid your car of those old wrappers and other trash, grab some old grocery bags to make sure the garbage doesn’t pile up again. They’re easy to toss at gas stations, and chances are you’ve got them stored under your sink at home. Grab paper towels, napkins and a pack of baby wipes — to keep messes at a minimum while you’re away.

Plan for comfort

There’s no way around it — long car trips can be uncomfortable. Easy access to pillows and blankets can help make your car as cozy as possible. When it’s time for a pit stop, be sure everyone gets out of the car for a walk and to stretch their legs. Sometimes just changing seats helps relieve some aches and pains. Plus, if you’ve noted landmarks that are along the route to your destination, those stops can be even more valuable.

Have a flexible itinerary

It’s easy to get flustered by traffic delays, road construction and extra stops — especially over a long drive. By creating a flexible plan, you give yourself room to hit the highlights and even try a few impromptu excursions. It also gives you some space to take unscheduled breaks when you need them.

Review Your Auto Coverage Today

Before you head out on the road, give your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) a call to let them know your plans and to verify that your car insurance is up-to-date. Make sure to ask about travel insurance and emergency roadside assistance, too! You’re much better off having them and not needing them than vice versa.

With these road trip checklists, you'll be ready to enjoy your trip from beginning to end, knowing you've done what you can to help make your trip safe and enjoyable.

This article is for informational purposes only and includes information widely available through different sources.

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