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15 essentials for your next summer road trip

15 essentials for your next summer road trip
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Image Credit: Dreamstime
Lizzy Sheldon |

Road-tripping can be a great way to save money and still take a vacation, whether you’re driving to the next state over or across the country. We’re here to help you get ready for your next trip stress-free with these 15 great items to take with you on your next road trip!

We recommend writing out a list to make sure you have everything you need, including the essentials like your license and registration, car insurance, and even an emergency roadside kit, which brings us to our first item!

RELATED: The best rental car deals right now


Make this your best road trip yet with these items!

Lifeline AAA premium road kit

This kit comes with a flashlight with batteries, a booster cable, storage bags, first aid supplies, cable ties, emergency poncho, and everything else you need to ensure your safety on the road! This item is currently on sale for $25.59, normally $42.84 saving you $17.25.

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Wireless car charger mount

This wireless car charger and mount is perfect to keep you hands-free while on the road. It mounts to the dashboard, air vent or windshield. The company also offers a 12-month guarantee if you’re unsatisfied with your purchase! Right now this mount is $28.99 but you’ll also find a $5 off coupon. Just check the coupon box at checkout!

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Inflatable travel pillow

This inflatable travel pillow is great whether you’re trying to snooze in the car or just to add some extra comfort while driving. It attaches to your headrest and its size adjustable so you don’t have to worry. It weighs less than half a pound and compresses into an included packsack to stow away when not needed. This pillow is $19.99 on Amazon, or get a similar Therm-a-rest compressible pillow at REI for just $24.95.

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Westpark car seat snack organizer and cooler

This combo organizer and cooler is great for long trips. Attach it to the back of your car seat for easy access to snacks and cool beverages or sandwiches. Alternatively, use it to pack car games and snacks for the kids to use in the backseat! This organizer and cooler is only $8.28 right now on Amazon.

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Cocoon coolmax blanket

Having an extra blanket in the car is always a good idea. Even in summer, the nights can get chilly. Whether you are just driving at night, or car troubles cause you to have to stop, having a spare blanket to stay warm is always a good idea. This blanket from Cocoon is a great price for a packable blanket. It’s always important to have items that can pack down to ensure that you have enough room for all of your belongings! It’s currently on sale for $32.84, originally $37.69, saving you $4.85.

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Cozy-soft microfleece travel blanket

If you have some car room to spare, you can always save money even more by buying items that don’t pack down so much. This microfleece blanket from amazon is a great alternative to the Cocoon coolmax. The trade-off for the cheaper price is that you aren’t able to pack the blanket down to a small travel size, however, it’s just as soft and warm. Get it on sale right now for under $10.

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REI stuff travel 20L day pack

This REI 20L pack is perfect for a day trip of sightseeing! It can hold everything you need, including snacks and water, a change of clothes, a map and a first aid kit! Right now get the Desert sage color for $16.93 while supplies last, originally $34.95, saving you $18.02.

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10-piece travel-size toiletries kit

Making sure you have all the necessary toiletries can make or break a trip. This convenient travel size kit is perfect for taking with you on the go. It has everything you need, including shampoo, deodorant, and a toothbrush! Alternatively, you could buy a separate travel pouch like this one from Amazon and fill it with the brands that you like to use. Just make sure to not forget anything!

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LED solar-powered camping lantern

Extra light is always a good idea to have on hand, however, batteries don’t always last! Having a solar-powered lantern is a great alternative. You can set them up next to your windows while driving so they will always be fully charged. This amazon LED lantern goes for $8.99. There are also smaller collapsable lanterns that take up less room and can be packed away during your day trip, in case it turns into more of a night trip! These REI goal zero crush collapsable and solar-powered lanterns are great and only cost a few bucks more at $19.95.

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Anker powercore portable charger

This charger is great in case of emergency. If your car breaks down, or if you get caught out in nature with a dead battery, this portable charger can be priceless! It’s the size of a stick of chapstick so you can always take it with you wherever you go. This portable charger is $24.99.

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Rainleaf microfiber travel towel

Normal towels are bulky and take forever to dry. Having a few travel towels on hand is great. They absorb well and dry out quickly, and they are small enough to pack in your day pack! The large Rainleaf towels are $11.99 which are plenty big enough to travel with. They also have extra-large sizes and smaller sizes.

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Kelty 30 sleeping bag

Having a sleeping bag on a trip can always be super useful! It can be used as a blanket, pillow, picnic quilt and most importantly for sleeping! Whether you’re staying in a hotel or camping out for the night, you can use your sleeping bag to stay warm, comfy and clean. This sleeping bag from REI is $49.95 and stuffs into an included stuff sack.

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AnorTrek portable hammock for $14.99

Hammocks are great for any trip because you can pull over anywhere and have a comfy place to relax. They can also be used to sleep in if needed. This hammock comes with tree straps, supports up to 500 lbs and it’s super lightweight so it can be packed away in your day pack for a nice mid-hike setup. This hammock is on sale for $14.99, originally $17.99 so you save $3.00.

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Adventure medical kit

It’s always important to have plenty of medical supplies when traveling, and it’s good to stock up on more than one if you are going on a long trip. This first aid kit is nice because it packs down to under 4 oz so you can take it with you in your day pack wherever you go, so you will always be ready for the unexpected. This one is $18.99 on Amazon.

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LifeStraw personal water filter

The LifeStraw can literally be a lifesaver. It allows you to use almost any form of water available to drink. Drink out of rivers, streams, lakes and even collected rainwater without worrying about bacteria or dirt. This straw filters out all of the bad things that make you sick, leaving you with clean water virtually anywhere! Right now through Amazon, the LifeStraw is on sale for $17.47, originally $29.95, saving you $12.48.

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