Road Trip Essentials

Road Trip Essentials

Road trips are one of my absolute favorite ways of traveling, and this week, I’ll be taking another one – up to Toronto for TBEX. As much as I love a good road trip, sometimes the hours on end spent driving or trapped in the car can get to me, but there are a few essentials that usually help me keep my sanity.

As a child, my family would spend countless hours in the car, driving up and down the East Coast in search of the next adventure or stories from history. I learned most of my traveling skills from this time on the road and have continued to carry them with me over time.

With Mom in Florida.

Since then, I have taken quite a few road trips. Whether it was up to Vermont and Maine for Phish’s summer festivals, down to Tennessee for Bonnaroo, driving around Europe with my family, or the North Island of New Zealand with my cousin, Michelle, road trips are one of my favorite ways to travel.


From my experience, I’ve devised a list of essentials for any road trip. Without these five items, I am not sure I’d be able to make the trip.

The Ultimate Playlist


When you’re singing your favorite tune while driving down the highway, time just seems to fly by. Music can make any journey feel shorter than it actually may be, as long as you have the right playlist. Need suggestions? Each Monday, I post my favorite songs in my Music Mondays posts; I’m certain that you’ll be sure to find a song or two to add to your road trip playlist.

At Least One Trusty Companion


The wise Tim Cahill once said, “A journey is best measured in friends, not in miles.” This is true in all forms of travel, but makes the most sense when it comes to hitting the road. As the hours driving tick on, the car can become a prison to those trapped inside, and when you’re stuck, you want to be with people who can find the humor in whatever your journey brings.


road trip

As far as I’m concerned, moments on the road must be captured. Sure you’ll pass beautiful scenes along the road, but sometimes the best photos are captured while you are actually driving, trying to kill the time in traffic, with seemingly endless time for photos.



Caffeine is clearly one of the most important essentials, especially when you are in the driver’s seat. Luckily, there are usually plenty of coffee stops along the road. Whether it’s your favorite treat at Starbucks, or a small, local coffee shop, make sure you have enough caffeine in your system to keep you going.

A Positive Attitude


Life on the road isn’t always ideal, and a lot can happen on the way. But, as long as you look on the bright side, and laugh or smile through whatever trouble comes your way, you should be able to last the remainder of the car ride.

I am sure you could add plenty more, but as long as I have these five, I can survive any road trip. No matter where in the world that happens to be.


Spread the love

Comments (19)

  1. Anita Mac

    I am with you on all of the above! Good tunes, good friends, a Chai (tea, not coffee for me!!) and the promise of a great adventure! My last road trip to Rochester was solo – but loved it with the music blaring full volume on the radio, sun roof open and me singing to my heart’s content (totally can not do that with friends in the car – I am totally tone deaf!!!)
    See you in Toronto!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Oh I’ll take chai too! 🙂 Solo road trips can be fun too, though usually, I need someone to keep me awake and talk to me, haha. Can’t wait to see you! xx

  2. Adam&Amanda

    Must agree, great tunes is essential!!
    Great post have fun on your way to the TBEX! While your in TO scope out the Kensington market if ya have time, its a great place to wonder around!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks for the tip! I will definitely scope out the market.

  3. Raul (@ilivetotravel)

    Great list, Erin! You are a road warrior for sure!

  4. Kimmy @ AfterGlobe

    All great tips. Whenever we get tired on road trips, we blast The Lime in the Coconut song and sign it at the top of our lungs. Wakes us right up! I also like having chocolate covered expresso beans on hand for a little pick me up.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Oh, I never thought of chocolate covered expresso beans – maybe I’ll bring them on this journey! 🙂 Love that you have a signature wake up song too.

  5. Fiona

    I agree – you can’t beat a good road trip! Great photos too, looks like you had lots of fun!

  6. Traveling Ted

    I will be heading from Chicago to Toronto with all five of the above in spades starting Thursday evening.

    1. The World Wanderer

      I’ll be doing the same Friday morning! Wish I was getting there earlier. 🙂

  7. Leah Travels

    Oh, I love a good road trip. Sometimes I just like to do them by myself, but a great friend is always a welcomed addition.

    1. The World Wanderer

      I think I’d go stir crazy by myself! Though, one day I’ll give it a try. 🙂

  8. @mrsoaroundworld

    Love love love the positive attitude bit – and everything about the list! Choosing the right person is also key!

  9. JR Riel

    Great thoughts! Road trips are the quintessential coming of age travel stories waiting to be written. So many of my early travel memories were road trips with a good friend or two criss crossing the USA. Good times for sure.

  10. lola dimarco

    Coffee, coffee, coffee! yes its a must! you are right! great friends and great music certainly make time go by faster!

Post a comment