What should I pack for a road trip across America?

Pack for a road trip across America

Before heading out on the open road it’s important to know what to pack for a road trip across America. These essential items will not only help you day-to-day, they’ll also come in handy if something unplanned happens along the way.

Here is a definitive list of the key items you need to pack for a carefree road trip. Don’t forget to pack your seasonal travel clothes and shoes!

  • Driving license and registration
  • A copy of your car insurance policy and direct contact numbers to call them
  • Car manual
  • Spare tire
  • Roadside emergency kit
  • Paper map
  • Notebook and pen
  • First aid kit
  • 2 flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Bug spray
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Toilet roll
  • Umbrella and anorak
  • Walking footwear
  • Phone charger/USA cord
  • Wireless kit/Bluetooth mobile device
  • Camera, USB charger and an instant camera
  • An epic road trip playlist!
  • A good book and local tourist guides
  • Travel games
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Blanket (for cool nights)
  • Sleeping bags (if sleeping overnight in the car)
  • Travel pillow
  • Travel mug with a sealable lid
  • UV window shade
  • Extra jumper/hoody
  • Flip flops
  • Hand sanitizer and hand wipes
  • Painkillers and allergy tablets (plus and prescription medication)
  • Reusable shopping bag
  • Garbage bags
  • Mints
  • Picnic blanket
  • A bath towel and beach towel (if you plan on wild swimming or beach trips)
  • A day pack
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip chap with SPF
  • Hairbrush and hair ties/grips
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Travel tissues
  • Snacks
  • Car cooler
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Tweezers and scissors

The best road planners to ‘pack’

In a 21st century road trip, you also need to think outside the ‘suitcase’. Digital travel companions will go a long way in making your road trip as stress-free as possible. We bring you some of the best USA road trip planner and journey Apps out there. So get ready to download these for your trip:

  • PackPoint – never miss a single item from your travel packing list again!
  • Roadtrippers – plan your road trip route, with up to 150 stops, tips, travel guides and a share function
  • Google Travel – get the same organizational features as the old Google Trips App, with this easy-to-use tool
  • iExit Interstate Exit guide – know which pittstops to make and where, plus find the best gas prices
  • Parkme Parking – know where to park and secure your space in advance, by paying direct
  • OpenTable – find nearby restaurants, read reviews and book a table
  • HearHere – a true road trip companion, with GPS-enable audio clips to add context, culture and history to your trip

Where to stay on road trips

When booking your USA road trip accommodation with Top Villas, you’re guaranteed a first-class service. Our Guest Experience team is on hand to help enhance your overnight accommodation too, with amazing travel extras.

What’s more, we make payments a breeze. Our new Affirm credit payment option* means you can spread the cost of your villa stay over a 3, 6 or 12 month period. Simply look out for properties with the Affirm banner!

*Subject to meeting Affirm’s credit criteria. T’s & C’s apply.

Choosing our flex properties

Many of our USA vacation rentals also benefit from our new flex cancellation policy. You’ll be free to cancel within the specificed time for any reason, for a full refund. Alternatively, amend your travel dates for free.

To benefit from this extra peace-of-mind, reserve a vacation home with one of the following badges:

  • Flex 14 – Cancel for a full refund or amend your dates free of charge, up to 14 days before check in.*
  • Flex 30 – Cancel for a full refund or amend dates free of charge, up to 30 days before check in.*

*T’s & C’s apply.

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