What To Pack For The Perfect Road Trip

enjoying road trip
Janelle Gonzalez

Aug 18, 2016

Whether you’re heading to the coast for your annual family getaway, ticking off some of the great sites or having a quick weekend escape, no one wants to end up stranded at a not-so-restful rest stop, get eaten alive by bugs or realise 2 hours in that you’ve got no music.

To ensure your much anticipated road trip is also the ultimate holiday, here’s your go-to checklist for what to pack taken from my Blue Toro Road Trip Guide.

What To Pack? Everything But The Kitchen Sink.

Packing is the key to making your trip a whole lot more pleasant. With that in mind, it’s important not to overpack (the heavier your load the more you’ll pay in fuel!). This checklist should be used as a guide, consider what you’ll really need based on your circumstances and ditch the rest.

Whether it’s built in to your car, dash mounted or built an app on your phone, your GPS is the key to getting where you want to go and enjoying the sites along the way.

√ Smartphone or tablet
Or both! There are loads of handy travel apps you can download and they’re life savers when it comes to keeping easily-bored passengers (AKA kids) occupied.

What To Pack For The Perfect Road Trip2

√ Proper tunes
Don’t rely on the radio in the middle of nowhere. Make a playlist and ensure you’ve got the gadgets to play it in the car (whether that’s bluetooth, USB, an auxiliary cable or radio-to-usb tuner).

√ Munchies
If you’re like me, you may have a phobia about food in cars. That said, no one wants a road trip ruined by a severe case of ‘hangry’ (the anger that comes with hunger). Pack loads of snacks and water and if you don’t want them in the car then pull over and have a picnic.

√ Toilet paper
Don’t rely on rest stops to be restful. BYO toilet paper, hand sanitizer and anything else that will make your toilet stop a bit more comfortable.

√ First aid
Go for a basic first aid kit and then add some travel essentials. Simple things like insect repellent, pain relievers and travel sickness tablets can be life savers.

√ Sun safety
Sunscreen and hats are pitstop essentials. And nobody wants to be in a car without their sunglasses in the Australian Summer.

√ Comfy clothes, blankets & pillows
Travelling for hours calls for comfort, and your passengers may want to have a snooze on the way.

√ Camera
Don’t get caught without one, even if it’s in your smartphone or tablet – you never know what you’ll see along the way.

√ Charged batteries
Not necessarily an essential, but if you have electronic devices that need them (think GPS, torch, portable speaker) you’ll be thankful.

√ Entertainment
A charged ipad, great driving tunes and the right companion may be enough. But sometimes it’s not. When that’s the case, call on cards, board games or a book.

√ A good spare tyre & changing kit
You probably haven’t checked your spare tyre in a while (or ever), so if you pack anything else, make sure your spare is in good older.

√ A spare set of keys
Ever been locked out of your car or lost your keys? A spare set in your luggage or with your travel partner could save you a whole bunch of heartache.

√ Spare Petrol
If you’re heading to a remote area, buy and fill up a jerry can before you leave

√ Cash
EFTPOS machines aren’t always easy to find in remote areas.

√ A good companion
Who you travel with will make or break your teup. We don’t always have a choice, so if that’s the case go back a few steps and assess your entertainment situation.

√ Emergency Plan
Before you head off:
– Know the emergency numbers to call should you break down
– Know what you need to do in an emergency. Take a copy of your roadside assistance and insurance details (simply take a photo on your smartphone or a photocopy in the glove box in case your phone runs out of charge).
– Tell someone where you’re going.
– Pack a basic emergency toolkit, including torch, tyre inflator, jumper cables, duct tape, spanner and wrench kit. Basic toolkits are available are any auto parts store including Supercheap and Auto One.

Road trip special

If you follow this checklist and plan your route carefully, you’ll be up for the perfect road trip and a great holiday. To download the list and for more resourced check out the Blue Toro Road Trip Guide.


By Janelle Gonzalez

Corporate escapee and mechanic’s wife Janelle Gonzalez has spent the last 24 years in garages, pit lanes and on road trips. Living a double life - corporate by weekday, trackside on the weekends - she shares her husband’s passion for cars. She has now turned her skills to building Australia’s first national mobile mechanic franchise. Her mission is to help Australians trust mechanics by educating car owners and returning to good old fashioned service values, while changing the lives of mechanics and their families.


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