It's the holiday season: Road-trip essentials packing list

Amany Abdel-Moneim , Thursday 6 May 2021

Al-Ahram Weekly offers some road-trip essentials to pack in your car for a stress-free, in-style and safe family vacation

Road-trip essentials packing list
Road-trip essentials packing list

It’s the holiday season, a time to party, recharge our souls, see new places or just escape to coastal beaches. Yet, this year’s vacation might be a little bit different from usual. 

In the light of the Covid-19 pandemic and because we’re still not back to normal, many of us may plan to hit the road to explore magic places in our country, skipping planes, trains and other public transportation to maintain social distancing. 

No doubt, road-tripping can be a safe and fun way to take the scenic route to your destination, but just make sure to wear your face masks at petrol stations and anywhere else you may come in contact with others along the way.

Here are some road-trip essentials to pack in your car for a stress-free, in-style and safe family vacation:

Hand sanitiser:

You can’t always count on the cleanliness of rest stops, so go armed with your own sanitiser, disinfecting wipes and tissues. 

Face masks:

Make sure to pack enough masks for all the family in case you need to get out of the car. A trip that’s longer than a few hours will likely require a stop for a bathroom break.

Insulated tumblers:

Instead of plastic cups, bring a reusable thermal mug for coffee, water and soft drinks. You can bring one for each family member to avoid stress about drinks spilling in the car while you travel.

Travel pillows:

Finding a comfortable sleeping position in the car can be difficult, especially on long road trips. A comfort neck pillow can make road-napping easier and prevent those who are getting sleepy from getting cramps in the neck.


They’re essential for any trip, especially when driving on roads with limited stops. It’s best to plan ahead and get a good mix of salty and sweet snacks, fruit and nuts. For long trips, a few bites can go a long way.

Drinking water:

In addition to keeping you and your family hydrated, an extra bottle or two of water is essential. It can also help if you need to put more water in the car’s radiator.

A car cooler:

Load your cooler with drinks and snacks. It’s great to have a variety of refreshing drinks, snacks or fruit, so you don’t feel obligated to make unnecessary stops along the way. 

A backseat organiser:

Most cars don’t have large enough pockets for your things. A hanging backseat organiser can hold passenger snacks and bottles without putting them out of reach.

First-aid kit:

It’s always advisable to keep a well-loaded medical kit in your car in case of a crisis while travelling. It can help you easily clean and treat simple injuries and scrapes on the road. A basic first-aid kit should contain bandages, burn cream, antibacterial wipes or cream, tweezers, plasters and pain reliever suitable for all ages.

An empty fuel can:

If you run out of fuel on the road, you can walk or get a lift to the nearest petrol station with your empty can to fill it up.

Duct tape:

This can give you a temporary quick fix to damage like smashed windows or a broken door handle until you reach a mechanic and get it properly fixed.

Tyre pressure gauge:

Poorly maintained tyres can be a threat on the road. It’s better to have your own gauge on hand just in case you ever need to check your tyre pressure.

A flashlight:

Though most smartphones have flashlights, they tend to drain the phone’s battery quite quickly. Therefore, it’s advisable to have a working flashlight stored in your car.

Car trash bin:

Where there are snacks and drinks, there’s garbage. The bin is the safest way to store the trash accumulated during your trip.

Phone charger:

Portable USB chargers are essential for any car trip. Take a couple to save arguments over whose phone gets priority.

Jumper cables:

A dead battery can take you by surprise and give you a hard time. Keep a couple of jumper leads in your car, as they can enable another vehicle to recharge your dead battery. One of the most common ways of draining a vehicle’s battery is by listening to the stereo while the vehicle’s engine is switched off.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 6 May, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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