7 Things You Need In Your Car For Every Long Drive

I go on a lot of day trips. These trips can be up to six hours each way. That’s a lot of time spent in the car for one day. In the past, I wouldn’t bring anything with for the car ride. I would think we can stop on the way if we need anything, but that’s not always the best option or an option at all.

There were many times I wished I had a snack in the car, or my phone ran out of battery halfway home. Because of this, I came up with my Day Trip Packing List. Whether I’m going to a city or going on a hike, I bring the same things seven for the road.

In no particular order, here are the seven things I bring in the car on every day trip.


When you’re in a car for hours, the air can get pretty dry. And if you’re anything like me, you just want to get to your destination. You don’t want to stop somewhere for a bottle of water. I always bring at least one bottle of water for each person in the car. I like to use these collapsible water bottles. They’re awesome for hiking or walking around a city, because they get smaller as you drink from it.


Have you ever been on a hike, and suddenly you get a terrible headache? I think everyone has gotten a headache at an inconvenient time. That is why I always bring Ibuprofen on my day trips. Don’t let a headache spoil your day.

Bonus Tip: Use a plastic bubble from a quarter machine to keep pills in. It is small and the cap stays on really well. It’s also cheap!

Hand Sanitizer

I always keep some hand sanitizer on me, especially when I’m traveling. You never know what will end up on your hands, and it’s good to be prepared.


Sometimes I just want to taste something without eating anything. Or maybe I just have a bad taste in my mouth. It seems to happen a lot when I’m in my car for a long time. I always have some gum in my car for these times.

Phone Charger

My phone has died too many times to count when I have been away from home. The last thing I want when I am hours away from home in the middle of nowhere is to lose my map. Last spring, on my way to Pittsburgh, I finally bought a car charger. Having a car charger is amazing! I don’t have to worry about my phone making it through an entire day anymore.

Small Pillow

If you have someone else driving with you, a small pillow is a must. You can take a nap more comfortable, or put it behind your back for some support. I have this small travel pillow for camping and traveling. If you decide you don’t need it while you’re driving, you can always toss it in the back until you need it.


Snacks are the number one thing I need on a day trip. I know the moment I pull away from my house, I will instantly be hungry. I usually bring fruit, granola bars, or chips on trips. They are cheap, easy to store, and tasty! If you don’t plan on stopping at a restaurant for a meal, I suggest bringing a small cooler filled with lunch or dinner.


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