Cars and Facts

10 Must Have Road Trip Items

10 Must Have Road Trip Items

Some people love the beach, others love to travel abroad, for me though a great vacation consists of thousands of miles of open road, a good radar detector and road side dives that serve greasy food. You see I feel the most at home cruising down America’s super-slabs and over the past 5 years have logged more than 35,000 road-trippin’ miles. Some people would call this a sickness, I however see it as pure nirvana. At this point in my life I can safely say that I am a professional in the art of the road trip as I’ve pretty much been there and done that. From breaking down on the Blackfoot Indian reservation in Montana, to running over an 8-foot gator in Georgia, to blasting down the open roads of Nevada at over 130 mph. Road trips are a way of life for me and over the years I’ve amassed a pretty good list of what to bring along for the ride. The following is a list of 10 road trip items that are in my cars at all times. Over the years these babies have not only gotten me out of trouble, but have helped me avoid it as well. Click through for the full list and then get ready to hit the open road.

• Valentine One 
Valentine One

Bar-none, the best radar detector on the market. This little puppy has literally saved me THOUSANDS of dollars in fines and possible jail time. I have Valentine One’s hard wired into every car I own and don’t leave the house without them!

• Smart Phone
Smart Phone

Today’s smart phones are simply wonderful. From their built-in GPS navigation, to their ability to find an open Waffle House at 2 am, to the fact that they can sometimes be your only form of communication if your ride goes south, these little babies are a must. Make sure to get one that’s on the Verzion network though, because AT&T sucks…


Ahh… the GPS. These little buggers burst onto the scene over 10 years ago and have been getting people to their destinations ever since. Simply type in your destination address, hit the go button and WHALLA – you’re on your way. Good ones start around $150.00.

• Road Atlas
Road Atlas

They may seem old, they may seem antiquated, but a good road atlas is a must have for any serious road tripper. They’re reliable, never break down and have been getting weary travelers to their destinations for over 300 years. Rand McNally produces the best in the business so make sure to check them out.

• Portable CB Radio
CB Radio

Believe it or not but speaking with truckers on the open road is one of the best ways to find out information. From pinpointing police speed traps, to road construction, to finding the best greasy spoon, these guys are an amazing resource. Tune into channel 19 and let the fun begin.

• Beef Jerky / 5 Hour Energy / Red Bull
Beef Jerky

Travelers have been carrying beef jerky with them for a baa-billion years. Sure it’s like eating shoe leather, but it does provide some nourishment and actually tastes ok. Energy drinks, although relatively new to the market place, are crack for tired motorists. They’ll give you a little boost in energy an will help you out, just remember though that their no substitute for a good nights sleep. Use cautiously.

• Satellite Radio / iPod
Sat Radio

Tunes are an important part to any road trip and now with the advent of satellite radio motorists can have their choice of over 1,000 channels. Country, classical, hard rock, acid, religious and even talk radio are all present and accounted for. Price for service may vary, but I’d expect to pay about $19.95 per month.

• First Aid Kit
First Aid Kit

It’s all fun and games until someone loses and eye, or better yet, gets their finger lopped off by a fan blade. Seriously, just go buy one at any pharmacy and stuff it in the trunk, you’ll be glad you did.

• Money

Fuel, food, repairs and bribes all cost money. Make sure to bring a nice little stack of it with you as I’ve found that something always comes up where you’ll find yourself needing a little extra coin.

• Power Inverter
Power Inverter

This is a quick and easy way to keep that cell phone, computer and or portable coffee maker operational. Simply plug it into the cigarette lighter, then plug in your device to the inverter for instant power. Another must have!

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hasnt this been done before????? but that being said this is something that everyone needs to have on hand at all times


Nice list. #1 for me is music; not just on road trips but any time I drive. I don’t have satellite radio and my stereo doesn’t work with Ipod. CD CHANGER (not single cd player) and regular radio; I feel empty and lost driving without music.


To an extent yes, this list has been done, but this one has some new entrants. Don’t hate, appreciate!

Considering we just got back from doing 5800 miles in 7 days I thought it was fitting, besides, I think I left the inverter off the last one.


Hmm I don’t see a need for a physical GPS anymore since I have it on my phone.
I things I bring on my trips:
-wallet (with at least a few hundred to cover some expenses, like gas and food, until you reach your destination, and enough for the trip back)
-drinks (and water to wash hands?)but don’t drink too much or you will just want to take restroom breaks so often
-phone (I have a Virgin Mobile LG Rumor Touch, it’s my GPS, MP3 player, entertainment, communications, and instant information device)
-phone charger/FM transmitter (two devices in one that you plug into the dash)
-firearm (I always bring a handgun and two mags when going somewhere far I’ve never been)
-extra change of clothes, socks, boxers, and shoes. Sometimes you just feel like changing.
-spare tire/donut and jack
-DSLR camera. This also doubles as my backup GPS as I always put pictures of the map and directions on it. Also a form of entertainment in the middle of nowhere. The batteries seem to last days/weeks without needing to recharge.
-sleeping gear. A pillow is good enough, and you don’t need a blanket because a jacket will do when sleeping in the car.


as pillows go a head bed a U shaped thing that wraps around your neck is on my list,if someone else is driving and your to lazy to get in the back seat they are great way not to get a kink in your friggen neck


How well does your Virgin Mobile service work on road trips? I hear that there are a lot of gaps in coverage when you get out of populated areas, since they don’t have roaming. I’m thinking of switching to Virgin, but I’m taking a road trip later in the summer and thinking that maybe I should stick with a AT&T for now to be safe. what’s your take?


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