In-Car Essentials For a Long Road Trip

So, to prepare for our long road trip, I’ve been doing some research and compiling a list of things and tips that will help us actually enjoy the drive and not go insane. Here’s that list:

So if you’re following me on Instagram (my favorite place to hang out recently), you may have heard that our family is moving to the great Pacific Northwest! We’re so excited because this is something we’ve been wanting to do since Josh and I got married but the timing was never juuust right until now. It’s bitter-sweet, though, because we love our church family so much and truly wish we can bring them with us. We’ll also be leaving the same coast that my side of the family lives on. My family and our small group can testify that we’ve been cornering each person individually and trying to convince them to come with us. Kidding! (short of…).

Anyway. As nice as it’d be to drive 40 hours with a 2-year-old and a 4-month-old, we decided against it (OMG THAT WOULD BE AWFUL).

So, to save the day, our superhero moms are going to be flying from our home here in central VA to Seattle with our babies while Josh and I traverse the country with our single trailer holding what’s left of all our belongings. Josh has already driven across the country twice but this will be my first time and I’m actually pretty excited! I love long road trips! Mostly for the opportunity it gives hubs and I to catch up and talk without technology being as much of a distraction.

So, to prepare for our long road trip, I’ve been doing some research and compiling a list of things and tips that will help us actually enjoy the drive and not go insane. Here’s that list:

Ps. If you have any tips of your own to share that you think I missed, leave them in the comments below!

A huge water bottle

Nothing is worse than being stuck in the drivers seat with your driving buddy sleeping AND being parched. When I get dehydrated, I start to feel sick real fast. I get a headache, my stomach feels gross, and I get tried. I always have a massive water bottle on me like this one and will definitely have one in the car!

A roof bag

My parents actually just gifted us this roof bag and I’m really excited to use it. We’ll get to try it out before the road trip when we go camping with the fam this weekend. This’ll give us much more space in the car (which we will so need since we’re moving everything to our names in one smallish trailer AND the fact that we’ll have the dog in the car with us. Did I mention that? He’ll be on pills).

A car adapter

We purchased this little guy so I could keep blogaloggin’ on the road. (I say “little” because my parents had a honkin’ one of these  in the 90’s and I had this image in my head that that’s what we were going to get when purchasing this. Nope. It’s cute and small. The wonders of modern technology). You may have also heard that I’m freelance blogging now. That, and helping companies with Pinterest. This will help me keep us with a couple jobs I have while on the road if/when we stop to eat and rest. Have I ever mentioned that I love that I can work from anywhere????? It’s pretty awesome.

A cooler

As much as I looove salty snacks, they can often make the dehydration I mentioned above a lot worse. Also, when you’re on the road, you’re eating out a lot and it can be hard to stay healthy. When we veer from our normal eating habits, we start to not feel so hot. That being said, I like to pack some bananas, apples, and berries to munch on while on the road. They keep up feeling good, energized, and keep us on track with our healthy habits. Put those in a cooler so they stay so fresh and so clean, clean.

Car seat organizer + trash can

Not just for kids, guys. If you’re anything like us, you know that the car can get messy real fast when you’re stuck in it for the long haul. I especially love this organizer because it has a cooler built in! Why not kill two birds with one stone? Also, we never don’t have a trash can in our car. I might not be a neat freak, but one of my pet peeves is having trash rappers just thrown around.

Roadside emergency kit

Road trip or not, every car needs one of these. We got a new alternator a few months ago (which, apparently, is responsible for charging the battery? Correct me if I’m wrong. But I’ll probably forget again anyway) and before we did, our battery died probably every other week. Mostly because our two year old would turn lights on in the car without us knowing and they would remain on over night. Come next morning, dead car. Don’t be stuck without a good set of jumper cables when you’re far from home!


It’s hard to get good nutrition when you’re on the road all day. Grab a little extra protein while you’re on the road in a bar, not unlike this one, that’s high in protein and low in sodium.

A good travel mug

If you’re traveling even half as much as we will be next month (or even a quarter) you might start to feel a little sleepy. WAKE UP! Grab a cup o’ joe to go in a travel mug like this one that’ll keep it hot or cold for hours! Not to mention it’ll help you clumsies (like me) from spilling all over yourself. Always a good thing. Did you know that lots of coffee shops will give you a small discount if you bring your own mug?? Give it a try!

A sweet camera

I love road trips. I especially love making memories. My sisters bought me this camera for my birthday and I intend to get A LOT of use out of it during our trip! Don’t forget to pack extra film!

A camping tent

Being the frugal people that we are, we don’t want ot have to spend money on 4 nights of hotels on our trek across the US. Instead, we’re opting for sleeping under the stars. We were given this tent as a wedding present (best thing we put on our registry!) and we have gotten a lot of use out of it! Here’s to many more camping trips to come!

A good pair of sunglasses

For some weird reason, I don’t get tired when driving at night. The only time I get tired is when I drive when it’s really sunny! I think the extra squinting just makes me sleepy!


I used to work for an optometrist who also sold glasses and sunglasses. These were my favorite products in the entire office. Maui Jims are q u a l i t y. These are polarized with contrast enhancements that really help improve your vision when it’s extremely sunny or overcast. The best pair of sunglasses I’ve ever owned.

Phone stand/charger

I tried to find the exact phone stand/charger we have but I could not. HOWEVER, this one is pretty similar! Our phone stand like this is a lifesaver. It helps hold my phone up for me while I have the GPS going and keeps it out of the clutter of snacks and whatnot. And no, the magnet will not hurt your phone (although I don’t understand why).

Eyemask and travel pillow

When you’re road trippin’ it, you’ll have to sleep when you can. I like these types of eye masks that are more shapely because other ones squish my eyelashes and I end up with mascara on my cheeks #girlproblems. Also, I think neck pillows make you look like a dork but they’re a necessary evil when traveling. Here’s a quality one for ya.

Baby wipes

Depending on how long your road trip is, you may get pretty gross. Or at the very least, find yourself needing to wash your hand without a sink nearby. These Amazon Elements wipes are truly my favorite. They take off makeup, they’re sensitive on skin, fragrance-free, strong, and the perfect wetness. Love them.

So guys, what’d I miss? Have anything you’d add to the list? Leave a comment below and help a fellow traveler!So, to prepare for our long road trip, I’ve been doing some research and compiling a list of things and tips that will help us actually enjoy the drive and not go insane. Here’s that list:

So, to prepare for our long road trip, I’ve been doing some research and compiling a list of things and tips that will help us actually enjoy the drive and not go insane. Here’s that list:

This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you purchase through my link, I get a cut of the sale, but prices are exactly the same for you. Thanks in advance for the support! Of course, I only post products that I truly believe in and/or use myself.
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    I love bringing my polaroid along with me on road trips!


    I love a good road trip and used to drive a lot for work. But surely you’ve forgotten the most important thing…a great playlist! You can’t go on a long road trip without some brilliant music


    Chelsea! I just recently found you and have joined the Sweet Wife facebook group and have fallen in love with your blog. And then I find this post! My husband and I are moving to the PNW in January! We both grew up in Georgia, went to college in Arkansas and have lived the past 5 years in Ohio. It’s going to be crazy leaving all our friends and family but we’re super excited! I’m so glad to follow your journey in a very similar situation!