20 Road Trip Essentials You Need at Target
Before hitting the road, be sure to pack all the essentials you’ll need to stay hydrated, snack-satiated, warm, and safe out there.
Espresso Instant Coffee
But first, coffee. These single serving "sticks" are easy to throw in the glove compartment or your purse when you need a caffeine boost on-the-go, whether first thing in the morning or mid-afternoon on those long driving days. Even people who don't consider themselves "instant coffee people" have been known to be fans of Cafe Bustelo's instant coffee pouches — just add hot water in your travel mug and save yourself the $3 coffee shop stop.
Antibacterial Moist Wipes
There are a bajillion reasons why it’s a good idea to keep antibacterial wipes in the car. Eating a picnic lunch and there’s no sink in sight? Feeling a little grimy after a hike? No soap at the roadstop bathroom? Yeah, you get the idea. Throw this plastic container of pleasantly fresh-scented wipes into the car and you’ll instantly feel cleaner.
Since there's not always enough time (or hair dryers or hot showers — let's be honest) while road-tripping, dry shampoo can be a total game-changer. Spray it around the scalp and brush it out for fresher-smelling, less greasy-looking hair. It can make all the difference between looking like a hot mess after a sweaty hike and a put-together person before a dinner out on the town. Plus the aerosol can is super lightweight and easy to pack.
Instant Steel-Cut Oatmeal Cup
Stopping for breakfast isn’t always an option, especially if you’re in the middle of nowhere or rushing to reach your next destination, so it’s good to have a few instant oatmeal cups for breakfast emergencies. Just add hot water up to the convenient fill line and wait a few minutes for the steel-cut oats to cook. (Steel-cuts normally take at least an hour to cook so this is a miracle of modern science, people!) Enjoy the thick, chewy texture of steel-cut oatmeal and conveniently toss out the cardboard cup when you’re all done.
Swiss Army Classic Knife
There's a reason why Swiss army knives have been an iconic tool for so many decades, and this is the original knife that started them all. It's a convenient size, easy to slide on your key ring, with its handy scissors, file, and one-inch blade. You'll be prepared to slice open an apple on that wilderness trail, snip an annoying hangnail, or deal with the many other impromptu road trip scenarios that may come your way.
Buy It: Swiss Army Classic Knife
Car Charger Bundle
A battery-dead cell phone is a road-tripper’s worst nightmare. How will you listen to all those podcasts you downloaded? Or pull up directions to the amazing taco shop everyone has been recommending? Or post all of your travel pics on social media?! Be sure to invest in a reliable car charger. This Belkin charger fits most iPhones (or choose from the many other options they make for other phone models). It charges fast and has 4 feet of cord length to reach backseat traveling companions.
Travel Eye Mask
Whether you’re trying to sleep in a tent or hotel room or the backseat of a car, bright sunlight can seriously mess up your snoozefest. Pack a comfy, cushioned sleep mask and be ready for all sleeping/napping scenarios wherever you end up — this mask is a direct ticket to Sleepytown. The adjustable strap fits most heads, so you can share it with fellow road-trippers.
Buy It: BeWell™ Travel Eye Mask
Blank Journal Gartner
Keeping a record of your travel adventures — the sights, the sounds, the colors, the smells, the people you met along the way — is a priceless gift to your future self. Jot down the memories and doodle images of your favorite meals in an easy-to-pack travel journal. This one has a fun geometric cover with a convenient pouch to store your pen or pencil, and once you fill up the journal, you can insert a new one since the fabric cover is reusable.
Whether you're camping or just AirBnB-hopping, a sturdy travel mug is a must-have for on-the-go coffee or tea, especially if you're a slow sipper and you want to keep your drink warm for hours. We love the classic camping look of this one with its rustic white speckles and cork-lined handle. The tight-fitting plastic lid prevents spills especially on bumpy rides or trail hikes.
Packable Travel Blanket
As you're driving through different regional climates, temperatures can swing during the day and drop dramatically at night, so pack a travel blanket just in case you need an extra layer. Incredibly soft and cuddly, this one is super lightweight since it's made of 100% bamboo fiber. It folds up and zips neatly into a self-pocket for easy storage.
Buy It: BeWell™ Packable Travel Blanket
From roadside emergencies to just reading in bed, it never hurts to pack a headlamp for a little extra light when you need it. This one has a Battery Lock feature to avoid draining battery power when you're not using the lamp and you can set it to different brightness modes, including high and low lights and a red light for night vision. It comes with three AAA batteries so you'll be ready to get lit.
Watermelons are in season which means watermelon makeup bags must be in season too! Store your daily sunscreen, moisturizer, makeup remover wipes, and whatever else you need to keep that travel face lookin' fresh.
Food Storage Pouch
Traveling with a baby? That means a few extra items to pack, including these convenient baby food pouches. Fill 'em up with yogurt, applesauce, purees or whatever else you have in the cooler for your baby. Thanks to the large side opening and funnel feature, the 7-ounce pouches are easy to fill and clean on the road so you can avoid pulling over for extra grocery store runs.
Buy It: Baby Brezza Food Storage Pouch
These KIND mini bars are the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. The nuts give you a hit of protein, the dark chocolate a little energy boost, and who doesn’t love a good sweet-salty flavor combo? Keep a box in the car at all times for easy snacking while driving or radio DJing or playing the license plate game.
With so many scenic viewing points and parks along the way, you should be ready to pull over for a picnic whenever the opportunity strikes. This outdoor blanket will ensure you’re always picnic-ready — it easily folds into a bag, has a convenient carrying strap, and the fun, lively ikat pattern adds a burst of color to make your picnic game even stronger.
Igloo MaxCold Collapsible Cooler
Having a collapsible cooler is key on any road trip. Throw in cold drinks, fresh fruit, and even last night’s dinner leftovers to be repurposed for a picnic lunch the next day. This classic Igloo bag doesn’t take up as much space as a traditional ice chest but still fits plenty inside (picture two six-packs stacked on top of each other and that’s how big this cooler is). The shoulder strap allows you to throw it on your back to easily carry it into your next hotel room or picnic destination.
Sea Salt Roasted Chickpeas
One of the many glories of road-tripping is all the snacking you will inevitably do along the way. While we could easily scarf down a bag of salt & vinegar chips (and probably will) if you’re looking for a healthier snack with a higher protein content, try these dried chickpeas. They have a great crunch and will satisfy that salty tooth.
LaCroix Sparkling Water
Stock up on your favorite fizzy friend to stay hydrated, and for many of us that would be La Croix. We love cracking open the refreshing grapefruit flavor in addition to mango, lime or coconut. The cans of flavored seltzer water are a refreshing alternative to sugar-laden, caffeinated sodas, and more exciting than ye olde tap water.
Avoid the asymmetrical sunburn from one side of the window with this double pack of Rollershades, which are ready to suction cup or clip onto your car windows. Block out the intense UV rays and stay cool, especially if you have kiddos in the backseat.
Johnson & Johnson First Aid Kit
Be prepared for whatever your adventure throws your way — cuts, scrapes, insect bites, headaches — with this handy first aid kit from Johnson & Johnson. It contains 140 items: everything from cleaning wipes to itch-stopping cream to Band-Aids and Tylenol in one zipper bag that's easy to throw in the trunk. (It's great to have one in the car the rest of the year too.)