If you’re considering heading out, here is our complete road trip packing list. Even though spontaneity is often the name of the game when it comes to the summer road trip, you’ll want to make sure your vehicle is stocked with certain must-haves so that you can stay safe and healthy. 

Before You Go

Because we’re in the middle of a pandemic, take these extra steps to ensure a successful and safe trip: 

Plan your route ahead of time: Even though spur-of-the-moment experiences are one reason we enjoy travel so much, this year it may be wiser to plan on going from Point A to Point B, to mitigate unnecessary risk to yourself, your family, and others. 

Make hotel and other necessary reservations: Many small motels, inns and even some larger boutique hotels have closed their doors during the pandemic. This goes for restaurants, as well. Make sure you have a place to stay by making reservations in advance and even calling the hotel to confirm they are open and that your reservation was received. 

Call ahead to confirm attractions and destinations are open: Many attractions, stores, parks, and other destinations have altered their hours or aren’t welcoming visitors at all this summer. If your heart is set on visiting a certain attraction, make sure to check their hours and policies in advance. 

Be prepared to wait: Long lines and wait times have become the norm to maintain social distancing guidelines. Even if your chosen destination is open, you should mentally prepare yourself and your travel companions for the possibility of your entry being delayed. 

The New Road Trip Essentials

Last summer, you may not have thought much about sanitization beyond washing your hands after a rest stop. This year, take extra care to avoid touching surfaces and sanitize your hands thoroughly after every interaction. Wipe down picnic tables and other eating surfaces with disinfectant wipes before eating, and pump gas wearing gloves. 

In addition, don’t leave your house without an adequate supply of the following: 

  • Face masks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Hand wipes or baby wipes
  • Rubber or food service gloves

The Classic Road Trip Checklist

Important Documents

Review the contents of your glove box and wallet to make sure you’re traveling with the most up-to-date documents:

  • Car registration
  • Auto insurance card
  • Car manual
  • Driver license
  • Up-to-date maps
  • Paper money and emergency credit card

Roadside Emergency Items

Nobody wants to think about a breakdown, especially in the middle of a remote area, but breakdowns do happen — and we have a lot of remote areas in Arizona. Be prepared with these items: 

  • Spare tire
  • Jack
  • Travel tool kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Safety flares
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Duct tape
  • Tarp
  • Extra phone charger
  • Umbrella
  • Extra bottles of water

Creature Comforts

Long miles can feel, well, long (especially with little ones in tow). Make sure you have what everyone in the car needs to stay comfortable, fed, hydrated, alert and in good spirits. Consider bringing the following:

  • Neck pillow or regular pillow
  • Seat cushion
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Extra clothing layer that’s easily accessible
  • Full reusable water bottles
  • Cooler with fresh fruit, cheesesticks, and other snacks
  • Non-perishable snacks like granola bars and beef jerky
  • Treats, like candy and mints or gum
  • Tissues
  • Toilet paper
  • Napkins
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm/chapstick
  • Surprise activities (sticker books, Wikki Stix, silly putty)

Ready to learn more about staying safe on the road in every circumstance? Contact Stop and Go Driving School to learn more about our safe driving instruction.