Road Trip Essentials

Last year I took a road trip from Edinburgh through the Scottish Highlands and up to Loch Ness. It was my first road trip without my parents and a great experience. I think I saw a lot more of the country than I would have by train or plane.

I learnt a lot on that trip from what to bring, to road safety and how to prevent arguments with your passengers! So today I wanted to share my essentials for a great road trip as part of my staycation series.

Road Trip Essentials

Service and MOT
It’s important your car is in good working order before any road trip so this is the perfect time to schedule a service with your garage, or a MOT if it’s due.

Before my road trip I asked my garage to check my tyres, tracking and oil – better safe than sorry. I also topped up my washer fluid before heading off.

Emergency car kit
I wrote about having an emergency car kit and a first aid kit last month, but wanted to touch on it briefly again. Things to consider packing include jump leads, spare tyre and jack, tyre pressure gauge, ice scraper, washer fluid, torch etc.

Vehicle paperwork

Make sure to bring along your driving licence and a copy of your insurance details just in case.

It’s also a good idea to make a note of your road cover assistance details and to keep a pen and paper handy.

Hard copy maps

Technology can fail us and you may lose GPS signal along your route so paper maps are great back up to have. I also print off a copy of my route plan which I download from Google maps.

Hard copies of your itinerary

Once I went to London by coach on my own and my phone died on me – I didn’t have a hard copy of my ticket or my booking confirmation! Thankfully the driver let me charge my phone on the coach enough to show him the ticket but now I keep hard copies of everything from travel tickets to booking confirmations for hotels, campsites or attractions.


Think of snacks that have a long shelf life when planning your road trip such as breakfast bars, crisps, nuts, biscuits, sweets and mints. Along with some lunch options like sandwiches or pasta which can be stored in a cool box or cool bag. Don’t forget to pack ice blocks!

It’s important to stay hydrated during your trip so I pack a reusable water bottle and flask. Not only is it more environmentally friendly than using plastic bottles you’re also saving money at service stations.

Picnic blanket

For sitting on while you’re stopped for lunch or to use on the beach.


To document all those memories.


For music think classic rock songs, cheesy songs or anything you can have a sing-a-long too. My favourite is Disney. 😉

You could also listen to audio books or podcasts while you’re driving.

How do you prepare for a road trip? What essentials would you bring with you? Let me know in the comments. x


  • Nancy

    October 6, 2018 at 04:51

    Love this post! It’s important to carry around an emergency car kit. You never know what can go wrong – big plus when you can fix it yourself instead of having to wait a long time to get help. Ooh, I am a big fan of bringing snacks on trips. Though, not much a fan of water because of constant restroom stops. YES on nice playlists!

    Nancy ♥

    1. Kim

      October 7, 2018 at 17:55

      Ah I know what you mean about restroom stops! Thankfully Google maps is pretty good at locating public toilets if you’re not taking the motorway. Thanks for your comment.

  • Christie

    October 5, 2018 at 21:00

    I love a good road trip!!!! I haven’t been on one in way too long but definitely need everything on your list!!

    1. Kim

      October 7, 2018 at 17:52

      Thanks for your comment. 🙂 I haven’t been one in a few months but I love them to.

  • Bexa

    October 5, 2018 at 20:26

    Ooh, I love this post Kim! It makes me want to pack a bag and head off on a long road trip. Yes to all the snacks and a cheesy sing a long playlist. Loving the Disney suggestion! Your road trips sound really fun 😍. Hard copies are such a brilliant idea, the amount of times I’ve been on low battery and I need to do something important on my phone is ridiculous ha ha. Thank you for sharing <3 xx

    Bexa |

    1. Kim

      October 7, 2018 at 17:51

      Thanks Bexa! I’ve lost count of number of times I’ve been on low battery and need to get tickets or call someone. I always take a power bank with me to. xx

  • Alice v

    October 5, 2018 at 20:19

    I have kids so the “must have” includes potty break before we leave, snacks, drinks, and plenty of entertainment!

    1. Kim

      October 7, 2018 at 17:47

      Yes to potty breaks beforehand! When my sister and I were little my mum always made us go before we left home.

  • Gemma

    October 5, 2018 at 18:19

    I can agree with this all! Definitely good to have all of this with you. I do feel we’re now relying too much on technology. Maps on your phone can drain it within seconds, I always print everything off I need! Whenever I go to London I always write down the tubes and stops I need. So much easier than trying to use my phone. Thank-you for sharing these handy tips!

    Gemma |

    1. Kim

      October 7, 2018 at 17:43

      That’s a great idea! I’m always checking my London tube app to make sure I get on and off at the right stops. Thanks for your comment.

  • Esha Chakraborty

    October 5, 2018 at 17:18

    Wow this is so detailed

    1. Kim

      October 5, 2018 at 21:33

      Thanks! 🙂 I hope you find it useful.

  • Cathy Ulrickson

    October 4, 2018 at 16:16

    What a fabulous road trip to take! I don’t live in Europe but this post would be very helpful for anyone that’s does.

    1. Kim

      October 4, 2018 at 23:48

      Thanks for your comment Cathy. I’m sure there are essentials that can be adapted to other countries? xx

  • melaniethehomebody

    October 4, 2018 at 15:37

    I can second having a hard copy of the map! I managed to get completely lost in South Carolina once. Great post!

    1. Kim

      October 4, 2018 at 23:47

      Oh no! I’ve gotten lost before when my sat nav died. It’s awful isn’t it?

  • Megan

    October 4, 2018 at 12:22

    I love a road trip – these are some really helpful ideas! For me it’s all about a good playlist, that really make or breaks my driving experience.
    Megan //

    1. Kim

      October 4, 2018 at 23:45

      Thanks for your comment Megan. I definitely agree with you about having a good playlist!

  • Sophie Wentworth

    October 4, 2018 at 12:03

    I’ve never been on a proper road trip! Such a good point about having hard copies. We all rely on our phones so much these days and it’s not at all practical sometimes. I can’t be trusted with car snacks, I want to eat absolutely everything the second we set off! x


    1. Kim

      October 4, 2018 at 12:13

      Haha I’m a nightmare when it comes to savoury snacks myself! But as I’m usually the one driving I can’t get them myself at least not easily lol. Thanks for your comment. x

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