Ultimate Road Trip Packing List

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So you’re heading off on a road trip? We know that choosing what to pack for a road trip can be stressful. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a week, a month, or a year on the road, you’ll likely need the same equipment. As a result, we’ve put together an Ultimate Road Trip Packing List that will help take the stress out of planning. This packing guide will cover everything from clothes to cooking gear.

We thought this post couldn’t come at a more perfect time. In just 3 months we are heading off on a road trip ourselves, circumnavigating the whole of Australia for 6 months. We’ve done a heck of a lot of planning for this trip including where we should sleep, where to go, how long to spend at each place and of course what to pack.

In this road trip packing list, we are sharing our personal packing list for our road trip. We’ve been on many road trips in the past but none quite as long as the one we are about to embark on. We also want to make it concise, easy to read and knowledgeable for you to use next time you go on a road trip (wherever in the world you are, planning a road trip packing list is similar).

Tip: that the lighter the car, the more efficient you drive, so don’t overpack!

Road Trip Packing List 

First, we’ll start with the absolute essentials that you should never leave without, and then move on to clothing, safety gear, entertainment, and odds and ends that make road trip travel so much more enjoyable.

Absolute Essentials

  • First Aid Kit – for any emergencies that may occur on the road

  • Cool Box/Esky – to keep your food and drinks cool and ripe

  • Jerry Can – you never know when you might run out of fuel in remote areas.

  • Portable Water Tank – So important, you don’t want to run out of water

  • Portable Charger for Electronic Devices – Incase your electronics run out of battery

  • Jump Cables – an essential safety and security tool for every vehicle. Dealing with dead battery? It’s best to have a set of cables on hand

  • Maps and/or Guides – There may be no phone signal, so having a good old paper map will be your saviour (travelling Australia? This book is a must!)

  • Spare Tire – incase you get a puncture or the tyre runs thin

  • High Lift Jack – Vital in order to replace a tyre on the road

Camping Gear

Ultimate Road Trip Packing List - Tent

Ultimate Road Trip Packing List - Daypack

Ultimate Road Trip Packing List - Chairs

Ultimate Road Trip Packing List - Table

Ultimate Road Trip Packing List - Stove

Ultimate Road Trip Packing List - Cookware

Electronics Equipment

Ultimate Road Trip Packing List - GoPro

  • MacBook Pro with Retina Display + Charger – keeping in contact with friends/family and blogging!

  • Batteries – AAA and AA for torches, lamps etc.

  • External Hard Drive – we’re sure you’ll be taking thousands of photos, the last thing you want is to loose all your memories!

  • Satellite Phone – only essential if you are heading into the outback/wilderness without signal

  • iPhone 7 + Charger –  keep in touch with friends/family and for emergencies

  • Camera + Charger – capturing memories and the beautiful places you visit (we love this camera!)

  • GoPro + Additional Batteries – the best action camera out there, perfect for any road trip

Important Documents 

World Nomads Logo

  • Travel Wallet – Keep all your important documents in one place so you never loose anything

  • Passport – make sure it has at least 6 months left on it if you’re travelling overseas

  • Drivers License – kind of a no-brainer seen as you’ll be road tripping

  • Emergency Numbers – for people or you to call if you’re in trouble

  • Visa Details – if you’re travelling abroad

  • Flight Info & Tickets – you’ll have to come back at some point 😉

  • Accommodation / Campsite Info – it’s easy to forget when you’re on the road

  • Insurance Information – we highly recommend you take out travel insurance. Our favourite is World Nomads. Read our post on why you should here.

  • Cash & Credit Cards – can’t get anywhere without these!

  • Travel Journal to remember your awesome road trip


Ultimate Road Trip Packing List - Jacket

Ultimate Road Trip Packing List - Tevas

  • Unisex Jacket – for windy and rainy days

  • Thermals – it can get cold at night

  • Underwear – both men & women

  • Socks / Hiking Socks – for hiking and driving

  • Comfortable Clothing – (weather dependent, but think about: jeans, trousers / dresses / shorts / shirts / tops / sweater / evening wear / jacket)

  • Swimwear – to cool off in the heat or sunbath at the beach

  • Comfortable Sandals like Tevas – I LOVE my Tevas and cannot recommend them enough

  • Hiking/Comfortable Shoes – you’ll most likely be doing a lot of walking

  • Flip Flops – for the beach

  • Hat / Scarf / Gloves – it might get chilly in the evenings

  • Beach Round Towel – for relaxing on the beach

  • Travel Towel – for showering and washing yourself (quick dry)

Personal Hygiene 

  • Shower Gel 

  • Shampoo & Conditioner 

  • Deodorant 

  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste

  • Face Wipes

  • Female: Diva Cup & Pads – girls this is a lifesaver!

  • Razor & Shaving Cream

  • Tweezers & Nail Clippers

  • Hairbrush & Hair Spray

  • Glasses / Contact Lenses & Fluid

  • Medical Prescriptions 

Health & Safety 

  • Suncream & Aftersun – the last thing you want happen is to get burnt

  • Insect Repellent – to keep the bugs away

  • Spare Keys – for your car

  • Survival Knife – for any situation you may encounter


Still wondering how to pack for a road trip? Our top tip is to get some handy storage boxes to keep all your gear and clothing in, so that you don’t spend hours in the boot of your car trying to get something from the bottom of your bag.

We swear by Packing Cubes, which are a god send when wanting to separate your clothing, shoes and other gear.

We hope that this road trip packing list will help you before setting off. When you’ve completed all the packing and planning, we are sure you will have the time of your life on the road!

Have you been on a road trip? What are your packing essentials?

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Ultimate Road Trip Packing List - Everything you need to know before setting off on your big adventure!

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By | 2017-10-07T23:53:50+01:00 October 9th, 2017|What should you pack?|9 Comments

About the Author:

Hey there I'm Emma! A luxury and adventure travel blogger. I've currently travelled to 53 countries with no plans to stop! I hope I can inspire you to travel the world with my travel guides, travel and blogging tips, as I believe travel is for everyone. So come and travel well for less with me!


  1. Michelle 10/09/2017 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    I totally agree with all these things, and I have a couple of extras to add, if I may (we’re 3 months into our 6 month road trip). A couple of those supermarket bags – they’re great for organising all your stuff and they make a good bathroom bag to take to the shower. If you’re doing a lot of free camping then you’ll want to pick up a small spade (for when there are no toilets). And, this is just a personal one, but I LOVE my $6 ugg boots from KMart. Perfect for when the nights are a bit chilly but you want to stay outside around the campfire.

    • Emma Lomas 10/10/2017 at 1:38 pm - Reply

      Hey Michelle,

      That’s a great idea and super cheap! Haha yes, a small spade will definitely come in handy as we won’t be a full-self contained vehicle.
      Thanks so much for these suggestions and can’t wait to follow your journey across Australia!

      Happy & Safe Travels,

  2. Adrenaline Romance 10/10/2017 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    Except for the automobile-related equipment, these things are definitely essential for an outdoor adventure and trip. I’d like to add a foldable wash bag; we have one from Deuter. It organizes toiletries and personal items neatly. Mine has a hook so that you can just hang it anywhere. It’s like having a portable bathroom cabinet! 🙂

  3. Adrenaline Romance 10/10/2017 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Well, I said “except for the automobile-related equipment” because we don’t have a car. But I believe these items are important for those who have a vehicle.

    • Emma Lomas 10/10/2017 at 1:39 pm - Reply


      Thanks for adding this item, yes a foldable wash bag is a great ideas as it’s small and compact 🙂

      Happy Travels,

  4. Mikayla 10/11/2017 at 8:58 am - Reply

    Hi Emma & Yannick,

    This list is fantastic! You’ve literally covered everything and made it simple for anyone to double check the essentials 🙂

    I’m hoping to also do a big Australian road trip within a few years, i’ll definitely be relaying back to this for a checklist 🙂

    Thanks for sharing these great tips!


    • Emma Lomas 10/21/2017 at 12:17 pm - Reply


      Thanks, we’re so glad this packing list has helped 🙂
      That’s so exciting, we can’t wait to do the big loop in just under 3 months!!

      Happy Travels,
      Emma & Yannick

  5. Anonymous 01/14/2019 at 5:18 am - Reply

    Your packing list is going to help me a lot for my huge packing to makes it compact. Great tips for packing essential things. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Emma Lomas 01/14/2019 at 9:59 am - Reply


      So glad my packing list will help you in the future 🙂

      Happy travels,

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