I think everyone probably has their own version of this list. The list changes over time too; people need different things, economic statuses differ, and the destination can often affect what is deemed necessary. However this is my list developed over my 26 years of packing into a car and settling in to relax, take in the scenery, and enjoy the journey. *Side note: I LOVE car trips. I am lucky not be afflicted with motion sickness.*
1: A good bag. For me, this means my Duluth Pack backpack. I don’t get any money from them to post this and my bag certainly was not sent to me care of. My mom bought it for me before I left for college in 2008 and it has faithfully been with me on every adventure since. Having a bag that is durable is key (obviously). Roominess is also an important factor. If your bag is travel worn and bears the scars and marks of many adventures, well that is the cherry on top.
2: A book or two. I usually bring at least two different genres. One may be “heavier” reading, like something that requires more thought and attention, and one that is “light” reading. Something funny and something serious. On my upcoming trek to Colorado I will be driving instead of riding shotgun, so I plan to have a Harry Potter book and one of the Outlander novels on CD with me. It’s going to be a lot of driving…through Nebraska. I’ll need all the mental stimulation I can get.
3: Car snacks. The healthier the better. I know- doesn’t a bag of Chex mix sound really good though? When I was a kid I could throw back the bottle of Pepsi and let is marinate in my gut with all the salty chips and candy bars I could get my hands on. Now I much prefer a bag of dried fruit, smoothies, water bottles, and maybe a nut mix. My mom and I always make an exception for Cheeze-its because there is no better snack cracker.
4: Travel journal. Get one. Make it pretty. Write down your journey or just some passing thoughts. You’ll be glad you did later. Here Is a drool-worthy one from Etsy.
5: A camera. Whether it is your phone, a point and snap, of something fancy, having a way to capture those moments on the road cannot be missed.