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My Top Road Trip Essentials for the Perfect Summer Road Trip

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

As the spring semester ends and summer begins, it’s time to start going out and enjoying everything the season has to offer. One way I love to get out is by going on road trips. After going on a few last summer, I have compiled a list of my top road trip essentials. Here are my essentials to preparing for the perfect summer road trip.


Even if you aren’t going anywhere particularly sunny, bringing sunglasses is always a good idea since the sun’s rays are very strong during the summer months. Wearing them while driving and out and about will protect your vision and keep your eyes from becoming strained.

Roadside Emergency Kit

One of the worst things that could happen during a road trip is for your car to malfunction or break down, so having a roadside emergency kit is crucial. I personally like this kit that has essentially everything you might need — plus a first aid kit!


Standard chargers, car chargers and power banks are super important to bring so that your phone and other electronic devices don’t run out of battery — especially if you’re using one for navigation. The last thing you want on a road trip is to be lost in an unknown place with no way to contact others.


Because you never know what could happen on a trip, spare cash is an essential. There might be an occasion where cards aren’t accepted or where no ATMs are available.

Road Maps

Though Google Maps and Apple Maps are excellent choices for navigation, having a backup physical road map is a good idea in case you drive into an area with no service, your phone loses battery or your phone runs out of data. Most road maps for cities and counties are available online as a PDF and can be easily printed out. Before leaving, I would recommend printing out a road map for each area you plan on driving in during your trip.

Cooler with Snacks and Drinks

If you are going on a long road trip, it’s smart to bring a cooler with snacks and drinks so that you stay full and hydrated. There may be part of a road where there are no exits to get food for a while so having it with you will come in handy. Also, it’s often much cheaper to bring these than buy them from gas stations.


Having a playlist for a road trip is a necessity. It sets the mood for the trip and is useful when you leave the radius covered by your local radio stations. I personally love creating one on Spotify and listening to it during the trip.

If you decide to go on a road trip this summer, I highly encourage you to consider bringing these items so that your trip may go as well as possible. These are things that I personally always make sure to bring and am happy I do as they have helped me throughout my trips so many times.

Lindsey is a senior majoring in Advertising and Public Relations with a double minor in Writing and Rhetoric and Mass Culture and Collective Behavior at University of Central Florida. She hopes to pursue a career in marketing, advertising or pubic relations one day. Most of the time she can be found studying around campus or hanging out with friends. In her free time, she loves to travel, cook, and go to theme parks.
UCF Contributor