6 Things Every Road Trip Must Have

The term “road trip” conjures up different images for everyone — a hodgepodge of gas station booty (Pirate’s, you sicko), hot boxing on an open road, Tom Green having his nipples massaged — but one thing is certain: there are key elements to really kick a mobile excursion into full speed. 

And since traveling on four-wheels allows us to maintain both our social distance not to mention our sanity — it’s no wonder road trips have been on the rise since, well, all of 2020. 

So let’s get you prepared, shall we? Here are the 6 things you absolutely must have for a successful road trip. 


This is at the top of the list for a reason. Soundtracking your road trip — both while on the road and at each stop — is paramount. It’s essentially a time capsule for your trip. How else will you remember the “shortcut” that ended up being someone’s long ass driveway every time “Send Me On My Way” comes on? Create a playlist before you go — or better yet, use the one Carl made — and make sure you have your phone front-facing for the ride and a portable waterproof speaker for the stops. Ain't no one got time to sift through CDs anymore. 


Obviously, I’m not telling you to drive with an open container of everything. (I can’t legally do that.) But I am saying that beverages, both enroute and in park, are pretty fucking essential. Just as essential? Keeping them at the correct temps. Whether this means coffee or hot toddies by the fire or ice cold roadies for your hike, ensuring you have your beverage of choice easily within reach at all times — whether in a portable thermos or backpack cooler — will level up any and every activity. 


Before you get excited, I’m not talking about the license plate game. (But, sure, knock yourself out dork). Type of game is often dictated by type of travel posse, but a frisbee is the ultimate catch-all (fuck you, puns are hilarious). And for those couples hitting the road, consider rolling the (erotic) dice in the great outdoors. Because if you can’t get weird on a dead end in the middle of nowhere, where can you? 


If you don’t have a hoodie, don’t even bother getting in the car. And if you don’t have a hoodie that can virtually hide another person inside of it, don’t get in my car. Seriously though, clothing for the road needs to endure the three S’s without fail: sweat, spills, and sleep. 


There’s always that one asshole on the trip who doesn’t spring for a chair because “there will be somewhere to sit other than the ground” and then spends almost the entire trip trying to steal someone else's chair because there’s not. Don’t be that asshole. Stock up on quality folding chairs, because they really do make or break your back the experience.  


It’s very likely you won’t use a Swiss army knife the entire duration of your road trip. But it’s even more likely that if you don't bring one, you will at one time really need it. So just be an adult and snag one along with a first aid kit. Speaking of adulting, even if you’re outward bound the entire time, you’ll still need to keep a mask handy (2020 is here to stay). 

Now that you have the essentials down, all you need is a destination! And wouldn't you know it? We got you covered there as well. 

Check out these road trips — complete with maps detailing where to stop along the way — that you should definitely consider embarking on this year.