10 Indispensable Things You Need for an American Road Trip

10 Indispensable Things You Need for an American Road Trip


If you read my 10 Top Tips for a US Road Trip post, watched all my vlogs (plus Leanne‘s brilliant video compilations) and are now jumping with excitement at all American road trip as your next holiday, you’re probably wondering what basics you will need…and ‘basics’ is exactly that because a road trip is very casual. This is somewhere where you won’t be taking a LBD, clutch bag and heels but it is an adventure that will leave you breathless and wanting to do it again. And you can do this at ANY age.

It really does boil down to common sense and is very simple so here’s a list of all the indispensable things you need for any American road trip.

  1. T-shirts, hoodies, combat trousers
    Practical and comfortable garments to cope with different climates – road tripping is about roughing it. Ain’t nobody got time for sarongs. Depending on where you are going and when, you can get by with t-shirts and loose trousers with hoodies for extra warmth if needed.
  2. Walking boots 
    As I mentioned in my previous road trip post, my walking boots were unbelievably comfortable and supportive. I didn’t realise I had walked 10 miles on some days. Walking boots make climbing rocky and uneven landscapes so easy. I got my pair from Mountain Warehouse and they are waterproof too. I definitely got my money’s worth wearing them every day and they’re still as good as new so a
 worthwhile investment and something to encourage me to go on more nature walks in this country. Failing that, don’t leave home without a decent pair of trainers to keep up with all the walking. And socks.
  3. Baseball cap and beanie hat
    Leave your straw hat at home and opt for these – they go hand-in-hand with the items in number 1.
  4. Sunscreen
    Essential and probably the only cosmetics you really need. Garnier or Alpha-H do decent ones.
  5. Hand sanitiser
    If you’re going to California, Utah, Nevada or Arizona, chances are you will come across at least one national park. Get used to nature wees as these all have composting toilets – sorry – rest rooms. These look like normal toilets till you realise they aren’t plumbed in. That’s because they use an aerobic processing system treat human waste in these remote places where no suitable water supply or sewer system and sewage treatment plan is available. You are literally at one with nature. Don’t panic, you can’t smell any awful odours because the holes are dug so deep below ground level…plus it’s also somewhat liberating. I think I had my best rests in the park bathrooms. Yeah, so any way, carry some hand sanitising gel because you won’t be able to wash your hands. Bath & Bodyworks do the best ones IMO.
  6. An auxiliary cable
    What for? To plug your phone/MP3 player into the car for the tunes because you will need music when you’re on the road for 12 hours. If you decide to hire a Mustang convertible, it comes with a USB socket.
  7. Spotify
    Speaking of tunes, Spotify is brilliant for creating endless play-lists that you can download onto your phone and it takes up far storage than iTunes.
  8. CoPilot USA
    We would’ve been literally lost without this app. CoPilot USA is a GPS navigation app with a difference as it can store maps offline so if you’re stranded in the middle of Death Valley and can’t get a signal on the sat nav or dread the astronomical roaming charges, CoPilot USA is your knight in shining armour. It’s also a lot easier to read than standard car GPS systems. Seriously, I cannot stress how good this is. The complete version is only £10.99 so it is incredible value for money compared to hiring a GPS from the car rental company (whom, I’m sure, charge a daily rate). Download from the App Store, Windows Phone Store and Google Play – you can try it first for free.
 For more details, visit CoPilot’s website.|copilotUSA
  9. Snacks and plenty of water
    Pick up a crate to keep you hydrated on the long drives. And bags of Cheetos. Oh Cheetos…
  10. Your best friend(s)
    Go with someone you know you’ll be able to survive with. This was Leanne and my first major holiday together and of course we didn’t claw each other’s eyes out, in fact it brought us closer together and we realised we make a bloody good team. Leanne was *my* co-pilot, who will be yours?

Leanne has written a very helpful and informative post on planning a US road trip, which is definitely worth a read and remember, you can ask us absolutely anything by posting a comment on our respective blogs or sending us a tweet.


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