What to Pack for a Shop Hop Road Trip
I have been taking road trips for most of my life. Even as a child I looked forward to my mother and I hitting the road in her old ’77 Caprice Classic. All those trips over the years have helped teach me what items are absolutely necessary for my ultimate road trip packing list.
When packing for a road trip there’s really 4 lists you need to make:
- Just in Case Items
- Lunch Stop Items
- In the Cooler Items
- Everything Else
Just in Case Items
Generally speaking, all of your ‘just in case’ items will go in the trunk, or the ‘boot’ for our friends overseas. 😊 These are the items you will only pull out in case of emergency.
Along with my other Road Trip Safety Tips, no matter if I’m headed to town or out of state, I always carry a good emergency kit in my trunk. Just make sure to keep an eye on the expiration dates for some of the items inside. There’s nothing worse than going to get out the flashlight and the batteries are expired.
The second thing I always carry with me is a quilt. Yes, I know, don’t we all? But seriously, I always carry an extra quilt in the trunk just in case the car breaks down or I have to pull over for a nap somewhere. Or, even if we’re going to see a movie because I always FREEZE in theaters. Seriously, they could raise the temps above zero once in a while.
Ok, this one is a bit of a sticky wicket with me as I don’t actually own an umbrella. People have given me ones over the years (thanks, mom!) but having grown up in the Pacific Northwest and the fact that walking in the rain is in my top 10 favorite things of all time… it never stuck. However, for those of you that do use umbrellas, I highly recommend keeping a spare in your trunk just in case.
rE-USABLE sHOPPING bAGS
Where are my bag addicts at? So far, I think I’ve made at least 3 or 4 of these with more surely on the way. I use these bags for EVERYTHING. From grocery shopping to quilt shop hops to sewing with my girls. Even on road trips, this bag will come in handy!
This one I learned from mom. You know how most of us just throw things in the trunk and hope they don’t roll around and fall out of bags. Well, mom’s solution is she always keeps a laundry basket in the trunk. For road trips this one comes in especially handy because you can keep all of your smaller items in one place rather than digging through the trunk thinking ‘I KNOW I have my bathroom bag in here somewhere!’.
Lunch Stop Items
Remember that bag I mentioned a minute ago? Get one out. We’re going to load it up. Heck, get out two. Here’s what we’ll put in them:
In order to save money, I like to pack my own food on my road trips. This means sandwich stuff, snacks, etc. Stopping at Rest Stops and State Welcome Centers are great places for lunch stops! Just make sure you’ve come prepared.
I absolutely love these utinsels. I mean, ever since Tula Pink introduced her rainbow scissors, who doesn’t love rainbow, am I right?
I used to bring paper plates and bowls with me on trips but found that using these reusable ones are much better. Not to mention they are made from recycled materials here in the US of A!
Cleaning Up Supplies
Next goes in a couple empty garbage bags, a handful of Ziplocs and a roll of paper towels. You would be amazed where those paper towels have come in handy. A fabulous fabric dying class in Virginia with my friend Cindy Lohbeck comes to mind. We used an entire roll!
Also, in a pinch, a garbage bag can be used for collecting dirty laundry or wet clothes from an impromptu afternoon at the beach. And the large Ziplocs are great for storing dirty dishes until you get to your hotel to wash them.
In the Cooler Items
Taking a cooler with me on a road trip is an absolute must. Not just because I eat on the road and can carry all my snacks but also because I like my water bottles to stay cold.
I carry with me this small travel cooler that I can keep on the floor board with me in the car. My parents, husband and I took an 8 hour road trip recently and all of our cold goodies fit inside with no problems.
I drink a LOT of water. However, on road trips I hate going through so many plastic bottles. Plus, they take up so much room! Mom’s solution to that problem is to freeze 2 – 3 bottles of water the night before you leave. Then, place them in the bottom of your cooler the next morning.
This solves 2 problems. First, the frozen bottles replace those freezer packs which saves room. Second, you can drink the water as they melt. And, once you get to your hotel or AirBnB, you can refill them and stick them back in the freezer to use again the next day. Win/win!
Along with the frozen bottles, I also keep a large re-usable thermal bottle with me. Just make sure it fits in the cup holder. 😉
There are just a few more items that I always add to my ultimate packing list.
Little Purse Kit.
Many years ago we were touring a battlefield with my cousin and her family when her son fell and scraped his knee. I quickly pulled out my trusty little purse kit and got him patched up in no time. My cousin laughed and accused me of being ‘that mom.’ Even though my son now has a family of his own I still wear that badge proudly. And, I still carry my trusty Little Purse Kit.
Inside my Little Purse Kit:
- Neosporin (sm)
- Antiseptic wipes
- Small sewing kit
- Ibuprofen (or aspirin)
- Small notebook and pen
- Clothes pins
- Paper clips
- Safety pins
Sink Cleaning Supplies
Because I travel with my re-usable plasticware, bowls and plates I need to keep them clean. So, in my travel case I also carry this collapsible cleaning basin that can be used even with a hotel room sink.
This collapsible basin can also be used to wash clothes. That’s why I also carry it with my trusty travel laundry kit.
I am a night driver. Mostly because I make so many unplanned stops along my route (Oh look, a history marker sign. Let’s stop!) I tend to arrive at my destinations after dark. Therefore, I always keep an overnight bag packed and in the car with me. This way, I can just grab that bag and go without even opening the trunk. It’s a safety thing. You can always grab the rest of your stuff in the morning.
In my overnight bag:
- One change of clothes
- Bathroom supplies
- Any medications
- Little Purse Kit
With a little preparation and a great packing list, you’ll have everything you need for a fabulous road trip!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links. When you click and purchase an item I earn a commission at NO additional cost to you. I only recommend products and companies I personally use and/or have researched. The income raised goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free.
- More Great Planning Tips!
- Ready for a Road Trip? Start Here!
- 5 Best Quilt Projects on the Road!
- Complete Lists of Quilt Shops in the US
- My Favorite Travel Bags