Road trip packing guide : What should you take on a road trip ?

Planning a road trip but don’t know where to start? Follow our road trip packing guide to get the most out of your family driving holiday.

Take the stress out of packing

Do you ever feel like you can’t quite look forward to your trip because you still have the monumental task of packing for the whole family ahead of you?

Family road trips are an amazing way to make memories that will last a lifetime, but they can also be a pain to organise. If you forget something, there isn’t a handy concierge at hand – and you may be miles away from the nearest shop.

Whether you’re planning to explore more of your own backyard or jetting off on an overseas adventure, our handy packing guide can help streamline your holiday planning and make sure you’re not caught short when you’re on the road.

Step 1: Plan your route and print your itinerary

Depending where you’re travelling, you may not have a mobile phone signal or Internet access. Bring a map and print outs of directions to your planned destinations. If you’re travelling to a remote area, you may also want to take note of petrol stations along your route and the distance between them. Even better, pick up a portable GPS unit with your car rental and navigate the road less travelled with ease.

Struggling to choose your itinerary? Check out our Road Trip Guides for inspiration.

Step 2: Choose the perfect car

The most essential part of your road trip is getting the right set of wheels. For smaller families or shorter distances, our range of comfortable and convenient economy class vehicles could be just the ticket. Alternatively, check out our range of four-drives, which have plenty of room for passengers, luggage, camping equipment and everything else you need to explore a little further.

Step 3: Get packing!

The car is sorted, you know where you’re going, the family is excited – all that’s left to do is work out what you need to take with you on your road trip. Follow our packing guide below for everything you need to make this the family trip of a lifetime.

The basics

In general, you want to pack lightweight clothing that can be layered. Even in hotter climates, night-time temperatures can plummet. Shorts and thongs isn’t going to cut it!

 T-shirts and singlets
 Long sleeved t-shirts
 Sweaters or fleece jacket
 Shorts and skirts
 Lightweight long pants
 Warm long pants
 Socks (wool socks are best for hiking)
 Comfortable walking and driving shoes
 Rain jacket, windbreaker or umbrella
 Pyjamas or sleepwear
 Travel towels
 Small backpack for carrying essentials
 Smart casual outfit suitable for restaurants
 Camping gear (if camping)
 Cooking equipment
 Warm sleeping bags

Toiletry bag basics

No-one wants to sit in a car for days on end with someone who forgot their toothbrush. And whatever you do, make sure you have more than enough sunscreen for everyone.

 Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash
 Hairbrush and hair ties
 Shampoo and conditioner
 Face and body wash
 Makeup wipes
 Hand sanitiser
 Sunscreen and face lotion with SPF
 Lip balm with SPF
 Personal hygiene items
 Scissors, nail clippers and tweezers


Don’t be caught short in the worst case scenario. Carry everything you might need to keep everyone happy and healthy.

 Extra contacts, solution and contact case if needed
 Glasses and prescription sunglasses if needed
 Prescription medication if needed
 Paracetamol and children’s medicine
 First aid kit (bandages, gauze, adhesives, etc.)
 Allergy medicines
 Hydrocortisone cream or antibacterial ointment
 Sunburn relief
 Insect repellent, mosquito net and sting reliever
 Car sickness pills
 Eye drops


You might be going away to escape the screens but there are a few items that will make everyone more comfortable – even if you only have to use them once or twice.

 Mobile device and car-friendly charger
 Laptop, iPad or e-reader and charger(s)
 Camera, Go Pro or video camera, memory card and chargers
 Electric converters and adapters (if travelling from overseas)
 Travel speakers
 Portable GPS

Travel comfort and information

Keep boredom at bay and be prepared on the road.

Drivers license
 Car hire and insurance documents
 Itinerary with directions
 Maps and guide books
 Bottled water (take more than you think you” need)
 Esky for picnics and snacks
 Downloaded music playlists (go for the crows pleasers and sing-alongs)
 Travel journal and pen
 Books and magazines
 Deck of cards and travel games

Explore Belgium with Europcar

If you’re ready to hit the road, check out Europcar’s latest car hire deals and book with us today.

See more articles

More from Europcar