When it comes to traveling during Covid I find so many things to be “essential.” When I was taking weekend flights I packed as little as I possibly could. Now I find myself packing more than ever but it’s only because I want to make sure to have everything I need while on the road (since I’m not flying) and during my stay. You can consider this your quick road trip packing list:
For the road:
- A mask – First and foremost, make sure to have your mask available at all times. I know it’s easy to think you won’t need it in the car. But, you’ll likely have to stop at the gas station or for a bathroom break at some point. Make sure you have it out and ready, not buried at the bottom of your luggage. And make sure you pack extra, sometimes they break. You can get a pack of durable masks for pretty cheap at your local Walmart.
- Hand sanitizer – This is another one you want to have ready at all times. During long road trips it’s very likely that you’re going to have to stop at least once to use the bathroom or pump gas (you should always sanitize your hands after pumping gas). After you use the bathroom you may wash your hands but what about after you’re walking out the gas station door or purchasing a snack?
- A neck pillow – Most of us find these useful mostly for flights. At this point I don’t even take a road trip without one. They are almost more necessary on long road trips than a short flight (but, I’m taking it on both). It helps you sit more comfortably on a long drive.
- Wipes – These are just a few cents at your local Walmart in the travel section. These are good for of course sanitizing your hands and door handles but also good for wiping your hands after eating a snack.
- A small throw – You don’t want to over pack the car but it’s nice to have a small blanket with you just in case it gets a little chilly. Plus, it makes a long car ride a little more cozy.
- An iPad or laptop – I’ve recently started bringing my laptop or iPad with me so I can catch up on some work or watch Netflix during the ride. (Obviously, this only works if you’re not the one driving.)
For the Stay
This is where a majority of your overpacking may come from.
7. Your own linens and blankets – We honestly probably should have been doing this all along, but as of recent I’ve been feeling more comfortable packing my own linens and I have one comforter set aside specifically for my travels since I haven’t been flying. This way you know you have fresh linens on the bed, you can check for bed bugs when changing the linens, and you can throw your linens right in the washer when you get home.
8. Disposable utensils and cups – Whether you’re wanting regular cups to drink from or fancy flutes you can find nice disposable cups for only a dollar at Dollar tree.
9. Reusable plates – If you plan on cooking during your stay (which I would probably recommend), I would consider buying plastic reusable plates that way you’re not lugging around a big pack of paper plates, having to discard them every time you eat. You can bring them home and reuse them on your next trip. Again, only a few cents at your local Walmart and they come in different colors.
10. A Cooler or Ice Chest – This is good for the stay and for the drive. You can fill this up with everything you need for the drive and you can bring it down to the beach or camp ground with you so you can have cold food and drinks. This is good especially if you don’t have access to a fridge.
11. Your own groceries – This one heavily depends on where you’re staying, you’re staying somewhere with a full kitchen I definitely recommend cooking as much as you can. During Covid I prefer to eat at home rather than dining in at restaurants. Not to say I haven’t during my trips, but eating out is honestly not a preference of mine during this time.