Guide to Packing for a Road Trip

One great advantage of taking a road trip is not having to limit what you pack. Near, far, wherever you are, you’ll want to make sure you have everything in place to have the best road trip possible.

Our driving experts put together this complete guide for packing for a road trip, including a checklist of everything you need to pack, what type of vehicle to choose, and what apps are necessary. (The only thing missing is a list of snacks, but we can provide some recommendations on that as well if you want!)

Read on to see our recommendations for what you need to hit the road.

Choose the Right Vehicle

Most City Rent a Truck passenger van rentals offer nearly 4 feet of luggage space in the rear cargo space, giving you an abundance of space for packing. For a road trip with more gear, like tents and coolers, you can also hitch a small trailer for more luggage room!

We also offer a variety of sizes so you can make sure there is enough room for each person to be comfortable in the vehicle.

best for
High Roof 15 Passenger Transit Van
  • 6’5” height
  • 4’ of luggage space
  • More legroom
  • Tow package
best for
  • Up to 15 passengers
  • Large groups
  • Groups who need more storage (tents, coolers, mountain bikes)
Ford Expedition Max
  • 8 passenger seating
  • Leather seating
  • Foldable rear seats for more storage
  • Sleek design
  • Tow package
best for
  • Business trips
  • Chauffeur service jobs
  • Small groups

Use a Backpack or Duffle Bag

Most duffel bags can hold just as much as a suitcase but with the added flexibility of squeezing into smaller spaces. If you’re making multiple stops overnight, having a backpack on hand can be easier to bring in and out with you.

Organize With What You Have

Use what you already have at home to organize yourself on the road trip! From multiple adapters to shower caddies over the back of the seat for toy storage, there’s plenty of opportunities to stay organized on your road trip.

Here are our favorites:

  • Use a tote or box for all the essentials.
  • Use a tackle box for grab-and-go snacks.
  • Make a trash bin out of an old plastic cereal container.

Don’t forget the entertainment!

Whether it’s a three-hour drive or 13, you’re going to get bored. Beat the road trip boredom by packing a few fun entertainment items, like movies, a camera, and even a deck of cards. And if you don’t want to hear everything that everyone is listening to, make sure to pack headphones!

Bonus Tip:

Create a shared playlist on Spotify and ask everyone to drop their favorite songs into it! Then, no one can complain about the music because everyone had a say in it. Just make sure you download it to your device in case you hit areas with poor reception.

Don’t forget to download some apps

Because we don’t ever recommend being on your phone while you’re on the road, make sure you download a few helpful apps before you head out! Here are a few of our favorite apps that will help make your road trip even easier:

Stock the vehicle with the basics

You’re going to be spending a lot of time in your vehicle—make sure it’s stocked with everything you need for a comfortable and safe trip. From bags for trash to car phone chargers (a real essential in our opinion, which is why most of our vehicles have USB ports built-in!), what you pack in for the drive is almost as important as what you pack for the rest of it.

Be prepared for whatever

On the open road, you never know what you’re going to come across. If you’re heading to the mountains, make sure you have a window scraper or tire chains. If you’re headed to the beach, aloe vera might become your next best friend. Think of all the small details before you leave your home.

ultimate road trip packing checklist
truck icon= we offer vehicles with these features!
the essentials
  • Toiletries
  • Driver’s license
  • Rain jacket
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Prescriptions
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats
  • Driver’s insurance
  • Map (or app)
for the van
  • USB connector truck icon
  • Cash for emergencies
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Blankets
  • Snacks
  • Towels
  • Bags for trash
  • Car phone chargers and adapters if needed truck icon
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Napkins
  • Umbrella
  • Bug spray
  • Bluetooth truck icon
  • Camera
  • Apps
  • Movies truck icon
  • Books
  • Music
  • Headphones truck icon
  • Smart TV truck icon
just in case
  • Gas can
  • Swiss army knife
  • Window scraper and tire chains
  • Carjack and spare tire truck icon
  • Roadside Assistance or AAA info truck icon
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Rental agreement truck icon
Now the question is: Where do you want to go? Check out our wide selection of passenger van and SUV rentals for your next road trip!

Get a Quote

To get started with a custom quote, please select if this will be for business or personal use.

    Personal Use Quick Quote

    Your email has been sent! If you requested a reservation, a representative will be reaching out to you soon.

      Request a Quote for Your Business

      Fill out this form to have a representative contact you via phone to complete your request. Or for immediate assistance, call us at (816) 683-3300 during normal business hours.

      Check to subscribe to future emails from City Rent a Truck.

      Thank You for your request!

      One of our representatives will be reaching out to you shortly to confirm your information. Thank you for using City Rent A Truck!

      For immediate assistance, call us at (816) 683-3300
      during normal business hours.

        Submit a Reservation Request

        Please fill out this form and one of our representatives will work to find the right vehicle for you. Note: Submitting this request form is not a reservation confirmation.

        If reserving for commercial use:

        Check to subscribe to future emails from City Rent a Truck.

        Thank You for your request!

        One of our representatives will be reaching out to you shortly to confirm your reservation. Thank you for using City Rent a Truck!