June 21, 2024

5 summer road trip essentials

By Bethan Harper

Featured image for “5 summer road trip essentials”

Finally, summer is here, the days are warm, long and (hopefully) dry, and that means it’s the perfect time for a road trip.   

Road trips are an extremely accessible travel option; not only can you pick up and go whenever you want, but you can also plan your travel around your schedule and you’re less likely to run into unexpected delays like you might on public transport.   

However, despite how straightforward a road trip might seem, there is still some planning and packing that you’ll need to consider if you want to be prepared for any unexpected eventualities and enjoy a smooth trip.  

In this article, we’ll discuss our top 5 summer road trip essentials, including: 

Couple on a spring road trip with their dog
Couple on a road trip with their dog


Food and drink not only keep you hydrated and well-fueled, but they’re also the backbone of any social event – and what road trip is complete without a coffee and some snacks?  

And, what’s even more important to consider is that when you’re driving long distances, staying well-fed and well-hydrated will also help you stay focused and alert on the road and prevent ill effects from potential hot weather during your drive.   

So, stop at your local shop before setting off to stock up on any refreshments you might need.   

Also see: The best UK coast road trips

Breakdown kit 

No matter how well you plan and how many checks you complete before setting off, there’s no way to totally eradicate the risk of a breakdown.  

That’s why having a breakdown kit in your car (particularly on long road trips) is highly recommended. 

What goes into your breakdown kit is totally up to you (or you can even buy some ready-made kits online), but here are some ideas of what to include if you’re not sure: 

  • Torch 
  • Blanket 
  • Booster cables 
  • Rain ponchos 
  • Glass hammer  

In addition, to reduce the risk of a breakdown interrupting your road trip, here are some quick vehicle checks you should carry out before every long drive: 

  • Oil 
  • Coolant 
  • Tyre pressure 
  • Breaks 
  • Headlights and break lights 
Family on a spring road trip
Family on a summer road trip

First aid kit 

Hopefully, you won’t need a first aid kit on your summer road trip, but it’s a good idea to keep one on hand just in case.   

Whether you need antiseptic and plaster for a graze or paracetamol for a headache, your first aid kit could really come in handy and help you better enjoy your trip.   

And, if you’re not sure what to pack in your road trip first aid kit, here are some ideas:  

  • Painkillers  
  • Allergy tablets  
  • Motion sickness tablets  
  • Plasters  
  • Medical tape  
  • Bandages  
  • Indigestion tablets  
  • Wipes 

Also see: 6 tips for anxious drivers: Grow your confidence

Phone chargers 

Phones are an essential part of most travel plans; they act as our satnavs, cameras, travel guides and they’re our main point of contact. So, what happens if they run out of battery?  

Of course, if you’re going on an overnight road trip, it’s likely you’ve already thought to pack your phone charger. But even if you’re only going for the day, you might still want to consider bringing along your charger just in case.   

After all, if you get delayed or your vehicle breaks down, you might be on the road a lot longer than you planned for, meaning your devices could quickly run low on charge.   

And don’t forget, if you’ve got an older vehicle, you’ll also want to pack a charging adapter, as many car models made before a certain date don’t benefit from this feature. 


You might think of sunglasses as just a fashion accessory for summer, but they’re much more important than that.   

Sunglasses offer protection against the sun’s damaging rays and help us see better when it’s bright outside. Therefore, sunglasses are essential for safety when driving, particularly if your eyes are sensitive to the light.   

So, even if it’s not the sunniest day, it’s a good idea to keep a spare pair in your glove compartment in case you run into blue skies.   

Couple on a spring road trip
Couple on a summer road trip

The bottom line 

Going on a road trip should be a fun and exciting experience, not one filled with breakdowns, stress and anxiety.  

However, no matter how well you plan your journey, there’s only so much you can do, meaning there’s always a risk of a breakdown interrupting your trip. Therefore, you might want to consider breakdown cover.

At Save More Money, we can’t prevent a breakdown, but with our breakdown cover, we can help give you some peace of mind that should one interfere with your travel, you’ll know where to turn and you’ll be covered financially.

If you’re interested in purchasing breakdown cover before embarking on your summer road trips, check out our policy from £24.88 a year here.


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