Travel Gift Guides » 21 Best Road Trip Essentials For Couples

21 Best Road Trip Essentials For Couples

From portable chargers and first aid kids, to entertainment and sweets, these are the best road trip essentials for couples.

One of my favourite things to do with my other half is hop in the car and go on an adventure! A couple’s road trip gives you complete control of your itinerary. From destinations and departure times, to routes and snack stops, you’re in charge!

Driving in Tinos
We love going on road trips as a couple!

Rather than travelling directly from A to B, on a road trip you’re able to discover new places along the way. It can be hard to stick to a plan, and daunting to have so much choice. Some of you might also find it challenging to think of spending so much time in a small space with your partner!

But with good planning, an epic road trip can be fun, bonding, and create great memories. The journey really is as important as the destination! 

So, are you ready to start planning your next adventure? Coming up are lots of road trip tips and items to add to your road trip packing list!

21 Best Road Trip Essentials For Couples

Lonely Planet Guide – Great Britain’s Best Road Trips

Where are you going on your road trip adventure? If you haven’t set your route yet, you’re bound to find some inspiration in this Lonely Planet guide book. Reading a road trip planner, deciding on a route, and making a packing list are great ways to build up excitement for your trip!

Lonely Planet Great Britain's Best Trips
This is a great book if you’re planning a Great British road trip

Country I.D. Sticker For Your Car

If you’ll be driving your own car outside of the UK, you’ll need a country identification sticker on the rear of your car. If a union jack is already included on your number plate, you’re fine.

If not, you’ll need to add a ‘UK’ sticker to your road trip list. This used to be a ‘GB’ sticker, but is one of the things that changed with Brexit. Make sure you’re up to date with this important change!

UK car sticker
Check if you need a UK car sticker for your trip

Travel First Aid Kit

Although it’s not a legal requirement, it’s a good idea to keep a first aid kit in your car in case of an emergency. It’s one of those items that hopefully you won’t need, but hey, the scissors included in the standard emergency kit are always really useful!

First aid kit
It’s a good idea to keep a travel first aid kit in the car on your road trip

Portable Car Safe

If you don’t like leaving your wallet, phone or car keys unattended, then a car lock box is a great addition to your list of road trip necessities.

They are also really useful if you’ve planned to meet your partner back at the car, but only have one set of keys! Simply leave them in the coded lock box so whoever is back first can get in.

Portable safe
A portable car safe is a great way to keep items safe on your road trip

In-Car USB Charger

The sat nav, music apps and camera mean your phone is likely to be the most used of your road trip items. This handy adapter plugs into the cigarette lighter. Then you can plug in your phone, a battery pack or charge up your gadgets as you zoom along.

When you’re packing for your road trip, don’t forget the correct USB charging leads!

USB car charger
A multi-USB charger is one of my must haves for road trips

Picnic Backpack

After a few hours driving, you’ll be thinking about taking a break. Stopping at restaurants or cafes for food every few hours can get expensive. One of the best ways to save money on a road trip is to pack a picnic.

There are a huge range of boxes, hampers and cooler bags available. However, my favourites are these easy to carry picnic backpacks. This one includes the cutlery, crockery and glasses for your meal!

picnic backpack
This picnic backpack is ideal for road trips

Find out which other picnic backpack sets I’d recommend.

Thermos Flask

Another of the top road trip essentials for couples is to pack a thermos flask. They’re ideal if you have a favourite tea or coffee, or have food allergies to consider. Some of them come with two cups, so you can both enjoy a drink along the way!

Thermos flask
If you fancy a warm drink on your journey, pack a stylish thermos

Waterproof Picnic Blanket

You might also want to add a picnic blanket to your road trip packing list. There are some really practical options available with waterproof backs, which mean you can sit down even when the ground is damp or a little muddy.

I also had to include them on this list of road trip essentials for couples as there is something so romantic about cosying up on one of these traditional checked mats!

picnic blanket
We often have a picnic blanket in our car for road trips

Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

Coming back from exploring, you’re likely to bring twigs, dust or sand into the car.  If you’re on a long trip, the car will get dirty quickly.

If you like things kept clean, then consider packing a small handheld vacuum cleaner. They are also great for hoovering tents!

portable vacuum
This handheld vacuum is good if you’re going somewhere muddy

Muddy Boot Cleaner

If you’ve stepped in mud (or worse!) then you’ll want to clean your shoes or boots before getting back into the car. Something like this Boot Buddy is a handy item to pack for those messy emergencies. You fill it with water or washing up liquid and then use the brush and scraper to clean off the mud.

boot buddy
One of the best tools for cleaning muddy boots

Pop-Up Tent For Two

If you’re planning to stop along your road trip, how about investing in a long-lasting two-man tent? There are plenty of great options around, but the pop-up options are great for taking away the stress of following complicated instructions! No couples need to add a row over a tent into their road trip.

pop up tent
A pop-up tent is a great option for a longer road trip

Car Air Freshener

Another road trip essential for couples is a car air freshener. There are lots of scents to choose from, all of which are better than smelly feet or other bodily smells! This one is great as it plugs into the car and creates a pleasant fragrance inside your car.

Car air freshener
Keep your car smelling fresh on your road trip

Car Sweets

I think we all have memories of being a kid and being offered a sugary boiled sweet, dusted with icing sugar, out of a metal tin. So, why not continue the tradition and buy some for your next journey!

They come in a range of flavours, from the original mixed fruit drops to strawberry and cream. I’d recommend buying a set like this so you can enjoy a variety!

Travel sweets
These car sweets bring back lots of memories!

Microfibre Towel

Even if you’re not camping, swims or rainy days, mean you sometimes need to dry off. Microfibre towels take up less space than a regular cotton towel, and dry much faster. These are also road trip essentials if you’re travelling with a dog! 

microfibre towel
Microfibre towels dry really quickly and should be on your road trip essentials list

Wet Wipes

Another hygiene favourite to pop in your car or suitcase is a pack of wet wipes. Unfortunately, many in the shops aren’t eco- friendly, and take 100 years to decompose! I’d recommend adding some planet friendly biodegradable wipes like these to your road trip packing list.  

wet wipes
It’s a good idea to have a pack of these in your car

Personalised Refillable Water Bottle

Another green travel tip is to use a refillable water bottle rather than buying plastic bottles along the journey. With personalised versions available, a stainless-steel bottle is also a great gift idea for you both before you embark on your couple’s road trip!

personalised bottle
These personalised bottles make nice gifts

Polaroid Instax Mini Camera

The best way to remember your couple’s road trip forever is to document it! While you might want to snap a lot of photos on your phone, I’d recommend buying a Polaroid photo for a few special moments. Having physical pictures will mean you remember the trip forever!

Instax mini
A Polaroid camera is a great way to capture your road trip memories

Travel Scrapbook

Now you have photos from your couple’s road trip, how about adding them into a journal or scrapbook? Recording your experiences is a fun thing to do together, and bound to make you laugh when you look back years later!

travel scrapbook
Pop photos and memories in a travel scrapbook

Portable Mini Video Projector

How cool is this as a travel gift? This small projector is perfect for taking on your road trip. It connects to your phone or via a USB or HDMI cable. Then you can sit back and relax as your video is projected onto the nearest flat surface. You can power it using a portable charger too, making it perfect for road trips with no electricity, like camping.

portable projector
You could stream some movies on the road with this projector

Road Trip Games

For more fun and silliness, how about discovering the best road trip games? You might remember some from car trips as a kid, but this set will make you realise there are plenty more to add your repertoire!

road trip games
These road trip games will keep you entertained on your journey

Audio Books

Road trips are the perfect time for immersing yourselves in a good audio book. There is so much choice avaible now too, from sco-fi and horror to romance and comedy.

For an extra special touch, you could select an audio book that matches your trip or destination in some way.

Audio books are an amazing way to pass the time on a long journey

I hope you’ve found these suggestions helpful and they lead to an amazing road trip with your partner. If you’re looking for more suggestions of items to pack, this guide has lots of handy travel gifts for couples.

With a passion for food, fun and adventure, Chloe is the content creator behind one of the UK's top travel blogs Wanderlust Chloe. From volcano boarding in Nicaragua, to sailing around Sicily and eating her way around Japan, her travels have taken her to some of the coolest spots on the planet. Named Travel Influencer of the Year in 2022, Chloe regularly works with a number of tourism boards, producing inspirational travel content across multiple platforms. Find out more about Chloe here.

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