Skip To Content

    30 Road Trip Essentials That'll Make The Drive So Much Easier

    Read on if you're looking to avoid ~speed bumps~ during that eight-hour drive.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A set of headrest hooks for maximizing space (think: no more pocketbooks taking up leg room or the middle seat). Plus, you can hang your purse right next to you and drive peacefully knowing the entire contents of your bag won't spill onto the floor with every speed bump.

    the clips holding two bags

    Promising review: "We use these for road trips to hold plastic grocery bags with snacks on one headrest and my wife's purse on the other. Very sturdy and stable." —Stan Y.

    Get a pack of four from Amazon for $6.99.

    2. A copy of Mad Libs on the Road reviewers swear is an affordable and super entertaining way to curb all "are we there yet?" whining. It functions the way any Mad Lib activity does: Choose random verbs and nouns to fill in the blanks — a hilarious story and keepsake in one.

    Promising review: "Some of our best laughs on a twenty-one day road trip came from this book. We would fill in a Mad Lib when everyone was getting a bit bored with the day's driving, and it would make everyone laugh — adults and teenagers. Definitely a good choice for your road trip entertainment!" —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $4.49.

    3. An adjustable ~garbage can~ to toss the food wrappers, receipts, and heaven-knows-what-else will accumulate. Picture it now: a world in which your passenger seat isn't cluttered with coffee-to-go cups.

    the black garbage bag attached to the back of the passenger seat

    Some reviewers even use this for their strollers!

    Promising review: "I love this trash bag. My car has never stayed this clean. I have had it since last December and every time I go to empty it out, I am amazed as to how much it holds. It obviously isn’t made for super big items, but the paper that comes off of straws, gum, or whatever snack my kids are having in the car that day holds it and then some. The reason I’m even writing this is because I just emptied it and found a paper plate in it. I love the Velcro bottom too. It is easy to unwrap and wipe down the inside." —Maddie Gutierrez

    Get it from Amazon for $7.99.

    4. A sun visor box so that you can stop rummaging through your glove compartment for centuries-old fast food napkins that you will then, wow, use to clean your nose. This convenient accessory keeps tissues within arm's reach (and some reviewers even use it for disposable face mask storage)., Amazon

    Promising review: "OK I NEVER EVER write reviews but this surely deserves one. OK I received my box today! I ordered this product, and a few other bling products for my car from other companies. When I opened my box my mouth dropped to the floor, this visor tissue box was on top and I couldn’t believe how bling and awesome it was. The pictures really don’t show justice just how awesome this thing is. It has hooks to fit onto your visor and it Velcros shut and stays shut." —Amazon reviewer

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    5. A tiny Bluetooth FM transmitter adapter if your car isn't old, it's antique. Hands-free calling and *finally* getting rid of that annoying aux chord are yours for the taking: Plug this into your utility port/cigarette lighter, connect your cell, and voila. So long having to listen to radio talk shows too early in the morning because you can't stream Spotify.

    reviewer holding quarter next to bluetooth adapter

    Promising review: "The connection was easy to set up and the sound is clear. I used this for an eight-hour road trip without any problems and I was able to answer many phone calls while traveling." —Taz

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99.

    6. A portable cool mist humidifier you can stash in your cup holder for a blast of ~aromatherapy~ whilst hitting the brakes every three seconds due to awful traffic. If that seems excessive (which it doesn't), know that this can literally be placed anywhere — a bathroom, a bedroom, a closet, a WFH desk, etcetera.

    the blue car humidifier

    This even has an auto shut-off feature and can be swapped between seven different lighting options!

    Promising review: "I love this. I use it in my car when I'm doing my Grubhub orders and it's amazing. I also sit it beside my 10-month-old when she is stuffy. The LED lights are awesome and it's definitely worth the price." —Neena

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    7. Single serving Cafe Bustelo instant coffee packets for when you have about 500 miles (and maybe 500 more) to go and a quick caffeine boost is necessary.

    the Cafe Bustelo packets

    Promising review: "Best instant coffee I've ever tasted in my LIFE!! I use these to make iced lattes with almond milk; no need to use hot water, just add a packet or two, ice, almond milk, and stevia, shake it up and you've got an iced latte just as good as Starbucks for a fraction of the price!" —Jennie

    Get four boxes (with six packets each) from Amazon for $8.38.

    8. A pair of blind spot mirrors to increase your field of vision whilst attempting to squeeze into that teeny tiny parking spot. It's not ideal, but it's the first thing that's opened up after a half hour of circling around the same 10-block radius. Good luck!

    Reviewer's picture of the blind spot mirror on their side view mirror

    Promising review: "The size is nice, at 2 inches, adequate for the average passenger vehicle. I drive an SUV and while I have great visibility out my windows, I wanted the extra perk of having blind spot mirrors. I don't get very much use out of them while driving around, but they're great parking mirrors for backing into tight spots or reversing around obstacles." —m.

    Get a pack of two from Amazon for $6.97.

    9. A portable pack of soap sheets that will certainly come in ~handy~ because rest stop toilets — and the decorative dispensers that never contain soap — shouldn't have to feel like the enemy.

    The pink plastic container with ears and a nose, plus the pink paper-thin soap sheets

    Promising review: "These little soap sheets are so handy. I originally bought them to take on road trips as a lot of rest stops in the gas station restrooms sometimes don't have soap...or questionable soap. Now I take these everywhere, I just keep them in my purse. They come in the most adorable packaging and I love that they don't have a strong scent." —Padooling

    Get a set of four boxes from Amazon for $9.99 (50 sheets each).

    10. Drop Stop car gap fillers (as seen on Shark Tank!) with all of your mid-day McDonald's runs in mind. French fries falling into the abyss that is the cracks in your seat? No longer a problem with this genius neoprene invention ergo, no more lingering fried food smell for the duration of your road trip.

    reviewer photo of the black drop stop

    This gap filler is made from a neoprene material that provides the universal perfect fit for any car — just attach it to the seat belt catch once (it has a built-in slot) and it'll be set! You'll never have to worry about removing or readjusting.

    Promising review: "I have to admit, my expectations weren't very high. I thought it was more of a joke when my husband got this for me for Christmas. Little did I realize that it would become one of my favorite gadgets ever! I don't know if I realized just how many things went missing in my seat gap. It has really saved a lot of things from disappearing into that black hole. It was easy enough to fit into my car and it's soft, acting just like an extension of my seat. There really isn't another product that compares to this." —Tessa Forbes

    Get a pack of two from Amazon for $19.99.

    11. And to go along with the above, a double dipper clip guaranteed to become your favorite car accessory — that's right, presenting a handy vent clip to keep your favorite sauce within reach (READ: no more spilt ketchup on leather seats).

    the clip holder
    3D Printed By Brian / Etsy

    Get it from 3D Printed By Brian on Etsy for $5+ (available in two sizes).

    12. A Rain-X glass treatment for the rain, sleet, and snow that would otherwise collect on your car window and reduce visibility. This basically works to repel water and makes windshield wipers feel all but unnecessary.

    Reviewer's car to show how one half of their windshield is clear, while the other untreated half is covered in raindrops

    Promising review: "I had a cheap, untempered windshield which was awful in the rain. A friend of mine from college recommended Rain-X and I was shocked at the difference. I applied it with a soft rag and sat there wondering if it was even on properly. I trusted the system and then later that night took my car out for a drive; it rained while I was out and the difference was instantly noticeable. Before, when using my wipers, streaks would obscure my view so much that any lights would make driving in the rain hard. Now, the droplets don't smear and smaller ones sometimes just roll off. It's pretty great." —Alison J. Gong

    Get it from Amazon for $3.99.

    13. A W&P water bottle perfect for when you're hitting the open road thanks to a scratch-resistant silicone sleeve (no scratches or sweating), a durable glass construction that can take a lot of wear and tear, plus a narrow base that fits inside conventional cup holders. And the design? A minimalist work of art. I want to model my aesthetic after the below.

    the black confetti water bottle

    Promising review: "I have purchased many water bottles. Plastic, metal, and even one other glass bottle. This bottle is light to carry and very comfortable to drink out of. I was looking for a water bottle that was similar In size and style to the plastic bottles you buy at the grocery store and I found what I was looking for when I saw this bottle. There is no handle or string around the lid, which I like because I use this at work or in my car only. Yes, it is expensive for a water bottle and I debated spending that much, but it’s worth every penny. I may buy another one so I can leave one at my desk at work and have one at home too." –TLW

    Get it from Amazon for $30.74+ (available in two sizes and six colors).

    14. A memory foam seat cushion with an ergonomic design and gel layer that prevents bad posture and provides ultimate support. If your tush tends to hurt after a mere three seconds of sitting, this will take your road trip from "this is taking forever" to "wow, these last five hours breezed by.",

    Promising review: "I have been suffering from sciatica pain for a couple years now. In the last few months it has been so bad I had to stop ever sitting at work and as a computer programmer, that can be hard at times. If I had to go to a day of meetings, I would be miserable for weeks afterward from the pain. Then I found this cushion. I bought it initially for a road trip thinking maybe it would save me from hurting too bad. I was surprised to find I didn’t hurt at all despite being in the car for over six hours. So I tried it at work and guess what? ZERO PAIN. I still really can’t believe just how good it works. Since getting this my sciatic pain is COMPLETELY GONE. That is no lie. Amazing. Recommend a million times over." —Anna Peterson

    Get it from Amazon for $32.95.

    15. A travel tray perfect for the kiddos in the backseat. This collapsible accessory is equipped with a detachable cup holder, iPad viewing stand for Cocomelon marathons, side storage pockets for toys and other knickknacks, plus a dry erase drawing surface base.

    reviewer using the tray

    Promising review: "The perfect addition to our road trip! We were constantly battling with dropped snacks, toys, etc. My kiddo loved the compartments to hold everything and the dry erase board was such a bonus! I love how well the removable pieces cling on, it’s not your typical Velcro, much stronger and doesn’t seem like it will wear down over time." —ARose

    Get it from Amazon for $23.99.

    16. A double USB charger because the driver's phone is needed for GPS, the passenger's phone is needed to control the music, and having either one of those die in the middle of your four-hour journey? Smells like "absolutely not."

    double usb charger

    Promising review: "I needed a USB charger for my car that would fit in a cigarette lighter port, that would also allow for the ashtray to be closed. I saw that this one was short and would be sort of flushed. I put it in the car as soon as I got it this afternoon and it looks great. Perfect fit. The ashtray closes with no problem even with a charging cord attached to it." —I.M. Adams

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    17. A vent clip if "foraging for a mask in the glove compartment" is not high on your list of priorities. Simply hang one on the leaves of this adorable BB succulent and save yourself a headache (and many minutes) at every rest stop.

    the succulent vent clip holding a mask
    ShopVroomBlooms / Etsy

    Get it from ShopVroomBlooms on Etsy for $9.50.

    18. A waterproof seat cover hammock if your doggo is prone to shedding or, in my case, slobbering all over your brand new leather seats. Save yourself the headache of having to wipe away snot and muddy paw trails. Trust me.

    dog laying in car seat hammock

    Promising review: "This is an amazing product. This works wonderfully for the back of the truck for my Siberian husky (who sheds like CRAZY). It keeps my car clean from fur, dirt, and even mud. My husky gets quite hyper and moves all over the car, but this product is HIGHLY DURABLE. What I love about this product is its ability to be easily moved and fit in any car. So, if I ask someone to look after my dog(s), I don't feel so bad about letting them use it! Plus the pockets on it are great for toys, treats, a leash, a ball, or other items. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!" —Garcia

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99.

    19. Plush flower accessories available as a seat cushion, headrest, or shoulder pad but TL;DR: Comfort and support aside, it's the aesthetic that really makes this prod tick.

    the pink flower plush headrest
    bigworld19 / Etsy

    Get it from bigworld19 on Etsy for $18.91+ (available in two colors).

    20. A reverse backup camera because we spent our youth romanticizing Bella Swan's old red pickup truck but, OMG, have you tried parking a car like that? Two words: not fun. This universal camera laughs in the face of parallel parking (plus makes your car feel as if it were made in this century).

    Promising review: "Excellent picture and easy to install. Bought for my F250 because it didn't have a back up camera and I desperately needed one to more easily hook up to my trailer. I figured I might as well get one for the front since the big hood an tall ride height create a large blind space directly in front of my truck. Both cameras work like a charm and give me exactly what I needed. I was worried that the guidance lines would be too narrow to be reliable for backing up but they're plenty wide enough even for my big truck. Highly recommend. Especially at this cheap price." —Sam

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    21. A collapsible multi-compartment organizer so that you can drive without hearing that loose seltzer bottle knocking against your trunk. Pack away all essentials (blankets, snacks, the works) with peace of mind knowing it'll actually all stay in place.

    reviewers trunk using the compartment for organization

    It's even got adjustable straps for easy transport.

    Promising review: "I bought this to organize food and other supplies in my trunk for a road trip. It worked perfectly! I love all of the compartments, and the soft sides make it easy to wedge things in to make full use of the space. It seems very durable. I've got it loaded down with some heavy items and the handles and bottom have held without issue." —Megan S.

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99.

    22. A 10-foot charging cable because raise your hand if you've ever had a backseat passenger hover way too closely to your transmission in the name of juicing up their iPhone. Just hand them this instead.

    the gray charging cord

    Promising review: "We are all very pleased with the cables — even my hubby! The kids feel less tethered to specific spots in a room when on their devices and it also helps when we travel. For example, we took some road trips when the kids were in the way-back of the van and we could plug into a charging station at the front of the van with these cables down the center of the second row, between the bucket seats (no need to burn power banks!). The kids could also charge their devices while using the devices from virtually anywhere in the hotel room or their room in vacation rentals, while others were stuck having to stay close to the charging hub." —niks808

    Get it from Amazon for $23.99+ (available in four colors).

    23. An essential oil air freshener you'll get in a pack of three scents: black diamond, ocean breeze, and jasmine. Recycled air during a seven-hour road trip will have never felt so luxurious (or aesthetically pleasing).

    the rose air freshener

    Promising review: "I've had this in my car the past week and it smells great! Every day when I get in the car I'm hit with the fresh scent (Black Diamond). I didn't expect it to stay this strong, because I tend to drive with the windows down and sometimes smoke in the car, but it still does! Just make sure you gradually take the plastic off over at least three days, It'll help it last longer." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    24. A 45-treat CraveBox complete with delicious snackies to keep you full and fueled. Think everything from CheezIts and granola bars to the crème de la crème of your middle school vending machine: Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies., Amazon

    Promising review: "I bought this as a mystery snack box for my birthday road trip and was very happy with the freshness and quality of everything in it. The freshest Twizzlers I have ever had! Nothing was stale or old tasting. The box is very, very sturdy and survived the four-day road trip! I did not have a problem with anything melting or being destroyed from the 90 degree days because all of the food inside was meant to travel well." —Cynthia Boyd

    Get a box of 45 snacks from Amazon for $20.95.

    25. A Calpak lunch bag that scoffs in the face of brown paper bag's past. This stylish drawstring is waterproof, has a wipeable interior for inevitable spills and messes, contains multiple pockets for organization, and is insulated — ergo your cold cut sandwich won't be soggy 20 minutes into that long drive.

    the leopard drawstring bag

    Promising review: "Everything about this bag is perfection. I can fit a full days worth of meals and snacks." —Brittany S.

    Get it from Calpak for $42 (available in three colors).

    26. A console side pocket if your cup holder has inadvertently become a piggy bank for all the loose change that never presents itself when needed (cc: 15-minute parking meters) but is somehow always...there. This provides a permanent home for your cell, coins, and other random tchotchkes that would have otherwise fell victim to the dark hole that is between your seat cushions.,

    You can order one for the driver's side seat or passenger's side seat.

    Promising review: "I put this in last night and went to work today and everything was perfect. I did have to install the foam spacers (included) to make it a really snug fit. It would have still worked without it but I like things perfect. So now the coins go in the coin pocket and my keys and other work related accessories go in the bigger pocket. This is one of the best cheap life hacks you can get if you're a car person and/or just like being organized and neat." —R.Garcia

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99+ (available in four styles).

    27. A pack of six cable clips because tangled wires are heartbreakingly annoying when you're not driving, so fishing for the right cable when you're also trying to navigate a highway? Not ideal. This'll keep everything firmly secure and in place.

    The clips holding two charger cables

    Promising review: "If you have devices that need to be charged and you want to keep your cables neat, tidy and in place, you need this product. You could also use your imagination to find other uses! I have purchased two packs of these and used them all! I simply could not imagine life without these cable clips!" —Mike

    Get a pack of six from Amazon for $6.97

    28. A universal phone mount that's surprisingly sturdy, offers 360-degree rotation, *and* has adjustable side support to make sure your cell stays in place the entire ride.

    Promising review: "Best phone holder I've had, and it's cheap. I bought a couple of other phone holders over the years from other manufacturers, and they never worked right, never stuck to the dashboard, never held up the phone when they pivoted, etc. This one mounts solidly to the dash, and is easy to put your phone in, and remove your phone from." —Patrick O'Malley

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    29. A stick-on shade because the AC may be bumping but your arm still feels like its on fire due to that beaming sun. This takes care of that worry in a jiffy *plus* gets rid of the need for popping on your aviators.

    The shade stuck onto a passenger window

    Promising review: "These shades work great. With a freshly cleaned window they stick to the glass quickly, even in Arizona. They fold up easily and stay on indefinitely."—Brad

    Get it from Amazon for $11.97 + (available in packs of two or four).

    30. Air vent clips to add some sunshine (pun intended) to annoyingly cloudy days. Lovely decoration aside, these are also fab for holding masks *or* keeping charging cables in place.

    the cloud vent clips
    hapoy2gether / Etsy

    Get it from hapoy2gether on Etsy for $4.99+ (available in five colors).

    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Amazon Prime Day is coming!

    Sign up for the BuzzFeed Shopping newsletter to get the best deals delivered right to your inbox.
    Newsletter signup form