Road trip packing guide - what should you take on a road trip?

Banniere Packing Guide

Planning a road trip but don’t know where to start? Follow our road trip packing guide to get the most out of your family driving holiday.

Take the stress out of packing

Do you ever feel like you can’t quite look forward to your trip because you still have the monumental task of packing for the whole family ahead of you?

Family road trips are an amazing way to make memories that will last a lifetime, but they can also be a pain to organise. If you forget something, there isn’t a handy concierge at hand – and you may be miles away from the nearest shop.

Whether you’re planning to explore more of your own backyard or jetting off on an overseas adventure, our handy packing guide can help streamline your holiday planning and make sure you’re not caught short when you’re on the road.

Step 1: Plan your route and print your itinerary

Depending where you’re travelling, you may not have a mobile phone signal or Internet access. Bring a map and print outs of directions to your planned destinations. If you’re travelling to a remote area, you may also want to take note of petrol stations along your route and the distance between them. Even better, pick up a portable GPS unit with your car rental and navigate the road less travelled with ease.

Struggling to choose your itinerary? Check out our Road Trip Guides for inspiration.

Step 2: Choose the perfect car

The most essential part of your road trip is getting the right set of wheels. For smaller families or shorter distances, our range of comfortable and convenient economy class vehicles could be just the ticket. Alternatively, check out our range of four-wheel drives, which have plenty of room for passengers, luggage, camping equipment, and everything else you need to explore a little further.

Step 3: Get packing!

The car is sorted, you know where you’re going, the family is excited – all that’s left to do is work out what you need to take with you on your road trip. Follow our packing guide below for everything you need to make this the family trip of a lifetime.

The basics

In general, you want to pack lightweight clothing that can be layered. Even in hotter climates, night-time temperatures can plummet. Shorts and thongs isn’t going to cut it!

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T-shirts and singlets
Long sleeved t-shirts
Sweaters or fleece jacket
Shorts and skirts
Lightweight long pants
Warm long pants
Socks (wool socks are best for hiking)
Comfortable walking and driving shoes
Rain jacket, windbreaker or umbrella
Pyjamas or sleepwear
Travel towels
Small backpack for carrying essentials
Smart casual outfit suitable for restaurants
Camping gear (if camping)
Cooking equipment
Warm sleeping bags

Toiletry bag basics

No one wants to sit in a car for days on end with someone who forgot their toothbrush. And whatever you do, make sure you have more than enough sunscreen for everyone.

Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash
Hairbrush and hair ties
Shampoo and conditioner
Face and body wash
Makeup wipes
Hand sanitiser
Sunscreen and face lotion with SPF
Lip balm with SPF
Personal hygiene items
Scissors, nail clippers and tweezers

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Don’t be caught short in the worst-case scenario. Carry everything you might need to keep everyone happy and healthy.

Extra contacts, solution, and contact case if needed
Glasses and prescription sunglasses if needed
Prescription medication if needed
Paracetamol and children’s medicine
First aid kit (bandages, gauze, adhesives, etc.)
Allergy medicines
Hydrocortisone cream or antibacterial ointment
Sunburn relief
Insect repellent, mosquito net, and sting reliever
Car sickness pills
Eye drops


You might be going away to escape the screens but there are a few items that will make everyone more comfortable – even if you only have to use them once or twice.

Mobile device and car-friendly charger
Laptop, iPad or e-reader and charger(s)
Camera, Go Pro or video camera, memory card, and chargers
Electric converters and adapters (if traveling from overseas)
Travel speakers
Portable GPS

Travel comfort and information

Keep boredom at bay and be prepared on the road.

Drivers license
Car hire and insurance documents
Itinerary with directions
Maps and guide books
Bottled water (take more than you think you” need)
Esky for picnics and snacks
Downloaded music playlists (go for the crows pleasers and sing-alongs)
Travel journal and pen
Books and magazines
Deck of cards and travel games

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