Victoria's Top 10 Essential Road Trip Products

Victoria's Top 10 Essential Road Trip Products

One of the best ways to explore any country is a road trip! With the automobile of your choice, you can explore any area from tip to toe, both famous destinations and small country lanes, with the freedom to take any road of your choosing. While road trips are a great way to get to know the UK better, they're also a fantastic way of travelling across Europe, or even far away countries and regions such as New Zealand and California! 

But like any kind of trip, it's important to be prepared before you start in order to enjoy it to the fullest. Victoria at @bridgesandballoons is an experienced road-tripper who has compiled many detailed road trip itineraries on her blog Bridges and Balloons, so we knew we had to ask her for her top 10 road trip essentials! Whether you're a road trip connoisseur who is looking to add to their wishlist or a beginner thinking about what to pack for that very first trip, you're in the right place. Keep on reading to find out Victoria's amazing recommendations! 

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  • Apple
    iPhone 12


    This almost goes without saying, but a phone is a number one road trip essential. Not just for staying in contact, but for all your entertainment needs too. Make sure to download some music, so you have access to offline playlists - essential for when you're out of signal. 

    Other useful phone apps for road trips include map and translation tools, plus a smartphone is a fantastic place to store all your essential travel documents, such as insurance and copies of your passport.

  • Ray-Ban
    Original Wayfarer Sunglasses


    Don't forget your sunglasses, essential for long journeys in bright daylight. These were absolutely essential on our California road trip, and also in Iceland where the glow from the snow made things even brighter. 

    Also don’t forget a pair for children if you’re travelling as a family - essential for avoiding the “the sun’s in my eyes” complaints!”

  • TomTom
    Car Sat Nav


    There's nothing like getting lost for creating a bit of road trip drama. And while I actually love the challenge of following a paper map, there's no doubt a sat nav is handy. You may just be able to use your phone's map, but if you're going somewhere remote and might be out of signal, then consider investing in this TomTom. 

    It comes with a lifetime subscription so you can update it with the most recent maps whenever you connect to wi-fi. And you can also get a hand-free version which integrates with your phone to allow hands-free calls and voice messaging!

  • Anker
    Power Bank


    A portable travel charger is a number one travel essential, not just a road trip essential. Seeing as we now rely on our phones for so many things, it can now be catastrophic if we run out of battery - especially if we need it for directions! 

    The best way to stop that from happening is to have a portable travel charger for back-up battery charges. This Anker one provides a full five charges for an iPhone XS, and also has dual charging ports so you can charge two devices at once.

  • Sony


    You're going to want to take photos of all your road trip experiences, and while I'm happy with my iPhone camera, more serious photographers might like a proper camera. One of the best options out there is the Sony A6400, a lightweight mirrorless camera, ideal for beginners but with high-end results

    This Sony camera is great for both still photography and movies, shooting in 4k at 100Mbps. It performs well in low light and has a tiltable touchscreen. It's a popular option with bloggers and vloggers. For another step up, you could get the Canon EOS M50. Or a GoPro is also a good option for action shots!

  • Odoland
    Camping Cookware Set


    One of the joys of being on a road trip is the freedom of being able to stop in wild and remote places − and you can always make that better with food. A little portable stove elevates your meals beyond the snack realm, meaning you can cook a full dinner no matter your location

    This compact Odoland cookware set is super useful as it all stacks together into one handy little case. The kit includes two pans, a stove, a spoon, a cleaning cloth, and a bag. The gas canister isn't included, but you can buy ones that also stack inside it.

  • Chilly's
    Stainless Steel Water Bottle


    Staying hydrated is so important on long journeys, so make sure not to forget your water. A reusable bottle is particularly useful so you can fill it at any rest stops, and of course single-use plastic is always best avoided. 

    I recommend Chilly's water bottle, which is both stylish and functional. It is useful for both hot and cold drinks, keeping liquids hot for up to 12 hours and cold for 24 – so you can use if for both your tea and water needs. They come in a range of colours to suit all styles, too!

  • AeroPress
    Coffee and Espresso Maker


    There's nothing quite like a good cup of coffee in the middle of nowhere and the Aeropress is your key to that. It makes a perfect coffee every time and is super easy to use on the move

    For an even more authentic coffee-shop quality brew, bring your own portable grinder too so you can grind fresh beans. It'll make your car or camper van smell lush as well! Coffee enthusiasts often swear by the Aeropress because it makes a smoother, full-flavoured drink that is less bitter than cafetière coffee – it's also a lot easier to clean.

  • Lonely Planet
    Great Britain Travel Guide


    Although there's no doubt tech makes road trips easier, I still love to pick up a paper map from time to time, and to use a paper guide book for tips. I guess it's partly because when I started travelling that was the only option, so it's nostalgic for me. 

    If you're the same then I recommend bringing a guidebook for the area you're travelling around. It's nice to have a break from your screen and rely on the old fashioned methods instead. Plus it's good to have a back-up in case the tech fails!

  • Yogi Bare
    Yoga Mat


    I love taking a yoga mat on road trips so that I can grab the opportunity for a spot of yoga in a gorgeous natural location - for example by lakes, in the forest or by mountains. Also, long drives mean stiff bodies, so a good way to remedy that is bringing a yoga mat or resistance bands, so that when you stop, you can have a good stretch. 

    This Yogi Bare mat is a good option as it's lightweight at only 1.5 kg and 2 mm thin – and it folds into a square so you don't need a bag.