The warm-weather season is finally upon us, and that means cashing in your vacation time and traveling to some Insta-worthy spring spots. Planning to hit the road with your S.O. or BFFs sometime soon? Then brush up on basic roadside safety and make sure you have jumper cables, a car emergency kit, and a first-aid kit handy before you begin your drive. Then, pack a few of our favorite road trip essentials to take your trip into epic-adventure territory. From nifty new apps to smart luggage and sleep masks, these 16 additions are about to become your new on-the-go faves.
Parkmobile: You'll need the Parkmobile app if you’re planning to hit up major metro areas or crowded National Parks on your trip. It’ll make your life easier by alerting you to open parking spaces, saving you a ton of stress and time. DL It: Free on iOS and Android
A Savvy Suitcase: Lugging around an unwieldy carryall or beaten-up bag is never fun, especially if you're taking a road trip with a ton of stops. Splurge on a super lightweight, unbreakable Away The Carry-On ($225), which can also charge your devices. You'll never miss a phone call, photo opp, or important email due to a dead battery again.
Roadie: Who wouldn't want to earn a little extra cash (up to $600, actually) and help others while en route to their road trip destination? Use this slick app to act as a shipper for someone who needs an item delivered along your itinerary while adding to your "fun" fund for your trip! DL It: Free on iOS and Android
A Portable Speaker: Tunes are essential to any road trip — and not just when you're cruising! Whether you're camping or glamping out, this Yatra Aquatune 5712 ($35) weatherproof speaker has got all your music needs covered.
An Extra Layer: Full-blast air conditioning can feel chilly, so think ahead and bring an extra layer — even if you're headed somewhere with scorching hot temps. Try a practical-yet-fashion-forward option like this Titika Strapped II Wool Sweater ($98). We guarantee you'll be glad you packed it.
A Handy Daypack: For all the mini adventures within the big one, you need a portable bag. This durable yet stylish Topo Designs Daypack ($149) is perfect for day hikes, bopping around unexplored towns, and keeping your essentials close when you're pressing that pedal to the metal.
Smoothie Packets: Getting all your nutrients can be tough when you’re on the road, so enlist the help of some seriously magical Leap Organic Smoothie Packets ($16). All you need to do is pour the contents into water or a milk substitute like almond milk to get a nutritious boost from tons of fruits and veggies. Did we mention they’re all-natural, non-GMO, and soy and gluten-free too?
Comfy Shoes: Since you'll likely clock a ton of hours in the car and exploring on foot, packing a comfy and versatile shoe is super important. You can't go wrong with a classic like the Converse Chuck Taylor "Shoreline" Sneaker ($50), but you could also opt for an ultra-comfortable flat sandal.
Sunblock: Even though you're technically inside (a car), UV rays can still penetrate through windows. Keep your skin healthy with some sunblock, like this 2-in-1 Block Island Organics' Natural Moisturizer SPF 30 ($28), which protects and hydrates your skin. Plus, it's organic, vegan, and paraben- and fragrance-free. Pack a bottle in your bag, and safely soak up the sun wherever the road takes you.
A Versatile Beach Blanket: You never know when the opportunity for an impromptu picnic may come your way. Throw this Grand Trunk Parasheet Beach Blanket ($40) down in the grass or on the sand for a lightweight and convenient blanket solution for any picnic, anywhere.
A Sleep Mask: Feel like you’ve been on the road forever and seriously need to wind down when bae takes the wheel? Try a sleep mask to help you conk out in the car. We're partial to Urban Outfitters Milk Makeup Sleep Mask + Cooling Insert Set ($15), which invigorates while you rest.
A Reusable Shopping Bag: Grab one for a couple of bucks at Trader Joe’s or treat yourself to something a little more fun, like a Sky of Blue Cards Mountains Are Calling Tote Bag ($20). You can use extra bags for groceries, souvenirs, dirty clothes, and so much more.
An On-the-Go Steamer: It might sound nuts to bring a steamer on a summer road trip, but this Conair Turbo ExtremeSteam Handheld Fabric Steamer ($60) will be your key to wrinkle-free photos of you and your partner(s) in crime. You’ll appreciate it even more if you have nice dinners or an event on your trip itinerary.
Mints and Gum: There’s going to come a point when you seriously need a refresh, and when you do, you’ll be stoked you packed some gum or mints! Skip the additives and get some Simply Gum Mint Chewing Gum ($16, pack of six) from an all-natural brand offering up tons of flavors. You'll also love the packaging, which features a compartment of thin wrappers you can use to dispose of your gum when you're done. Pretty much perfect for a road trip.
A Lightweight Cooler: There's nothing quite like having delish road snacks to get you down that long stretch of highway. The IceMule Cooler Tote ($150) will keep all your goodies cool no matter the weather outside. It's also light enough to "tote" to that picnic in the park.
Have you recently taken a road trip? Tell us about your essentials on Twitter @BritandCo!
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(Featured photo via Getty)