It's road trip season! At least, it will be, now that spring is finally in session - officially, according to the calendar - and temperatures are warming up. When the leaves on the trees start growing back and the flowers start budding again, it's a sign of all things reborn and come back to life, just like, hopefully, our wanderlust soon will be once again. With vaccines fighting the pandemic on the frontlines right now, the next thing we can worry about is how to keep ourselves safe, and comfortable, during the road trips we all have planned for later this year and the next.

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These essentials are all anyone will need for a comfortable and safe short or long-distance trip, even down to the car pillows and calming scents.

Emergency Car Kit

There's nothing truly exciting about this first road trip list item but it will come in handy in the event of an emergency... hence the name. And emergency car kit can include anything from jumper cables to roadside flares and before getting behind the wheel for any road trip, it's important to have one of these in your trunk, just in case. It's better to be prepared rather than caught short.

Dashboard Phone Stand And Charger

The dashboard phone stand is sorely underrated when it comes to road trips. It might not seem necessary to shell out 20 to 30 bucks just for a stand that your phone will sit on but trust it from the road trip experts - it helps. The few seconds a driver's eyes are taken off the road to look down at their phone could be disastrous as opposed to quickly glancing sideways to check the GPS.

Road Atlas

Speaking of a GPS, a road atlas is another thing that seems like it's a bit useless in 2021. However, anyone who has ever been caught in the middle of nowhere with no service and a dead single knows that the power of an atlas can't be underestimated. It's a good last resort when the signal kicks out and is far more reliable sometimes than a satellite-directed GPS.

First Aid Kit

For the same reason that an emergency car kit is necessary, a first aid kit should also always be in the car - road trip or not. Most cars nowadays come with first aid kits in the glove compartment but it shouldn't be taken as fact, always double-check.  You never know when you could get caught in a position needing a band-aid or some gauze.

A Carseat Travel Pillow

Another thing that should never be underestimated is the comfort that a travel pillow can bring. There are a lot of duds out there but there are also some gems, and if you can find one that hooks around the seatbelt, you're in for some serious R&R if you're only a passenger.

Nausea-Relief Wristbands

The claims are that they work and it's a lot easier than taking medicine for motion sickness. These wristbands sit directly over a nerve that's responsible for orienting us, successfully suppressing the feeling of nausea that often accompanies motion sickness like that of sitting in the car for extended periods of time.

Roll-On Essential Oils

Another neat calming technique is to use something like a roll-on essential oil. If you're prone to anxiety in the car or just find that you're a little more hyped up than usual, essential oils such as lavender or chamomile can help to sooth and calm. CBD oil is also incredibly helpful in both calming easing anxiety.

Hand Sanitizer

At this point, carrying hand sanitizer should be second nature to most everyone. If it's not, though, now is the perfect time to get in the habit of bringing it with you everywhere. You can find hand sanitizer in literally any scent or form these days, including with keychains that can easily be hooked on a travel bag or backpack.

Laundry Bag

A nice hack for road trips is remembering to bring a laundry bag, preferably one that's collapsable. This will prevent dirty laundry from piling up in your (clean) suitcase or overnight bag and will make doing the laundry when you get home even simpler.

Cooler For Snacks And Drinks

If it's a long drive, then a cooler is an absolute must. Sure, you could throw some bottled water in the back without a cooler and icepacks but if your trip is during the summer, you'll end up with warm (or even hot) water. A cooler also allows travelers to bring snacks that go beyond the realm of protein and granola bars.

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