I Went On A Two-Week Road Trip And Here’s What I Used Every Day

Battery-powered travel toothbrushes, insulated camp mugs and other items you'll use on the road and at home.
My road trip essentials: a Phillips travel toothbrush, Yeti travel mug, EVA Birkenstocks and a Jackery power bank.
Amazon, Yeti, Dick's Sport Goods
My road trip essentials: a Phillips travel toothbrush, Yeti travel mug, EVA Birkenstocks and a Jackery power bank.

Earlier this summer, I decided to embark on a two-week road trip from my home base in Philadelphia to to a friend’s wedding in coastal Michigan. I’d split the time camping and staying in cheap hotels, taking advantage of free WiFi and hot showers wherever I could.

No stranger to road trips or to camping, I was pretty confident in my ability to pack my car — and I am proud to say that I only needed to stop for gas, fresh groceries and any fun roadside attraction that caught my fancy. (For example, there’s a tiny township called “Hell” in Michigan where you can play devil-themed mini golf.)

In the spirit of generosity, and to encourage any readers to take themselves on fun solo car trips, I’m sharing my go-to essentials. From colorful and comfortable EVA sandals to a versatile blanket/towel, read about the products that I used every single day while on the road.

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A durable woven blanket
When packing for a road trip, versatility is the name of the game. These striped woven blankets — often called Mexican blankets, falsa blankets, saddle blankets or yoga blankets — are ideal for traveling. You can use them as a beach blanket, towel, table cloth, picnic blanket and truly anything else. They shake off dirt and sand easily and dry really quickly. This is the exact blanket I have; it's handmade with recycled fibers on a traditional loom. It's 50 by 80 inches and comes in four colors.
A battery-powered electric toothbrush with a case
Keeping your teeth clean is an easy way to trick yourself into feeling fresh, even after 10 hours of driving in a hot car. I owe it all to my battery-powered Phillips toothbrush, which comes with its own little traveling case. It works with a AAA battery, so you don't need to worry about packing a charger. It also has a little timer in it, so you can ensure you're scrubbing for the whole two minutes, even on the road.
A pair of super chic polarized sunglasses that cost less than $70
I found I-Sea sunglasses at a tiny surf shop in Santa Cruz a few years back, and they've since become my sunglass brand of choice. They're polarized and comfortable to wear for hours, and they're pretty sturdy, so you can accidentally sit on them without too much worry. I love this colorful frame and the fact that they're under $70.
A Yeti camp mug
Everything tastes better out of a camp mug. For hot and cold drinks away from home — from morning coffee to cheap white wine with ice cubes in it — you can't beat a Yeti mug. It comes with an easy on-and-off sliding top, so it's great to take on walks and hikes. If you're staying at a hotel for a night, you feel a lot more put together pouring the hotel room coffee into this in lieu of the dinky paper cups they give you. This comes in three sizes and 12 colors.
A super wearable pair of hoops that cost less than $15
My Amazon earrings are another holy grail item that come with me whenever I travel. They're super light and add an instant chic boost to any outfit. Pop 'em on and you'll feel all made up, even in dirty bike shorts. They're ideal for road trips because they have attached backs, and they're under $15, so if you do lose them, it's not the end of the world.
A Rains waterproof duffle bag
You don't think you need a waterproof duffle bag until you're eight days into a 14-day excursion and you didn't properly close your water bottle so that after a short stop on the highway, everything in the backseat is now sopping wet. Luckily, I know myself and I prepared for such accidents by taking my waterproof Rains weekender bag with me. It's surprisingly spacious for a "weekend" bag (you can easily fit a week's worth of clothes, sans shoes), and it looks super chic, even after two weeks in the car. It's fuss-free, with one big pocket, so you won't lose stuff in too many side pockets.
A Jackery 300 portable power bank
I've written about my Jackery power bank before, and it was the first thing to go in the car when packing for this trip. You want to make sure you charge it at home before you go, though you can charge it with a car charger or at a hotel outlet, too. A single charge contains enough juice to charge a phone 30 times or a laptop four times.
A pair of EVA Birkenstocks
Let me start by saying that I wore dollar store knock-offs for three summers before bucking up and getting a real pair of EVA Birkenstocks, and boy, they do not disappoint. They're really sturdy sandals, even for being rubbery, and they keep their integrity after long walks in nature or when drenched in water. I like to wear them for long periods of time, if I've actively driving or exploring a new city on foot, and haven't gotten blisters or foot pain from them. And they're super easy to dress up (I've worn them to a couple of weddings and other summer cocktail parties and events), so they're a great pair of travel shoes. I have this lime green color (as well as red and baby blue) and truly wear them daily. These come in a ton of colors, some exclusive to certain retailers.
A trendy trucker hat
Trucker hats are super in right now, and for good reason: They look cool and they let your head breathe on a hot day. If you've gone a couple of days without a shampoo or if you're traveling in the sun, a good ball cap is a must. I own this one from Bass Pro Shops. I love the yellow line detail and how roomy the back mesh part is. It makes you look like you're a funky outdoorsy person instead of a sweaty monster who needs a shower.
A pair of the comfiest biker shorts you will ever wear
Long trips on the road mean comfort is key. These bike shorts from Lululemon are so airy and light, you feel like you're not wearing anything at all. Still, they've great for keeping your legs all dry and not sweaty and stuck to your car seat after hours of sitting and can easily be worn under a dress or skirt. They come in 21 colors in sizes 0-20.
As many Baggu bags as you can pack
Durable nylon bags you can throw in the wash? Yes, please. Baggu bags are a road trip staple, giving you a laundry bag, grocery bag, day trip bag and just general storage all in one colorful pouch. These come in 50 colors.
A tiny portable phone charger with no wires
Even if you're taking a social media break, you'll likely need a charged phone for directions and road trip tunes. This tiny portable power bank is about the size of lipstick.

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