Summer Road Trip Packing Guide

Summer Road Trip Packing Guide

Well the cold weather has finally pushed out and it seems like summer is just around the corner. We’ve put together a summer travel packing guide so that you can do a little less stressing before your next road trip, vacation or getaway. Are you ready?! C’mon, let’s go!

Road Trip Essentials:

First off, decide whether you’ll be sleeping in your car, in a hotel, Air BnB’ing it or camping. It’ll impact the kinds and types of gear that you pack. We most often sleep in our van and so have listed here a bunch of gear related to that. We’ve also decided to include some of our favorite camping gear. To learn more about van life specific gear, click HERE.

Exped SIM Comfort Duo Self Inflating Air Mattress – 7.5 – we had the hardest time tracking down this mat. If you’re lucky enough to find one, grab it before it’s gone.

Leatherman – Sidekick Multitool, Stainless Steel with Nylon Sheath

Patagonia Arbor Grande Pack 32L (Chromatic Yellow)

Black Diamond Storm Headlamp, Octane

Hydro Flask 18 oz Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Leak Proof Sports Water Bottle, Wide Mouth with BPA Free Flex Cap, Pacific

59″ X 27.5″ Foldable Car Windshield Sunshade Cover Car Sun Visor for Front Rear Window Blocks UV rays

Crazy Creek Products HEX 2.0 Original Chair, Royal Blue/Emerald Green

Quickdrying Towels 

National Geographic Road Atlas – Adventure Edition

Coleman Triton 2-Burner Propane Stove and Propane

Stanley STA02658 Prep & Eat Fry Pan Set, 32oz

Verizon MiFi 6620L Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot (Verizon Wireless) (Certified Refurbished)

Eagles Nest Outfitters ENO DoubleNest Hammock, Portable Hammock for Two, Red/Charcoal

Travel Journal Notebook Vintage Retro Handmade Leather Lined Journal Refillable Note Book for Taking Notes by ai-natebok, 4.72 X 7.87inch (White Coffee)


JBL Clip2 Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Speaker Black

(Don’t want to buy a speaker? No worries. Check out our DIY Speaker Hack).

Clothing Essentials:

Roxy Junior’s Pop Surf Fixed Tri Swimsuit Top

Roxy Junior’s Pop Surf Mini Bikini Bottom

Patagonia Women’s Barely Baggies Shorts (Belay Stripe: Imperial Blue, Medium)

Teva – Classic Mush

Quiksilver Straw Hat

Ray-Ban New Wayfarer Classic, Light Tortoise Frame/Brown Lens

Patagonia Ladies’ Torrentshell Jacket

HOKA ONE ONE Womens Clifton 4 Blue Coral/Ceramic Running Shoe – 7.5

Under Armour Women’s Fly-By Shorts, Black/Reflective, Medium

Nike Womens Dri-Fit Cool Breeze Strappy Tank Top Lite Photo Blue 719865-435 Size Small

To see more of our Favorite Running Gear click HERE.


Aloe Vera
Dental Floss
Body Wash
Hair Ties
Lip Balm
Contact Lens Case and Solution

Miscellaneous Summer Travel Gear:

Camera Gear (To learn more about the photography gear we use click HERE.)
Memory Card
Lighter or matches
Bear Spray
Bug Spray
Water Bottles
Coffee Accessories (Click HERE to see how we make Awesome Camp Coffee.)
Fins / Snorkel / Mask
Bike Lock
Skateboard / Surfboard
Wetsuit / Rashguard

Summer Packing Guide Recap

Are you headed to the beach or the lake this summer? Taking a trip to the mountains? Wherever you go, we hope it’s awesome!

Some things to consider regarding our packing guide:

  • We are traveling in a Ram ProMaster Van with a Wayfarer Conversion Kit. If you have a bigger rig you’ll obviously be able to bring a lot more stuff. If not, you may be forced to downsize and declutter like we did. Read more about our downsizing process here.
  • There’s just two of us. We cut down on the number of things we bring on trips because we can share almost everything except shoes. Oh and because we don’t mind getting a little grungy (read here about how we keep ourselves clean on the road) we’re able to travel with less than most!
  • Traveling in the summer allows us to bring a lot less gear than other places and other seasons.

All packed and ready to go but still need a couple of suggestions on where to go and what to do? Click here to see our list of must see and do National Parks! And here to see one of our favorites places on the west coast.

What do you think about our van life summer road trip packing guide recommendations? Still find yourself wondering what to pack for a summer road trip? We’d love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below!

Published by Erin McGrady

Erin McGrady is a filmmaker, photographer, and writer exploring Asheville and beyond. My work focuses on sharing about LGBTQ safe spaces, camper van life, and the outdoors.

6 thoughts on “Summer Road Trip Packing Guide

  1. Hi! What kind of bike rack are you using on the PromasterCity? We are thinking of getting the Yakima Frontloader to attach to a roof rack. I am worried that due to the height of the van and the weight of our touring bikes that it will be difficult to load even with two people. Also, considering the Yakima BackSwing for the hitch. Maintaining access to the rear of the van is super important. I don’t want to feel like the bikes are in the way. Thoughts?

    1. Hey! Similar thought process to yours. After lots of research we went with the Backswing. Hope to have a review out in a month or two. Need to test it first but so far we love the pivot! Just sucks banging your shin on it lol.

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