Road Trip Packing List: What to Wear on Your Next Car Adventure
Updated: Mar 6
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If you're planning a road trip, the first question usually asked is, "Where should we go?" Not long after, you're probably asking yourself, "What should I wear on the road trip?"
While packing for a road trip seems simple (comfy clothes? check), it's often a bit more complicated than throwing on a pair of shorts and a tank top. You may be experiencing different environments—if you're driving through the American West, you could find everything from chilly mountainous routes to hot, dry deserts. There's also a high chance you'll stop several times along the way to take iconic photos—so you don't want to be wearing your most unflattering, wrinkly get-up. As for shoes, leave the heels and heavy leather boots at home. If you're planning on hardcore hiking along the way, check out our favorite hiking boots—otherwise, you can get buy with a quality, supportive pair of slip-on or easy-to-tie tennis shoes and a nice pair of sandals (preferably a pair that can be dressed up or down).
If you take anything away from this road trip packing list, make sure
What you should pack for a road trip: wrinkle-resistant clothes, breathable layers, basics that
Don't pack: super tight tops, your nicest pieces, dry-clean-only pieces, everything in your closet
Got it? Okay great. Now let's get to the specifics. Here's everything you'll want to pack for a day or two in the car—adjust by road trip length accordingly.
Spring and Summer Road Trip Packing List for Women
We love a pair of bike shorts for a road trip—they're comfy, supportive, and look great paired with a t-shirt or sweatshirt.
Sweatshirt or Sweater
Travel rule #1: Always bring a layer or two. Especially if your road trip partner loves to blast the AC.
Plain, easy, simple. Aka the recipe to avoid noticeable outfit repeating in your photos.
Yes, button-downs can be a bit wrinkly after time in the car. But hear us out: They're great layering pieces that can help you look a bit more presentable at lunch or your next must-stop overlook.
No need for jeans on a road trip. Instead, opt for a nice pair of comfortable, relaxed pants.
We love a t-shirt or slip dress for a road trip. They pack well and are easy to throw on for nicer steps (like dinner or a museum).
See our editor-approved shades here.
Your hair is going to look a bit disheveled after about hour 4 in the car. Bring a timeless cap to hide the frizz.
Casual or Slip-On Sneakers
Find us in our Allbirds forever.
Keep it simple and cotton.
One pair, that's all you need. We suggest investing in a nice pair you can wear all spring and summer.
Find our favorite comfortable bras and underwear here.
See our picks here.
Finally, it's helpful to bring a tote bag for your road trip—for excursions away from the car trips to the grocery store, or storing your essentials (sunscreen, chargers, face wipes, etc).
If you're looking for a packing list that includes the technology and gear you'll need on your road trip, check out this informative list from our friends at Pack Hacker.