10 Luxury Road Trip and Travel Essentials to Take With You

Make your next road trip or camping adventure a little more luxurious with items that will bring a touch of comfort and pampering to your odyssey and make the back seat feel like first class.

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February 24, 2021

Road trips are not fun. OK, the sights and attractions are fun. The destination is fun. But the part where you sit in a car for a long period of time? Not fun. And definitely not comfortable. So, we set out to make car travel more enjoyable with all the comforts of home, from portable kitchen appliances that elevate fast food, to silk sleep essentials that will make even the dreaded middle seat feel like a cozy oasis. Before you hit the road again, take a look at our top picks and outfit your car with these little luxuries. Most are even under $75!

Photo Courtesy Urban Outfitters

We featured the NIGHT Pillow in our roundup of silk sleep essentials and the company’s neck pillow version is perfect for road trips or camping. This is the Cadillac of travel pillows as it’s constructed with 19 momme weight silk and ultra-cushioned memory foam. Plus, it squishes up into a handy drawstring bag for easy storage.

Photo Courtesy Lunya

Snoozing in the car can be difficult at night when you’re passing city lights or high beams on the highway. If you’re sensitive to light, this sleep mask from Lunya is great for travel. It’s super-fluffy and great for resting against the car window. And unlike other silk sleep masks, Lunya’s silk is machine washable!

Photo Courtesy Diptyque Paris

No matter how militant you are about messes and spills, things can start to smell weird on a road trip. Fast food, dirty hiking boots and sweaty clothes can all linger and combine to create an overwhelmingly unpleasant scent. Instead of hanging one of those cheap, tree-shaped air fresheners, try aromatherapy on the go. Elegant and sophisticated, the Diptyque car diffuser uses an innovative system of cold diffusion. Simply attach it to your car's ventilation grill to diffuse the tart, exuberant scent of blackcurrant leaves accented with rose blossoms.

Photo Courtesy Amazon

Remember when playing license plate bingo was the only road trip entertainment? Tech has come a long way. These days, if you have a phone or an iPad, you’ve got the world of movies, TV shows, podcasts and playlists at your fingertips. But if you have multiple devices playing, audio can clash, kids can fight or the driver gets the theme song for Paw Patrol stuck in their head for the next 100 miles. Earbuds can help bring peace and quiet in the backseat, but prolonged use of earbuds isn’t great for your ears. Over-the-ear headphones are much better for you and noise-canceling headphones, such as the Bose QuietComfort 35II Headphones, allow the user to operate audio at a lower, safer volume.

Photo Courtesy Amazon

No matter how careful you are, messes happen — especially if you’re road-tripping with kids. Instead of enduring crushed chips and bits of granola until the next gas station or car wash, bring a mini vacuum with you. This handheld vacuum from Shark is portable and battery-charged so no cords or outlets needed. And don’t let the size fool you. This pint-sized machine is incredibly powerful and comes with a handy brush and crevice tool to tackle all those nooks and crannies around car seats, floorboards and that sliver of space between the seat and the console where French fries always drop.

Photo Courtesy Anthropologie

With all the bathroom breaks and gas fuel-ups, hand sanitizer is a road trip essential. And this cute leather keychain from Pinch Provisions makes clipping hand sanitizer on a purse or bag easy and stylish.

Photo Courtesy Anthropologie

Speaking of keeping things clean on the road, this UV sanitizing box is a great investment. It’s perfect for disinfecting the three things you take with you at every pitstop: your phone, keys and wallet. Sure, you could also pack Lysol wipes, but this box is an eco-friendly (and very pretty) alternative. We love the black version with a tortoise shell-inspired lid.

Photo Courtesy ban.do

When you’re packing a car for a road trip, you want as many multi-purpose items as possible. Because the more crowded the car is, the less legroom you’ll have to stretch out. This backpack from Ban.do is actually a picnic blanket that zips up into a cute carrying case. And when it’s zipped up, it also doubles as a pillow or seat cushion.

Photo Courtesy Target

Being green on the road is tough, especially with so many single-use plastic straws and utensils at fast-food restaurants. Reduce your carbon footprint in style with this travel flatware set. Unlike other reusable utensils, this BergHOFF set is stainless steel so it feels like real flatware. And instead of one utilitarian spork, you get a fork, spoon and knife all in a blush silicone case.

Photo Courtesy Urban Outfitters

It’s hard to eat healthy on the road; so, if you’re trying to curb the amount of fast food on your next trip, a portable blender is a great way to add more fruits and veggies to your diet. Yes, really: A travel-sized blender! The BlendJet One is a cordless little gem that makes whipping up smoothies — and even baby food puree — a breeze. And don’t let the size fool you. The tiny stainless steel blades can crush through ice with no problem. The blender charges via a USB cable and can churn through about eight smoothies on one charge.

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