Van Travel 101: The Essentials to Take on a Road Trip

Last year, about 80% of Americans planned to take road trips during the summer.

Going on a road trip is entertaining, especially if you have a van. With van travel, you can comfortably explore the entire US without having to stay in hotels. Yet, few people prepare well enough for their travels, which prevents them from enjoying themselves as much as they could.

Fortunately, several products exist that can ensure you have a good experience. This guide will help you prepare for your next road trip by outlining all the essentials to take, no matter what the purpose is.

Keep reading to get all the van travel information you need!

Spare Tire

One of the most important things to buy for your next road trip is a spare tire, which can be stored in various parts of your van.

Many things can cause a tire to go flat, especially if you’re traveling on dirt roads. By having a spare tire, you’ll prevent yourself from having to call someone to tow your vehicle. You’ll also avoid damaging your vehicle further.

Cooking Equipment

You should also buy various pieces of cooking equipment to get the most out of your travels. With something like this product, you can cook many things on the go in minutes.

When planning a road trip, think about the food you want to eat. From there, you can decide what the best utensils to take are.

No matter what kind of food you want, it’s best to take several pots and pans. This will prevent you from limiting your options when you’re far from the market. You can also cook in larger quantities at once.


If you enjoy sleeping outdoors, a tent is a great investment. Not only will it prevent you from having to sleep in your van, but it’ll also allow you to access more areas.

When browsing tents, you’ll find various types of all sizes. Some tents have several rooms, and others don’t. Because of this, consider the number of people you’re traveling with before buying one.

If you can, buy a tent for several people and a smaller one for yourself. While you’ll spend more, you can go on solo and group trips at any time.

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit should be one of the first things you buy before planning a road trip. First aid kits often come with various products to clean and treat wounds, and they don’t take up much space.

You can find first aid kits that come in both small bags and plastic boxes. You can store a plastic box in your van, but consider buying a bag to take when you leave.

Cleaning Products

Stocking your van with basic cleaning products is essential if you want to reuse things throughout your road trip.

Some of the best cleaning products to take are towels, sponges, wet wipes, detergents, body soap, and shampoo. With these, you can clean most things in your van, including clothes.

If you have a flexible budget, you can also buy a mini-vacuum to keep your van’s interior clean. However, many gas stations have areas with cleaning equipment.

Portable Chargers

Even if your phone tends to hold a charge, buying a portable charger will ensure you can use it at all times. This is especially important if you want to take a road trip that involves off-grid locations.

Like most products, a variety of portable chargers exist. Some can only charge one thing at a time, whereas others have several ports.

A good portable charger is one that can charge your phone several times. If a charger can only charge your phone once, it may not be worth the investment unless you’re taking a short road trip.

Extra Clothes

Before departing, think about how long your road trip will last and the activities you’ll do. If your road trip takes five days, you may think you’ll only need five pairs of clothes. However, if you want to do activities that involve getting dirty or sweaty, you’ll need extra clothes.

You don’t need to load your van with a ton of clothes, but bring an extra pair for each activity you’ll do. For example, if you want to go hiking, dedicate a pair of clothes to that. This will help you stay clean and avoid having to wash things often.

Hand Sanitizer

The last thing to put on your travel checklist is hand sanitizer, which comes in handy if you can’t wash your hands.

When traveling, you’ll come across many unclean surfaces that can spread germs. You may also visit a few places that don’t have the best cleaning procedures, like motels or restaurants.

Hand sanitizer can protect you by killing most of these germs, preventing you from getting sick. It’s also extremely affordable, so you can buy several bottles without spending more than a few dollars.

Get Ready for Van Travel

Now that you’ve read this guide, you know about the main things to take on your next road trip. Whether you’ll be car camping or sleeping outdoors, all these essentials will help you have a good experience.

Start looking for basic things, like first aid kits and spare tires. For your safety, these are the most important things to buy. Buying van equipment can cost a lot of money, so only after getting these should you buy other products.

For more van travel advice, check out our other articles.


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