road trip

Does it get any better than a leisure summer road trip? While I love the excitement of traveling by plane, memories of my siblings and I piling into my my parent’s SUV and driving up to destinations like Yosemite in California, Zion National Park in Utah, and the Grand Canyon in Arizona will always hold a special spot in my heart. There’s something timelessly romantic about being out on the open road with your arm hanging out the window, a favorite song on the radio, your best friends or family beside you, and the adventure calling your name. My most recent trek was a little over 1,300 miles of solo driving from Austin, Texas to San Diego, California with a stop at New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns along the way. The year before, I took on the drive from Austin to Buena Vista, Colorado so when it comes to packing gear and planning ahead, I feel pretty confident relying on my past experiences.

Whether it’s a two hour jaunt to a killer campsite, or a cross-country adventure, here are my suggestions for summer road trip essentials:

CamelBak Eddy Water Bottle
Particularly so when road tripping solo, it can feel really sketchy to fumble with your water bottle cap while driving. There’s the whole “I hope I don’t spill all over myself” concern every time you go over a bump or make a sharp turn and you know you’re a goner if you misplace the cap or it falls into that black hole of a gap between your seat and the center console. I love the CamelBak Eddy bottle for preventing these thoughts from ever crossing your mind. The leak-proof bite valve makes it super easy to quench your thirst while keeping your hand on the wheel and the one liter size keeps you thoroughly hydrated in between gas station bathroom break stops.

Yeti Hopper
yeti hopper
For whatever reason, it seems like truck stops have vendetta against fresh wholesome snacks like fruits and veggies. Stocking up before you hit the road and packing your own healthy treats makes for a far better road trip experience. As much as I love binging on junk food, there’s a certain amount I can handle before feeling gross (even more so when sitting around in the car all day). Designed to keep ice for over 24 hours, the Yeti Hopper is just the right size for stowing everything from a full blown lunch spread, a stash of snacks, or your farmer’s market bounty while you’re on the road.

Eureka Tent
When on road trips, I love having the opportunity to camp out in new parks rather than staying in some roadside motel. My favorite resources for finding spots is and I love having the Eureka Taron Tent tucked in my trunk for impromptu adventures. This three season tent goes up easily since it only requires two poles and provides plenty of space for you and a buddy (or furry friend) to comfortably spread out. The included gear loft is an ideal spot for attaching your headlamp or lantern for nighttime lighting. It is well ventilated and features bathtub floor wraps so you won’t wake up to splashes or leakage if rain hits.

I adore buffs for their versatility. Especially so during the summer, the CoolMax Extreme material is fabulous because it wicks away sweat and odors while also blocking UV rays. I wore mine both while hiking on new trails and as a headband to keep my hair from flying all over the place when driving with the windows down. Whether you’re in need of a scrunchy because all your hair ties suddenly went missing or looking to keep sweat from dripping into your eyes while on a trail run, buffs have you covered!

If you plan on bringing any cargo with you, don’t leave the house before checking out ACK’s wide selection of racks and trailers, guaranteed to get your car ready to bring all the supplies you need.  And while you are at head over to our sports travel category and load up on all the luggage, duffels, and accessories you’ll need to make this next summer adventure your best one yet! 

Devyn, Road Trip Rockstar