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7 essential travel items to bring on your next road trip

Happy family doing a road trip

(Getty Images)

Have plans to visit family? Decided on a spontaneous getaway? Finally taking that big adventure? No matter where the destination is, a road trip means packing, and packing means gathering the essentials. Before you hit the road, check our Kenvue list of essential items to help ensure smooth sailing for you and your passengers.

Sun care
Did you know that certain ultraviolet rays can penetrate your car windows and windshield? Even if you aren’t headed to the beach, Kenvue dermatologists recommend you keep your favorite sunscreen, like Neutrogena® or Aveeno®, close by. Sunscreen works to deflect these harmful rays, helping to prevent skin cancer and slow visible signs of aging.

When planning for a lengthy time in the car, it’s a no-brainer that music will come along for the ride. Your road trip playlist not only sets the tone for the trip but can influence your and your passengers’ behavior and mood. In need of some additional inspiration? Explore the millions of curated playlists available on streaming platforms. Find one that matches your style and check this task off the list.

A road trip is incomplete without snacks, but the key is to plan for easily accessible items. Explore the aisles of the grocery store with items designed for kids’ lunchboxes — these small, portable bags of chips, pretzels or popcorn are the perfect snack to toss to anyone who’s getting hangry. Balance it out with the healthy stuff, like fruits and veggies that can be packed into a small cooler so they stay fresh.

Medicine cabinet on the go
This just-in-case item is a must-have on any trip and helps you be at the ready for anything. The idea of a “medicine cabinet on the go” keeps all essentials in one place for ultimate preparation. Grab a box with individual compartments (a small tackle box works great) and make sure to include the following:

For temporary relief of minor aches and pains due to headache or muscle aches: Tylenol® or Motrin®
For an allergy flareup: Zyrtec® or Benadryl®
For heartburn or acid reflux: Pepcid®
For cuts and scrapes: BAND-AID® Brand bandages and Neosporin®

Phone/tablet chargers
Charged devices = happy passengers. Between downloaded TV shows and movies and social media platforms, our phones and tablets hold an infinite amount of entertainment at our fingertips. An extra USB cord will go a long way when you are far from a rest stop. Try a multi-head cable so there’s power no matter what device you have.

Cleansing towelettes
When you need a refreshing pick-me-up and a coffee won’t do the trick, try a Neutrogena® facial cleansing towelette. They aren’t just for removing makeup! These towelettes are infused with micellar water and dissolve dirt, oil, sunscreen (and, yes, makeup) so you and your skin can feel reset. Bonus: they’re compostable and biodegradable.

Long stretches in the car are bound to get boring at times. This is when that deck of cards, UNO or a to-go version of your favorite board game will come into play. When you don’t have anything on hand? Try the Alphabet Game! The rules are simple: As players look out the car windows at passing road signs, try to spot a word that starts with the letter A. Once that has been found, work your way through the alphabet until you reach Z.