10 Essentials for the Best Road Trip Ever

You know what they say: It's the journey, not the destination, that counts. And when it comes to the journey, a road trip—real and raw and exciting—is the best way to do it. The next step? Stocking your bags with key items for making your road trip as effortless as possible, so you can focus on what matters most: having a blast.

Garmin Drive 51 LMT-S photo

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Garmin Drive 51 LMT-S

If you don't feel like getting your directions from a smartphone—and there's plenty of reason to forgo it, since smartphones can be so dangerously distracting—a Garmin is still your best bet. It's both reasonably priced and effortlessly usable. ($170; amazon.com)

Buy the Garmin GPS now
Just Wireless Bluetooth FM Transmitter and Charger photo

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Just Wireless Bluetooth FM Transmitter and Charger

Not only does this transmitter transfer music from your smartphone to your car radio, it also has two USB ports that enable you to charge your devices. A great gadget for those of us who drive older cars yet still want to blast our favorite tunes. ($30; Target.com)

Buy the Just Wireless bluetooth transmitter now
Cabeau Evolution Travel Pillow photo

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Cabeau Evolution Travel Pillow

It boasts some heavy-duty memory foam and comes in three gorgeous colors (as well as a camo print, which is a...curious choice for a neck pillow). But what really makes this thing great are the supple side supports. ($40; bloomingdales.com)

Buy the Cabeau pillow now

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Zojirushi 16-Ounce Stainless Steel Travel Mug photo

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Zojirushi 16-Ounce Stainless Steel Travel Mug

This is a gorgeous bit of technological ingenuity and among its many perks—in addition to insulation that'll keep beverages hot or cold for up to 16 hours—is its wide opening. Yes, you can get ice cubes into this thing. Emergency white wine, here we come. (Just not if you're driving, okay?) ($29; amazon.com)

Buy the Zojirushi travel mug now
T3 Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer photo

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T3 Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer

There is usually no reason to trust a hotel hair dryer. They frequently take forever to get the job done and are often hard to use. This, from T3, is a very powerful dryer that is also compact—a great combination. ($150; sephora.com)

Buy the T3 hair dryer now
Gray Novel Duffel Bag by Herschel Supply Co. photo

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Novel Duffel Bag

What's the point of a road trip that doesn't feature at least one great duffel bag? Pick up a classic, laid-back bag, like this one made by Herschel Supply Co. ($85; nordstrom.com)

Buy the Novel duffel bag now

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Tile Mate Key Finder photo

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Tile Mate Key Finder

Because losing your keys on a road trip would be a wild inconvenience. Simply attach one end to your keys and keep one end on you; you'll never lose your keys again—as long as you don't lose this too. ($25; amazon.com)

Buy the Tile Mate key finder now
Lusso Car Organizer photo

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Lusso Car Organizer

The backseat of a car tends toward entropy on lengthy road trips. Bringing some order to the chaos is a great way to feel like you're still in control for the long haul. ($50; lussogear.com)


Buy the Lusso car organizer now
Honest Hand Sanitizer Spray photo

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Honest Hand Sanitizer Spray

Because who knows what kind of germs you just picked up in that rest area or roadside diner bathroom. Opt for a hand-sanitizer spray instead of a typical gel. It's easier to rub in—and the bottle lasts longer, ounce-for-ounce. ($3; target.com)

Buy the Honest hand sanitizer now

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Fujifilm Instax Mini 90S photo

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Fujifilm Instax Mini 90S

Yes, an instant camera is a little old-fashioned. But there's something about the road trip experience that a smartphone can never truly capture. An instant camera can help you capture those immediate, tangible moments. Though, let's face it: You'll still probably take a picture of those pictures and slap a moody filter on them for your Instagram. ($135; bhphotovideo.com)

Buy the Fujifilm camera now

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