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Home Road Trip 16 Road Trip Essentials I Bought for a Weekend Stay in Upstate New York, Starting at $2

16 Road Trip Essentials I Bought for a Weekend Stay in Upstate New York, Starting at $2

by Staff

As a city-dweller who  practically never drives, it feels like a novelty to get behind the wheel. So when I rented my favorite car (a 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor, which drives like a dream and is spacious enough for the luggage of four chronic overpackers) for an upcoming weekend trip to the Hudson Valley, I went a little overboard with my road trip shopping list—as shopping writers tend to do. 

Because I don’t own a car myself, I needed to stock up on the essentials beforehand. To get prepared, I grabbed this Heyday USB phone charger, a windshield mount, and an emergency safety kit. I tossed in a few more exciting finds to make the road trip experience more comfortable too, including a Stanley cup, fuzzy slippers, and sunglasses to protect my eyes while driving. Keep scrolling to find more practical (and fun) must-haves for your next trip. 

Best Road Trip Essentials from Target

Stanley 12-Ounce Stainless Steel Classic Legendary Mug 


If I’m driving more than 30 minutes, I need a coffee in the car to help me focus. This Stanley 12-ounce Stainless Steel Classic Legendary Mug is perfect for keeping my latte steeping hot. The double-wall vacuum insulation kept my liquids hot for 1.5 hours and drinks cold for up to three hours. The stainless steel  design is durable for taking on the go, and it’s dishwasher safe so I can easily keep my cup fresh and ready for the next caffeine break. According to shoppers, it keeps their drinks “hotter than a regular mug” and is “unbreakable for travel.” 

Igloo BMX Cooler 


Road trip snacks are integral to the travel experience, which is why it was so important for me to invest in a good cooler. This Igloo BMX is super durable with thick foam-insulated walls and an insulated lid that keep contents cold for longer. One customer even said it “works the same” as a pricey competitor’s $200 model, while another added that it’s “very compact.” The stainless steel and rubber grip handle make it portable, functional, and stylish.

Open Story Three-Piece Packing Cube Laundry Bag Set 


I swear by packing cubes for organizing my suitcase, period. However, it’s especially important when I’m packing for a shorter trip (and with a smaller bag). This three-piece set was perfect for strategically filling my weekender. One reviewer raved that the packing cubes “have a lot more room for stuff then you would expect,” while adding that it’s a “very organized way to pack from someone who used to be very unorganized.” The set comes with a drawstring laundry bag and two zip-closure packing cubes in different sizes. Each has a soft-sided construction and waterproof design that’s durable and easy to clean.

Justin Case Deluxe Safety Kit


As an infrequent car renter versus a car owner, I not only don’t have supplies in case of a roadside emergency, but I wasn’t even sure what I needed. Luckily, Target’s $32 Justin Case Deluxe Safety Kit has it all, including gauge jumper cables for a dead battery, a tow strap, gloves, a poncho, a first aid kit, and even a head lamp. It also comes with a complimentary one-year roadside assistance membership that protects me in the event of three accidents over 12 months. One shopper said it has “everything you need in one case” while another added that it saves “time and money” and keeps “everything organized.” 

Keep reading for even more of my road trip essentials that made my driving adventures a breeze. 

Welly First Aid Kit 


27-Count Cleaning Automotive Wipes 


Bioworld Blue Tonal Paisley Print Poly Satin Neck Pillow and Eye Mask Set 


Room Essentials Wildwood Small Hanging 


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