If you love to take short trips over the weekend or take a day trip whenever you feel like it, there are a few essentials that you must keep in your backpack. It’s important to keep a checklist stored on your phone for easy access so you can refer to it when packing for a one-day trip. Whether it is a family day trip at the zoo or a hike in the woods, you should be prepared for any emergency. Here are a few things to keep in mind when packing for your day trip. 

Stay Hydrated

Water is an essential item that needs to be in your backpack because you will get thirsty throughout the day. Whether you are sightseeing or chilling on a beach, staying hydrated should be your top priority to avoid exhaustion or even passing out. Take a large 1.5-liter or 48-ounce water bottle with you to last throughout the day. 

Pack Healthy Snacks

If you’re walking around all day, you are bound to get hungry. Avoid packing junk food like potato chips, chocolate, or candy bars because your sugar levels will quickly deplete. It’s best to have a healthy snack with you like a fruit or protein bar to keep going until you find a place to eat. If you only rely on sugary snacks, you will end up feeling more hungry and even dizzy. 

Make a Plan

Planning your day trip can make the whole day a lot easier and enjoyable. Having an itinerary can keep the day organized and help you to avoid bad surprises. Make a list of the places you want to visit during your trip. Consider taking a trip to Niagara Falls from New York City to experience its breathtaking views. It’s a great place to visit with your family or on your own and it makes for a perfect day trip. 

Wear Sunglasses and Sunscreen

Unless it’s a rainy or snowy climate, you will need a pair of sunglasses if you’re going to be exposed to the sun all day. Make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen to avoid sunburns because you won’t feel its effect until the end of the day. Apply every two hours on all your exposed skin to protect yourself from the harmful UV rays. 

Pack Hygienic Products

You can never go on a day trip without a few hygienic essentials. Pack a hand sanitizer to clean your hands, which will most certainly get dirty while roaming around all day. Make sure to have toilet paper, wet wipes, and toilet seat covers in case you have to use a public restroom. Don’t forget to include tampons or pads as well, which is often a neglected item on day trips. 

Stash a Few Bills

Have a few dollar bills with you because you may come across a souvenir stall that doesn’t accept credit cards. This is especially important when you’re traveling abroad because sometimes taxi drivers in certain countries only take cash. You might want to get coffee or a simple item on the go, so paying cash is sometimes a lot easier. Make sure to keep your money stashed safely in your socks or a hidden compartment in your backpack or fanny pack. 


Make sure you have your ID and driver’s license in case you decide to rent a car for the rest of your day trip. Include your medical cards as well in case of emergency. It is also helpful to make copies of all your travel documents in case you’re away from home. Keep these documents in a hidden pocket inside your backpack in case you lose your wallet.

Be Prepared for the Weather

If you’re traveling during cold weather, it’s best to be prepared by wearing your waterproof jacket. This way you will be prepared for rainfall or snow and windy weather. Make sure to wear layers of clothing and include a thermal as well if it’s too cold. If you are traveling during warmer seasons, it is still a good idea to pack a light sweater because it may get chilly during the evening.

You can also leave a small space to back your favorite essentials. These can include lip balm, hand cream, an extra pair of socks, or any personal item that you feel you will need. It’s a good idea to keep a small traveling first-aid kit with you in case of injuries. Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures on your trip. At the end of the day, you can update your day trip checklist to include the things you wished you had during the day. Use this guide to improve your packing skills to ensure you pack for your day trip the right way.

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