There is nothing more exciting than knowing that you are heading on an adventure –this is definitely true if you are planning on heading to South America.

With so much to see and so many experiences to have, there is no way that you aren’t going to enjoy yourself on your road trip. However, you might still be nervous about what is on your packing list and whether you will be prepared on your journey. 

In order to help you to think about what you need to pack and also make sure that you don’t forget anything, we have put together a guide on all that you will need for a road trip to South America

Make sure that your car has everything that it needs

Taking a road trip means that you are going to want to make sure that you have everything that you need for your car. This includes key documents such as your license and your car insurance policy. It should also include things such as a spare tire and a roadside emergency kit, including jumper cables if your battery happens to die. This can help if you happen to have an accident or you find yourself needing to make repairs at some point. 

south america road tip peter winckler
Photo by Peter Winckler.


We all rely on our GPS apps now to get around, and they have proven to be helpful most of the time. What happens if you are in an area that doesn’t connect with reception? The last thing that you are going to want is to be stranded in the middle of nowhere, so it is vital that you pack a map with you while you are traveling in an area that you do not know well. This means that no matter what happens to your phone, you can always find out where you are and what direction you need to head in. 

First aid kit

You should never underestimate the chances that something could happen to you during your road trip, which means that you need to be prepared for any injuries. The simplest way to do this is with a first aid kit, which is an item that you absolutely have in your car. You only usually need to have the basics, such as band-aids and bandages, but this should be enough to make sure that you can fix any cuts or scrapes. If you take medication, make sure to have an extra prescription stored just in case. 

Water bottles

Traveling is thirsty work, so you need to make sure that your cache of water bottles are stocked for your road trip. Not only do they keep you hydrated as you travel, but if you ever get stuck or have to stop your car, then having water in the car can help you to avoid sunstroke or other problems caused by the heat, as well.

south america road trip chad madden
Photo by Chad Madden.


South America is a beautiful continent with some great weather, however, sometimes things can get chilly, especially if you are driving at night. If you know that you are going to need to pull over to sleep or simply take a break, then you should absolutely make sure that you have blankets in your car. They will help you to keep warm when the weather turns colder and help you to re-energize for your next stretch of driving. 

Phone charger

While we hate to admit it sometimes, many of us rely on our phones for almost everything. It makes sense that we want to stay in touch with the rest of the world while on the road. Most cars are now able to charge your phone if you have the right cable, so you will want to double check which option is compatible with your device before you head out on your adventure.

There is plenty to think about when you are planning a road trip through South America. Whether you are planning a short or longer journey, be prepared can make it a much more pleasant experience. You can also focus more on your trip rather than worrying about the consequences if something happens to go wrong.

Do you have any experience road tripping through South America? Any must-see sights?

Header image by Chinh Le Duc.