16 Essentials For Any Midwestern Road Trip

UPDATE: Take advantage of these last few summer weekends, and get thee on a road trip, stat — we've got you covered with all the necessities. This story was originally published on June 7.
Sunny summer skies mean good times and endless plans — but not all of them are within city limits. With Chicago close to so many drivable destinations, we're pretty confident you've got at least one rad road trip coming up.
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Even though your highway voyage is free from TSA troubles, you might still need a little help in the packing department. We want to make sure you're ready for anything (and totally comfortable!), no matter how many miles are ahead of you. Click through for 16 absolutely essential items to take with you on your next jaunt around the Midwest. Now, the most important part: Do you have room for us in your suitcase?
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Comfy-cute maxi dresses are a breeze to drive (or sit) in, and you won't have to worry about looking road-weary every time you get out of the car.

Free People Bandana Maxi Dress, $198, available at Free People.
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Truck stop bathrooms. We'll say no more.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial PocketBac Paris Amour, $1.50, available at Bath & Body Works.
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It's summer, so you won't need more than a light layer to throw on in the event of breezier, cooler days than you expected. This also doubles a travel blanket when it's not your turn to drive.

Nine West Genesis Triangle Scarf, $38, available at Nordstrom.
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Imagine your trip without Google Maps, and you'll never leave home without one of these again.

Incase Mini Car Charger, $24.95, available at Apple.
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Simply a must for daytime driving. Plus, you'll look cool.

Kate Spade Alda Sunglasses, $128, available at Kate Spade.
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A goes-with-almost-anything military jacket is a must when temperatures drop. It's the only outer layer you'll need to pack.

Urban Renewal Vintage French Combat Jacket, $59, available at Urban Outfitters.
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Leave the flip flops at home and upgrade your road trip sandal to an on-trend ankle strap option. They're comfy, too, don't worry.

Paso Fino Sandal, $98, available at Anthropologie.
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Don't fall victim to buying a plastic bottle of water at every stop. Keep a reusable bottle filled instead.

Sagaform Thermal Glass Water Bottle, $24.99, available at Bed Bath & Beyond.
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Your road trip is why cute backpacks exist. Use one.

Diane von Furstenberg Printed Canvas Backpack, $206.50 (originally $295), available at Saks Fifth Avenue.
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Road dirt happens, but it doesn't have to require a full-on pitstop to freshen up.

Soap & Glory Off Your Face™ Wipes Cleansing Cloths, $10, available at Sephora.
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Comfy, easy, on/off boots are a must for a road trip. They're perfect for a quick off-road exploration and look even better when slightly dirty.

Hollywood Trading Company Sienna Fringe Boot, $368, available at Free People.
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Take along some locally made noms to remind you of home and fight off mid-trip snack cravings.

Salted Caramel Smoked Pecan Bourbon Caramel Corn, $9, available at Salted Caramel.
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You never know when an impromptu picnic will happen. Be prepared.

Pendleton Meets Opening Ceremony Sam Miguel Blanket, $510, available at Opening Ceremony.
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A straw hat is your versatile road trip staple, keeping you cool and hiding the fact that the motel shampoo didn't quite do the job.

Noel Stewart Buntal Trilby, $289 (originally $385), available at Barneys.
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You can get sunburned in a car. We repeat, you can get sunburned in car.

Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock Face Lotion SPF 30, $7.04, available at Target.
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An of-the-moment style that can stand a few days without seeing the washing machine. Don't leave home without a pair.

Zara Ripped Boyfriend Jeans, $59.90, available at Zara.
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