*I don’t receive any compensation for these recommendations*
For saving space in that tiny quart bag for liquids:
Disposable/dissolving sheets of shampoo, conditioner, body/hand soap, laundry detergent, shaving cream; no more repacking used bars of soap! Or, if you still love your bars, have you tried shampoo and conditioner bars? For your favorite scent, deodorizer or bug spray, bring a refillable atomizer or an empty spray bottle and a selection of essential oils to dilute when you get to your destination.
I can’t even begin to cover all the tech options, but here’s a selection of my most favorite and/or essential, that will give you a wide range of price points.
Organization is key for road trips! An item I list here is a leakproof trash can, but I would repurpose it as an ice bucket to hold beverages to keep cold, and use a tupperware cereal container (like this one), lined with a plastic shopping bag, as a more affordable car trash receptacle–better than an unprotected plastic bag that could inadvertently get smooshed, ripped or dumped out in the chaos of road-tripping. Pro tip (from personal experience): always keep a tub of pre-moistened baby wipes in your car for cleaning up anything, including hands and faces. And consider keeping a stash of plastic zip-top bags accessible, in case of car sickness–the bags can be securely closed until a proper trash can is found.
Other Things I Always Travel With:
I love to hike, so a lot of what I travel with, I learned from hiking. For instance, instead of buying a first aid kit, make your own; click HERE for a great article that covers what to include, and what to add in for COVID preparedness. Some things I always pack are seasonal, like hand/toe warmers, and an emergency sleeping bag or mylar blanket, which hardly take up any room in your bag, and weigh next to nothing–so throw them in, if you’re traveling anywhere/any time it could get cold! I also always pack extra zip-top baggies and extra batteries for my headlamp. As for the 100% cashmere wrap I list here–if that’s too expensive, find a cashmere blend with wool, which will still keep you warm, is highly versatile as a scarf, wrap and/or blanket, and will take up only minimal space in your bag and not add any weight.