Top things you've forgotten to take on a long drive

4 Minutes

The day’s arrived. Route planned, tank (or battery) full, and bags packed. Or are they?

Nothing’s more frustrating than getting halfway through your journey and realising you forgot to take the one thing you actually needed. We took a survey back in August 2022 to discover the most disastrous things left behind on a road trip and, let us tell you, there are some shockers. Let’s have a look at some of those holiday-ruining items and hopefully they’ll be right at the front of your mind next time you’re packing up for a long trip away .

The essentials

Imagine this. The sun’s out and you’ve had a lovely drive down to the south coast for a long weekend by the beach. As you walk up to the front door that dreaded feeling comes over you. Who’s got the keys!?! It seems like the most important things are also the easiest to forget or at least it is for 2% of drivers in our survey. Whether it’s your wallet (which 13% of drivers had forgotten), a phone charger (a staggering 19% forget this) or even your passport for a road trip into Europe, make sure you check and check again, because 2% of drivers in our survey were the ones caught out by this. The last thing you want is to be left stranded at Calais border control wishing you’d concentrated more in those French lessons at school.

Food and drink

While this may seem like one of the less catastrophic things to forget, those of you with young children will especially know why having enough nibbles is vital. No matter how much you love them, hearing “mummy I’m hungry” for hours on end is enough to drive anyone round the bend (excuse the pun). It’s not just the kids though. That rumbling in your stomach can be so hard to ignore, especially if you’ve no idea when you’ll pass the next service station. Our advice is to stock up on those snacks and sarnies if you want a headache-free drive, 8% of drivers had forgotten food and a massive 20% forgetting a drink.

That special outfit

This one can really get embarrassing. Big events can be nerve-racking at the best of times but turning up in the wrong outfit is a statement we’re not sure you want to make. There seems to be a common theme here of “turning up to weddings in the wrong clothes” and just wanting the ground to swallow you up. Trust us, we know that feeling all too well. Whether it’s a black-tie event or a fancy-dress party you’ve forgotten the wig for, you don’t want to stand out for the wrong reason. Sometimes we’re so focused on all the little things we could forget, we leave behind something important.

Christmas gifts

No matter what you’re celebrating, we all love the holiday season. Meeting up with friends and family, watching the Christmas specials and, although we might not admit it, the presents! So, it can be so frustrating when you’ve picked out the perfect gift only to realise you’ve left it on your kitchen counter. You know no one believes you and they think you’ve forgotten to get anything at all. It’s a real lose-lose situation. To avoid all this, we suggest getting the gifts in first. As long as you remember those, who cares if you forgot clean socks? Someone’s sure to get the classic bath set and deodorant anyway, so you’ll be sorted for sure.

Something for a rainy day

Anyone who’s spent more than a week in the UK will be able to tell you the weather can change at the drop of a hat. For those of you thinking shorts and a t-shirt will be enough for a summer trip to the seaside, think again! We’d recommend bringing at least a thin coat and rain essentials anywhere you go - you never know when you might need them. There are other times when you definitely do know, so if you’re planning a trip to the Bath Christmas markets or Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, don’t forget to wrap up warm. If you’ve got the space, why not take some blankets?


Do you agree with what the drivers in our survey had to say? What's the worst thing that you've forgotten?

Pet medication 1%
Keys 2%
Children's medication 2%
Passport 2%
Adult medication 4%
Map 4%
Food 8%
Other 8%
Money/ Wallet 13%
Mobile 17%
Mobile charger 19%
Water/ Drink 20%


We think you should be ready now but for your next long drive, don’t say we didn’t warn you. One thing you can’t forget is you’re in control 24/7 with Flow Annual car insurance. So, whether you’ve got the memory of an elephant or a goldfish, we’ve got you covered.