Traveling with kids is stressful enough, don't miss these 40+ road trip necessities before your next adventure!
EDITOR'S NOTE: This post has been republished on our new family travel blog Don't Just Fly.
We've updated the tips AND added a new free printable packing list on the updated post here.
It always feels like I'm just jamming things into the trunk. When in doubt, toss it in! I know this isn't the best tactic, and I'm always thinking I'm forgetting something.
My best friend Michelle has 4 peanuts under age 7 and drove them from Michigan to Florida for spring break. Before we headed out for our first road trip of the season, I asked her to tell me her favorite things to pack for the long haul while it was still fresh in her mind. I couldn't believe all the things I scrambled to write down as she listed them off. She is truly the Queen of the Road.
Using several of her tricks made our time in the car so much more relaxing and pleasant this month. I've rounded up all the road trip necessities into one easy checklist for you to keep handy for your next trip:
The Ultimate List of Road Trip Necessities for Families:
Health & Safety:
- Bandaids in various sizes
- First Aid kit
- A tub of flushable wipes
- Benadryl for surprise allergies in new places
- A bucket with several plastic bags tucked inside for surprise tummy bug scenarios
- Headache medicines for parents!
- Heartburn meds for parents
- Goaming hand sanitizer
- Large scissors and/or seat belt cutting tool
- Change of clothes for each kid, easily accessible in case of spills or sickness
- Pen & Paper
- Sunglasses by each kids' seat
- Window shades for babies
- Travel pillows
- Small blankets for when you can't agree on air conditioning levels
- Diaper/pull ups for all kids up through age 5 just in case
- Phone charger for parents
- Towel: can be used as seat cover, cleaning tool, picnic blanket, and more
- Slippers: more comfy than shoes for a long drive
- Cash in varying denominations
- Coins for tolls
- Batteries for any devices you bring
- Fan for white noise
- Pop up hamper
- Gallon sized zip top bag taped near each child's seat: for garbage or emergency car sickness
Food & Entertainment:
- Bottled water
- Playlist of family music (Our family LOVES the Pandora "Family Road Trip" channel)
- Headphones for each kid (our family loves these)
- iPad or other tablet with movies & educational games
- External battery charger for digital devices
- One (or more!) of the best audiobooks for families
- Swimsuits for the whole family in one easy to grab tote bag
- A rubber ball for exercise breaks
- A jump rope for exercise breaks
- Non-sticky snacks & treats in individual portioned baggies
- License plate game: a whole family favorite
- Packed lunches
- Portable iced coffees for mom & dad
- Road trip games
So what did we miss? Is there a road trip car essential your family can't live without? I'd love to know! We have several more adventures planned for the summer, can't wait to get out there again!
Don't miss our updated list! We asked the kids their thoughts on what makes life comfier in the backseat and they had plenty to say:
P.S. The questions have been pouring in: you can find Little Pea's car seat here on Amazon.