A family road trip with kids can be a great way to explore the country, experience new cultures, and create lasting memories. It’s an adventure that will bring you closer as a family, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. With a little bit of planning, you can have a safe and fun road trip with kids that will be remembered for years to come.
20 Must-Haves for a Family Road Trip
The key to a successful road trip with kids is to be prepared. Before you hit the road, you’ll want to ensure that your vehicle is in good working order, you have enough food, snacks, and activities for the kids, and everyone has the appropriate clothing and gear for the weather. It’s also important to plan out your route and stops ahead of time. You’ll want to plan for plenty of rest stops, sightseeing, and activities that everyone can enjoy.
Once you’re on the road, there are a few things you can do to make your trip more enjoyable. Talk to your kids about the trip and get them excited about it. Incorporate some educational activities and games along the way. Make sure everyone gets enough rest and has plenty of time to explore.
And of course, don’t forget to take lots of photos and videos to capture the memories. But most importantly, you’ll want to be equipped with plenty of activities and entertainment to keep everyone happy and not fighting.
Here are a few of our road trip essentials you won’t want to forget!
1. Portable DVD player and favorite movies: A portable DVD player is a great way to keep kids entertained on long car trips. It is small and lightweight, allowing kids to watch their favorite movies from the comfort of their car seat.
2. Travel games: Travel games are essential for keeping kids entertained on long car rides. Games like I Spy, Hangman, and 20 Questions will keep them occupied for hours.
3. Books, coloring books, and other activities: Reading books or filling out coloring books can provide hours of entertainment for kids in the car. Other activities like word or number puzzles can also be great ways to keep them busy.
4. Music and headphones: Music can provide a great distraction for long car rides. Kids can also use headphones so they don’t disturb other passengers.
5. Toys and stuffed animals: Bringing along a few favorite toys or stuffed animals can help make car rides more enjoyable for kids.
Don’t forget the…
6. Snacks and drinks: Keep kids happy and hydrated with a few snacks and drinks. Make sure to have a variety of options so kids don’t get bored with the same snacks.
7. Digital games and apps: Many digital games and apps can be used to keep kids entertained on long car trips. Download a few of their favorites before you leave so they can play them during the ride.
8. Travel journal: Kids can write about their experiences and draw pictures in a travel journal. This can be a great way to document their trip and keep them occupied during long car rides.
9. Window markers and stickers: Window markers and stickers can be used to decorate the windows of the car. Kids can draw pictures or make their own designs to entertain themselves.
10. A camera to document the journey: A camera can be a great way to document a trip and create lasting memories. Kids can take pictures of the scenery and of each other, which can help make the car ride more enjoyable.
And it’s always nice to have…
11. A pillow and blanket: A pillow and blanket can be a great way to stay comfortable during long car rides. They can also be used to take naps when kids need a break from the long stretches.
12. Craft supplies: Craft supplies, like markers, crayons, and paper, can provide hours of entertainment for kids in the car.
13. An iPad or tablet: An iPad or tablet can be a great way to keep kids entertained on long car rides. Download a few of their favorite games or apps before you leave to keep them occupied.
14. A bag of travel toys: A bag of toys, like small cars or action figures, can provide hours of entertainment for kids in the car.
15. Puzzles: Puzzles can be a great way to keep kids occupied on long car rides. Choose from jigsaw puzzles, logic puzzles, crosswords, and more.
Who’s bringing the…
16. A joke book: If your kids can read, a joke book will keep them entertained for hours! They’ll love laughing at all the punchlines, and you might even get a good laugh as the parent.
17. A portable charger: A portable charger is a must-have for long car rides. Kids can stay connected to their devices and play their favorite games and apps.
18. A travel scavenger hunt list: Create a scavenger hunt list with the younger kids before you leave. Have them look for things like animals, different kinds of trees, or landmarks.
19. Games: Board games are a great way to keep older kids entertained on long car rides. Choose from a variety of travel-size games, like checkers, card games, and tic-tac-toe.
20. A travel first aid kit: A travel first-aid kit is essential for any road trip. It should include items like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.
Some other essentials for your trip that you won’t want to forget:
Food & Drinks: Go the the grocery store before your trip and grab a water bottle for everyone, cold drinks, dried fruit, cheese sticks, a sippy cup, ice packs, and any other food or drink items you think you or the kids might want. Pack some of the best road trip snacks and you’ll be good to go!
Toiletries: When you’re on the go, having toiletries in the car can help keep things clean. Pack some hand sanitizer, personal items, lip balm, an easy-to-access change of clothes, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and face wipes.
Cleanliness & Organization: The car can quickly become a mess if you’re not careful, so you’ll want to pack some items to keep it clean on your long drive. Get some plastic bags, cup holders, a car seat organizer, wet wipes, trash bags, toilet paper, and anything else you’ll want to keep in the center console.
And lastly, you’ll want to bring these useful items on the open road:
- Motion sickness medicine
- Travel pillow
- Spare tire
- Audio books
- Picnic blanket
- Road trip activities
- Smart phone
- Travel mug
- Garbage bag
- Travel insurance
- Day pack
That pretty much sums up our must-have items for long road trips with kids! If you have any trips coming up this summer, make sure to save this list and pull some ideas beforehand so your kids stay entertained the entire trip.
Once you get there, make sure you play our favorite travel game Quest for the Best!