We have taken MANY road trips and have learned along the way what has really been a lifesaver and what we could’ve left at home. So, we’ve put together a list of items we always bring with us on a road trip.
- Seatbelt Pillow – This has saved our family’s necks on several road trips. It provides a nice cushion if the kiddos fall asleep, plus it prevents the seatbelt from rubbing our necks.
2. A plastic organizer for snacks. This was a lifesaver when our boys were preschool age as I could pack tons of different snacks in this type of organizer. You can adjust the size by removing any of the individual horizontal grids.
So, when my youngest was in his Goldfish phase, I made a large section and put Goldfish there. When my oldest was in his Cheerios phase, I did the same thing. I placed snacks like dried fruit, pretzels, Cheerios, Goldfish, Cheezits, raisins, Slim Jim’s, etc… When we arrived at the hotel, I wasn’t bringing bags of snacks in, I just grabbed the box and brought it in. Even when they were little, this was easy for them to open and I wasn’t constantly trying to find their snacks and hand it to them. Bonus: no arguing about which snack should be brought out. There is something for everyone. Whenever we were running low, I would pop into a Wal-Mart, buy what was needed, fill it up and we were on our way.
3. Travel Games – These are a lifesaver, plus it keeps kids off their phone or iPad which is always nice. Travel Bingo was one our favorites. Another good one is Rubberneckers, we enjoyed this one as much as the boys.
4. Reusable Water Bottles are great! We are bringing these with us on our upcoming trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. These are reasonably priced and everyone can choose a different color so there are no mix ups.
5. We have boys, so a first aid kit is always handy. I like to bring one that isn’t too big and is reasonably priced.
6. Wet wipes – If you have children, I know you already have some of these at home. They are great to clean sticky fingers and to ensure everyone has clean hands before stopping to eat lunch.
7. Portable charger – At some point during the trip, someone will start to run low on battery power just as you enter the Grand Canyon or other amazing destination. Having a portable charger will save the day!
8. Road Atlas – We always bring a road atlas on our trips. I enjoy looking through them and there are areas where either GPS may be incorrect or service may be an issue. I prefer a spiral bound format like this one. We also credit our road atlas with how our kids learned their state capitals.
9. Roadside Assistance Kit – Thankfully, we haven’t had to use one yet, but we always bring it, just in case. Better to be safe than be sorry!
10. Grocery store bags- Great thing is, they are free and everyone has some lying around. They come in handy for an unexpected car sickness, trash that naturally will accumulate over the course of a road trip and you can put wet clothes in them, if needed.
Final thoughts: Road trips can be a lot of fun! Just the funny stories that come from them make them worth it. When your kids get to really look at the country they live in, it makes an impact. I hope you are able to take a road trip this summer. Even a shorter trip to your closet National Park, Botanical Garden or state Capital can be a lot fun.
I hope you have found this list helpful.