Maybe it’s just me, but with two kids being in car seats I just find it easier to take a road trip. It does seem like a daunting tasking, especially when it’s over like 6 hours. BUt, with needing car seats, strollers and a car I feel like taking road trip is just as easy. Throw it all in your car and head out. That sounds easier than it really is to get prepped for a ton of driving, but I find in the long run…it saves a ton of time and money. And honestly, I’m such a last minute packer, that I need lists…Lots and Lots of lists. So I’ve created a list of road trip essentials that are a must.
Recently I sat down brainstorming a list of things I need for our upcoming trip. Whether you’re planning your trip, or doing last minute packing, get started by checking out my road trip essential list.
Road Trip Essentials You Need To Pack
- Snacks – A great way to minimize stops and save money! Bring a mix of healthy snacks like nuts, carrots, bars, but also throw in a few junk food items too. Brings some sweet and salty to satisfy whatever craving comes up. Plus, this is always a great thing to pull out when the kids are getting tired of sitting in the car!
- Cooler – Along with snacks you need drinks. We’re just water drinkers over here, but it’s nice to have it cool. I also throw in extra milk for the kids.
- Car Emergency Kit – I am always needing something. Ok, maybe not always, but definitely have had my issues on the road. You never know with a flat tire or dead battery might pop up. Also, if you don’t have AAA, you might considering signing up before a big trip. You don’t want to be me stuck along the Salt Dunes with no gas!
- Stack your playlist – make a playlist with plenty of songs for everyone. The last thing you want to do is be stuck on the open road with no music to entertain you
- Games and activities – ensure you have games, movies, coloring activities etc for the kids. Be sure you have plenty of options and force them to space everything out. Otherwise you’ll be an hour in with nothing new to pull out when they’re getting stir crazy.
- Cash – Coming from a time that lives on their debit cards, Apple pay or Venmo, carrying cash seems out dated. But, it’s so imporant to have some backup funds in the event non of the first option are available.
- Car Charger/Power Bank – Taking photos, using GPS and updating social media takes a a lot out of your phone. Don’t get stuck with out your source for direction or ability to call for help if needed.
- Phone Holder – Several states now require you to be hands free, so find a good option and mount it on the dash, a vent holder or whatever. You’ll end up loving too…no more phone dropping between the seats, on the floor on getting wet when you spill your drink in the console, Ha!
- First Aid Kit – I guess this is the nurse in me, but you can never be too prepared. One key item I would would ensure is in your kit is something for heachaches and light aches and pain. For instance Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Alieve, etc or whatever works for you.
- Towels – Kids or not, spills and messes happen!
- Comfort Items – Whether for you or the kids bring those things thatn make you feel comfortable. Blankets, neck pillows, stuffed animals, etc…whatever it is, bring it
Don’t Over Pack
Another tip is to avoid over-packing. This helps you feel less crammed in the car. Find things that you can downsize with to make more room. My favorite tip is tossing out that huge, overstuffed makeup bag for a single compact with everything you need in it and 1-2 brushes (that actually equal 4!) rather than 4 or more. With clothing, plan to wear a pair of jeans more than once, or only 1-2 pairs of shoes that go with every outfit.
I hope this list is helpful when planning your next road trip. Need more travel tips? Check out these posts:
Whether your trip is a couple of hours or across the country, these road trip essentials will help ensure a smooth ride, well at least in the preparation department. Things always come up, just relax, make a plan and you’ll get through it.
Where is your next road trip? Or have you taken one this year already? If so what are your tips, tricks and must haves, comment below!
Thanks so much and have a great down hill ride into the weekend!