10 Things To Pack When Taking A Road Trip With Kids
Summer is here ya’ll! Has anyone been else just been counting down the days until summer was here? I know I have! After this school year I need a break, and I’m sure my kids do as well. One of our family traditions each year is to kick the summer off with a family road trip. We each research somewhere we would like to visit and the family votes on where to go that year. Spending time together as a family while taking in the scenes that pass by us in. There is one thing I learned and that is a good packing list is essential to a good road trip. You want to make sure everyone has what they need, and are happy and comfortable. So I wanted to share with you all my top 10 things to pack when taking a road trip with kids, because we all know packing for an adult looks way different than packing for a kid. So I’m hoping some things on my list will prevent mid-day meltdowns while you are trying to find the nearest gas station for a bathroom break, ha! Let’s check them out!
1. First Aid Kit- This is something you might not think about if you are just taking a short road trip but trust me when I say, the time you don’t remember to bring it, is the time you are going to need it. You never know when a kiddo (or even you!) are going to step out of the car and catch your foot on something, down you go and now you have a bloody knee. So it’s helps to be prepared for small accidents with an already packed first aid kit. No one wants to drag a screaming, bleeding kiddo into a gas station to look for a band aid!
2. SNACKS- Yes, I put that in all capitol letters. Even if you think your kids aren’t big snackers and they will be fine until you stop for a meal, bring a snack. Trust me, 2 hours at home until dinner goes by much more quickly than 2 hours in a car waiting for dinner. I recommend packing snacks with high protein to keep them fuller, longer. Meat sticks, cheese, mixed nuts, peanut butter crackers, etc. And maybe even a little treat (such as candy bars) of something that they don’t get often for fun!
3. Comfort- This is totally needed especially on long road trips. Everyone is happier when they are comfortable. Make sure everyone is dressed comfortably, and most importantly, pack a blanket, some pillows, and for the smaller kiddos, ask if they would like to pack a stuffed animal or comfort item to take along with them.
4. Entertainment- Staring at the window and counting cars will only keep everyone entertained for so long, so make sure you pack along some fun stuff for the drive. For some families this means phones and tablets, for others it means coloring books and puzzles. Whatever entertainment means for your family, make sure you remember to pack it!
5. Pit Stop Play- If you are planning on stopping for an amount of time during your trip (at a park, a welcome center, etc) It’s a super fun idea to bring a few outdoor play things with you that you and your kiddos can play with to help stretch your legs and get some energy out. Pro tip: The dollar tree is an awesome place to pick up really cheap outdoor toys for this exact purpose! Grab a frisbee, or a jump rope, or even just some bubbles to run around and blow.
6. Trash Bags or Bins- Spending hours to days in a car can get quite…messy. Having a set vessel will help minimize the trash build up in the car and can be emptied on your route.
7. Good Music- Now I know that since we are past the era of CD’s that this probably won’t be a physical item to add to your packing list, but it’s still a great one! Get together as a family and make a playlist of fun road trip jams that everyone will love. The family that sings together on a road trip, stays happy and too bust to fight with their siblings, am I right?
8. A Travel Medicine Box- If daily medications are taken, make sure to bring those, and also pack some medication along for things that might happen. I always bring along OTC pain medication, anti nausea medication, and an antihistamine just to be safe!
9. A Cooler- This is one of my favorite things to bring on a trip because it saves SO much money! Grabbing food and drinks at fast food joints and gas station can add up quickly for a family. We always pack our cooler with water, juice, and even a few cold snacks such as sandwiches, big pickles, and fresh fruits/veggies. Not only will it save your some money, it’s great if you are trying to watch what you eat as well.
10. Patience- Road trips are super fun, but can also sometimes be stressful and might not always go as planned. You can plan everything perfectly, but if there is a wreck, or you blow a tire, or a kiddo is extra cranky that day, not everyone will be having a great time. That’s why it’s always important to pack your patience when deciding to go on a road trip. You can get back on track, don’t let it ruin your trip!
What does your family always pack for a road trip? Let me know in the comments below!
Are you a visual person like me? Well you are going to love this free printable vacation packing list! Looking for somewhere to visit in the Tennessee area while still staying socially distant? Check out my top 8 places to visit.