We decided to take our kids on a road trip this summer (pray for us) because A.) it’s more cost-friendly and B.) our country has so many amazing places we all need to see.
My kids have proven to be good travelers because they’ve flown long distances and made it just fine with no complaints to NYC. But, that’s as far as we’ve driven.
We’re making our way to the Outer Banks in North Carolina soon, and while I’m excited, I’m getting prepared for some curveballs.
If you’ve traveled with kids before, I’m sure you know all the things that’ll make the trip easier for your family. But, while I’ve been getting my lists ready, I’ve realized there are some items that I don’t typically always have on hand that are necessary to keep in my car for longer road trips.
If you’re hitting the open road soon, take these 8 items into consideration while stuffing your car!
Cooler or insulated bag with snacks– Specifically, ones that don’t make a mess. Think cheese sticks, easy fruit that lasts a while like apples and bananas, and individual snack pouches. Yogurt tubes are great but could make a mess when spilled! I’d hold off on that until you reach your destination.
Reusable Water Bottles – To avoid spills of sticky juice, keep everyone hydrated with just water. It’s easy to fill up during stops and cost-friendly!
Paper towels – Hide some rolls under the seat. You will need them if someone spills or gets sick. 🤢(you can thank me later!)
Plastic bags – With that said, you’ll need a plastic bag to put all of your trash in. Keep several on hand for easy cleanup. Next time you stop, you can just toss it out.
EZ Pass electronic transponder– For a minimal cost, you can pre-load the EZ pass with money to get you through the tolls. I checked out our state EZ Pass (Rhode Island) and it will take you through 15 states, so it’s very helpful for an East Coast road trip. No more fumbling for loose coins or tokens. When you have kids, you’ll be stopping plenty. No need to stop any extra times if you don’t have to!
Consider downsizing baby gear – Some baby gear brands are offering compact strollers that take up very little room. UPPAbaby makes a very sturdy stroller called the Minu that folds up neatly into a bag. It has the fantastic quality UPPAbaby is known for, like huge canopy with SPF, smooth ride, roomy seat and one-hand fold. This stroller is suitable for children ages 3 months to 50 pounds. Don’t let the small size fool you! It has a from-birth kit and is adaptable with certain car seats. I know I need compact baby items like this because we have six people in our vehicle and space is limited. A stroller can be absolutely necessary for families depending on the age of your children.
Non-technology games – Don’t forget about fun car games! We found Road Trip Bingo for $1 a card at Target. We will also pack some smaller card games like Uno or Old Maid that can be played in the car or during rest stops.
First Aid kit – It kind of goes without saying to pack this, but also keep your medicine and thermometer in your car along with your first aid kit for the long haul. If you need it at a moment’s notice, you won’t want to dig through your luggage that’s stuffed in your trunk.
What are some of your favorite items to pack in the car for a family road trip? Leave your ideas in the comments.