I love a good family road trip! I also love it when I have a road trip checklist on my hand, which thankfully, I do!
I have so many good memories of road tripping with my family each summer to my grandparents’ home 10 hours away. We had so much fun together!
Now with my own kids, I can’t wait to show them how fun it can be to buckle up together and enjoy the ride. With some yummy snacks, a great game like our road trip scavenger hunt, and some good music, you just can’t go wrong!
Planning a Road Trip With Kids
Don’t feel like you need to plan this all on your own! Get your kids involved and ask what will make the trip more fun for them. Planning together as a family will help you out and get your kids so excited!
The perfect road trip just takes a bit of preparation. With kids, you should always plan for the worst-case scenario. Plan for the spills, the “I’m bored” comments, and a few extra bathroom stops.
Being prepared is key! So make sure that you have everything on this road trip checklist and you’ll have the best trip ever!
Road Trip Checklist
Ready for your ride? Check out this list to make sure that you have everything you need!
Food & Snacks
Is it just me or are snacks the best part of a long drive?
I never go on a road trip without plenty of food and snacks, especially when my kids are with me. Make sure you have a cooler to keep some cold drinks and snacks and for the other snacks, I love making up little snack buckets for each person.
Just grab a cute little bucket and fill it with portioned out snacks and a drink for each of the kids. It may take a bit more effort before the trip, but it’ll save you from having to pull over or reach back every time someone gets hungry.
Here are my must-have food and snack-related items for my road trip checklist:
● Small cooler
● Refill water bottles
● Cheese sticks
● Fruit snacks
● Granola bars
● Trail mix
Safety first! These items are essential for putting on your list. You definitely don’t want to wait until you’re in the middle of nowhere to realize you didn’t bring a first aid kit or something else to keep your family safe.
If you don’t want to compile all these items, I love keeping a prepared safety kit in my car so I don’t have to think about it every time we plan a trip. Otherwise, make sure you have these items when you pack:
● First aid kit
● Nail clippers
● Ice scraper (depending on the trip)
● Sunshades (depending on the trip)
● Hand sanitizer
Don’t you just feel like as soon as you get in the car one of your kids starts talking about how bored they are? It’s not a great way to start out a long trip!
Keeping the kids entertained and comfy may feel like the hardest part, but with a little preparation, you’ll have everything you need for a pleasant trip.
One of the things that my mom did for us that I’ve adopted for my own road trips is to have kid bags. Each child gets a backpack or small bag full of everything they need, from snacks to games to blankets. It makes it feel like an adventure for the child and keeps everything they need within their reach.
Having your kids be comfortable should be the number one priority. A happy kid means a happy road trip!
● Window clings
● Night lights
● Downloaded movies
● Blanket, comfort item
● Kids bags
● Crayons & a notebook
● Activity binder (Make one yourself or find one to download)
● Sandals (don’t deal with re-tying shoes at every stop)
Kids aren’t the only ones who need a little entertainment.
I’ll never forget my husband and I took a long trip soon after we got married and thinking we didn’t need to prepare anything to keep us busy. We were so wrong! Adults get bored too, and we will never make that mistake again!
Make sure that you have something that the whole family will enjoy. If you want more ideas for next road trip activities, make sure to look at our Road Trip Activities post! ***Link once available
● Music playlist
● Audiobooks (or have your kids practice reading out loud!)
The most important thing for your road trip is that your family is safe! You’ll want to have a few things on hand to help with your car just in case!
Though they aren’t things to pack, make sure that you have had a recent oil change and fill your gas tank up before you leave. It’s always a good idea to plan where you will stop before you leave so that you don’t have to worry about your tank running low.
● Insurance, paperwork
● Basic tools
● Jumper cables
Then there’s all odds and ends of things that are a good idea to pack when you are taking a road trip. These are things that I like to keep close, so make sure they don’t get buried under luggage!
You might want to consider having a road trip bag or bucket to keep close with all these loose items. You would be surprised to find out how easy it is to make a big mess and lose things while you are road tripping!
● Extra sets of clothes
● Paper towels
● Jacket, in case cold when stopping
● Travel pillow
● Plastic bags
● Packing cubes (so helpful for saving space!)
With these things on your road trip checklist, you are sure to be prepared. Not only will you have a successful and safe trip, but you will have fun too!
Where is your family going on your next road trip? Let us know in the comments!