Summer road trip packing can be tricky. Road tripping with kids…that’s even more tricky when you finally start to pack for a road trip. I’m sharing summer road trip packing necessities when you travel with kids. You can never be too prepared when kids are involved!
Summer road trip packing necessities when you travel with kids
When it comes to long road trips, my kids are old pros. We’ve been doing these kinds of trips since both kids were tiny. It doesn’t matter how many hours it takes to get someplace, the two sunflowers are happy to travel by car. It’s a blessing. Of course, there have been instances of vomiting, but once it’s all cleaned up, it’s back on the road like the champions we are! We’ve been to a variety of places, and have even thrown in some ferry rides with our car!
It took ONE road trip for me to hone my summer road trip packing skills, and nail down the true necessities when you travel with kids. Let’s dig in, see what no one should forget when packing for a road trip with kids. Long trips are much different than just your average short summer driving trips going from playdate to wherever!
Family road trip necessities to pack
Packing for summer road trips can be tricky, I won’t lie. Kids get sick without any warning! The first thing I pack? MEDS! Yes. Fever and pain reducers, cold meds, and whatever helps a cough. It just has to be done, no question about it. I don’t leave the house without Children’s Advil® Suspension (Grape flavored, because that’s the only flavor BOTH kids like.) After a trip where my daughter ended up hit with a cold, I then realized packing a variety of medications is necessary. Added to my arsenal: Children’s Dimetapp® Multi-Symptom Cold Relief Dye-Free and Children’s Robitussin® Extended-Release 12 Hour Cough Relief.
After adding all of these into my packing routine, we’ve never had to use them while road tripping. I think it scares the germs away, plus, my kids seem to be healthier each year they get older. Fingers crossed this continues!
Barf Bag (or container of some sort)
Trust me. Even if your child has never gotten car sick in her entire life, she’ll choose the worst time in the history of road trips to decide she needs to vomit. An unprepared mom will have a ton of cleaning to do. Clothing. Child. Car/Booster seat. Back of the driver’s seat. Maybe some hair, and other stuff.
Just be prepared. Bring a plastic bag, and make sure no holes are in the plastic bag. Even better, bring double bags. Not into plastic bags? Maybe find some of those air travel vomit bags. Other people of the world call them motion sickness bags. You can get them on Amazon. Check it out with my affiliate link over on Amazon.com –> Motion Sickness Bags on Amazon.com.
Obviously, you need snacks. However, you need ones that aren’t going to make a huge mess. Now’s not the time to pack cheese covered anything, or chocolate anything. Stick to things that won’t spoil, either. Fruit is great, if you’ve got a cooler, for sure. Cut the fruit up, and make it easier to handle for little hands. Throw some chips, pretzels, and crackers into bags and have those within reach so you can dispense all of the snacks to the children.
Do NOT let them have full access to those treats. You’ll find empty bags, and coolers by the end of the first hour of the trip.
These should always be in your car, to be honest. Swap them out, so they don’t get dried out. Always have them, though. They handle so many messes, they should be a mainstay in every car in the world! Miracles in a box/bag/container.
Since we can’t stop to wash our hands before eating EVERY TIME someone wants to have a snack, we’re not above using hand sanitizer. Plus, I have a thing about my son using the public toilets. Yes, he washes his hands, but he always touches SOMETHING on his way out. He’s a boy. I like to have him do a little hand sanitizer to help kill off the germs, but only when he wants to use his hands to eat. I’m more of a warm water and soap kind of mom. But when in a bind, I do what I’ve got to do!
Books. Games. Tablets. Whatever keeps the kids entertained for hours upon hours of driving. My kids are big music lovers, so we pack up the tablets. I download their Spotify playlists onto the tablets, hook them up with their headphones, and they play games on the tablet while singing to their favorite songs. Happy kids. Happy Mom.
Travel bag filled with changes of clothing
Yes, you’ve got packed bags in the car. However, you don’t want to have to dig through those bags while at a rest stop, because your child has spilled his drink all over himself and needs to change his shirt. A smaller bag, with changes of clothing, makes life a lot easier. Put a HUGE sealable bag in there, so you can put the wet, dirty clothing in there without messing up the clean items in the bag.
Now, these are my essentials for every road trip. I pack lots of other things, but the above list is what you CANNOT leave for a road trip without! Trust me. Beyond your regular luggage, the above all should be at the top of your road trip packing list.
And to help you out…. there’s a wickedly good giveaway to partake in!!!!
$25 Virtual Gift Card & Gift Pack Giveaway (GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED)
Check out the form below to enter to win a $25 Virtual Gift Card, which means it can only be used ONLINE.
You’ll also win a prize pack, courtesy of Pfizer Pediatrics and Coyne PR! It’ll include one each of the following:
- Children’s Advil® Suspension, Grape
- Children’s Robitussin® Extended-Release 12 Hour Cough Relief
- Chidlren’s Dimetapp® Multi-Symptom Cold Relief Dye-Free