Chris and I grew up taking family road trips every year and have naturally fallen into the same pattern with our kids. While air travel is nice, we often decide on driving to save money and have our own transportation. When we were living in Colorado, we would drive to Ohio for Christmas every year and brought our two dogs. Not only did we save money on airline tickets, but we saved on boarding our dogs. We also had our own car while staying with our families for two weeks.
We have learned a lot of tricks over the years and I thought it would be fun to share some of them with you today! This includes products that we used on our recent trip to Cape Cod.
11 Road Trip Essentials When Traveling with Kids
- Cup Holder Tablet Mount – Our kids watch movies on the iPad and this cup holder held the tablet perfectly in the center console. Movies and their own handheld gaming tablets are obviously the best way to distract the kiddos on long road trips.
- Plano Storage Trunk – This is a fun trick that we recently started using since we take road trips in our truck. The adults each get a container and the kids share a container to store all of their travel items. These trunks ensure that our items will be protected from any weather in our trunk bed.
- Car Seat Organizer – These organizers connect to the back of the seats and are so nice! There are two in a pack and each child gets their own. I try not to add much more to the car if it can’t fit in the organizer. When we get to our destination, I can easily clean up the car by putting everyting back in its pocket.
- Kid O Bunk with Organizers – This may be my favorite travel product. My father-in-law purchased these travel bunk beds for the kids when the four of us stayed in a single bedroom. When broken down, they travel in two thin bags and once they are assembled, they are sturdy bunk beds. This bunk bed allowed us to keep their sleep area nice and tidy. We also turned the lower bunk into a cave with blankets which both kids love. This prevented them from fighting over the top bunk.
- Toiletry Bag – This is our favorite travel bag for toiletries. Lots of pockets and pouches to fit necessary toiletries for every trip.
- Travel Blanket – A travel blanket for each kid is great for them to snuggle with or take a nap. It also helps with complaints on the AC being up too high.
- Water Bottle – Water bottles for each person in the car is perfect for staying hydrated and limiting the amount of garbage in the car.
- Hidden Pictures Book – I like to have activity books for the kids, but preferably without tons of crayons or markers. We have tried this in the past and they always end up all over the car floor! These hidden picture books are fun and include stickers or a single marker/crayon to circle pictures.
- Kids Headphones – There is almost always a point on the trip where one child wants to watch a movie and the other wants to play a game with sound. Kids headphones will help you to keep your sanity and limit the noise.
- Pop Bubble Fidget Toy – Fidget toys are another great travel companion to keep the kiddos busy. I like them too! My children often take one to bed and pop them while trying to go to sleep.
- Animal Guessing Game – Our family loves trivia in the car and this animal guessing game is great for kids of all ages. If you finish this guessing game, you can also find kids trivia easily on your phone.
Here are a few additional travel items I would recommend:
- Trash bags – for any unplanned car sickness or garbage
- Wipes – for any spills or sickness
- Gaming tablets – we let our kids take Amazon Fire tablets and the Nintendo Switch
- 1 stuffed animal per child
- Flip flops to easily take on and off at rest stops
What are your favorite travel items when planning for a road trip?