Spring and summer are prime seasons for the family road trip. And while you may think you may know what to pack, think again. Here are 25 of the top essentials that could make a big difference in your comfort.
Gadgets to Pack
Here are some of the gadgets you may want to pack for your next road trip:
Portable DVD Player
At some point, your phones and iPads will run low on battery. This is where a portable DVD comes in. Purchase some family-friendly DVDs and have a great time in the car.
Since everyone will have their devices on the road trip, it is wise to have a multiple port car charger to keep the devices powered.
While traditional maps are still useful for finding places, the GPS would be a cool thing to have while traveling.
You’ll experience plenty of great memories on the road trip, so capture those moments with a digital camera.
Things to Keep the Car Clean
Here are some items that can help keep the inside of your car cleaner:
You’ll need to bring a few packs of wet wipes because moms know that kids make plenty of messes as they eat snacks in the car. Wet wipes are also important when bringing the kids to the bathroom in public places.
Containers and Storage Bags
These are essential for keeping the snacks and toys in throughout the trip. If you have multiple kids, you want to organize their goodies in labeled bags and containers. By doing this, you ensure that they don’t eat each other’s snacks.
Toilet Paper and Paper Towels
Wet wipes are great to use for messes, but you should also pack a few rolls of paper towels and toilet paper. You might need to bring a roll into the public restroom or wipe up small crumbs that fell in the car.
Portable Trash Can
To keep your car from looking like a small landfill, it is a good idea to purchase a portable trash can to store all of the garbage you and the kids accumulate.
Food and Drinks
Be sure to bring the following items for meals and drinks:
If your kids are messy with their drinks, then it would be advisable to bring some water bottles with you. They minimize the messes and keep drinks cold
To keep yourself from wasting money at fast food joints while on a road trip, plan ahead by providing the kids with lots of snacks and finger foods. These include potato chips, finger sandwiches, pickles, candy, popcorn, muffins, cookies, crackers and fruit. This keeps the kid’s bellies full and reduces some of the irritability.
This is essential for packing cold foods and drinks so they won’t spoil quickly.
For Comfort, Care and Warmth
These items will provide comfort and come in handy for any situation:
When the temperature gets too cold in the car, you want to have some blankets in case the kids complain about the air conditioning. Blankets can also be used if you take a break at a rest area and have a picnic.
Extra Clothes and Diapers
Accidents happen on road trips, and you wouldn’t want the kids to wear the same stained clothes for the next few days. Be prepared by packing extra clothes and diapers for the kids. By doing this you won’t have to shop for emergency clothes while traveling. If you have toddlers who are being potty trained, you should pack extra pairs of underwear.
If you’re going to be in the car for long hours, it helps to bring pillows because it makes for a more comfortable ride. Some extra blankets are also good to bring for the trip.
A Good Car Seat
Now is a good time to purchase a new car seat if your child has outgrown his current one. Don’t purchase a used car seat because it probably has a lot of wear and tear, and this could be unsafe. Read different online reviews from credible websites such as Consumer Reports and Amazon. Infants and children under age 2 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. Safe4Kids has a detailed resource on choosing the best car seat.
First Aid Kit
Although you might not experience too many scratches and bruises on a road trip, it can happen and you should be prepared by having a first aid kit filled with bandages, hydrogen peroxide, anti-itch cream for insect bites, rubbing alcohol, and cotton balls.
If you’re traveling in the hot sun, you’ll need to pack a high-quality sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
You never know when a medical emergency can happen, so it’s advisable that you bring yours and the kids’ health insurance cards, prescriptions, cold medicines, pain relievers, and laxatives.
Miscellaneous Items to Bring Along
You need to give all the kids a list of contact numbers of all who will be on the trip with them. This can help them locate you in case they get lost while out on the trip. It’s also important that you teach them to stay near you at all times. You can also text them pictures of you, your spouse, and other guests so it will be easier for them to identify you.
Good Books and Kid’s Magazines
You want to ensure that the kids are not glued to their screens while in the car, so bring some good books and kids’ magazines with you. Bring coloring books, photo albums and storybooks, too. This keeps the kids from being overstimulated by the gadgets, and it helps them wind down.
Road trips would be boring without entertainment, and good music is a must-have when traveling with kids. Put the car radio on a station that has music that the kids might like. It might annoy you to hear them sing loudly, but keep in mind that this is part of keeping your sanity and enjoying the trip at the same time.
Not everyone will want to listen to the same thing at once, so it helps to give all the kids their own set of headphones.
It is tempting to bring just your credit cards, debit cards, and checks, but it’s important to have a few hundreds of dollars in emergency cash. This is helpful when visiting venues that only accept cash. It is also good to have cash on hand in the event things go wrong on the trip.
If you want to learn more about the best hotspots in the city you’ll visit, then you should purchase travel guidebooks. These books often feature familiar and off-the-beaten activities that the kids will enjoy.
A Sense of Humor
Road trips are not going to go smooth 100 percent of the time. The key is to have a sense of humor and enjoy each other’s company.
Allow your children to bring their tablets, iPads, small toys, dolls and stuffed animals. You can also tell stories about the place you’re going to visit to keep them entertained. In conclusion, with these essentials, you will have a fun and stress-free trip with the family.