Summer road trip essentials for families
Going on an hours-long road trip with young children can be anxiety-provoking even for experienced parents. When embarking on a road trip with kids, it’s important to be well-prepared to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey, and to lessen the cries of “Are we there yet!” Here are some essential items to consider packing for your road trip with kids:
Snacks and drinks
Pack a variety of snacks that are easy to eat on the go, such as granola bars, fruit, crackers, and pre-cut vegetables. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water and other drinks to keep everyone hydrated.
Long car rides can become tedious for kids, so it’s important to help keep them entertained. Consider bringing colouring books, puzzles, and activity kits to keep them engaged.
Engage the whole family with travel games that can be played in the car. Car Bingo: Make or print out bingo cards with different road signs, vehicles, or landmarks, and have kids mark them off as they spot them. Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of items to find along the road, such as a red car, a billboard, a cow, etc. The Animal Name Game is a fun one: Take turns naming animals, going through the alphabet (e.g., anteater, bear, cat, etc.).
Bring along small packable kites, foldable model airplanes, or soccer balls to use at pit stops. It will get the kids moving and burn off energy after sitting for hours.
Give kids a notebook and encourage them to write or draw about their road trip experiences.
Download kid-friendly storytelling podcasts or audiobooks to listen to during the trip. Here’s 7 great podcasts for young kids via Common Sense Media.
Bring along comfort items such as blankets, pillows, eye masks (to help with naps), and stuffed animals to help children feel cozy and relaxed during the journey.
Pack a small bag with travel-sized toiletries, including hand sanitizer, wet wipes, tissues, and any other personal care items your children may need during the trip.
First aid kit
Prepare a basic first aid kit with band-aids, antiseptic ointment, pain relievers suitable for children, and any necessary prescription medications. Consider bringing along anti-nausea medine if your child is prone to motion-sickness. Ginger ale can also come in handy.
Pack extra clothing for each child, including underwear and socks, in case of spills or accidents.
If your children have electronic devices, don’t forget to bring chargers and headphones. Additionally, consider a portable charger to ensure their devices stay powered throughout the journey.
Use car organizers, seat-back pockets, or storage bins to keep all the items organized and easily accessible during the trip.
Remember to adapt these essentials to suit the specific needs and preferences of your children. It’s also a good idea to involve them in the packing process, allowing them to choose some of their favourite items to bring along.