Road trips are a great way to travel inexpensively plus see some amazing places.
One of the things that can derail your road trip is forgetting things. While you can stop at the store and buy most things, it can also be a pain and end up costing you more money.
Here is a list of common things that you don’t want to forget on your next road trip
What should I bring on a road trip?
This is an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how often you get somewhere and someone only has one pair of pants for a five-day trip. Once we actually left someone’s bag at home, so they literally had the clothes on their bag. Thankfully, thrift stores abound, but it was definitely inconvenient.
It’s also a good idea to pack extra if you have the room, especially if you have kids that are prone to be messy or get car sick.
One of the best distractions on a road trip are snacks. I tend to stay away from less messy snacks if I can, so nothing sticky or that can melt, but if you can handle it go for it. I like to pace our snacks, so we don’t run out and everyone has something to look forward to.
Chargers for games, phones, tablets, computers. Anything that you will be using in the car that could need to be charged needs to have the charger brought along. Some devices might be able to share a charger but if you have items that need their own, make sure to pack it.
There aren’t many things that you actually switch out the batteries on anymore, but if you have something that needs batteries like a camera, you need to bring extra. Nothing worse than a camera that can’t be used
Even if you don’t have babies or kids for that matter, wipes are needed by everyone. They make cleaning things up so easy. I always have a pack in the car for unexpected spills, stepping in something gross, or just keeping everything clean in your car. They are such a good idea.
6. Garbage bags
If you don’t want garbage on the floor, you need to have something designated.
Depending on how long your trip is it may be a good idea to have one per day so you can get rid of it at the end of the day, and start fresh the next day. Also good for car sick kids.
I like to use grocery bags since they are small and we have a gajillion.
Want to keep the family entertained without electronics? Audiobooks and books are a great way for everyone to have something to do in the car.
Bonus: they last a long time so if you have a long trip planned, this will be a great way to use up a big chunk of that time
You gotta know where you are going. Now, today we can it takes us 30 seconds to find directions on our phones, but don’t discount maps, especially with kids.
Find maps to the places you are going is a great activity for the to follow along with the journey.
If your vehicle plays movies, make sure you pack them. This is especially important when you already told your kids they can watch one.
Bring a variety everyone will enjoy. Depending on where you are going on vacation, a movie that takes place in the same destination or has similarities could be fun.
If you let your kids play on tablets, don’t forget them or their chargers. If you don’t want them to get used to much, have designated times that they can be used so everyone knows the expectation.
Even if you are going someplace that provides pillows for you, they are nice to have in the car for people who will want to sleep. They can also be good as a comfort object if your kids have apprehensions about being away from home.
Everyone is always thirsty on a road trip, which usually is followed up by bathroom breaks. I like to limit drinks when possible so we aren’t stopping every thirty minutes, but still, give them what they need.
13. Water bottles
Bring water bottles will allow you to refill without having to spend money every time you stop. It will also allow everyone to have their own drink they are in charge of.
14. Activities for kids
Crayons, coloring books, travel games are all great things to help keep your kids occupied on a road trip without being in front of electronics all the time.
Related: How to Survive a Road Trip With Kids
I know, I know. Do people even use cameras anymore? I realize that phones take amazing photos, but if your trip is going to be pictures heavy, it might be a good idea. It will allow you to save your phone battery, plus keep all your phone memory from getting taken up by photos.
It is always to bring along medicine even if you don’t have anyone who needs it right now. On the other hand, if you have someone in the family that does take medications, you will want to remember them.
When you travel with kids, anything can happen. For us, it’s always been a good idea to have some kind of fever reducer/pain reliever, allergy medicine, and cold medicine. Especially when you have a lot of people in your family, it’s not surprising for us anymore to have someone need it.
Road Trip Packing List
Taking the time to pack and organize will help make your trip easier and less stressful, plus save you money.
In order to help you pack and travel in less time, grab the road trip packing list that you can print out, check off and take with you.
This has always helped me so I know I don’t forget anything and I don’t have to stress about thinking I’m forgetting something as we pull out of the driveway.
Theresa is a homeschooling mom of 7. An entrepreneur at heart, I started working from home while balancing the responsibilities of homeschooling. My mission is to help other large families moms balance their responsibilities while also living a life they love.