Updated: Jun 24, 2021
***Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Thanks Y'all!***
Family road trips are what you make them. They can be fun, frustrating or frazzling! I'm here to help you with the last two mentioned. When traveling with young kids, I'm talking newborn to 6...that's all I can speak on from experience...there are definitely some things that make traveling easier, more enjoyable and less traumatizing. Doesn't matter the distance you're taking the kiddos, these road trip essentials are guaranteed to simplify your life. Let's get started.
First thing I recommend are snacks! Who doesn't love snacks! Am I right? But keep in mind, this post is specifically geared towards the happy little travelers...so pack kiddo friendly options. Although flaming hot Cheetos are fantastic!...that's not the kind of snack I'm referring to.
Fruit snacks, chips, Juices, raisins, ANYTHING your kids normally ask for when it comes to snacks will do! Keep it simple. No pressure. Before we hop in the car, I make sure my cooler is loaded and ready to go!
Tip: a cooler works well for more than juice and water. It can be used for zip locked fruits, cheeses, and milk for that fussy 1 year old that just CAN'T wait to make it to the gas station. Pack it all parents!...well, go light on the sugar. Kids are excited enough on the road.
Secondly, a Potty! Now I know a lot of you are probably going to say "Ew...really Amber?" YES! REALLY!!! Packing a potty in the car for a toddler...or even a preschool age child IS A GAME CHANGER! No more gross bathroom stops, where you're constantly telling your kid..."DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING! LOOK AT ME! NOT ANYTHING! You got it?". Say goodbye to those days now! I mean think about it....what's more gross, your kid sitting on a pot in the car? Or touching ANYTHING in the public restroom, not washing their hands good enough, and then reaching into the cooler mentioned above? I know ya'll are feeling me. Plus, it saves time on the road. Kids make the trip longer than it really is...so why not save time where you can.
Third, Entertainment! This one is more for the preschool age kids. Nothing screams aggravating like a kid stuck in the car with nothing to do. This is an acceptable time to pull out that Amazon tablet and let the screen time restrictions fly right out that car window! But even technology can get boring. So I always have options handy. Coloring books and puzzles are great! A travel tray works great for these options.
Tip: When packing the tech, please pack headphones too. Nothing screams "LET ME OUT THIS CAR!" Like a mama that has to listen to kids entertainment for hours! Trust me.
Fourth, the first aid kit. With kids, you never know what may happen. It's always best to be prepared. It's extremely unpleasant to think about your child getting hurt, no matter what severity. But we do have to think ahead when it comes to protecting our kids. Even if you only treat a mild cut or scrap, having a first aid kit handy can prevent a simple problem from becoming a chronic one later down the line.
And last but not least, patience...coffee helps too, coffee always helps. But parents, please don't forget to pack your patience. The items listen above are in no particular order, BUT this tool is the most valuable. Your trip will definitely be miserable without packing at least a little bit of patience. You don't want all your time spent planning, money invested, and the opportunity to make forever memories to go down the drain...all because you forgot to pack your patience. Just remember, it's hard traveling with little ones!...no matter what you do, no matter how hard you prepare, and no matter how much you think you know what you're doing. It's HARD! If you keep that in mind, pack your patience and know that the time spent together is worth it, your trip will be amazing.
Happy Travels Y'all!
Links to Enjoy:
Want to try some of that amazing coffee mentioned? Give it a try and enjoy one of my favorites by far! Click the button.
Click the link to purchase the potty we use on the road. Nothing extravagant, just a potty y'all! And it gets the job done!
As a nurse, I am super confident you'll appreciate this kit! Everything you need in case of an emergency, guaranteed.