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The Perfect Family Road Trip Packing List

Keep your crew safe and happy on the road with this family travel packing list!

In addition to bathroom breaks, sibling squabbles, and dizziness in the back seat, traveling with kids can be equally stressful. Don’t forget these kid-friendly road trip essentials for a hassle-free road trip:

Games and Toys for Travel

Kids will eventually want something else to do when they get bored of old school games like 20 questions and the alphabet game. You can use a plastic travel soapbox to store crayons and take them everywhere. Tip: take a few special kids toys with you on vacation.

Pit Stop Toys

It’s essential to keep kids entertained inside the car, but don’t forget to pack some outdoor toys as well. During rest stops and parks, kids can stay active with mini bubble bottles, beach balls, frisbees, and jump ropes.

Plastic Garbage Bags

Taking a road trip with children can be challenging. Keeping trash off of the ground and seats is easy with a plastic grocery bag. This allows children to throw away their snack wrappers and juice boxes on their own. At pit stops, you can quickly dispose of the trash if you have any.

Motion Sickness Cube

With young children on a road trip, a bucket is an absolute necessity. What’s the purpose? A sudden attack of food poisoning or the stomach flu will suffice as the case of car sickness. Older children can probably handle a plastic bag, but young children should not handle plastic bags due to choking hazards. Instead, a beach bucket made from plastic would be adequate. It should be easily accessible. Plus, you can’t bury it in a trunk full of suitcases for room.

A Road Trip Playlist

It’s okay to listen to the radio. Making your road trip playlist adds to the fun. Create a playlist on your smartphone and connect it to your car’s speakers so that you and your family can enjoy the music together (if your car has this capability). The songs should appeal to all family members so that everyone is excited to hear them.


Every family travel list should include audiobooks. The stories keep families entertained and their imaginations stimulated. Take advantage of your local library’s book lending program before your next road trip to save money.

Travel Snacks

Be sure to bring some healthy snacks and drinks with you. You might want to include fresh and dried fruit, trail mix, whole grains, and crackers. A cooler should be stocked with chilled items, like hard-boiled eggs, cheese sticks, sandwiches, and juice. If you want to make the most of your snack money, hand them these treats slowly as you travel. You might want to take along (or stop buying) a “forbidden” treat as an incentive for good behavior.

Safety Scissors

To keep your car safe, it’s a good idea to keep a pair of scissors in the glove compartment. In case of an emergency or a situation where having scissors is handy!

Emergency Equipment on the Road

You should always have a roadside emergency kit in your car filled with bandages, a flashlight, and other valuable items.

Medicines Within Reach

Keep a stash of medications within easy reach. Also, carry in a backpack or purse some medications like Children’s Benadryl Chewables, ibuprofen, and Dramamine for kids. Even if you have these medications stored in your luggage, you will want to have easy access to them- should a need arise during your family road trip.