Family Road Trip Items You Need to Pack

A family road trip is easy, right? Simply load up the car, fill the tank, and drive to your destination to see relatives, explore exciting new places, or revisit old favorites.

Well, it’s not quite that simple

A successful road trip with kids takes planning and organization.

Our list of family road trip items you need to pack will help with comfort, safety, entertainment and eating while driving to your destination.

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Car Accessories for a Family Road Trip

car sun shade               baby car mirror

CAR WINDOW SUN SHADE — Keep the sun out of your kids’ eyes, and glare off their screens with inexpensive sun shades for the carThe car window sun shade blocks over 97% of harmful UV Rays to protect your baby and passengers from skin irritation and bright sunlight. The car sun shades will additionally help keep your car cooler.

BABY CAR MIRROR — Keep an eye on your rear-facing little ones with a baby mirror in the car. It allows you to keep an eye on your baby while driving without being distracted from the road.

CHECK LATEST PRICES ON AMAZON – Car Window Sun Shades | Baby Car Mirror

car seat protector cover          seatbelt pillow

SEAT PROTECTOR — Place the car seat cover under a car seat or booster seat to protect your car’s interior from spilled food and dirty shoes. It minimizes car seat movement, covers the seat back and is compatible with all car seats.

SEATBELT PILLOW — A seatbelt pillow is a comfy option for kids who have moved on to booster seats but still like to sleep in the car. The pillow is filled with PP cotton, and the cover is removable and washable.

CHECK LATEST PRICES ON AMAZON – Car Seat Protector | Seatbelt Pillow


Travel Accessories for a Family Road Trip

traveler-road-kit            first aid kits

TRAVELER ROAD KIT — You never know what car troubles you’ll have along the way, so be prepared with a car emergency kit. The kit should include automotive emergency items to help protect you in the event of an automobile breakdown.

FIRST AID KIT — You’ll also never know what first aid emergencies you’ll have on your road trip adventure. Have a well-stocked first aid kit to handle any personal injury that may occur.

PICNIC BLANKET — Bring a picnic blanket for pit stops, or one that will double as a cover up when it gets chilly in the car. This one has room for 4 people, a waterproof bottom, a soft top and is washable.

travel baby wet wipes          zippered-plastic-bags
TRAVEL WET WIPES — Essential for any road trip, travel wet wipes clean all the spills, wipe off seats, clean hands after meals on the go, and a million other uses.

ZIPPERED PLASTIC BAGS — Another essential that is used multiple ways on a road trip are zippered plastic bags. Use them for trash, serving snacks, containing toys, holding wet or dirty clothing, or for kids who are car sick.

CHECK LATEST PRICES ON AMAZON – Traveler Road Kit | First Aid Kit



Organization Accessories for a Family Road Trip

car organizer for back seat          car seat organizer

BACK SEAT CAR ORGANIZER — Organize the travel toys for the kids, books, water bottles, and sippy cups all in one place with an easy-to-install back seat car organizer.

CAR SEAT ORGANIZER — If you have space between seats, this car seat organizer will keep travel toys and books handy for the kids to reach themselves.

READ: Best Travel Toys for Kids | Road Trip Activities for Kids


Coolers for a Family Road Trip

          trash can for the car

LUNCH TOTE — Keep a few cool items handy for snacks or drinks in the car with the neoprene lunch tote.

TRASH CONTAINER — Containing the trash inside the car during a road trip is a must. A good trash container will have a lid to conceal garbage, be leak proof and easy to clean and designed to hand from the headrest or center console without tipping.

Koolatron cooler             Koolatron AC Adapter

KOOLATRON COOLERS — The Koolatron Coolers are perfect for road trips and can assume a vertical or horizontal position to accommodate your car. Use the AC Adapter to plug in your hotel room as a second fridge (you do have to purchase the adapter separately).

Do you know how to pick which cooler is right for your travel needs?



Food Containers for a Family Road Trip

Contigo water bottles for kids                 collapsible water bottle               powder formula dispenser

WATER BOTTLESContigo water bottles haven’t let me down yet. They’re pretty much leak proof, even when the spout is up. Hydaway collapsible water bottles are perfect when packing space is an issue. Both water bottles can be used from ages 1 on up, and they’re not too babyish for older kids.

POWDER FORMULA DISPENSER — For babies drinking formula, pre-measure it in a formula dispenser to make roadside bottles much faster. This can also be used as snack container when baby no longer drinks formula.

READ: Best Travel Water Bottles


Bento lunch boxes     snack containers     snack catcher cup

LUNCH BOX CONTAINERS — Organizing meals on a road trip is made easier with lunch box containers. Assign each kid a color and pack their favorite snacks in the three compartments.

STACKING CONTAINERS — For older kids that can manage the lids, stackable containers make snacking in the car extra fun.

SNACK CATCHER CUPS — Toddlers can get their own snack with spill-proof catcher cups that have soft flaps for easy access. It’s essential to have a snack container that doesn’t spill when dropped!

READ: Healthy Road Trip Snacks

waterproof silicone roll up bib       spoon for a squeeze pouch   food pouch topper

SILICONE BIB — Use a wipeable, foldable silicone bib if you need to feed baby while riding in the car.

SPOON FOR SQUEEZE POUCH — Feed your baby with one hand by attaching a spoon to a squeeze pouch. It really helps reduce the mess for babies just learning to spoon feed.

FOOD POUCH TOPPER — To keep toddlers from squeezing out an entire pouch of food into their car seat, use a food pouch topper.


family road trip gear list



Packing list for a family road trip that include items for comfort, safety and entertainment.   Packing Guide for a road trip with kids   Are you looking for the best items to pack for a family road trip? A successful road trip with kids takes planning and organization. Pack these items for your family road trip to help with comfort, safety, entertainment and eating while driving to your destination. We share our favorite road trip products you need to pack. Make sure you save this to your family travel board so you can refer to this before your next family road trip!

If you enjoyed this, please share and let us know your thoughts below.

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A road trip is a unique and unforgettable experience, Jamie. However, it can be quite challenging to manage it. With your post and tips, it seems so much easier to manage and succeed in doing a great road trip. 😉


Thank you Agness. I think being organized and prepared is a good start toward a successful road trip!


Great packing ideas on here! Love the picnic blanket, and the lunch containers are great for kids or adults lol. That cooler looks so cool, I’ve never heard of those before–we definitely could have used one of those on our last road trip.


Great suggestions. Though I mostly travel solo so I never made this list. But surely helpful whenever I will travel in a group. I particularly liked the trash collector as its must and done people need this badly. It’s sad to see when people still litter the road on the coast of having fun themselves. Loved the list. Thanks for sharing


Great list of useful products to be carried during traveling with kids. I loved the idea of seat belt pillow and colorful bottles. Cool box to keep the drinks cool and fruits fresh is also must. Ziplock bags are essential even with all kinds of travel.


Yes it is very sad to see the trash on the side of the road as you travel. It’s so easy to have a container to hold your trash. Yes, fresh fruits and vegetables as you travel are so important!


Those are some really helpful tips. I liked the idea of the seatbelt pillow and the koolatron coolers. Your post literally made my wind wander back to when I was a kid and we used to go on road trips as a family.


Family road trip memories – the best, right!?


This reminds me of my road trips when I was a kid, we would go every year to Atlantic City. Wish My mom had guides like this because from what I remember we bought things all the time on the way haha. Can’t wait to have kids to be able to do fun road trips!


Checklists are so important so you don’t forget anything – which we always seem to do, ha!


Those look like some really handy items, even if you don’t have kids! I could totally use that seatbelt pillow and that cooler looks amazing! Great list!


The seat belt pillow is the best, and we LOVE the Koolatron – it allows us to save so much money on food.


I haven’t got kids but these items are suitable for me too! I like the car shade, it’s perfect for road trips. I never travel without travel wipes too!


The car shade is so nice and yes… wipes for any type of travel!


Wow, to be honest I had no idea how many things need to be kept in mind for family trips (actually we dont have kids yet), but your list gives really a great overview! I really like your tips, not only for organized and well planned trips but also to be prepared for all kind of contingencies. The coolers are a great idea, eespecially for a nice cold drink after a long trip. Even me, who loves road trips would consider such a box.


Most of our travel is by Jeep so we are experienced with road trips. We LOVE the cooler we have!


Considering we travel with kids there are some really cool products listed here. I especially loved the seat-belt pillow and the back seat organizer. A great list to keep handy, because as often is the case, in the last minute rush, we do tend to forget something or the other. Thanks


We created a laminated checklist of our road trip gear and our photography gear – because there is ALWAYS something we forget 🙂


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