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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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MUST-HAVE FAMILY ROAD TRIP ITEMS TO PACK

Car Accessories

car sun shade

CAR WINDOW SUN SHADE — Keep the sun out of your kids’ eyes, and glare off their screens with inexpensive sun shades for the car. The 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.

car seat protector cover

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.

Travel Accessories

traveler-road-kit

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 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.

Organization Accessories

car organizer for back seat

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.

Coolers

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 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

Contigo water bottles for kids

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

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!

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.

READ: Healthy Road Trip Snacks

family road trip gear list

FAMILY TRAVEL TIPS & RESOURCES

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