Family Road Trip Items You Need to Pack

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

A successful road trip with kids takes planning and organization. Be sure you have a road trip supplies checklist that includes items for comfort, organization, eating, and first aid to make the family vacation a success.

family road trip items to pack

Let’s face it, when looking for family travel ideas, a road trip isn’t as simple as loading up the car, filling the tank, and driving to your destination.

Check out our list of must-have family road trip items to pack for your next adventure!

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Here’s a list of accessories and items for comfort, organization, and eating while on the road with your family.

Car Accessories

Here are some helpful road trip accessories for kids.

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

Here’s a list of family road trip accessories in case of emergencies:


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

Road trip car organization is so important, especially when traveling with kids!

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.


Having the right road trip coolers will make all the difference! We actually use three different types of coolers when we travel!

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 BOTTLES — Contigo 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.

Find Healthy Snack Ideas

healthy snacks

Road Trip Toys and Activities

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  1. We love family road trips; but I do have to admit they are much easier with teens than they were with toddlers! We can get away with packing so much less now. As long as I have snacks everyone is happy.

  2. 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. 😉

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

    1. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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