Top 12 things to bring on a road trip with children

road trip with children

A road trip with kids should be fun! My husband and I have done thousands of miles on the open road and just started adding kids into the road trip mix. These 12 items will help keep the fun level high and also help keep sanity along the way. My hope is that you make memories along the drive that your kids will remember and talk about for years to come. Happy driving!

Road trip with children: What to bring

1. Road Trip USA: This travel book has led to countless road trips for my family that we thoroughly enjoyed (including crazy Tinkertown). It has roadtrips going north to south/ east to west across the United States and along two-lane roads. It’s a winner!

2. Contigo Tumblers: Keep drinks on hand with these leak-proof containers. Fill up at restaurants and you are good to go for hours.

3. Adventure in a Box: Road Trippin’: Cover all your bases with this incredible box of goodies from a seasoned road tripping family, the Solars. They created this kit with love and personally experience— your family will love this!

4. Car Hooks: Use these for storing trash, beach bags, purses, kids toys, etc. The bottom of the car easily get covered with junk, so use these to bring your important things to higher ground when on the road.

5. Road Trip Bingo: Add some excitement to the 5-hour drive with Road Trip Bingo from Knock Knock. These cards are made to be punched out, so no losing markers or pieces here!

6. Travel Tray: Save your back from the constant retrieval of dropped crayons and toys with this nifty tray. It can be used for snack time, crafts, reading and everything else in the world. If only they made one for adults.

7. DVD’s: Cars, Curious George, Preschool Prep. Cars is my favorite Disney movie and perfect for a road trip. I must say, sitting in the front and listening to the music isn’t too shabby either. I would also throw in Curious George for a great road trip movie— the music is incredible thanks to Jack Johnson. And if you are feeling like you should add some educational value to the drive, why not do Preschool Prep along the way?

8. Kid’s Camera: We didn’t have this and my son ended up using my camera on many occasions. Part of road trips is capturing moments that you don’t normally see. And kids want to be just like their parents. So rather than chance them dropping your camera, you might want to get one of these.

9. Priceline: I will never travel again without using Priceline’s Name your Own Price, aka: The iPhone negotiator. Once you try it, you will be hooked! You save at least $30 a night on hotels through here. The catch— you don’t know which one you are gonna get. But that’s part of the adventure, right?

10. DVD player: I struggled with this one. I wanted the kids to enjoy the open road and the view from the window, but I was scared that a 7 hour drive would end bad without Curious George. So we broke down and bought a portable DVD player. I opted for this one because it has two screens, yet we only use one. The other screen is our back up for when the first one dies. It can also be used outside the car (has a power cord) and has a large screen. It came in handy a lot on our 2,600 mile road trip— especially when we drove along Route 66 and watched Cars.

11. Trip Advisor: Just pulled into BFE and not sure what to do? Hit up Trip Advisor and I’m sure you’ll find something better than the McDonald’s play area.

12. Geocaching: It’s a must do on a road trip. Gives you countless opportunities to jump out and stretch while you search for the treasure. And takes you to parts of towns that you normally wouldn’t see as a tourist. And all you need is a smart phone and the app! No baggage or accessories needed for this one!

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4 Responses to Top 12 things to bring on a road trip with children

  1. Ryan Hansard March 30, 2012 at 5:15 am #

    Great list. It makes me want to go on another road trip.

  2. Jadah Sellner March 30, 2012 at 7:39 am #

    I love road trips. It’s what I missed most when living on Kauai. We took a Road trip from San Francisco to Oregon last summer and it was magical. We had a blast stopping and crashing in so many places: Bend, Portland and Klamath Falls. We actually got away without using any ipods, ipads or movies. Zoe just played with her little figurines and sang songs. I love those contigo cups and I NEED those bag hooks! And I am a Priceline fan for sure.

  3. HRH Mommy March 30, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    Oh, now I want to pack up my bags and go this summer. Way to stimulate the economy Jen!!

  4. Katherine August 3, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    Looking for things to make a 5 hour trip wonderful with a 2, 3and a 6 year old . What is in the $120. Pack? It seems a bit pricey but if it is worth it i will gladly blow the budget. Thanks
    Grandma Katherine

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