Ultimate Road Trip Packing List When Travelling with Kids
Road trips are a great way to see the country and bond with your family, but they can also be stressful. One major source of stress is packing- you have to make sure you have everything you need without overpacking and adding extra weight to the car.
There are many things you will need to pack for a road trip with your kids. In this checklist we have included the following packing list categories. What you bring on your trip will depend on where you’re going, the age of your children and what the weather is going to be like.
- Clothing – Weather conditions can change quickly, and you may find yourself stranded for a day or two. That’s why it’s important to pack clothing for a road trip that can handle any situation.
- Essentials – Make sure you pack all the essentials that you own, so you don’t have to waste money buying things on the road.
- Emergency Supplies – Save yourself stress and pack emergency supplies so if the worst happens, you are prepared.
- Documents – Be prepared for all situations and bring documents such as your drivers license, registration, insurance, and emergency contact information.
- First Aid Kit – First aid kits come in handy for everything from minor cuts and scrapes to more serious injuries. They also provide peace of mind, knowing that you have the supplies you need to deal with any potential medical issues.
- Entertainment – Books, puzzles, and toys can help to keep younger children occupied, while older kids might enjoy listening to audiobooks or playing travel games. By having a few activities to fall back on, you can help to make the trip more enjoyable for everyone involved.
- Comfort – Long hours on the road can be exhausting. That’s why it’s important to pack comfort items such as blankets and pillows.
- Food and Drink – One way to make your road trip easier is to pack food and drinks ahead of time. This will save you from making multiple stops along the way, and it will also help you to avoid expensive restaurant bills.
- Electronics – electronics can help you stay entertained during long stretches of highway driving and can be useful for navigation if you’re unfamiliar with the area. Cameras and phones can help you capture memories of your trip that you’ll cherish for years to come.
- Toiletries – Toiletries are often overlooked, but they can be essential for making sure you have a comfortable journey. At the very least, you’ll want to pack soap, toothpaste, and a toothbrush.
- Miscellaneous – These include items such as scooters for the kids or bodyboards if you are going to the beach.
- Camping – A list of essentials to pack if you are going to be camping on any part of your road trip
When you’re packing for a road trip with kids, there are a few extra things you need to consider.
The right clothing is one of the most important things to pack, so here’s a list of clothing items you should consider when going on a road trip with kids:
- T-shirts: everyone will need at least a few t-shirts to change into each day. Pack a mix of short and long sleeves, depending on the weather.
- Sweatshirts or jackets: even if the weather is warm when you leave, it can quickly change. Be prepared by packing sweatshirts or jackets for everyone in the car.
- Jeans or long pants: shorts are great for playing in, but you’ll also want at least one pair of jeans or long pants per person for cooler weather or hikes.
- Sneakers: comfortable shoes are a must on any road trip. sneakers are ideal because they can be used for walking around tourist sites, hiking, and playing at rest stops.
- Sandals or thongs: if the weather is warm, pack sandals or flip flops for everyone in the car. They can be used for walking around town, going to the pool, and more.
- Underwear and socks: it’s always better to have too many than not enough when it comes to underwear and socks. You might want to pack an extra pair or two in case of accidents or spills.
- Pyjamas: everyone will need pajamas to sleep in at night. If space is tight, consider packing just one set per person and washing them as needed during the trip.
- Swimsuits: if you’re planning on visiting any lakes, pools, or water parks during your road trip, pack swimsuits for everyone in the family. Don’t forget swim diapers for small children!
- Hats or visors: sun protection is crucial when spending hours in the car or walking around outdoors sightseeing. Hats or visors are a must-have item on any road trip with kids.
- Extra clothes: no matter how well you plan, there’s always a chance that someone will spill their food, get sick, or have an accident.* It’s always best to pack a few extra clothes just in case those situations arise.*
In addition to clothing, you’ll also need to pack items to keep everyone entertained, fed and comfortable.
- Esky or cooler
- Water bottles
- Kid-friendly utensils and cups
- Rubbish bags
- Matches / lighter
- Jumper cables
- First aid kit
- Map of the area
- Fire extinguisher
- Spare tyre
- Car manual
- Warning trianble
- Driver’s license
- Car registration information
- Car insurance details
- Roadside assistance numbers
- Hotel reservation Info
- Emergency contacts
- Credit cards / Debit cards / Cash
First Aid Kit
- Bandages and adhesive tape
- Antibiotic cream
- Pain relief for adults and children
- Allergy medication
- Prescription medication
- Decongestants and cough medicine
- Motion sickness medication
- Instant cold pack
- Sting relief
- Nausea / diarrhea medication
- Coloring books/art supplies
- Travel pillows/neck rests
- Portable fan/cooler
- Hats, beenies or caps
Food and Drink
- Fruit: apples, oranges, bananas, grapes
- Vegetables: carrots, celery, cucumbers
- Protein: cheese, hard-boiled eggs
- Bread: crackers, pretzels, bagels
- Sweets: cookies, candy, fruit roll-ups
- Mints and sweets
- Lunch and dinner items if you’re not planning to eat out
- Baby food/formula if applicable
- Coffee and tea if you’re a coffee or tea drinker
- Long life milk
- Vegemite / jam / peanut butter
- Sugar / honey
- Mobile phone
- Charger cables
- Music player
- USB sticks
- Portable phone charger
- Hair dryer
- Hair straightener / curler
- Toilet paper
- Wet wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Body wash or soap
- Dental floss
- Contact lenses
- Cotton buds
- Cotton balls
- Feminine products
- Insect repellent
- Hair brush / comb
- Lip balm
- Sleeping bag
- Sunshade / tarp
- Foldable table and chairs
- Axe or saw
- Pocket knife
- Duct tape
- Tent lights
- Dust pan/brush
- Air pump
- Stove with fuel / propane
- Firestarter / newspaper
- Plates, bowls
- Dish soap
- Cooking oil
- Pots / frying pans
- Cooking utensils
- Can opener / bottle opener
- Cutting board
- Scrub pad
- Tea towels
- Sewing kit
- Spikeball and other outdoor games
- Metal detector
- Gold panning equipment
- Floaties and swimming noodles
So, what are you waiting for? Start packing! Make sure to bring along your sense of adventure, plenty of snacks and drinks, and a map (just in case). And most importantly, have fun! Taking a road trip with your family is a great way to bond and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Before you set on your trip, you may find the following articles helpful
Ivana Katz is a Sydney based website designer and travel blogger. Having her own business has given her the freedom to explore the world. She believes travel is the best teacher and her passion for adventure, writing and photography has taken her and her son to some amazing places, including Hawaii, Canada, Fiji, Greece and Czech Republic. Ivana’s favourite thing about travelling is learning, discovering hidden gems and creating memories. She loves nothing more than inspiring other women to chase their dreams and explore the world with their families and friends.