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Car Essentials for your next Family Road Trip

Car Essentials for Your Family Road Trip

Car Essentials for Your Family Road Trip

Summer vacation may be over but fall break is coming up fast and depending upon what you pack, your next road trip can either be the trip of a lifetime, or the trip from h-e-l-l.  Packing the right things can make all the difference when traveling with kids on your next road trip. Whether you are driving to Disneyland or camping at the Grand Canyon, make sure you have the “kid” essentials when packing the car so you can relax and enjoy the ride.


Keeping snacks on hand will make your life a whole lot easier when driving with kids in the car. If you’re like me, you don’t like stopping at every fast food restaurant or gas station mini mart for snacks and drinks. The easy solution to this lies in a brown paper sack.  I always have these brown paper lunch bags on hand in my kitchen. They’re nice to hRoadTripave around for kid’s school lunches, craft projects, or they even work as “emergency” birthday party goodie bags.  Yes I have experience in this!

Write each child’s name on two bags, one for “going there” and “coming home”. (Remember they’re going to need snacks on the way home too.) In each bag put a drink, several snacks and one sweet item. Yes I said “one sweet item” because kids and too much sugar while confined in a car is not a good combination.  Items such as pretzels, crackers, or even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich work well for empty bellies. Having individual snack bags for each child will avoid arguments as to who ate what, and allows kids to choose which snack they want to eat. When the kids are done snacking, don’t throw that brown lunch bag away! The bag also serves as a place to put all those empty snack wrappers.


Have each child bring a backpack of “things to do”.  Make sure they pack their own personal items that will keep them entertained in the car.  Not all roads have cell or satellite internet service so don’t rely solely on electronics for the entire road trip. “Back to basics” items will help in this case, here are a few ideas for their backpack:

  • spiral notebook paper & pens – for playing tic-tac-toe or hangman
  • deck of cards – playing Old Maid, Fish, or just “Guess The Card on My Forehead”
  • books – help them choose something at their level that they can read by themselves, whether it is a picture book, chapter book, or novel.
  • magazines, word search, Sudoku, etc.
  • travel games designed for car rides, or play a game of I Spy with your kids
  • toys or their favorite stuffed animal


Have kids bring a favorite stuffed animal or toy on your next road trip

Have kids bring a favorite stuffed animal or toy on your next road trip

Personal items such as a favorite blanket and/or pillow will help keep kids and teens stay comfortable while trekking down the road.  A rolled up sweatshirt can also double as a pillow if you don’t have a lot of room in the car.  Also, make sure your kids are dressed in soft comfortable clothes and have shoes that are easy to put on and take off.  Shoes without laces or flip flops are great for kids who don’t like to have their shoes on in the car.


We hope these suggestions help out for your upcoming Fall Break Road Trip!



This post is sponsored by:

bike-land-150x150The Brett Saks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, hopes  to make our Arizona communities safer for bicyclists by teaching adults and children about road safety and mutual respect between drivers and cyclists in fun and engaging ways. We are “Shifting Gears to Saves Lives,” as more than 600 cyclists are lost each year to car-bike accidents. Learn more at


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