Family road trips are their own beasts. For some families it’s a big N.O. For our family, we love them. There are three types of supplies that are specific to family road-trip success that I want to share. These are tied to organization, comfort, and entertainment.
Also: please note that there are SOOO many things you can bring on the road. It’s the beauty of the road trip, but I feel like less is more and this list reflects that.
Use these supplies with other family travel gear tips for the ultimate in first-class, family travel. Kids will be so happy, they won’t even ask “are we there yet?” Ok, maybe not.
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Family road trip organization essentials
There is absolutely nothing worse on a trip with kids then when they can’t find something. They’re buckled in and their freedom of movement is heavily compromised. To keep the whining to a minimum and for the family to not HAVE to stop every 15 minutes to find something on the floor – organization is key. My favorite tool for this is the behind the front seat organizer. There is a pocket for EVERYTHING. I also like the idea of attaching the rule that if it doesn’t fit in this organizer, it shouldn’t be on the trip. (Exception made for a pillow, blanket, and stuffed animal.)
If your road trip is set to cover multiple days of driving, then packing cubes are a must. Each packing cube holds everyone’s clothes for one day of the trip. Check into your hotel, grab a packing cube of fresh clothes and a backpack with toiletries. Maybe a packing cube with swimsuits for a dip in the hotel pool, and done. Put the dirty clothes in the packing cube when done.
Family road trip essentials for comfort
If you know where everything is, the next thing you need to think about is a comfort. Whiny kids do not a fun road trip make. So, what can we do to make the road trip more comfy for them? Well, for my kids – the big thing is temperature. They use a blanket if they get too cold, and one of these window shades if the sun is beating on them too much.
Ok. I haven’t purchased this yet, but I’m strongly considering it. It keeps cold stuff cold. And you don’t need ice. With kids we need the cold stuff. And with kids – we don’t want the ice.
Family road trip entertainment essentials
Why yes, I do consider a road atlas entertainment on a road trip. Not only that, but I think map skills are super important. While we mostly rely on GPS to get us from place to place, we’re also losing our spatial sensibility. This will help kids and adults see where we are in relation to other places – and I think it’s just a good thing to have on hand. Don’t forget to check out more kid-friendly options in tomorrow’s post.
All the games. Tomorrow’s post will have other road trip activities. Later on this week I’ll have a post with road trip bingo downloads – but license plate games are just too fun.
What are your essentials? Let me know in the comments and I might update this post to add them.