If you’re not sure what to include, the advice below can help you come up with a list of items that make traveling a bit easier for everyone.
Planning a family road trip is a great way to keep your kids busy and well-behaved when you need to be on the go for a significant amount of time.
Here’s a list of things to pack for your next long family road trip.
1. Essential Documents
When packing for a family road trip, it’s important to make sure you have all the essential documents in case of emergencies. A driver’s license or passport is essential to rent a car and for crossing into any other country if needed.
It is also beneficial to bring insurance documents for the car in the rare case of an accident. Other important documents to bring are up-to-date copies of health insurance cards, birth certificates, and a copy of the car’s registration.
To ensure a stress-free trip, make sure your credit card and any necessary visas are also along for the ride. Packing these documents may seem mundane, but having them is essential, just in case.
2. Snacks & Beverages
Pack a variety of healthy snacks like trail mix, granola bars, and fresh fruit. Keep things like gummy candies, chips, and cookies around as a treat. Drinks are also important to bring along, including plenty of bottled water.
Don’t forget to pack juice boxes, individual cartons of milk, cans of soda, and sports drinks. Also, consider bringing along a bottle of wine or two for adults who are looking for a more relaxing option.
And for those coffee lovers in the car, bring a few coffee mugs and some instant coffee too. Of course, don’t forget to pack all snacks and beverages in an easily accessible container or bag that you can keep within easy reach whenever you need a nibble or a drink.
3. Entertainment Options
When planning a family road trip, entertainment options should be a top priority. Providing entertainment for the whole family will make the trip more enjoyable.
A few things to pack for entertainment on the trip are books, magazines, tablets, portable DVD players, movies, and a small selection of music. Sleeping bags and pillows can help with comfort in the car, and portable devices like a Nintendo Switch or Xbox can be great for when everyone gets out at stops.
Headphone extensions can be useful, as this way, everyone can enjoy their music or movie. With the right selection of entertainment, your family road trip can be a fun and memorable event.
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4. Electronic Devices and Chargers
When planning a road trip, there are a few important items to remember to pack regarding electronic devices and chargers. To keep the kids occupied, pack their tablets, iPads, and/or laptops, along with the necessary chargers for each.
Portable game consoles, such as the Nintendo Switch, can also help pass the time during long car rides. Make sure that all electronic devices stay powered up during the trip, and stock up on extra batteries, power banks, and charging cables.
A car charger and a power cable extension cord can also be helpful accessories. Finally, to ensure the safety of your electronic devices, purchase a travel bag specially designed for electronics to keep them secure and protected while on the road.
5. Essential Road Trip Supplies
Essential road trip supplies are key when planning a family road trip. First, be sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, and, if applicable, meals for your family for the duration of your trip. To avoid losing your belongings during the trip, pack a collapsible bag for each family member.
Additionally, it’s important to bring a first aid kit and medications for the whole family. Make sure to pack entertainment for the drive, like games, vehicle activities, or travel apps. Don’t forget a couple of maps – in case of limited cell coverage – and your car’s charger cord.
Lastly, it’s always smart to bring a few hats, sunscreen, insect repellent, changes of clothes, and blankets. Pack smarts and your family road trip will be an enjoyable and memorable experience.
6. Clothing and Accessories
When packing for a family road trip, it is important to include plenty of clothes and accessories that fit the weather of the location(s) you will be visiting. Clothes should include a mix of comfortable, lightweight items such as shorts, t-shirts, and tank tops, as well as thicker items such as sweaters and long pants if needed.
Depending on the trip and environment, items such as rain jackets and snow boots might also be necessary. Be sure to pack a hat for everyone, as well as socks and shoes. Don’t forget the beach bag for a day at the beach.
Other items could include sunglasses and jewelry for the ladies and pajamas for all. Don’t forget the chargers for your phones and entertainment items such as books, magazines, and iPods.
7. Automotive Supplies
To ensure your safety and comfort, it is advisable to pack several spare tires, a road-side emergency kit, a first aid kit, any necessary traveling tools and equipment, engine oil and coolant, gas canisters, an extra set of keys, jump starter cables, and a flashlight.
Additionally, be sure to pack an automotive tool. Make sure everything is suitable for use, considering if you have a 22 ft Class C RV, for example. This can include things like a screwdriver, wrench, and socket set. It is also wise to bring any necessary spare parts you may need while on the road, such as fuses and bulbs.
Pack for a Family Road Trip
It is important to plan and be strategic when packing for a family road trip. Consider the weather, activities, and items needed for each member of the family.
Don’t forget to include pillows and blankets for maximum comfort while on the road. With the right preparation and packing plan in place, you can have a carefree and enjoyable road trip.