As seasoned road-trippers, we have our family road trip packing list (+printable) both memorized and perfected.
With the limited space offered by your family vehicle, paired with the stress of not wanting to forget anything, packing for a family road trip can be a daunting task.
Our family road trip checklist includes the ultimate combination of essentials and entertainment and ensures that we bring just enough and never too much when traveling from Point A to Point B (and all places in between!).
Use our tried-and-true family road trip packing list printable to feel good while gearing up for your next road trip adventure!
Family Road Trip Packing List: Car Essentials
When stressing over the road trip essentials that must be packed for adults, kids, and pets, it’s easy to forget about the most important thing – your vehicle!
Taking care of your vehicle and bringing along the following items to ensure your safety are essential components of a successful family road trip!
In fact, being prepared for the potential of a roadside emergency is one of our top recommended tips for planning a family road trip!
Along with checking your tire pressure and all fluids (radiator, windshield fluid, brake, oil, and transmission) prior to departing, make sure to bring the following:
- Driver’s license
- Insurance information
- Spare set of keys
- Rental contract (if applicable)
- Roadside assistance contact number
- Car manual
- Spare tire
- Jumper cables
- Roadside emergency kit
Family Road Trip Packing List: Road Trip Essentials
These family road trip essentials are the bread and butter of comfortably navigating yourself to and from your chosen destination.
It is very important to have an adequately charged Smartphone for the entire duration of your trip if you are using a navigation app for directions.
Having both a phone charger and a supplemental battery pack provides additional security when relying on battery power for any and all of your electronic devices.
Likewise, comfort items such as pain relievers, sunglasses, and neck pillows are basic road trip necessities included on our printable road trip checklist.
- Luggage (clothes, shoes, jackets)
- Car seat and baby gear
- Smartphone and charger
- Car mount phone holder
- Portable battery pack
- Navigation app(s) for directions (Our favorite is Google Maps and the Waze app.
- Pen and notepad
- Cash and change for tolls
- First aid kit
- Pain reliever
- Motion sickness medication
- Neck pillow and blanket
Family Road Trip Packing List: Food, Drink, & Clean-up
A good amount of time and effort should be spent planning for the food and meal components of your family road trip packing list.
Bringing along the best road trip snacks and meals serves many important purposes in ensuring a more seamless road trip.
Not only do road trip foods help fight boredom, but they cut down on the cost associated with buying food on the road. Likewise, portable meals prevent prolonged pit-stops for dining and help you avoid the fast-food trap.
Be sure to plan for the expected mess or accidental spill that is bound to happen when eating with kids in an unconventional space.
- Cooler and ice
- Refillable water bottles
- Plastic grocery bags for trash (and possible car sickness)
- Paper towels or napkins for spills
- Hand sanitizer
- Wet wipes
- Non-sticky, mess-free snacks and treats in individually portioned bags like dried fruit, granola bars, beef jerky, string cheese, crackers, and veggies.
Family Road Trip Packing List: Activities
The last component of our family road trip packing list printable is games and activities.
Depending on the ages of your kids, the things to bring on a road trip will vary. Perhaps our best tip is to assemble small ‘gift bags’ of age-appropriate trinkets and treats to surprise them with throughout your time on the road.
Try giving them a new bag every hour to keep their anticipation and curiosity high.
*Get our complete guide on how to make and what to include in road trip goodie bags here!
- Music playlist
- Tablet/electronic device
- DVD player and DVDs
- Favorite stuffed animal
- Hand-held toys that don’t have small parts
- Activity books and coloring books
- Crayons, pencils, and pens
- Road trip words games (free and fun!)
Other Things to Bring on A Road Trip: Miscellaneous
There are many other important things to bring on a road trip that should be included on your road trip packing list.
Consider the weather, where you are going, what you will be doing, and how much space you have in your vehicle.
Remember, the key is to pack just enough, but not too much, while still remembering all of the essential road trip items.
- Weather-related supplies (i.e. winter road trip items)
- Destination specific items (camping, beach, hiking, etc.)
- Pet supplies (kennel, food, leash)
- Bluetooth speaker
- Window shades
- Ball or frisbee
Once your vehicle is fully loaded with all of the above gear, be sure that you have full visibility out of your mirrors and through the rear window. In other words, don’t stack things too high, and don’t pack so much that your view is obstructed.
Last, if you’re on a true road trip, you shouldn’t be in too much of a hurry to get from Point A to Point B.
Slow down and prevent yourself from becoming distracted while driving by silencing your phone and by driving with 2 hands on the wheel.
Safe and happy travels to you and yours!
Bonus! Click here for your very own Road Trip Food Checklist that includes the best on-the-go road trip snack and meal ideas!
If you can think of any additional items to add to this road trip packing list, please leave a comment below so that we can add them!
Don’t forget to print off our handy printable road trip checklist as well as review it before your departure.Jen
If you enjoyed our Family Road Trip Packing List Printable, click here to check out our Related Posts:
- Top 10 Tips for Planning a Family Road Trip (And Enjoying it Too!)
- 18 Amazing “Are We There Yet” Road Trip Activity Bags
- Best Road Trip Activities for Toddlers to Keep Them Entertained
- Road Trip Food List: Best Meals and Snacks When on the Road
- Top 16 Tips for Flying With Kids & Ways to Keep them Calm
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