Ultimate Family Road Trip Essentials: Must-Have Kit for an Unforgettable Journey 2024

Ultimate Family Road Trip Essentials: Must-Have Kit for an Unforgettable Journey 2023

We know first-hand the anxiety that comes along with planning a family road trip. From making sure you have enough of everyone’s favorite snacks to the endless hours of entertainment you’ll need. List after list. The list of all the lists. We know you’ve been preparing for this trip for months, but just in case we can make your road trip a little easier, here are some of our favorite tried and true family road trip ESSENTIALS.

Of course, you’re going to pack the snacks, paper towels, baby wipes (for sticky fingers and stinky butts), tissue, lip balm, hand lotion, hand sanitizer, reusable water bottles, sunglasses, games/activities, tablets, headphones, blankets and pillows. We also suggest slip on shoes for everyone in the car. And we never head out on the road without compression socks for mom and dad. If you haven’t already, download everyone’s favorite movies and shows on their tablets. Download audiobooks and save those podcasts episodes you’ve been meaning to listen to for you.

Beyond all that, here’s what we never forget on a road trip…

1. Back Seat Organizer

Why do children have so. much. stuff??? Let us go ahead and save you from the rage inducing kids’ mess in the backseat. This backseat organizer gives us some much-needed order in the car. And not just on road trips either. It’s great for everyday life too! With a spot for their tablet AND a price you can’t beat, we know you’ve already added to cart.

Backseat organizer with tablet pocket $11

If you have rear facing babes though, you may want to snag one of these too.

Head rest tablet holder $17

2. Car Trash Can

Please hear this… DO NOT road trip without a trash can! The littles in your backseat can create garbage in their sleep. We love this one because it doesn’t collapse and can be attached to the headrest or the center console. This is another must have that you’ll want to keep in your car even after you’re done road tripping.

Car trash can with rubber lid $20

3. Iceless Cooler

We’ve all experienced the cooler full of soggy food from melting ice. Did you even know an iceless cooler existed?! This 35-quart Igloo will plug right into your car’s 12-volt power supply and keep your food and drinks cold or hot, as it has a heating function as well. No need to go looking for ice any longer. This cooler could not be more perfect for road trips!

Iceless Igloo Cooler $180

4. Charging Hub

Your family is undoubtedly going to have 100 gadgets to plug in. Never let your toddler’s tablet die on a road trip! Plug four USB chargers into this hub and keep everyone juiced up!

4 in 1 Charging Hub $14

5. Collapsible Water Jug

Picture this… you’ve managed to remember to fill and pack every family member’s water bottle on top of the thousand other pre road trip tasks. You’re on the road and everyone is happy and hydrated. Then you get to your first pit stop and all the water bottles are empty, so you head into the gas station to buy a bottle for every. single. family. member. Sigh. How many times has this happened to you? Us too! We found this 5.3-gallon collapsible water jug before our last big road trip and it was a game changer. We filled up before we left and at each stop simply headed to the back of the van for our refills. It even folds up when you’re done using it for easy storage!

5-gallon collapsible water jug $13

6. Nintendo Switch

Listen, we’re all about enjoying the great open road together playing endless rounds of the license plate game and I Spy. But we’re also all about a little quiet time on a 13-hour road trip. The Nintendo switch is a self-contained gaming system that will keep the kiddos entertained in the back seat as long as you need it to.

Nintendo Switch $299

7. Roof Cargo Carrier

Depending on the vehicle you drive (TEAM VAN LIFE!) and the number of children you have in tow, you might need some extra space. This roof cargo carrier is nice because it doesn’t require a roof rack. It’s waterproof and super easy to install.

Roof cargo carrier $37

We also use this ceiling storage net for things like toys, diapers, towels, pillows and blankets when we travel.

Car ceiling cargo net $17

8. Vomit Bags

We know. You don’t want to hear about vomit bags. You did not come here for vomit bags. But you know and I know that at least one small child is going to vomit in the car on the interstate in the middle of nowhere America. Just get yourself the vomit bags, keep them in your car (and in your house) at all times and we don’t have to talk about it anymore. (But one last vomit bag note… they’re great for pregnant Mamas too!)

Vomit bag 30 pack $13

9. Travel Potty Seat

This one won’t apply to everyone, but for those of you whom it does apply to, it will save your sanity time after time. This portable potty seat is easy to fold and store in the back of the car. You’ll use it stuck in traffic on the interstate or in the gas station parking lot when they just can’t make it inside. Even if your littles are past potty training, this seat will still be a life saver for long road trip emergencies. It comes with disposable bags too.

Travel potty seat $23

10. Car battery booster pack

You’ll be glad you didn’t have to ask a stranger for a jump when your battery dies at an interstate rest stop. This booster pack can safely give you a jump start, sans stranger. It’s also a portable power bank and LED flashlight. Recharge smartphones, tablets, and other USB devices. It’s easily rechargeable from any powered USB port. Plus, an LED flashlight with seven light modes, including emergency strobe and SOS.

Car battery booster pack $100

11. Fix a Flat

Hopefully you never have to change a tire on the side of the interstate, especially with a family full of hangry children. It’s always a good idea to carry a bottle of Fix a Flat with to get you safely to the next tire shop. This is an emergency flat tire repair solution. The easiest and quickest way to temporarily repair a flat tire in an emergency. Fix-a-Flat is designed to seal small tread tire punctures up to 1/4 of an inch in diameter in seconds and provide enough inflation to lift the rim off the ground.

Fix a Flat $10

Thanks for being here, wanderers! May your next family road trip take you to epic destinations with very little tears.

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