A few great ideas of things to add when packing the car on a family road trip to keep the whole family entertained, including the kids!
Our BIG road trip is approaching. We are going to be in the car together for HOURS. Days.
I need to start planning what’s going to be IN the car with us. We are going to need entertainment. And snacks.
Fun Road Trip Essentials
What should I pack in the car for a road trip to entertain my kids?
The first person I need to be concerned about is my 8-year-old. He loves to read and is usually quite content, but it’s a long trip and we are going to need some fresh stuff. We have a gift card someone gave the family to a local book store, so the day or so before we leave, I’m going to let him use that for some fresh reading material. I also purchased:
from Amazon. I thought these would be great for our road trip and engage him in actually looking around and seeing the country. I did hide them, though, because otherwise, I have a feeling he’d read it and do all the puzzles before the trip!
He will also have his Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet, and he can watch videos, read books, or play games from that.
My husband has the ability to set up a wifi hotspot from his phone. This will help him download or stream anything he wants to enjoy. I’m big on limiting electronic time, though, and this will be the same in the car. He can have limited electronics, so that’s why I’m packing the books and activities too.
So for the 8-year-old: books (plenty of books) including books that focus on the road trip with some interactive puzzles and games, and his tablet.
I’m also going to pack his pillow so he can get comfortable if he needs after some long hours of driving.
He will also likely bring along a stuffed animal or two. (I love that he is 8, and still adores his stuffed animals.) I’m going to guess he will pick Cedric, the dog, which he got on our Christmas Biltmore trip, and a knitted cat that I made him. Those seem to be his top picks usually.
This wifi hotspot also means I can drag the laptop along. So, I’ll have a laptop, my kindle, and our phones all with us. (What can I say? We are a tech-reliant family! haha)
I also have a nice portable charger that can charge the iPhone 9 times before it needs charging itself. We use it everywhere we go, and I got it at Brookstone.
I actually plan to work on the blog on the road, and I can do that while we drive. I’m also going to have our camera with us, so we can pull over and capture anything that our heart desires.
So for the adults: phones, chargers, laptop, the Kindle Fire, and a camera.
What are some good road trip snacks?
What about snacks? We will pack a cooler with bottled water. I have a soft-sided cooler that will easily fit in the floorboard in the back. This way it’s super accessible and we won’t have to pull over when someone gets thirsty. (Plus, it will save some money buying bulk water rather than bottled water at the gas station.)
I’ll have some Spark sticks from Advocare with us to add to our water if we need caffeine. Snacks will include a variety of KIND bars, as we all like them and they won’t be horribly unhealthy choices.
What else to pack on a road trip other than food and entertainment?
I can’t overlook the other things we might need. I’ll have some ibuprofen/Tylenol in my purse. Benadryl, as well, in the event that we have an allergic reaction to something.
I can’t forget sunglasses (you know from my weekend road trip post that I’ve forgotten those before and regretted it).
I’ll pack some travel Kleenex in the glove box. We have a roadside emergency kit in the back of the car – it has jumper cables, and some other emergency car supplies.
To recap (and just because I live for lists!):
- Books, books, and more books including our road trip activity books.
- A soft-sided cooler with water bottles.
- Snacks such as KIND bars.
- Flavored sticks with caffeine (Spark) to add to the water.
- Iphones, laptop, Kindles
- Chargers and charger cables
- OTC meds such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and Benadryl
- Stuffed animals
- Emergency car kit in the trunk
Related family travel posts:
Have you taken a family road trip? Am I missing something? Do you suggest any additions? I’d love to hear!
I hope this gave you tons of ideas for packing the car on a family road trip! Make your time in the car fun and easy!