Family Road Trip Packing List: A Complete List of the Essentials

If you don’t travel often, packing for a family road trip can feel stressful and overwhelming. Here is our ultimate road trip packing list of everything you need the next time your family hits the road!

We have begun doing road trips.

Well, to be honest, we have taken a few very small (within 3 hours) road trips, but in the last 2 years, we have begun taking much longer road trips (think: 10-15 hours – one way).

I have learned a lot from these experiences (it was so daunting at first!) and want to help you save some time and stress by simplifying down what to pack for a road trip for you!

Though I have my tried and true tricks for car packing, honestly I know I still have room for improvement (and probably always will).

For example, I always feel pretty good when we are leaving the house: organized and well-planned out. However, about 2 days into the trip, I’m just throwing things into the back of my minivan and having everyone else do the same thing.

“When in doubt, throw it in the back!” Quite the motto to live by, right?! Errrr, maybe not…heehee

Forget stressing for a road trip! Our road trip packing list has you completely covered for stress-free packing and off on an amazing family vacation! For more helpful tips and easy recipes, follow us on Pinterest!

So today I’m sharing with you my packing list for our road trips to help you easily get organized and packed for your next trip! If you want to take this list with you, you can download it as a FREE printable!

I’ve put all the road trip necessities into one easy checklist for you to print out and use as you pack for your next trip!

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The Ultimate Road Trip Packing List For Families

If you’re wondering what to pack for your a road trip, you are NOT alone! I’m confident that you will find road trip packing MUCH easier once you’ve done it a couple of times. But as you’re getting your feet wet, this task can feel daunting, to say the least.

Check out this list and don’t forget to download the printable version to help you as you go along!

Select luggage wisely

Choose your luggage carefully to ensure that there is enough space for your essential items without overpacking. Consider the length of your journey and the activities you plan to participate in. A larger bag might be ideal for longer expeditions, while a  small size luggage might be sufficient for short trips.

Choosing a backpack may prove to be the better option if your plans call for constant movement and frequent trips to different locations. A backpack may also offer better maneuverability. Also, don’t forget to factor in the durability and security features of your chosen luggage. Investing in high-quality luggage with sturdy locks and materials can provide you with peace of mind during your travels. Always prioritize practicality and convenience to make your journey more enjoyable.

Health & Safety Items:

Road Trip General Organization

  • Packing list so I don’t forget anything (I create these in Google Docs so I can easily reuse them for future trips)
  • Mimmo Caddy to help organize basics in the car – It holds our movies, water bottles, Kleenex and even charging cables                                                                             
  • Change of clothes for each kid, easily accessible in case of spills or sickness
  • Pen & Paper – always handy (for so many reasons)
  • Sunglasses and baseball cap by each kids’ seat
  • Bottle bungees can be used to contain sippy cups, toys, books, snack bags, etc. (these things are GENIUS!)
  • Mesh Bags for dirty clothes (so they don’t go back into the bags with clean clothes – can use color-coded bags for different family members)
  • Window shades for babies
  • Travel pillows                                                                                                 
  • Painter’s Tape – The kids can play with it, you can use it to label things and it can be used to cover outlets in hotels.   Painter tape is better than masking tape as it is removable without harming the surfaces it was on.
  • Small blankets for when you can’t agree on air conditioning levels
  • Diaper/pull-ups for all kids up through age 5…just in case
  • Phone charger(s)
  • Beach Towel – can be used as seat cover, cleaning tool, picnic blanket, for the pool, and more
  • Coins for tolls
  • Batteries/charge cords for any devices you bring
  • Fan for white noise – a must!
  • Gallon sized zip top bag taped near each child’s seat: for garbage or emergency car sickness
  • Umbrella
  • Ice scraper
Forget stressing for a road trip! Our road trip packing list has you completely covered for stress-free packing and off on an amazing family vacation! For more helpful tips and easy recipes, follow us on Pinterest!

Roat Trip Entertainment: 

  • Audio Books – Hoopla app. We love Hoopla! Our library partners with Hoopla for ebooks, audiobooks and video content for kids. I am often able to find several titles on Hoopla that our library didn’t have in stock.

Hoopla also has a 3-week rental period but then the content is simply removed from your account.

Travel, erasable writing tablet – write stories, draw pictures, and more!

Related: 28 Best Podcasts for Kids that Parents Will Love Too

Road Trip Snacks

  • Banana Protein Muffins
  • Zucchini Muffins
  • Packed Lunches
  • Protein bars
  • Trail mix
  • Apples
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Non-sticky snacks & treats in individually portioned baggies
  • Granola bars
  • Dried Fruit
  • Beef jerky
  • Twizzlers or other licorice

With a little organization and planning, you can take your next family road trip from daunting to awesome!

In fact, taking road trips just may become a new family tradition! Where will you go next?

Our family road trip packing list makes getting ready for your next trip quick and painless! Download it today to help you stay focused and organized!

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