Essentials To Have in Your Car for a Family Road Trip

There’s nothing worse than getting a few hours down the road and then realizing you have no supplies to clean up a messy spill or entertain a cranky toddler. Many of us forget those little things when packing clothes and other essentials. However, if you make a list and a plan ahead, you’ll hit the road with everything you need. Read on to discover the essentials you need in your car for a family road trip.

Essentials To Have in Your Car for a Family Road Trip


Entertainment is a must, especially if it’s a long trip. To avoid the inevitable “Are we there yet?” from the backseat, be sure to bring the following in the car:

  • Tablets for movies
  • Chargers
  • Games, such as license plate bingo
  • Books and magazines
  • Coloring supplies
  • Wireless headphones
  • Journals

And the adults driving deserve a little fun, too. Have your playlists ready to hook up to Bluetooth.


Snacks might be the best part of a family road trip. Be sure to consider everyone’s favorites and maybe save some of the best snacks for those moments when the kids have had enough. Here are a few great road trip snacks:

  • Cookies
  • Trail mix
  • Bottled water and soda
  • Mini boxes of dried cereal
  • Gummy bears
  • Snack-size chip bags
  • Lunchables
  • Fruit snacks
Essentials To Have in Your Car for a Family Road Trip

Cleaning Supplies

One of the essentials for the car on a road trip is cleaning supplies; however, they are easy to forget. Who wants to think about cleaning when on vacation? The thing is, with a car full of people, there will likely be a mess at some point. It just happens. Car sickness, spills, and other messes are inevitable if the ride is long enough.

Create a bin of supplies that includes paper towels, microfiber towels, and an all-purpose cleaner. Also, plastic grocery bags are helpful to store dirty cloths and used paper towels. When you get back home, clean your microfiber towels properly so that they keep their softness. They are best for your car instead of any other cloth since they’re soft and won’t damage the interior.

Extra Clothing

You’ve packed plenty of clothes for when you reach your destination; however, you might need some extras along the way. Remember the car sickness comment? If that happens, you’ll want to have a change of clothes for little ones so that you can clean up quickly.

Sometimes, if you head into different climates, you may go from cold to hot or vice versa, so having a sweater for everyone or other things to layer and take off is helpful.

Essentials To Have in Your Car for a Family Road Trip

What are some essentials to have in your car for a family road trip?

11 thoughts on “Essentials To Have in Your Car for a Family Road Trip”

  1. I always had a second diaper bag in the car, when I was out with my kids doing shopping trips, even when we went on a long road trip, I would pack extra items, you never knew what would come up.

  2. These are all great essentials to have. I feel like I pack so much stuff when we travel with the kids! It makes such a big difference to have things to make the trip go smoothly.

  3. I often overlook the importance of packing entertainment, snacks, cleaning supplies, and extra clothing for the journey. Your article reminded me of these essentials, and I’ll be sure to incorporate them into our travel plans.

  4. This blog post is a lifesaver for any family hitting the road! From entertainment to snacks and cleaning supplies, it’s got all the essentials covered. Thanks for the tips, now I feel ready to tackle our next family adventure with confidence!

  5. We have the same lists of essentials when packing for a road trip. Entertainment are so important especially when you have little ones.

  6. I couldn’t agree more with the family road trip essentials listed here. Having snacks and drinks readily available can make the journey more enjoyable and smooth for everyone involved, but equally important is making sure to pack entertainment for kids can help keep them engaged and happy throughout the trip.

  7. These tips are perfect and yes….. you have to have lots of things to do for the kid and also lots of snacks. I love the chnage of clothes tip and also cleaning supplies! That is genius and if you have the supplies you probably wont need them 😉 Preparedness is the key!


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