49 Road Trip Essentials for Kids to a Stress-Free Drive - Edkids Home (2024)

Going on a road trip with kids can be daunting, and it's easy to forget the small essentials that keep them entertained and comfortable during those long drives. Trying to find the right items for your car journey can be time-consuming and expensive–but it doesn't have to be when you're well-prepared!

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My family and I absolutely adore road trips! Our last adventure took us on a thrilling 10-hour journey around Quebec. But guess what? This time, we're going for a whopping 21-hour road trip to sunny Florida!

After hours of meticulous research, I've curated a list of 49 must-have road trip essentials for your kids on any family road trip. Trust me, this ultimate survival kit will transform your journey into an unforgettable and stress-free experience! Let's make this road trip the best one ever!

Related: 22 Best Road Trip Tips For Travelling With Kids (Educational)

What Essentials Do I Need for a Family Road Trip with Kids?

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Embarking on a family road trip is more than just plotting routes on a map. It's about ensuring that every member of the family, especially the kids, has a memorable and comfortable journey.

Related: 13 Benefits of Traveling with Family

When planning your trip, you need to consider various aspects from entertainment to snacks, essential items, and safety.

How do we keep the kids entertained during long drives? What sort of snacks should we pack that is not only healthy but also appealing to the children? What are the essential items that can't be overlooked? And most importantly, how can we ensure everyone's safety during the trip?

These are the critical questions that we'll be addressing in this blog. With the right preparation, you'll be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the adventure that awaits! So, buckle up and let's dive in.

Entertainment

First and foremost, let's talk about entertainment. Whether your road trip is a couple of hours or a full day's drive, keeping the kids occupied ensures a calm and serene travel experience .

Remember, a bored child can quickly turn a fun road trip into an exhausting ordeal. Let's keep those little minds busy and the journey enjoyable!

1. Audiobooks, Music & Podcasts Playlists

Audiobooks, music playlists, and podcasts can transform your family road trip into an enriching and enjoyable journey.

Audiobooks bring stories to life, sparking imagination and fostering a love for literature among kids, while music playlists can be tailored to include everyone's favorite tunes, creating a sing-along, cheerful atmosphere in the car.

Podcasts, on the other hand, offer educational content in an engaging format, making learning exciting and fun.

Related: 15 Best Podcasts for Kids in 2023: English and Chinese Options

These three forms of audio entertainment can diversify your travel experience, making every mile an opportunity for bonding, learning, and creating unforgettable memories.

2. Tablets/ iPads

Stock up on your kids' favorite apps and games or download some movies/shows for them to enjoy during the trip.

Check out:

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3. Tablet Mount for Car

Introducing the ultimate companion for your road trip – the car cup holder tablet mount! This amazing gadget securely holds your tablet for the best viewing experience and easy access. It fits perfectly in your car's cup holder, so no more wobbling on bumpy roads. Plus, the holder can be adjusted and rotated to fit any tablet size. I love how I can place it up front and enjoy movies with my kids in the back (of course, not while I'm driving!)

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4. Road Trip Printables

Age recommendation: 1+ years old

Road trip printables are fantastic for keeping kids entertained and learning on long drives. They boost observation and thinking skills as children find items or landmarks on the printables.

Check out these free road trip printables available in different languages: English, Chinese (Traditional, Simplified, Zhuyin, Pinyin), and French.

Download Now

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5. 3D Stickers for Kids & Toddlers

Age recommendation: 1+ years old

Stickers are always a great entertainment for kids. These safe and non-toxic stickers are puffy and 3D! You can provide them with a notebook to stick on.

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6. Colorful blank books

Age recommendation: 1+ years old

These books are great size for children to express their arts and thoughts. They can write a journal, stick stickers, draw, scribble and more with these notebooks.

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7. Crayola Washable Markers with Retractable Tips

Age recommendation: 3+ years old

Say goodbye to smudges, misplaced caps, and dried-up markers! These fantastic art tools are specially designed to resist drying out, and they boast easy-click tips that make creative on-the-go activities a breeze.

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8. Kids Digital Camera

Age recommendation: 3+ years old

“I'm bored!” will be said less frequently by your kids when they have a digital camera. I strongly recommend this product, because after your kids take photos from the trip, you can upload and print them to create a photo album together. This way, you can all relive your road trip experience again!

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9. Binoculars for kids

Age recommendation: 2+ years old

This is perfect for kids, especially when it comes to watching objects from far away such as animals, landmarks, buildings, and more.

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10. Pop it fidget Toy

Age recommendation: 1+ year old

I'm amazed how this can entertain my kids for a long time. They will pop it, flip it, pop it again! Make sure they each have one, so they can trade and do it again.

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11. Reusable water activity pad

Age recommendation: 2+ years old

This mess-free activity allows kids to color each page with water. Dry the pages, and they can color each page again!

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12. Conversation Starter Cards for Families and Kids

Age recommendation: 3+ years old

Make your car trips even better with the portable question box! It has 100 interesting questions that make road trips more exciting. It's great for entertaining and engaging younger kids during the journey. Plus, it's a wonderful gift idea for family and friends. Get ready for lots of fun and special times!

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13. Suction Toys

Age recommendation: 2+ years old

These toys are great for entertainment during car rides. They can stick the suction toys on the windows; best of all, these toys can relieve stress!

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14. Assorted Travel Bingo Set

Age recommendation: 3+ years old

This set includes four reusable bingo cards that offer hours of entertainment for families, whether at home or on the road.

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15. Puro Sound Labs Bluetooth Headphones

Age recommendation: 2+ years old

These headphones are made just for kids' ears, giving great sound and keeping their hearing safe. They have a special tech that keeps the volume under 85 decibels, which is safe for children. They also connect with Bluetooth, so no messy wires, perfect for using in the car. They're comfy and strong, so they'll keep kids happy for hours during your road trip, making it even more fun!

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16. Packs of 4 Sports Balls

Age recommendation: 2+ years old

These soft and safe balls are ideal for toddlers to enjoy both indoors and outdoors. It's a good idea to use them outside where there's more room to play. Using different balls can help toddlers practice rolling, coordination, kicking, and have lots of fun.

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Food & Drinks – Road Trip Essential for Kids

Moving on to the second crucial aspect – snacks! You absolutely cannot overlook the importance of packing plenty of snacks for the journey. Kids get hungry quickly, and having a stash of their favorite treats can keep those hunger pangs at bay.

17. Snacks

Road trips can be long and tiring, so it's important to pack healthy snacks and drinks to keep everyone up. To make it convenient, provide a snack container for each kid. This will help keep everyone fed and happy during the trip.

18. Skip Hop Stackable Container

Here is the snack container I've got for my kids since they were babies. I started putting formulas in the containers. Now, they are filled with snacks. I love this container because they fit perfectly in backpacks. In addition, this solves the problem of how my toddler loves all food to be separated.

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19. Camping Cookware kitchen set

This super convenient cookware is set for road trips, camping, etc. I'm amazed how so many cookware can fit in a mesh bag. This is perfect when we want to cook and do not want to go out and eat fast food for dinner.

Related: Camping with Kids: 25 Essential Tips for a Successful Trip

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20. ROCKBROS Soft Cooler Bag

This bag is fantastic; it contains enough food for the family and has three insulation layers that will keep the food cool all day. I'd prefer it over a box cooler because it can fit nicely in a corner of the car trunk, whereas a box cooler would use up too much space.

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21. Hydro Flask Standard Cap Bottle

I love these water bottles for ourselves (parents) because they can keep water cold and hot. They are easy to clean. And best of all, they can fit in the car cup holders!

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22. Thermos 12 oz bottle

Age recommendation: 1+ year old

These bottles are perfect for kids! They are not too big and can keep water cold for 12 hours. They can also fit in car cup holders right beside their car seats! This is essential because they can drink from their water bottle anytime during every car ride.

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23. 1 Gallon Stainless Steel Water Bottle

To ensure we have plenty of water for our road trip, we have two 1-gallon water bottles in the car trunk.

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24. 5L Collapsible water container

We put these water bags at the side door slot. Since they are made of plastic, we use this water to wash our hands with the addition of travel soap sheets.

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25. Brita space saver water filter pitcher

We will begin filling the Brita Filter pitcher with tap water as soon as we arrive at our hotels, turning it into drinkable water.

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26. Foldable electric kettle for travel

Another must-have for hot beverage lovers! Before drinking, we also like to boil the water. (Just to be on the safe side!)

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General Road Trip Essential for Kids

Now, let's dive into comfort essentials. Imagine yourself in the car for hours – comfort is key, right? The same goes for our little ones. Familiar items from home can provide a sense of security and comfort in an unfamiliar environment. Aim for a journey that's as cozy as possible, because nothing puts the brakes on a fun road trip like a cranky, uncomfortable kiddo!

27. Extra clothes & Diapers

Accidents, spills, and unexpected changes in weather are a part of any family road trip. It's essential to always pack extra clothes, diapers, and towels for the little ones. Just make sure that they're within easy reach so you don't have to rummage through multiple bags or luggage cases when needed.

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28. Mini disposable travel soap sheets

Age recommendation: 1+ year old

I prefer using these hand soaps than hand sanitizer–my hands feel cleaner afterwards. They're also helpful when you can't get to a sink since they start melting as soon as they come into contact with water and form foam pretty quickly.

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29. WaterWipes

Age recommendation: All ages

WaterWipes are a must-have for road trips with kids! They are the purest baby wipes in the world, super gentle on your child's skin. They're perfect for quick cleanups of hands, faces, and messes during the trip. Made with mostly water and a bit of fruit extract, WaterWipes are hypoallergenic and don't have any strong chemicals, scents, or alcohol. They're safe for your little ones and good for the environment since they're 100% biodegradable. No more dirty faces and sticky fingers – WaterWipes make road trips easier!

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30. Babyganics Foaming Pump Hand Sanitizer

Age recommendation: 1+ year old

I use Babyganics Foaming Pump Hand Sanitizer on trips. It's plant-based, effective against germs, and gentle on my kids' hands. The foaming formula is fun for them and it's compact for easy use on the go. With Babyganics, our family stays safe and ready for adventure!

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31. Aden + Anais Dream Blanket

Age recommendation: All ages

My kids have been using these blankets since they were babies. I love how they become even softer every time we wash them! They are high quality, lightweight, and breathable muslin. Therefore my children still love to use them! These are perfect blankets for the car trip!

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32. Kids Travel Pillow

Age recommendation: 3-7 years old

I really like this ergonomically designed pillow – it gives my child the perfect neck and chin support, stopping their head from falling to the side or forward. The soft, plush fabric is super comfy, so my kids can rest, sleep, or just chill during our long travels. And the best part is, it's machine washable, so I can easily clean it after each adventure.

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33. Backseat Car Organizer

A backseat car organizer is a must-have for every family road trip! These handy storage solutions attach to the back of the front seats and feature multiple pockets to hold everything from water bottles and snacks to gadgets, toys, and travel-size activity sets. They're a lifesaver for maintaining order in the backseat, keeping essential items within easy reach of your little ones, and ensuring the car stays neat and tidy throughout the journey. Plus, they often come with a clear pocket that can hold a tablet for hands-free viewing – perfect for keeping the kids entertained during those long stretches on the road!

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34. Car Seat Organizer with Cup Holders

This practical add-on attaches behind the front seats, providing lots of pockets to keep toys, books, snacks, and essentials tidy. The cup holders hold bottles securely, preventing spills and keeping drinks accessible. It keeps everything neat, making the ride comfy and fun.

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35. Super Fast Car Chargers & Coiled Cable

Get super fast charging anywhere with this 60W car charger. It has a Type-C cable and a 30W SUPER FAST Charging port that supports various fast charging protocols. Charge up to three devices at once, five times faster than regular car chargers. Stay powered and connected on the move.

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36. 2 pieces 3d Sleep Mask for Kids

I've got a package with two sets of eye covers, each in a different color. These travel-friendly eye masks are designed with a wider and deeper 3D eye area, giving my kids more room to blink and ensuring they fit comfortably. I can relax without worrying about any pressure on their eyes.

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37. Car Trash Bag

We keep our car clean and tidy with this car trash can. It holds 1.85 gallons and helps me stay organized on the go. The sturdy bottom support board keeps it in shape and prevents accidental closure. Enjoy a clutter-free drive with the convenient car trash can.

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38. UltraSafe Car Battery Jump Starter

Stay worry-free on the road with a car battery jump starter that also charges gadgets! This handy device can quickly restart a dead car battery, so your trip goes smoothly. And it's even better – the modern jump starter has USB ports to charge your devices. Whether it's your phone or the kids' tablets, this small device can charge them all. It's a must for any road trip, making life easier and stress-free.

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39. Oxo tot 2-in-1 go potty

The OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty is a total game-changer for my family when we're on the road. I don't have to worry about finding public restrooms or dealing with emergencies for my kids anymore. This small potty seat is super portable and I can use it on its own with disposable bags for quick stops. If needed, I can place it on a regular toilet seat to help my kids feel more comfortable. It's light, easy to clean, and folds into a neat travel bag. Trust me, it's one of the most practical things to bring for a road trip with young kids!

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40. Toilet Seat Covers Disposable

Disposable toilet seat covers are a must for my road trips, especially when I have kids with me or if public restrooms aren't very clean. These covers create a clean barrier between me and the toilet seat, which helps prevent germs. They're easy to carry, flushable, and good for the environment. I just keep them in my bag, and they ensure a safe and clean restroom for my family wherever we go on our road trip.

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41. Reusable Grocery Bags

Adding a reusable foldable grocery bag to my road trip essentials is a smart idea. It's good for the environment and really handy. I can use it to grab snacks, shop at local markets, or keep my car neat. When I'm not using it, I can fold it up small, so it doesn't take much space. These bags are tough too, so they can hold heavy things without ripping. They come in lots of colors and designs, so I can pick one that suits my style. I wouldn't go on a road trip without one!

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42. Portable Travel Umbrella

With a weight of just 15 oz and a compact size of 11.5″ (29cm) when folded, our travel umbrella is incredibly portable. It serves as an excellent choice for various purposes, such as a small umbrella for your purse, a convenient car umbrella, or a reliable companion for your travels.

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Safety

Lastly, we can't forget the importance of safety! So, always be prepared, because safety should never take a back seat on a family road trip!

43. Emergency contact details

Make sure to store the contact details of local hospitals and doctors in your phone, in case of any emergency.

44. Medication

Check with your child’s healthcare provider before you take off, and make sure that you have the appropriate medications available. For example, if your child has asthma, allergies, or any other chronic condition, it is important to make sure they have their medication on hand in case of an emergency.

Additional Note: Pack a fever reducer like ibuprofen or any other medicines that your child might need. Having these things ready will help you be prepared for any sudden health issues and keep your kids comfortable during the drive.

45. Cash & Credit Cards

Don't forget to bring cash and credit cards on your trip. You never know when you might need them! This is especially true if you're travelling in a remote area or a foreign country. It's always better to be safe than sorry – so make sure you have the necessary payment methods as backup just in case.

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46. Thinkbaby Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a must too, even in the car! The sun's rays can still reach your kids through the car windows.

When it comes to protecting your children's sensitive skin from harmful UV rays, Thinkbaby Sunscreen is a superior choice. With a broad-spectrum SPF 50+ protection, this sunscreen is perfect for outdoor activities during your road trip. It has been specifically created with children in mind, being a mineral-based sunscreen that avoids harmful chemical UV absorbers. It's water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, so you don't have to worry about frequent reapplication.

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47. Waterproof Car First-aid emergency Kit

I found this amazing waterproof First Aid Kit – it's a compact kit with high-quality supplies for emergencies. It has survival tools and trauma supplies, all neatly organized in a bright red bag. So, I can quickly grab what I need during any emergency. It's a must for my safety and a great gift idea too!

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48. Roadside assistance emergency kit

This roadside assistance packages is a perfect gift. This contains the necessary roadside kits, snow shovel, flashing lights, reflective triangle warning signs, advanced jumpers (8.2 feet), powerful towing rope, safety hammer and seat belt cutters, life blankets, raincoats, compasses and more!

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49. Barf bags

Don't let nausea spoil your fun-filled family road trip! Barf bags, also known as sick sacks, are a lifesaver when it comes to long drives with kids. These compact, leak-proof items are perfect for sudden bouts of car sickness that kids might experience. They are easy to use, disposable, and provide a handy solution to keep your car interior clean and odor-free. Just stash a few in the glove compartment or the back seat pockets and you're good to go.

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Other Travel Related Posts

Here are some more travel related articles you can read:

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Final Thoughts on Preparing Essentials for Kid-Friendly Road Trips

Here is a summary of the 49 road trip essentials for kids:

Indeed, planning for a road trip with kids necessitates a comprehensive checklist to ensure a stress-free and memorable experience. From safety measures like first aid kits and emergency contact details to essentials like snacks, medicines, and entertainment options, every item contributes to the overall success of the journey. Remember, the key to a smooth trip is details preparation and considering your children's needs. With these 49 essentials, you are now well-equipped to create an enjoyable and carefree road trip for your entire family. If you are gearing up for a road trip with your little ones, make sure to save the image below on Pinterest. It'll come in handy and simplify your planning process.

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49 Road Trip Essentials for Kids to a Stress-Free Drive - Edkids Home (2024)
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