Well, I’ve done it… I’ve shared my awe inspiring, life changing travel hacks. You’re probably wondering where I got all these cool items or maybe you’re even thinking that there’s more to it than that…and yes, there is. I have so many essential items for a road trip that I use when we travel. Of course, I want to pack light, but I also want to survive the trip. While packing for an entire vacation with just 1 backpack each is awesome, sometimes I need to make sure I leave room for extras. This is the 15 Best Road Trip Essentials for Traveling with Kids.

road trip essentials for kids

I’ve put together a list of my top 15 most used items that I think you should bring on the next road trip you take with your kids. Some go right along with the travel hacks I’ve talked about before. Some are completely new here. But still just as important. So come along and see what these 15 must-have travek items are all about. 

Follow along and see. :) 

Organization Travel Essentials 

I’m a firm believer that when your packing and traveling is organized it makes things go a little smoother. Even if sometimes my packing is done at the very last minute, it is still organized and well thought out. I have a few really great items that will help you at least feel like your car is organized and well put together. 

  • Backseat Organizer– This back seat organizer keeps things right where they are needed. It is within reach for your kids, saving time and energy trying to search for that lost water bottle or toy. 
  • Kid Travel Tray– This in seat travel tray organizer is a life saver! For 1 it helps keep kids in their seats. We all know there is always 1 kid that wants to try and unbuckle in the car. But the best part, is for the younger kids that can’t reach far from their seat, this tray sits right in their seat with them. It has a white dry erase board on it, and has pockets on the side to store snacks and drinks in. 
  • Trunk Organizer– This collapsible storage container can be stored in the back of your car, or even in the back seat with the kids. It’s got 3 larger compartments inside, along with some smaller mesh ones on the outside. This one really stores and organizes a lot of things for you. 

Staying Busy Travel Must-haves

We all know that sometimes keeping kids busy and their attention occupied is a full-time job. Especially in the car. You usually need to have what feels like a million different travel items for them to do, they don’t like to focus on one thing for too long. I’ve got some great items that I think will help keep the kiddo’s busy and entertained while on a road trip. 

  • Work books– Mazes, word search, and hidden picture books. There are so many pages in these books. And every page is different, so it will hold attention for longer. And if you homeschool like we do. You might even be able to get a little schooling done while driving. 
  • Window Markers– Coloring books, crayons, or these amazing window markers. We know kids like to color where they aren’t supposed to. No need to worry when you have these markers though. They are meant to be used on a window. They are smudge proof and easily cleaned off. 
  • Games– Puzzles, card games and eye spy/scavenger hunt. More things to help keep the kids busy and entertained. The puzzles can also be used for a good hack I have too. :) 

Must-have Items for Hacks 

If you’ve read my post about my genius road trip hacks, I’m sure it brought you here, wondering what exactly I used for them. I’ve got it all listed out here, no worries. I always try to make sure the hacks I come up with are…

  1. Easy to achieve  
  2. Don’t cost a lot of money 
  3. Have the option to be reused

No one wants to spend a bunch of money for a trip that will last a few hours and then have to throw your hard work away. So without further explanation…Here are a few of the essentials for road trips that I used for my hacks. 

  • White Tape– Just a plain roll of white duct tape. Needed for your DIY road map. 
  • Cookie Sheet– Any shape or size. I think the 8×10 rectangle works best for the puzzle hack. 
  • Cereal Container– Plastic cereal container with a lid makes the best road trip garbage can hack. Goodbye garbage all over the place.
  • Fishing Tackle Box for your Snackle Box –  I prefer to use the one that has dividers that can be removed and adjusted. These ones can be transformed into the best snack box for travel.
  • Paper Bags– Just a plain brown paper bag. This is used for my every hour surprise bags. 
  • Grabber Tool– This grabber is going to save your back when traveling with kids. It grabs great, and can lengthen your reach. 

Necessities for a Road Trip 

I think all of the items I’ve shared are super important to a successful road trip with your kids. I wouldn’t share them if I didn’t try them myself and believe in their success. I do however, have a few select items that I think any road trip needs and your kids would be absolutely miserable without. Here’s what I’m thinking. 

  • Writing tablet– This awesome writing tablet makes drawing and doodling even funner for your kids. It’s a cross between plain paper and an etch a sketch. It allows your kid to draw but have the ability to clear their writing when they are done. 
  • Car charging port– Let’s be real with each other here… There comes a time when mama’s had enough and it’s time to break out the electronics. This car charging port has 3 charging spots for when the electronics need to be charged up again. 
  • Portable potty– When you have younger kids, you know that traveling is never easy with them. Finding a potty when one is needed, and hope they are willing to use it. Why not just bring your own and cut the middle man out of the situation. It is familiar to them and there is no searching hoping you find one in time. 

If you’re going to invest in this portable toilet, then these potty liners are an absolute must. It cuts the mess out of using this potty. They line the potty like a plastic bag and make cleanup a breeze. 

  • SNACKS- If you’ve ever read any of my traveling posts before, then you know that snacks are just an absolute must when you have kids. I don’t think I can say enough how over prepared you need to be in the snack department. If you think you have enough, grab a few more. 

Snacks are great for boredom, Snacks are great when you’re grumpy, snacks are great when the kids are fighting, and snacks are especially great when everyone is complaining that they are hungry!

Did you enjoy my must have items list? I really hope so. I’ll be honest with you guys, not all of these things are absolutely necessary when you go on a road trip with your kids, but they are super simple, and I think that they make it all more enjoyable for everyone. 

If you enjoyed this post, here are a couple other travel posts:

Travel Must Haves

Genius Road Trip Hacks

Four Seasons Orlando: Hotel Review

How a trip to the Maldives changed me

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