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Printable Family Road Trip Packing List

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With summer coming, many of us are planning our family vacation.  Today I want to share with you some road trip essentials with this Family Road Trip Packing List printable checklist. This packing list is a great way to make sure you are prepared for a long road trip, or even just a short weekend trip. 

family road trip packing list

I grew up in a family with eight children. The only trips we went on were road trips. I have so many fun and funny memories of our family road trips, including our rented motor home breaking down on a cross country road trip, having our car broken into and robbed overnight at our hotel, sleeping cots in a hotel room, the brakes going out on a snowy mountain pass, seeing every rest stop in the country, getting the best candy bars at gas stations, and seeing many a national park.

Long car rides are a great way to make memories and get the whole family to a destination without the additional cost of flights. 

family road trip

We have created our own awesome family road trip memories, too. We have visited Yellowstone, Moab, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Mount Rushmore, The Grand Canyon, San Francisco, Disney Land, Las Vegas, Portland, and many other great places in our car as a family! Packing well definitely helps you have a more successful trip. 

family road trip packing list

However, having old cars doesn’t always make for the best road trips! One time our car broke down on the way home from visiting grandparents in California. We had three kids and I was pregnant with our fourth.

We couldn’t get our car fixed in the town where we broke down, so we rented a U-haul truck and towed our car home behind it. The air conditioning was broken, and there were no seatbelts. It just had one bench row of seats! I had a big pregnant belly, a small child on my lap and two others squished between my and my husband who was driving. 

We luckily only had about 5 hours left to drive to get home. Wow, was that trip a memorable one! Our kids LOVED it!  They thought being towed, sleeping in the car from 2am until the mechanic shop opened, and then driving home in a truck made the trip pretty epic! 

road trip packing list for families

Traveling with kids can be exciting, interesting, messy, loud, but tons of fun!  Don’t let my crazy stories scare you away. Getting out on the open road is a wonderful way help your families experience so many new parts of this amazing country.

Road Trip Travel Essentials with Printable Packing List:

The following items are essentials you should have on any road trip.  These will keep you safe and comfortable on your next long drive!  This list will also save you a lot of time in planning. 

Each family member will need their own bags with personal items including clothing, toiletries, and other personal items. What to pack in your suitcases will depend on your final destination for your family vacation. But, below is a list of important items you will want to have as you plan your next family road trip. 

  • Spare tire, car jack and other tools to change a flat tire
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire pressure gauge 
  • First aid kit
  • Cell phone chargers compatible with the car
  • Driver’s license
  • Insurance & registration paperwork
  • Sunglasses
  • Road atlas or a paper map is a good idea in case Google maps or GPS isn’t working!
  • Plastic bag to collect trash
  • Road trip snacks 
  • Pillows- a travel pillow will save space
  • Blankets & other comfort items for kids
  • Car seat for young kids
  • Chains for your tires if it’s a winter road trip
  • Motion sickness remedies 
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Roadside emergency kit
  • Easy access change of clothes ( be sure to have outfits for your little ones, too!)
  • Toilet Paper
  • Wet wipes or paper towels to clean up spills
  • Games & activities to keep kids occupied
  • Travel mug
  • Cooler to pack cold foods
  • Umbrella
  • Cash & credit cards
  • Binoculars
  • Headphones 
  • Ice scraper
  • Disposable plates, napkins & utensils
  • Medications
  • Shoes that are easy to slip on
  • Sleep masks (great to help kids sleep in the car!)
  • Camera
  • Flashlight
  • Socks to keep feet warm
  • Diapers and baby wipes (if needed)
  • Picnic blanket
  • Bathing suit for the hotel
  • Folding chairs
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hiking boots 

Not essential, but these Over the Seat Car Organizers are helpful to organize smaller items for kids and help things to be within easy reach.

Road Trip Activities to Keep Your Kids Happy:

Along with the essentials, you will also want some fun things to keep kids happy and busy. 

Awesome Road Trip Snacks:

A mix of some salty snacks and some sweet snacks is important! Stock up at the grocery store before leaving because the gas stations charge a lot more and have less variety. 

  • Granola bars
  • Veggie sticks
  • Chips
  • Trail mix
  • Apples, oranges, grapes
  • Apple sauce squeeze pouches
  • Travel size peanut butter packs
  • Pretzels
  • Cheese sticks
  • Juice boxes
  • Beef jerkey
  • Sandwiches
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Your family’s favorite snacks or treats (nothing that melts in the heat, or is too sticky!)

Download My Printable Free Road Trip Packing List Now!   



Family Road Trip Checklist

You’ll definitely want this printable for your next trip. 

Happy travels!  I hope you have a lot of fun on your upcoming road trip!

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