Home Management · Seasonal · Summer

Family-Friendly Road Trip Essentials: What to Pack for Kids

Disclosure: This post does not contain affiliate links.  I do not partner with an online affiliate marketing program nor am I compensated from the companies whose products I have mentioned and used.  All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company, and/or its affiliates, in any way.

Road trip Essentials
We made it back from our trip to the Dells with only one child who decided to puke within the first 15 mins! He was *ahem* the only one not wearing a Sea Band. Looks like I need to buy another set! Luckily, I always pack our favorite wet bags to contain soiled clothing, wet swimsuits, dirty laundry, and dishes. I’ll get to those details in a minute!

I would definitely consider myself an official Bag Lady. I have a bag for everything! I’m that woman who likes to carry around that ginormous suitcase of a bag only to lose everything in it.  I’m terrible at keeping my bags organized and I always seem to lose something. However, I have found a few key items over the years that I wouldn’t dare to lose or leave the house without.

Do you ever forget something every time you leave for a trip? Here’s my stash of must-have items that I always take on the road. Whether it’s taking a camping trip or trip to the zoo, these must-haves always come along for the ride.

Wet Bags
These have to make it into our travel stash or else! Like I said, these are perfect for soiled clothing, accidents, swimsuits, etc. Every car trip we make, we seem to have a puking child. It’s so true! You can use these for so much more than just cloth diapering. After selling many different cloth diapering products, I have found that this brand was the best of quality for our family.

Sea Bands
Anyone else have a child who suffers from car sickness? I love these. I have tried so many different remedies out there. These Sea Bands help avoid those on-the-road disasters. After you purchase these, you can reuse them over and over again. I hate seeing a miserable child on their vacation. Thank goodness motion sickness is treatable! You can purchase these at most big box stores. If you need to pick these up last-minute, you don’t have to worry about only finding them online.


Powder & Liquid Water Enhancers
I have found that individual water enhancers have been one of the best ways to save money on beverages. Fairs, amusement parks, and concession stands can definitely put a dent in your wallet when it comes to drinks. We enjoy True Lemon and Stur brands because they are non-GMO, gluten-free, and do not contain artificial flavors or preservatives.

We also have a bunch of these in our cabinets that I get to drink if I need an extra boost of energy. If you want to get down to the fine details, the Stur brand was easiest to travel with. You don’t have tiny packets of garbage stuck in your pockets. Besides that minor detail, they’re both great!

Potty Training Toilet
Sometimes you just have to go when there’s nowhere to stop! For whatever reason, my kids always have to go when there’s no restroom in sight. Don’t forget the plastic bags and toilet paper for those side-of-the-road stops!
Sunscreen Stick
You can’t go wrong with sunscreen on a stick! Kid-friendly and compact sun sticks are so handy to throw into your beach, diaper, or sports bag. So many are now formulated with a non-nano zinc oxide along with other safe ingredients to protect against those UVA/UVB rays. There’s no mess and no harsh chemicals. It’s perfect for the kiddos because they can apply it themselves easily. We tried this brand last summer.
Protect Stick Sunscreen via BeautyCounter
Soap Bits
You can buy these pre-packaged or make these DIY style. I simply chop up a bar of soap and add a small cube to a travel sized squirt bottle filled with hot water. Sometimes we just prefer sudsy, soapy water over the hand sanitizer.
Insect Bite Stick
Find the perfect travel sized pen because you never know when those pesky bugs are gonna strike! I ran into our local drug store and just grabbed a generic brand.
 …For when we run out of baby wipes…which we use for everything!
First Aid Kit
Like most moms, I throw in the essential band aids, thermometer, and Tylenol into our kit. I also like to throw in a few homeopathic remedies that have worked well for us over the years. Yes, this alone could easily turn into an entirely new blog post if I wanted it to, but I will save that for another time! Activated charcoal, witch hazel, structured silver, probiotics, and a few essential oils are usually added to the mix. There have been a few times on our trips when I ate something unusual or caught a rapid case of pink eye and was sure glad that I had these items on hand.

I will have to say that charcoal tablets seem much easier to travel with though. I’m still traveling with powder. If you are going to use the charcoal for brushing your teeth or creating a poultice for burns or bites, get the powder. Otherwise, I think that the travel tablets may be the better way to go. Seems like much less of a mess.

I’ve also enjoyed using Thayers Lavender Witch Hazel. It’s a great astringent which is why I love to use it for insect bites and as a facial toner.  I couldn’t live without this stuff during my postpartum care after giving birth. Finally, when my kids have contracted pink eye or swimmers ear on our trips this structured silver has come to the rescue!

This is merely an opinion blog. I do not provide medical aid or nutrition for the purpose of health or disease and claim to be a doctor or dietitian. The medical information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Readers are cautioned not to rely on this information as medical advice and to consult a qualified medical, dietary, fitness or other appropriate professional for their specific needs. The use or reliance of any information contained on this site [or our mobile application] is solely at your own risk. See my full medical/health disclosure policy here.

 My Mini Pancake Maker!
Okay, if we were taking a camping trip, I would be creating a whole new list of items that I’d be bringing along, but I made sure that our mini pancake maker went on our hotel trip! Between gift cards and budgeting for eating out, we knew that we were going to save a little by eating  breakfast in our hotel. I also didn’t bring the IP or slow cooker because I didn’t want to do any dishes on this trip.
This pancake maker has been with us since Ly-Guy was a baby and we use it almost everyday. Why not take in on our trip?! The kids can easily make their own meals and quickly wipe it clean with a damp cloth. We brought apples and bananas to make for a healthy and budget-friendly breakfast. Viola!
Rubbermaid Blue Ice Flexible Ice Blanket
These next few items are things that I found online and have waiting in my Amazon cart. I haven’t made the purchases yet, but just look at them! Do you have any of these? Look at these amazing little ice packs! From reading the reviews online, you can separate these individually to fit into your pocket or purse. What a clever idea!
Rubbermaid Blue Ice Flexible Ice Blanket Via Amazon
Kemier Collapsible Water Bottle
These Kemier collapsible silicone water bottles look out of this world! It seems as though you can take this with you anywhere. I can see us using these at all sorts of outdoor events.
Kemier Water Bottle Via Amazon
This little guy right here has been sitting in my Amazon cart since last Christmas! A good friend reminded me of this little gem that I forgot all about. It’s so compact that it fits right into your car cup holder. I love the idea of having a 7 light LED night-light built-in for when we travel at night with the kids.
Not only does this seem like a great way to calm everyone down, but I also like the idea of taking my essential oils along for a fresh smelling car. Traveling with pee, vomit, and pets in the car is no fun!
InnoGear USB Car Essential Oil Diffuser via Amazon
Hydration Body Mist
When it’s scorching hot out, I like to spray the kids down for a quick pick-me-up. I haven’t actually purchased a specific brand of this stuff because I guess I’ve always just made a simple rose water concoction or added a few essential oils into a spray water bottle. I’ve now seen all sorts of brands out there that have added vitamins and healthy ingredients into their bottles. I’ve seen great reviews on this brand.
We’ve had our fair share of family mishaps when traveling, but having these handy items on hand has made it much easier to handle the difficult moments in the car.
I hope these ideas help you prepare for a stress-free and fun-filled family adventure.
What road trip essentials do you always have on your list? I’m always looking for new ideas.

4 thoughts on “Family-Friendly Road Trip Essentials: What to Pack for Kids

    1. Thanks, Val! I heard about the water enhancer idea when I took a trip to Disney World in 2008. I’ve used that travel tip ever since. Hope you can use it too!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s