Preparing for your summer vacation? Going on a road-trip? Here is a check-list of the must-pack essentials for your upcoming road-trip. We put together two lists… one for the moms in the vehicle and one for the teens.
From healthy snacks to your trusty planner… you don’t want to get stuck in the car without the essentials. Often times when we get busy packing for our summer vacation we forget the items we need to assist us along the way.
- Road-trip Bag – this is important in order to stay organized. If along the drive you plan to switch drivers and swap seats, having all your essentials in one spot will help keep the car clean and avoid pulling over to find something under the seat. Think of this bag as your carry-on, each person can have a small one that fits under their feet.
- Sleep Mask – when taking a long trip it is nice to switch drivers and take naps. This can be difficult to do when the sun is shining in. Don’t forget your sleep mask to help get some rest.
- Neck Pillow – need I say more?
- Retap Refillable Glass Water Bottle – I love my Retap bottle. Most gas stations have a filtered water refill tap that you can use to avoid wasting plastic water bottles in the floorboard of your car.
- Wet Wipes – these are not just for baby bums. When on a road-trip it is not always easy to make it to a rest stop to wash your hands. Kids are messy when eating snacks and who wants to be sticky?
- Hand Sanitizer – I try to keep this with me at all times but especially when on a road-trip. Comes in handy right before eating lunch or sharing a bag of snacks.
- Healthy Snacks – of course you can stop at a gas station and pay inflated prices for junk snacks every couple of hours when the kids complain they are hungry, but who wants to do that? As the one doing most of the driving you need healthy snacks to keep you going.
- Book – I always try to take a paperback book with me on my trips. There are times when my electronic device goes dead or I just want to give my eyes a rest from screen time. One of my trips in 2012 I took along Ellen DeGeneres’s book. It was hilarious. So hilarious that I kept reading it out loud to my best friend because she just ‘had to hear this one part‘. Basically the whole book. When being cramped up in a car for hours, a little comedy does some good.
- Magazine – I get inspiration from magazines. The photos are pretty. I find recipes to make, crafts to try with the kids and places for our next vacation. Flipping through a magazine provides the perfect distraction.
- iPad or eReader – I love being able to write blog posts, do last minute work or even edit photos from my iPad while on the go. Plus, I enjoy reading from my Kindle app or playing a game. Don’t forget the car charger!
- Music – whether this is in CD form or downloaded to your smartphone, you’ll want some music to drown out the kid noise at times.
- Headphones – while the kids are watching a movie, playing a game or listening to their own music – put on your headphones and relax. Maybe listen to an audio book or podcast you’ve been meaning to catch up on.
- Notepad/Planner & Pen – ever been in the car and need to jot something down but can’t find paper or pen? Some of my best blog post ideas or work inspiration hits me when I’m busy doing something else… like driving or taking a shower. So I have learned to never leave home without my planner and notepad. While my husband drives I can work on planning out the week in advance or catching up on my notes. Currently I’m using an Erin Condren planner and love it.
- First Aid Kit – always be prepared. You can find a small one at your local store that is perfect for the car or order one on Amazon.
What is in your road-trip bag?
My best friend’s daughter helped me come up with ideas for teens to pack for a road-trip. A lot of the items are similar to the ones I listed above with a few additions.
- Selfie Stick – yes, we all know that teens love to take selfies but this comes in handy on a road-trip so they can capture some of their travel destination in the photo with them.
- iPod or electronic gaming device – for everyone’s sanity.
- Road-trip Games – a deck of cards and other travel sized games will keep them busy and limit the times they ask “Are we there yet?!”.
- Lip Balm – a girl’s got her needs…
- Travel Journal & Colored Pens – I love this idea. It is a great way for them to document the things they have done along the way. After you get home maybe they can even print some of those selfies they took to add in!
Which item does your child always take with them?
Don’t get on the road and realize after it’s too late that you forgot something. Print this free checklist for an aid while packing.
Click the checklist to open in full size and print.
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Are you planning a road-trip this summer? Where is your vacation destination?