The Complete Family Road Trip Packing Checklist

Family taking a selfie before a summer roadtripThe kids are out of school and summer vacation is upon us. Road trip season is in full swing. But before you pile everyone into the vehicle for the excursion, there are a few road trip essentials you should make sure you have on hand. This checklist of what to bring on a road trip will make the trip much easier. So take your trusty vehicle in for routine maintenance and make any necessary arrangements so you can get started on packing all of the road trip must haves. Best of all, you can save with a promo code on your necessities and earn Cash Back at Rakuten on your purchases from our easy road trip packing checklist.

  1. Snacks: No road trip is complete without a nice supply of snacks. Just steer clear of chocolate and other meltables that may be destroyed during pit stops.
  2. Water: Keep some extra bottles of water on hand for when stopping isn’t an option.
  3. First Aid: Don’t forget to pack a first aid kit that includes supplies for any number of situations. Be prepared with everything from anti-nausea medicine to band-aids for scrapped knees from roadside adventures.
  4. Hand Sanitizer: This miracle concoction will not only rescue you from questionable bathroom selections but will also help clear up any sticky residue left behind from snacks.
  5. Tissues, Napkins & Baby Wipes: Baby wipes aren’t just for babies. Baby wipes, tissues and napkins are handy for cleaning up messes from the kiddos or from the adults.
  6. Small Cooler: Keep your beverages and other goods cool with a small cooler and a steady refill of ice.
  7. Sandwich Supplies: Ditch the fast food joints and create your own roadside picnics instead. You’ll save money and be able to take in the local scenery at the same time.
  8. Sunscreen: Wherever you end up, you’re going to need broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30. Don’t forget to reapply often for proper protection.
  9. Sunglasses: Protect your peepers with the proper eyewear so you can take in all of the sights for years to come.
  10. Auto Documents: Make sure you’re prepared with copies of your registration, insurance and roadside assistance contact information.
  11. Hat: Protect yourself from the sun with a hat that provides a nice amount of shade.
  12. Empty Bags & Baggies: Keep trash off your floorboards and protect your valuables from splashes with a good stock of empty bags.
  13. Tickets & Confirmations: Bring along printed copies of all of your tickets and confirmation pages in case there are any mixups.
  14. Coin Purse & Change: There might be many toll roads in your future so plan accordingly. It also doesn’t hurt to have a few extras for smashed penny souvenirs.
  15. Poncho or Umbrella: Plan for the unexpected with rain gear for the whole family. An umbrella can also double as additional sun protection.
  16. Jacket: Account for cooler nights or unexpected cool fronts with jackets for all of your passengers.
  17. Headphones: Headphones allow each passenger to enjoy their own road trip entertainment while the driver can maintain control of the main radio.
  18. Device Cords & Batteries: Your electronic devices are only as good as their battery supply if you forget the power cords. Spare batteries allow you to keep non-rechargeable devices going as well.
  19. Travel Games: Quell boredom with travel-friendly games for the backseat crew.
  20. Children’s Lovies: Pack your children’s favorite toys to fend off complete meltdowns far away from home, especially around bedtime.
  21. Travel Pillow: Enjoy a mobile nap with a comfy travel pillow that will allow you to rest while on the go.
  22. Earplugs & Eye Mask: Whether it’s to curb the sounds of other passengers during a nap or to fend off unfamiliar sights and sounds at your destinations, these items can be very handy.
  23. GPS navigation unit: Don’t rely on cellular reception that can be spotty during road trips. Pick up a stand-alone GPS navigation unit with traffic updates and lifetime maps.
  24. Roadside Safety Kit: Don’t get caught in a difficult situation. An emergency roadside safety kit should definitely make it onto your road trip packing list.
  25. Books: Ditch the digital and grab some old-fashioned bound books for everyone to enjoy.
  26. Music: Your streaming service may not work everywhere and radio selection can be questionable. Bring along some downloaded music or CDs so you can jam out wherever you are.
  27. Camera: Capture all of those memories on a rugged camera that can stand up to all of your adventures.
  28. DVD Player: Fight boredom with a DVD player and some household favorite movies.
  29. Footwear: Whether you’re hiking mountain trails or sandy beaches, make sure you have the proper footwear for the occasion.
  30. Bug Spray: Get rid of pests like mosquitos with bug spray so you can truly enjoy your adventures.
  31. Beach Gear: Last but not least for our road trip list, if you’re hitting the beach, be sure to pack swimsuits, towels and sand toys to enjoy.

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