Road Trip Essentials to Pack for Family Vacations

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This list of road trip essentials will make your next family road trip more comfortable, help you save money, and make fun memories along the way.

The front taillight of a car.

These road trip essentials will make or break how much fun you have on your next family vacation.

You can either plan ahead and be prepared with all the things to pack in your car for a happy trip or you can try to wing it and spend the first hour of your drive worrying about what you forgot.

I’ve broken down all the road trip essentials you need to make the drive more comfortable and keep everyone in the car happy and well fed!

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All the Road Trip Essentials to Pack for Your Trip

Planning for a family road trip can feel like an epic project. There are so many things you don’t want to forget!

Plan ahead with this ultimate list of all the road trip essentials you’ll ever need for your family road trips.

1. 40 Must-Have Things to Pack in the Car

First, start with this incredible list of 40 things to pack in your car for the trip.

The list includes your full packing list for the car broken down by:

  • Health & Safety
  • Comfort
  • Entertainment
  • And more . . .

There’s also a bonus printable packing list for you, too.

2. A Grab Bag & Lovies for Each Kid

If you’re taking a road trip with kids, you’ll definitely want to read about what to pack in a grab bag for the little ones and do NOT forget my best parenting travel trick ever: traveling lovies.

3. Car Organizer Accessories

If you’re going on a long car drive with the kids, the key is going to be keeping everyone comfortable.

These road trip organizer accessories will help you keep the car neat and tidy so you don’t lose your mind on the drive.

4. Things to Pack for the Hotel

If you’re heading out on a road trip, chances are you’ll be staying at a hotel somewhere along the way or at your final destination.

I wrote up the best list of what to pack for a hotel whether you’re going alone as adults or as a whole family with kids:

5. Road Trip Games & Entertainment

Road trips can actually be a TON of fun for the whole family is you plan ahead.

Pack travel games to play in the car or at your destination and load up your phone with the best audiobooks for family road trips.

6. Road Trip Food

The best way to save a TON of money on your road trip is to pack your own picnic food and snacks.

Yummy treats, grab and go breakfasts for the car, or packable snacks are all road trip essentials if you want to avoid a hangry family.

BONUS: Things You Need for Road Trips to the Beach

If you happen to be doing a road trip to the beach, that adds a whole other layer of packing needs on top of the basics.

Don’t miss my complete list of what to bring to the beach and my review of the best beach gear for families and the best beach toys that will fit in the trunk of your car.

And if you plan to do any camping on your getaway, don’t miss this list of cool camping gadgets.

A photo collage shows a car and a pile of things to pack for a road trip.

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