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Travel Must-Haves When Going on a Road Trip with Kids

Travel Must Haves When Going on a Road Trip with Kids

For several people, going on a road trip during the holidays is their idea of fun. If you had the same ideas before you had kids and now avoid road trips just because you think it’s going to be too much trouble, think again. You’re missing out on so much fun because of your worries!

All you need to do is prepare for the trip well in advance. And preparing for a trip with kids involves packing a number of things keeping their priorities and needs in mind.

Just keep your cool and make sure you’ve got these must-haves packed.

1. Electronic Gadgets

While you might think that electronic gadgets shouldn’t be on the must-have list, you’ll be glad to hand them to your kids when they get fidgety. Moreover, most electronic devices and hand-held gaming systems are reasonably priced so you won’t have to spend a fortune to buy them.

If you have a tablet or two, download a variety of kid-friendly applications for your kids so they can keep themselves occupied. For a kid who loves listening to music, you can get a portable music player plus some CDs of his choice. If you have an iPod or a mobile device, download music that your child likes on it and hand it over to him whenever you think a tantrum is in order. If your kid loves reading, an e-reader will keep him engaged.

Be sure to carry chargers and spare batteries for all the devices. You may want to decide beforehand how much time each kid gets to play with a certain gadget.

2. Fun Games

Kids can have a lot of fun without electronic gadgets too. You just need to make sure that you’re keep them entertained in the right way! Looking for other sources of entertainment also means not having grumpy faces in the back in case batteries run out.

For the bookworms, pack interesting books, comics, magazines, etc. that they would love to read. Also pack activity books that have various puzzles and coloring pages. You can use triangular crayons so they don’t roll all over when they fall down. Alternatively, you can consider buying coloring books that only need a water pen to be used on the drawings for the colors to appear magically.

Tip: In case you’re stacking up on a lot of art supplies, keep it all organized so that things don’t get lost.

Sticker books will keep kids interested as will temporary tattoos. Board games like chess, scrabble, ludo, etc. will keep a bunch of kids entertained and kids will also be able to learn things like taking turns, forming new words, and doing simple calculations.

If you have impatient kids who keep asking “Are we there yet?” even in an airport pickup cab that takes you to your hotel in less than an hour, a long distance journey may seem particularly taxing. Just hand them a map of their own so that they can keep track of how far the destination is. Additionally, give them a marker or a pen to tick places you’ve stopped at or crossed so that they remain enthusiastic about the road trip.

A disposable camera will also keep your child busy. You might want to entrust him with the task of collecting postcards for the family travel scrapbook too.

3. Non-Messy Snacks

It’s a known fact that hunger can lead to boredom. Stock up on lots of snacks to last you and your kids throughout the trip.

Portable foods such as crackers, string cheese, dried fruit, and fresh fruit like apples, bananas, and grapes are your best bet. Also make a surprise mix of goldfish crackers, granola, nuts, dried fruit, gummy fruits, pretzels, etc. Scoop out a little of the mixture for kids whenever they seem to get restless; they’ll each get different things every time which will keep things interesting.

Single serve cups of peanut butter and cream cheese, and juice boxes are also a must. Fruit rolls or fruit leather can make for easy eating and if you hand kids a cookie cutter too, they can use it stamp out shapes for some fun and food time. Kids can also make fun shapes using marshmallows and pretzels.

For younger kids, you’ll want to pack food that they won’t possibly choke on. You can pack fruit or vegetable puree squeeze pouches for toddlers.

4. First-Aid and Emergency Kit

It’s important to have first-aid for everyone, especially for kids. Get in touch with your family doctor or a pharmacist and buy medicines for cold, stomach upsets, and allergies, if any. You’ll also want to pack sanitizer, disinfectant, and band-aids in the first-aid kit.

In addition to these things, your emergency kit should have a change of clothes for everyone. Don’t forget to pack tissue paper, cleaning wipes, toilet paper, and anything else you may need.


Before planning your trip, take into consideration weather and road conditions. Also, do get your car checked thoroughly well before the trip. Making sure your car is ready for a long trip is important because you definitely don’t want to be left stranded in the middle of nowhere. After all, you want this to be a memorable trip for your kids and for yourself.

If you plan the trip well, it’s sure to turn out to be a success. Just let go of your apprehensions, pack the must-haves mentioned here, and get on the road for a trip to remember!

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