Mummy Confession: I don’t mind hours in the car on the road. However, a road trip with kids is a bit more complicated and may prove a bit challenging!
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When we decided to take our first family trip to the snow, I compiled this list of things to bring on the road! Not only for the drive, but what to have close at hand, and just in the car, when traveling with kids! (I’m funny the way I make my lists, and try to place things strategically in the car.)
Plus, better still, some great suggestions for games, recipes that travel well, and other advice from fellow-travelers! I’ve included a quick click here, or scroll to see! To check out what to bring to the snow (for kids), check out my post here.
And don’t forget, here are some things to remember before you go on your holiday!
Road Trip Quick Click:
Road Trip! What to Bring in the Car/Specifically for the Drive:
We’re talking a 4+ hour drive with kids in tow. Two of which are toilet trained, so that should be interesting! I want to be sure that on the trip down, we are taking minimal breaks (I mean, as minimal as you can with kids). In order to ensure this, I have a list of what we will be taking in the car, strategically placed so as to have necessities accessible while driving. You know how it is when little Munchkin wants that’s toy that’s in the boot? Yeah, we will try to avoid that.
Easily accessible or in the front:
1. Eskie (Cooler) with drinks/snacks– Nothing says “pull over!” Like a thirsty child. Be sure to have plenty water bottles and other beverages for you and the kids as well as some ice packs if desired. We bring a water bottle for each child in addition to drinks, so there is less mess going! Sippy cups are my favourite. There are also these handy cup covers which work with open cups by B. Box if you’re planning on using cups offered at your destination or on the road.
2. Snacks/Food– The road trips in my childhood bring back memories of my beloved Barbecue chips and savouring them as we drove along. Snacks can help pass the time and hold the kids over until the next rest stop. Opt for healthy, or whatever suits your family! There are some great road-worthy recipes for snacks and ideas below courtesy of some amazing Bloggers! (Click here to skip to the recipes)
3. Activities/Games/Toys– I often pick a few cheap toys the kids haven’t seen yet and hide them for a bit and give them out at random times. Nothing too loud, of course! You do need to be in a car together for hours! If you enjoy playing games in the car or need other suggestions, there are some ideas below (or click here).
4. Toy Organiser/IPad Holder– Unless you wish to hold everything on your lap, it’s probably best to invest in something to store all the bits and pieces from your kids’ toy box. We opted for something to hold a tablet so we can play a movie some of the time, or a couple toys or tissues that are easier to grab. Skip Hop looks like they make good organisers. There are some suggestions here for apps my kids love which mainly don’t require internet.
5. Chargers for phones with car adapter &Phones– You don’t want your phone to run out of batteries while you are on the way to your destination. Especially if you use it for a GPS or to stay in touch with other cars on the way there!
6. Any music desired– When “99 bottles of” your chosen beverage are no longer on the wall, or your refuse to entertain the idea of signing that, opt for some alternative tunes. Go “Retro” as the kids call it nowadays and blast some of your old favourites, or if you’re game, let the kids pick the music. See some ideas below (or click to skip there now).
7. GPS or other Directions– We do need to arrive somewhere close to our holiday spot, eh? I think this one is self-explanitory.
8. Access to internet or written down numbers/addresses for hospitals, medical centres, etc (just in case!)– You can never be too prepared! Either have information on your phone, in a notebook, or however your prefer. Google is great for searching, too, if your GPS is questionable (I know mine is…), so be sure whatever you are using is reliable! And when in doubt, follow the signs!
9. Car Pass for Toll Roads or Money for Tolls– If you plan on travelling the way of Tolls. Try to stay away from trolls and bridges though.
In the Glove Box:
1. Tissues and/or Wipes– Messes happen, and so do boogers. I often have a few travel packs on hand throughout the car. Baby wipes aren’t just for babies!
2. First Aid Kit– So long as you have access to the first aid kit in the car than its location isn’t necessarily needed in the glove box (it’s jut the easiest place to store it.) I will say, make sure you have a vomit bag in there because, well, you never know. If you would like to purchase a first aid kit.
3. Spare Change– You never know when shops may not take cards or have minimum EFTPOS limits. Take some cash just in case!
In a Container or Bag in the Car (I call this my Go Bag):
1. 1 Change of clothing for each child, full set with two pairs of understuff
2. Wipes – Always an essential. Even without babies.
3. Nappies (if you have one in them)- I always have three per child who needs them.
4. Plastic bag or wet bag– For dirty or wet clothing, or rubbish you need to bring from the car.
5. Towel, blanket, burp cloth or muslin wrap– For the messes, spills, and comfort of your child. Especially in winter, I always carry a blanket.
6. Nappy rash cream– Sudocrem is always good one to bring, because it is not only a nappy rash cream, but is also good for cuts, grazes, and burns. Be sure to use a cotton bud if you intend to use it on more than your baby.
7. Potty seat (just in case!)– With a couple who are toilet trained, you can never be too certain where the bathrooms are on the road. Or, if you child will decide they need to go as soon as you hit the longest stretch of road without toilets.
Even More Helpful Resources!
Activities for the Car Trip! ??- Ideas for your entertainment during the drive!
Entertain My Tribe– A great website to look for places to stop along the way (parks, family friendly cafes, lolly shops, etc). Make sure to stretch those legs!
Counting Cows: Road Trip Game from Kid Bucket List
Road Trip Games and Activites from Kid Magazine
5 Apps For Toddlers from Kylie Purtell
Entertaining and Education Apps for Toddlers and Preschoolers from Mummy Confessions
Mess Free Activities such as the Crayola Mess Free Colouring Books
Music for the Trip! ? ?- Suggestions and Places to find Music
Snacks for the Car/Recipes That Travel Well! ??- Yum! (In no particular order..)
(These ideas are either eskie/cooler friendly or travel friendly)
Simple Bliss Balls from How She Does It
Raspberry and Coconut Energy Bites from My Fussy Eater
Carrot Cake Bliss Balls from Energetic Mama
Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes from Kidgredients
Peanut Butter and Nutella Muffins from Kid Magazine
Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies from My Fussy Eater
Carrot Cake Cookies from My Fussy Eater
Rice Bubble Slice from Play With Food
Apple Pikelets from Kid Magazine
Cheesy Mountain Bread Chips from Kid Magazine
Chocolate Quinoa Granola Bars from My Fussy Eater
My Perfect Granola Bar from More Than Just Carrots
Healthy Travel Snacks For Babies from Love From Mim
Helpful Road Trip Resources and Tips!??
Wikicamps Australia Hacks and Tips (Camping and Hiking Resources) from Coasting Australia
Find free campsites, hiking trails, outdoor activities and other resources on the road
Ikea Essentials for a Road Trip from The WorldAnd
5 Road Trip Essentials: What to Pack in Your Boot from Kid Bucket List
Road Tripping with Kids: A Lesson in Planning from The Togetherish
Advice From Fellow Travellers:
“I love the app “Elmo loves you” for my 2 year old. It doesn’t require data so it’s great in the car and there’s a heap of activities within it. Get the free demo version first to see what your child thinks.
Worried about relinquishing your phone? Put it into airplane mode so your toddler can’t make calls or post your selfies on Facebook!” from Mel- Anyday Adventures
“I use my dehydrator to make snacks for road trips. That way it’s nothing sticky and will keep. My Instagram has pictures of my dehydrator creations” from Carlie Maree
“Portioned bags of air popped popcorn, ‘scroggin mix’ of nuts and dried fruit, portioned bags of chopped carrot, celery, cheese sticks and rice crackers all make good snacks for the road” from How She Does It
“We need our portable DVD players. They keep everyone quiet for a good hour. You also need scheduled breaks. So find the best parks or kid friendly cafes or towns with lolly shops. Map those out before you go.” from Entertain My Tribe
Road Trip Quick Click: