Are you packing for an upcoming roadtrip? Now that my kids are older, our roadtrip essentials are different than the old days. Yes, we still carry baby wipes in the car (someone always has sticky fingers!). Here are my other must-haves:
We keep a “carsick kit” in the car (I hope you never need this, we've used ours often, unfortunately!). It consists of a plastic grocery bag filled with antibacterial wipes, paper towels, a change of clothes (for the child), more plastic bags (for trash), and zipper bags (to hold dirty clothes and contain the smell).
While a long (6+ hours) road trip demands a video or two to kill the time, I like the kids to pack non-electronics like a drawing pad and colored pencils, pads of paper for hangman and tic-tac-toe, and a few books (our two non-carsick-prone kids can read in the car). I'm also packing some audiobooks for the whole family to enjoy along with some printable road trip games.
First Aid Supplies
I think it's really important to keep a full first-aid kit in your car. Not just on a road trip, but any time you're away from home (at the park, for example), those items are handy. I picked up this Johnson & Johnson First Aid Kit (above photo) with a Walgreens Paperless Coupon, then I'll add our personal extras (allergy meds, asthma meds, etc.) to make it work best for us.
Family Toiletries & Medicines
No matter where we're headed, we need sunscreen, bug spray and our maintenance meds. It saves money to shop and pack these items ahead of time rather than buying them at your destination. Still, if you forget something, check the Walgreens app right there in the store (or from your car) to save a little money on your purchase. With the Walgreens mobile app, you can even track your prescriptions and be sure you have what you need while you're out on vacation.
I know this differs for everyone, but I love a good playlist of sing-along songs for a road trip. This time around, my 8yo twins are helping plan the music, with all their favorites included. I have to say, I'm really glad we're over the days of preschool music. My girls like Pink, Coldplay, The Beatles, and songs from musicals (perfect for a family sing-along). I haven't decided yet if the Frozen Soundtrack will be allowed…we've only heard it a million times already.
Now that we're so reliant on apps for our route map, contacting friends and family we're visiting, etc., it's a good idea to have a car-friendly phone charger on hand.
What's a roadtrip without fun snacks? My kids know that for all the healthy, real food we eat at home, road trips are the one time they get to eat junk (with a few healthy things thrown in). I picked up a great selection of Nice! products like almonds, cashews, and treats to go along with the bananas and apples we always pack for the car.
I save the skinny bags that our daily newspaper comes in; they're perfect for car trash! I'm a stickler about keeping the car clean. It makes it a lot more pleasant for everyone riding in it and makes more room for pillows, blankies and other comforts from home.
What are your family's road trip essentials?