Now That Your Car is Ready, How Do You Prepare for a Family Road Trip?

Once you’ve gotten your car in good working order, it might be time for a road trip. Taking a vacation can be an excellent reward, and getting out on the open road can be especially cathartic. But packing up the family for a trip requires planning. To help make sure you have everything covered, here are some tips to make the venture enjoyable for everyone.

Now That Your Car is Ready, How Do You Prepare for a Family Road Trip?

Snacks and Drinks

While you will likely be stopping on a regular basis, it’s helpful to have some of your family’s favorite snacks and drinks on hand during the trip. However, it is important to consider how messy certain foods or beverages can be when you decide on what to bring.

Choose snacks that won’t make a mess when they are eaten. Avoid foods that produce crumbs or are sticky or greasy. Make sure all of the drinks can be closed, especially if you are traveling with young children, as this will help prevent accidentally spills.


Not everyone is comfortable at the same temperature, so having options to keep passengers warm (especially if the driver prefers it a bit cooler) can help make the trip more enjoyable for everyone. Consider packing several throw blankets to help keep everyone cozy during the ride. As a bonus, they can also be used in the hotel room if the provided bedding isn’t as warm as some people would like.

Paper Products

Paper towels, tissues, and even toilet paper are handy to bring on a road trip. You never know when a spill or a sneeze might happen, and rest area bathrooms may not always be well stocked. While you might not end up needing any of the paper products you bring, it is certainly better to have them available should the need arise.

Trash Bags

Since you will be eating and drinking on the road, having a few trash bags to collect wrappers and empty bottles helps keep everything clean and organized in between stops. Look for smaller sized bags, instead of full-sized kitchen ones, and you might be able to bring the entire roll without it taking up much space. Then, simply toss the bag or empty it out whenever you cross paths with a trash can.

Taking an Infant? Here are Some Additional Items to Pack You Might Not Think Of

Traveling with an infant requires many other items, including diapers, wipes, and possibly formula. While most of these are predictable, there are other things that can help make your journey more pleasant.

For example, if you are going to be staying overnight with friends or family, you can bring the best wifi baby monitor you have available for use during the trip. That way, when it is time for the baby to sleep, you can spend time with your hosts while still keeping an eye on your baby’s needs.

Similarly, bringing a few of their favorite toys can make them feel more comfortable, and a portable crib can give them a safe place to sleep and play if your hosts don’t have one available.

By packing right, you can make sure your road trip will be remembered for all of the right reasons. Making sure everyone is comfortable, safe, hydrated, and well fed can help get things off to the best start, and can make your overnight stays more pleasant as well.

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