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The important highway journey packing record with children

There’s nothing just like the lure of the open highway to present you itchy ft – however tempting although it’s to simply bounce within the automotive and go, for a visit to recollect, don’t set off with out studying my highway journey packing record with children first.

Girl in floppy hat and sunglasses sitting in front of suitcase and other luggage in the back of a car - my road trip packing list with kids
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Driving may be an effective way to discover as a household: my daughter ventured down the Pacific Coast Freeway earlier than she turned 4, whereas there’s a lot extra highway journey inspiration to be discovered, from Route 66 and the American Midwest to Eire and a drive alongside the Nice West Means in England.

So whether or not you’re beginning gradual and staying near dwelling or lastly ticking off your bucket record journey, this household highway journey packing record is filled with suggestions, necessities to recollect, concepts of what to pack and extra recommendation to keep away from being requested ‘Are we practically there but?’ earlier than you get 5 minutes from dwelling.

Automobile Necessities

While you get within the automotive for a highway journey, there’s lots that may are available helpful (as a result of it’s simpler than stopping one million instances to seize the belongings you forgot!) however earlier than don’t overlook the necessities that you really want to have with you for a highway journey with children.

So step one on this household highway journey packing record is these belongings you completely shouldn’t overlook to make your journey extra comfy, protected, and enjoyable.

For extra tips about planning a highway journey with children, try my prime suggestions

Automobile seat

In case you have young children, it goes with out saying that you just’ll want a automotive seat that’s applicable for his or her age, peak, and weight.

When you’re planning a household highway journey overseas and need to take your individual automotive seat, ensure it complies with native regulation – in any other case you’re in all probability restricted to hiring one alongside together with your automotive.

Booster seats

For older youngsters who not want full automotive seats, however aren’t but tall sufficient to take a seat in a seat with a seatbelt.

Excessive-back booster seats are the best choice however should you’re searching for choices which take much less area, try the MiFold booster seat and Bubblebum inflatable booster seat

A retro vintage style toy car - my tips on the essentials to pack for a road trip with kids


Whether or not you like to make use of a separate satnav, Google Maps or one other app in your telephone, having an excellent GPS system to present instructions is fairly properly important should you’re unfamiliar with the world you’re visiting – and helpful even should you’ve visited earlier than.


Even when you have a GPS system, it’s at all times a good suggestion to have a map of the world you’re visiting, in case your GPS system fails otherwise you lose reception.

When you don’t need to purchase a e-book of maps for a single journey, think about printing out instructions as a back-up, however should you’re planning a protracted highway journey, a map of the world is sweet to have at hand.

Snacks and drinks

Having snacks and drinks out there in your children (and your self!) will assist to maintain everybody comfortable in your highway journey – check out my suggestions for the greatest highway journey snacks for teenagers

Actions for teenagers

I’ve acquired a complete publish on the most effective highway journey actions for teenagers, with over 50 concepts of how to entertain everybody on a protracted drive.

Run out of time to plan? Convey alongside some fidget toys as a simple answer – small, quiet and so they received’t make a large number!

First-aid package

Nobody likes to assume you’ll want a first-aid package, however from sudden teething to minor accidents in addition to journey illness or sickness, it pays to have one at hand within the automotive.

Take a look at my important first help guidelines for concepts on what you want for your loved ones travels

A retro style tin marked first aid case surrounded by medicine and bandages - my essential child first aid kit should be among the things to pack for a road trip with kids

Emergency provides

Identical to the primary help package, it’s a good suggestion to hope for the most effective however plan for the sudden, so at all times preserve some emergency provides in your automotive, resembling a flashlight, a whistle, and a blanket.

Some nations additionally require you to have a particular breakdown package – should you’re driving in Europe, test this record.

Spare tire

Though it’s not a authorized requirement in lots of nations (though it’s in Spain, apparently!), having a spare tyre in your automotive – and one which’s highway authorized – is unquestionably an excellent plan in case you get a flat throughout your journey.

Automobile insurance coverage

Not like the spare tire, it’s a authorized requirement to have automotive insurance coverage – ensure you’ve acquired any obligatory paperwork earlier than you set off in your highway journey.

When you’re driving overseas, test your insurance coverage covers you there, or that you just’ve acquired appropriate cowl for any rental automotive.

Important paperwork

It goes with out saying to ensure you have your driver’s license (and that it hasn’t unexpectedly expired) – however ensure you even have every other paperwork you want (scroll down for extra suggestions).

When you’re driving overseas, this could possibly be something from an Worldwide Driver’s Allow to journey insurance coverage.

make the automotive journey comfy

Whether or not you’re in your individual car or a rental, automotive rides may be something however comfy – and uncomfortable children (or adults!) are sad ones.

From sensible necessities to concepts for leisure, this household highway journey packing record is simply what that you must ensure the entire household is as comfy as doable alongside the route! 

Moveable DVD participant

In case your children get bored simply, a transportable DVD participant generally is a lifesaver on a protracted automotive journey.

If your loved ones suffers from journey illness, audio books generally is a good various: a subscription from Audible is my prime advice!

iPad or pill

In case your children get to make use of a pill as you journey, ensure it’s charged and any apps or content material you need are already downloaded earlier than you set off.

Flatlay of colourful stationery including pens, markers, highlighters, notebook and more - from dot to dot books to drawing and playing with a spirograph, packing pens is among my top road trip activities for kids

Coloring books and crayons

These are at all times a traditional method to preserve children entertained, and so they don’t take up an excessive amount of area in your automotive. Washable crayons and washable markers are at all times an excellent plan although!

For my full set of highway journey actions for teenagers, try this record

Video games and puzzles

With numerous selection, these are at all times a enjoyable method to move the time on a protracted automotive experience, whether or not you select household video games, conventional automotive video games or one thing for the youngsters alone.

Take a look at a few of my concepts for toddler journey toys and for age 5+

Journey pillow and blanket

Journey pillows and blankets are nice to have, whether or not you’re hoping your children nap and sleep, or just need to make them extra comfy alongside the best way,

You too can get some nice seatbelt pillows for teenagers to make it comfier to relaxation their heads on lengthy drives – in addition to these easy seatbelt pillows, youthful children will love these plush animal variations or the animal-themed Yondi neck pillow.

Reminiscence foam pillow

If you need extra help than a journey pillow, a reminiscence foam pillow might help preserve children extra comfy, together with smaller sizes which can be helpful for highway journeys.

Automobile organizer

Having a automotive organizer may be useful for storing all the snacks, drinks, toys, and different gadgets that you must carry in your journey, in addition to for security causes.

I’ve acquired a Diono Journey Pal which has area for bottles and room to retailer books, video games, tablets and extra.

Moveable speaker

A conveyable speaker may be an effective way to maintain everybody within the again entertained (or headphones should you desire to not be!)


should you’re touring with multiple little one, headphones generally is a useful method to preserve them from combating over what to hearken to.

For youthful children, little one headphones with a quantity limiter generally is a good choice.

Goldfish crackers spill out from a child's purple snack cup - choosing the best road trip snacks for kids


it’s at all times a good suggestion to have loads of snacks and drinks out there for everybody, whether or not you’re searching for one thing straightforward, one thing to assist children with movement illness, one thing for choosy eaters or wholesome choices.

I do know I’ve stated it earlier than, however you possibly can’t have too many snacks!

Take a look at my suggestions for the greatest highway journey snacks for teenagers

Chewing gum

In case your children (otherwise you) are affected by ear ache on lengthy automotive rides, chewing gum generally is a good answer as soon as they’re sufficiently old.

Trash luggage

Ever acquired out of your automotive on the finish of a highway journey and sighed on the mess left behind? (In fact you will have, all of us have).

So having some spare luggage out there may be useful for maintaining your automotive clear alongside the best way.

Important documentation for a highway journey with children 

Along with your driver’s license and registration, there are just a few different issues it is best to ensure to carry with you in your journey

Automobile insurance coverage data

In case of an accident, you’ll have to have your automotive insurance coverage data out there.

Worldwide documentation

When you’re travelling abroad, ensure you have an Worldwide Drivers Allow if it’s wanted, or every other required data for the vacation spot, together with journey insurance coverage.

When you’re renting a automotive overseas, some nations might have proof of insurance coverage or official affirmation that you just don’t have factors in your driving license, for instance.

Roadside help particulars

when you have roadside help, like an AAA membership within the US, Inexperienced Flag, RAC or the AA within the UK, ensure you have your particulars at hand, simply in case.

Emergency contact data

It’s at all times a good suggestion to have any helpful contact data with you in case of an emergency – once more, should you’re travelling overseas, ensure you know the related numbers and that your telephone will work.

Stack of various travel maps on a open map background - packing paper maps is useful in an emergency if you're planning a road trip with kids

Map and instructions

When you’re touring to a brand new space, it’s be useful to have a map of the world with you, together with an old style paper map in case GPS or reception fails.

It’s additionally price printing out instructions to your vacation spot or lodging should you’re not aware of the world – having a string of landmarks to look out for might help should you’re asking for assist, or to save lots of you looking out road names on a map.

At all times, at all times, at all times let somebody know the place you’re going and what time you assume you’ll be there too, for added safety.

Clothes and toiletries for a highway journey with children 

Evidently, clothes and toiletries are a must have for highway journeys too! But it surely’s not simply what you pack, it’s the way you pack it…

When you’re stopping for a single evening alongside the best way to your closing vacation spot, attempt to preserve a separate small bag filled with in a single day necessities quite than having to unpack all the luggage.

Take a look at my tips about clothes and toiletries to think about for a highway journey with children or for a extra in-depth packing record, try my 23-page journey planner.

A change of garments for everybody

It goes with out saying that you just’ll have spare garments packed, nevertheless it’s a good suggestion to have a change of garments for everybody within the automotive (or very simply accessible) in case of spills or accidents.

Place the additional pair of clothes in a resealable bag, so it’s each straightforward to seize if wanted and means you will have one thing to place the dirty garments in while you change. 

Midsection of young woman packing suitcase on bed - my tips on what to pack for a road trip with kids


When you’re touring in the course of the summer season otherwise you’re going to be close to any our bodies of water (that are protected to swim in), swimsuits generally is a lifesaver to interrupt up a protracted journey.

Even should you don’t plan on swimming, it may be price bringing a swimsuit (and towel) with you for sudden stops or additional pool time.

Solar hats and sun shades

Really easy to overlook while you’re targeted on the large issues, however solar hats and sun shades are one of the crucial essential issues you possibly can carry on a household highway journey.

It’s not only for the vacation spot both, though for summer season breaks, they’ll be important to guard everybody from the solar. On shiny days, you’ll possible need sun shades within the automotive for in the course of the journey too.

Rain jackets

When you’re hitting the highway when there’s rain forecast, don’t overlook your raincoat – and that is one you actually do need to have at hand contained in the automotive (you’ll be grateful while you don’t need to race spherical within the pouring rain to fish it out!)

Heat clothes/layers

On the identical notice, ensure you pack clothes for cool climate, whether or not that’s additional layers, scarves or heat clothes out there for everybody within the automotive when you attain the vacation spot.

Until you’re heading someplace with assured solar, higher to be ready so dressing in layers is at all times an excellent plan when the forecast is promising solar, cloud and rain!

Snug sneakers

Having a snug pair of sneakers is at all times a good suggestion for lengthy automotive journeys – ideally ones that are straightforward to tug on and take off as wanted.

Silver cosmetics bag with various bottles and tubes of beauty products and toiletries poking out of the top - my essential list if you're packing for a road trip with kids


When you can often cease and choose up necessities alongside the best way, there’s no enjoyable making an enormous detour simply to purchase toothpaste.

Even should you’re planning to refill on on a regular basis gadgets later within the journey, when you have specific merchandise in your children’ delicate pores and skin or your individual favorite manufacturers, it’s price ensuring you’ve packed sufficient for the entire journey.

And for shorter breaks, it makes life simpler to pack all the things you want on a each day or common foundation – from shampoo and conditioner to deodorant – in addition to any extras like treatments for journey illness. Having a roll of bathroom paper is at all times an excellent plan too, even should you don’t count on to wish it.

Leisure concepts for a highway journey with children

Taking a highway journey with children generally is a nice bonding expertise for the entire household, making some incredible recollections and in addition be a complete lot of enjoyable!

But it surely will also be a bit difficult to maintain everybody comfortable and entertained throughout these lengthy automotive rides. Listed below are some leisure concepts to make your subsequent highway journey packing record with children full – or try my full record of greater than 50 of the most effective highway journey actions for teenagers

Audio Books

Obtain some audiobooks for the youngsters to hearken to in the course of the drive – that is higher than books or films in the event that they endure from journey illness too. In addition to their favorite tales, you possibly can try non-fiction titles so they may study one thing new whereas additionally passing the time.

We’ve a subscription to Audible which has been a lifesaver on automotive journeys lengthy and quick.

Video games

Convey alongside some moveable video games that everybody can take pleasure in, particularly when you have siblings who’ll play within the again as you drive.

Journey variations of traditional video games like Monopoly or Scrabble are at all times standard, should you don’t fancy making an attempt one thing new.

Motion pictures

In case you have a transportable DVD participant, carry alongside a few of the household’s best-loved films to observe for a spot of downtime. This may be an effective way to loosen up and unwind after a protracted day of driving as properly.

Boy smiling with headphones on while sitting in the back of a car - the best road trip activities for kids, including audio books and music


Ensure that to carry alongside some enjoyable music for the automotive experience, each to entertain and assist preserve everybody’s power up.

You may stick together with your best-loved tunes or singalong favorites, however for some added enjoyable make a playlist that hyperlinks to your vacation spot, so everytime you hear the observe once more, it’ll take you straight again to your loved ones journey.

One phrase of warning: you want extra songs on there than you assume, otherwise you’ll find yourself listening to the identical ones again and again and over…


Drawing or puzzle books and crayons/markers are at all times successful with children, with numerous totally different choices to assist them keep occupied in the course of the drive and in addition create some paintings impressed by the journey as a memento.

Lap books/exercise books

In case you have young children, then lap books generally is a lifesaver, with quite a lot of actions to maintain toddlers and young children busy – all the things from lift-the-flap pages to different hands-on enjoyable.

Necessities for highway journeys with infants & toddlers

Infants and younger youngsters generally is a handful at the most effective of instances, so the very last thing you need to do is be caught within the automotive with them for hours on finish with out being ready.

When you’re fortunate, once they’re youthful, they’ll nap when you set off: planning your drive round naptime and bedtime is at all times an excellent plan too.

However you possibly can’t at all times depend on little ones to sleep while you want them to, so here’s a record of important gadgets it is best to ensure you have in your automotive earlier than setting off on a highway journey with infants and toddlers.

  • Moveable Potty – as dad and mom know, younger youngsters typically have bother holding it in for lengthy durations of time, so a transportable potty is a must have on any highway journey. Evidently, plan loads of breaks to attempt to keep away from any emergency stops!
  • Diaper/nappy altering necessities – ensure you have loads of nappies/diapers, wipes, luggage and cream packed and simply accessible.
  • Loads of child toys – seize just a few teething toys to assist preserve little ones distracted in the course of the drive. In case your child is teething, preserve the primary help package shut at hand as properly.

get all the things organized within the automotive for a highway journey

When you’ve acquired all of your necessities, from paperwork to packing, take a bit of additional time to get organized earlier than your highway journey with your loved ones.

Woman looking at a travel packing list in a notebook - you can never have too many lists when planning a road trip with kids

Planning a highway journey with your loved ones shouldn’t cease at plotting the vacation spot into your route map, so listed here are just a few suggestions that will help you get began:

  • Hold an inventory – from notes of what you’ve acquired to take to what you’ve acquired to kind out, a planning record (or lists!) will assist make sure you don’t overlook something essential. Take a look at my full household journey planner for concepts of all the things you would possibly want in your journey – out there in shiny colours and extra impartial shades
  • Pack an in a single day bag – embrace gadgets resembling a change of garments, toiletries, and any drugs you could want.
  • Pack a cooler/cool bag – that is important for lengthy drives. Fill it with snacks and drinks to maintain everybody fuelled up.
  • Arrange your automotive – ensure all the things has a spot so it doesn’t find yourself scattered everywhere in the automotive. Use automotive organizers to maintain issues in place within the again, or small luggage for these ‘simply in case’ back-ups.
  • Go away room for everybody – you might need crammed in all of the packing, however being squashed into a decent area received’t be an ideal begin to your journey. In order you pack up the automotive, be mindful everybody else that’s touring with you and go away sufficient legroom.

While you’re planning a protracted highway journey, there’s at all times loads to remember, so the following pointers are supposed as a place to begin that will help you ensure you’re ready for a highway journey with your loved ones.

Take a look at a few of my different posts for extra concepts of planning a highway journey with children, tips on how to preserve children entertained on a highway journey, highway journey snacks, in addition to journey checklists.

This publish incorporates affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I could obtain a small fee

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