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The Best Road Trip Essentials for Your Family’s Next Vacation Adventure

Planning a road trip for your family can be a challenge keeping the kids busy and occupied, but with these top must-have road trip essentials, you will be loving every minute of the car ride together! Whether you are driving nearby or across the country, this list will show you what you need for an epic vacation! 

Green Road Trip Billboard Sign

Darn you, Corona Virus!!!

We had so many fun things planned, and you had to go and ruin them all!!

You’ve pretty much wrecked all of our family vacations over the last 5 months!

We had planned trips to…

Arizona to see grandparents…Postponed ❌

A Basketball Tournament in Santa Barbara…Canceled ❌

Indiana to visit family…Scrapped ❌

A 7 Day Cruise to Mexico….Nixed ❌

Big Sur for Hiking…..Scratch that! ❌


So what’s an adventure-loving family gonna’ do??

Take a Road trip to ZION National Park in UTAH!!

Before we started our travel plans, my hubby and I decided we’d do this vacation “Old School Road Trip Style” to make it extra special for our kids!

So what does that exactly mean??

…first of all, we planned a few super fun and creative roadside stops on the way there! (I’ll share more about those soon!)

It also means that I would pack lots of activities, treats, and snacks to keep everyone occupied and in good spirits on our 7+ hour car ride there!

So my first stop in preparing for our “Old School Road Trip Style” was the Dollar Spot at Target, and I found all sorts of junky snacks that I normally don’t buy for our kids and a fun Car Bingo Game which you can also buy on Amazon.

(Note: The links in this post are AMAZON affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Read our full disclaimer policy here.)

I also printed out a bunch of silly road trip games from Pinterest that I will write an upcoming post about I promise!!

I put a snack and an activity in various paper bags (7 in all) and every hour the kids opened something new to eat and a game to help pass the time! It honestly made the trip fly by…I was actually shocked when an hour had passed and it was time to open another bag!

Here’s the blog post to show you how to make Road Trip Goodie Bags with easy instructions and free printable tags!

Road trip goodie Bags

We also made sure that we had all the other essentials packed and ready to go in the car…water bottles, emergency kits, air pods, travel pillows, extra phone charging cords, masks, hand sanitizers (it is still Covid-time after all!), and a few other must-haves to help make out trip as easy as possible!

Here are some of My Favorite Road Trip Essentials…

Road trip Essentials

1. // Inflatible Travel Pillow //

I’m a car sleeper…BIG TIME, and I never travel without a pillow of some sort! I love this one because it’s inflatable so when you are not using it, simply take out the air, and it takes up very little space!

2. // HydroFlask Water Bottle //

No matter where we go, we always take our own refillable water bottles…saves us money, and helps the Earth!

My teens swear that the HydroFlask is the best on the market, and bonus you look totally hip drinking out of one!

3. // Apple Airpods //

We have three teenagers in our family…one who loves hardcore Rap…need I say anymore??

Two Words: Apple Airpods

4. // Waterproof Car Trash Bin //

With snacks and meals on the road, the trash seems to expand when we travel. I love this particular garbage can because it is waterproof, so a spilled drink won’t get all over your vehicle!

5. // Electronic Organizer //

iPads, and phones, and cords, and chargers, oh my!!! This travel electronic organizer will keep all of your gadgets organized and easy to find!

6. // Car Seat Organizer //

If you are traveling with kids, especially “littles”, then this car seat organizer with foldable tray is perfect for keeping all of their travel essentials in one spot…tablet holder, tissue dispenser, and drink holder!

7. // Car Travel Bingo //

We found our travel bingo cards at the Dollar Spot at Target but these are almost identical! We actually played several times driving to Zion and on the way home, and not to toot my own horn, but I played with the kids and may have been a force to be reckoned with!! Watch out, momma’s good at Bingo!!

8. // Face Masks //

I’m hoping one day soon this won’t be on my essentials list, but we definitely needed our face masks during this road trip due to the current pandemic.

9. // Car Power Converter & USB Charger //

5 people with 2 devices each…one car…you do the math! This multi-USB changer is a MUST for any road trip!!

10. // Car Trunk Organizer //

With all sorts of travel gear floating around the back of my SUV, having a trunk organizer is so handy!! What I love about this one is that it’s collapsible, so when you don’t need it, fold it flat, and it takes up none of your precious cargo space!

11. // 10 Foot Phone Charger //

Yes, you read that right…10 FEET!! This bad boy can reach the back of my SUV so even our poor son who always gets stuck sitting in the back of the car can charge his phone!

12. // Roadside Emergency Kit //

SAFETY FIRST!! This vehicle emergency kit has it all…jumper cables, first aid kit, tow rope, tire pressure gauge, warning triangles, and much more! Here’s to being prepped for “Murphy’s Law”!

13. // Silicone Travel Bottles //

These refillable silicone bottles are perfect for hand sanitizer, and each person in your family gets their own!

So there you have it, friends…my top road trip essentials!

Did I miss anything?

What do you take with you that I should include on my list?

Until next time, cheers to making memories on family road trips, and cheers to you!



Want more road trip inspiration? Check out my ROAD TRIP IDEAS, GAMES & ACTIVITIES Pinterest Board!

Magan Weber

Your Go-To Mama For 

Organizing Your Health

Home, & Happiness

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