My must-haves when road trip with kids

A good preparation leads to a fulfilled trip. That’s why it’s important to carefully pack your belongings before every traveling occasion, especially when you have your babies accompanied. Road trips with kids means there is much more stuff to bring than ever before. If you have no idea what to pack for the journey, this post may possibly help. Here are a round up of my must-haves when road trip with kids (speaking from my 4+ years traveling with my daughter ever since she was 10 months old).

must-haves when road trip with kids
Kids’ busy bag

Yes, this is so important. It’s common knowledge that we’re gonna spend hours driving during every road trip and children hate waiting. They get bored easily and boredom results in misbehaviors. Unless you want your babies to be out of control, you must prepare a busy bag which contains toys, games, or anything that keeps them busy. A busy bag may include coloring books, shape-matching games, small toys, etc. I also bring her iPad with learning games and downloaded kids shows for her to entertain on long drives when she’s bored of all the toys.

Fresh water

It’s a long way driving and you surely don’t want to be dried out along the way. Keeping yourself and your babies hydrated is by far necessary. Water plays a crucial role in uplifting people’s mood and energy. Therefore, drinking enough water wakes up your sense of enjoying and having fun.

Bring more than 2 outfits per day for your toddlers

It’s my own rule to bring at least 3 outfits per day for my daughter. She’s gonna need to change clothes frequently due to playing and experiencing things outdoors. Toddlers love playing and playing messes up their outfit so easily. It’s normal to see your children covered with dirt just 5 mins after you dress them up. Dirty clothes means they have fun. Just make sure you prepare your kid(s) some spare clothes!

Lots of wipes

Wipes are my number 1 must have when going out with little one. I bring lots of wipes every time I have road trips with my daughter. They are a quick and convenient way to clean dirty hands, faces and messy tables on-the-go when you don’t have access to clean water.


Snack is key when it comes to long drives with kids! Speaking from my experience with my daughter, snacks keep her happy. Make sure you bring enough snacks for your babies/kids during the trip just in case they’re hungry or simply bored. Don’t forget about yourself, the adults also love to have snacks to keep them stay energized while driving.

Your kids’ most favorite item(s)

My daughter loves her stuffed animal friends. Of course I have to bring one of those beloved friends with her everywhere we go. She really enjoys talking or playing pretend with her friend in the car. If your toddlers outstandingly like any toys or teddies, make sure those items are packed with you along the trip. I am sure they work best at soothing your babies feeling and mood.

Baby instant medical box

Okay, this is the most important thing. You may not use it every trip. However, it is that one thing you want to have on hand when unexpected things happed. I don’t ever forget when it comes to vacation packing. This box must include a baby first-aid kit, a thermometer, antipyretics for baby, bud-spray, sunblock, pain-relievers, alcohol wipes, etc. You can find lots of compact options on Amazon such as this one. Be prepared for unexpected situations because who knows what’s gonna happen!

These above things are my indispensable items, my must-haves in every road trip with kids. On a separate blog post, I am sharing my top 5 family friendly activities for Fall in Arizona that might be helpful. Life is full of journeys and explorations, have a good packing and head forwards, wonderful experiences are waiting for you! Hopefully that my sharing can help you anyways <3 

top 7 must haves when road trip with kids

Simple on-the-go activities for toddlers

It’s common knowledge that kids hate waiting. They hate waiting for food, waiting in lines and especially waiting in the car during a long drive. Therefore, keeping your toddlers busy is key for long road trips. There are several simple on-the-go activities for toddlers worth borrowing to ease your children, let’s check it out.

Prepare a “busy bag”

A bag of tricks will surely entertain your toddlers for hours. What you need to do is create a bag of different types of toys and games that your babies normally love playing at home. Simply include sticker books, coloring books, small dolls or robots, colorful flashcards, etc. Kids get bored with the same toys easily so you may need to alter many types of things to keep them entertained. Do prepare 1 or 2 new toys in the bag just in case. They don’t have to be expensive. You can find lots of affordable on-the-go toys on Amazon.

Keep an eye out

Allow your babies to look outside the window and ask them questions about what they see out there. The scenery along the road plays a perfect role to attract toddlers’ attention for a while. You can also communicate with your kids by asking them to describe what they see. You can also teach them new things about vehicles or trees that show up on the way. My daughter loves telling me what color of the vehicles or the houses she sees on the road.

Play a copycat game

Another fun activity you can play with your little ones is the copycat game. Tell them to do as you’re doing. You can use your hand to make some funny shapes and ask them to copy the action or you can simply rub your belly 5 times and see if they can do the exact number of actions. This game can keep your little one busy. It also helps stimulate your kids’ responsiveness to some certain actions and situations. 

Tell stories

All children love listening to fairy tales. Therefore, bringing a book of stories collection to read for your babies on the way is not a bad idea. Listening to stories not only keep your child away from boredom, but also have amazing impacts on improving their vocabularies and boosting their imaginative level. You can also find stories online without having to bring too many books.

Sing together

Turn on a playlist of their favorite nursery songs and sing with them along the beat. You can also clap your hands and teach them to do the same thing while singing. My daughter is addicted to singing and she loves to sing with me. That’s why my phone is now full of kindergarten rhymes and songs which I will play during the drive time to ease my little angel.

Communicate about life

If you notice that your preschoolers love talking, make time to communicate with them. You may need to have some simple conversations by asking them several easy questions like: “What color do you like?”, “What is your name, baby?”, “What kind of toys do you love playing?”, “Do you love mama / dada?”, “Let’s count from 1 to 20”, etc. These simple questions work effectively as a bored-reliever and your babies won’t have time to express their anger during the go. 

Bring snack

If all the above solutions fail, food wins the children’s hearts, right? Giving them their beloved snack may help to calm them down for couples of minutes.

Sitting in a car-seat for hours is a disaster if there’s no activities to draw your child’s attention away from getting tired and upset.  I hope that these simple on-the-go activities for toddlers will be helpful. Kids are unpredictable and we all need to be well-prepared before any road trip. Don’t forget to pack all the needed things to serve your little highness in any unexpected situations. I hope all the above ideas will help to make it easier for a smooth and happy travelling time. Speaking of traveling, check out my previous post sharing thoughtful gift ideas for travelers.