Ultimate Family Road Trip Packing List – 50+ Essential Items You Don’t Want To Forget

If you are preparing for a family road trip you’ll want to check out this road trip packing list to ensure you have all the…

If you are preparing for a family road trip you’ll want to check out this road trip packing list to ensure you have all the essentials for a successful trip.

road trip packing list

Road trips can be an incredible family experience but the preparation and packing beforehand can feel a bit overwhelming. There are a lot of important things that need to be brought in order for the trip to go smoothly.

I know this because each year our family of 5 (plus two fur babies) takes a 20+ hour road trip. As the one in charge of ALL the packing for this trip, I have come up with the ultimate road trip packing list. This list and printable will help make the preparations for your next family trip a breeze.

This road trip packing list has all of the travel essentials you’ll need as well as a printable to help you track what you’ve packed.

After reading this road trip packing list you will feel so much more at ease when preparing for your family road trip.

This post is all about a road trip packing list.

Road Trip Packing List

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read the full disclosure for more information.

road trip essentials

Car Essentials

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Car Trash Can

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First Aid Kit

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When packing for your road trip, these are some basic car essentials you don’t want to forget!

  1. Hand Sanitizer
  2. Baby Wipes- even if you don’t have a baby these come in handy for wiping fingers and cleaning spills
  3. Bleach Wipes
  4. Paper Towel- We keep a roll of paper towels in the vehicle at all times even when we are not taking long road trips.
  5. First Aid Kit
  6. Trash Bag – Throughout your trip, you’ll accumulate trash so make sure you have a central spot to keep it all.
  7. Cash & Change- You will want both cash and coins if you plan to travel through any states with tolls.
  8. Pen
  9. Flashlight
  10. Jumper Cables
  11. Tire Pressure Gauge
  12. Registration
  13. Proof of Insurance- Your registration and proof of insurance aren’t just for long road trips. This are everyday car essentials. If your glove box tends to get messy and fill up with miscellaneous items, then you might want to consider an insurance and registration holder like this to keep those important documents at the ready.
  14. Ice Scraper
  15. Blanket
  16. Driver’s License
  17. Phone Holder
  18. Multi-Tool
  19. Face Masks
  20. Oil
  21. Windshield Wiper Fluid
  22. Car Manual
  23. Umbrella

Car Registration & Insurance Holder

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Road Trip Electronics

If you are bringing along any electronics make sure to charge them all up the day before your trip. An electronic organizer like this would be so helpful in keeping them all in one place. I swear, on our trips, we are constantly rummaging through bags searching for a cord so this organizer is definitely on my list of things to get before our trip this summer.

Here are some electronics you might want to include on your road trip packing list.

  1. Phone
  2. Phone Charger
  3. Phone Charger for the Car
  4. Camera
  5. Camera Charger
  6. Headphones
  7. Kindle
  8. DVD Player
  9. Tablet
  10. Laptop
  11. Laptop Charger
  12. Video Games

Electronic Organizer

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Car Power Inverter

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Food and Drink Essentials for Your Road Trip

road trip packing list printable

On our family road trip, we try to eat as much as we can in the vehicle to save both time and money. Every time we stop for food I swear it adds an hour to our (already long) trip. To minimize our stops, I pack plenty of snacks and food.

Here are the essentials you’ll want to pack when it comes to eating in the vehicle. I will note, that I did not include paper towels in this section because I already have it listed with car essentials but you will most definitely need the paper towels if you plan to eat in the vehicle.

  1. Cooler– It can be useful to have a large one in the trunk and a smaller cooler up front for easy access.
  2. Ice
  3. Food
  4. Water- I like to pick up the gallon jugs. You can keep a few jugs up front and the rest in the trunk.
  5. Reusable Water Bottles (for each person)- Use the water jugs to refill each person’s water bottle.
  6. Ziploc Bags of various sizes
  7. Plastic Silverware-Make sure you bring plastic knives if you plan to make sandwiches

We typically eat breakfast and lunch in the vehicle on our road trip. For breakfast, we usually bring some bagels and cream cheese, muffins, or individual cereal cups.

Word of caution on the cereal: If you have young kids this may not be the best option because if it gets spilled you might be smelling rotten milk your entire ride.

For lunches, we bring a loaf of bread and make sandwiches. We will bring a jar of peanut butter, as well as, lunch meat and cheese. For the condiment I either pack a stick of butter or a small size container of mayo.

Road Trip Snacks

Here are some of the snacks we like to include on our road trip packing list.

  • apples
  • bananas
  • clementines
  • string cheese
  • granola bars
  • pretzels & hummus
  • trail mix

Stackable Snack Container

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Igloo Cooler

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When it comes to storing the food, I do a large cooler in the trunk and then a small cooler up front for easy access. In the morning, I will keep the breakfast foods in the small cooler up front. Then, after breakfast whenever we make a stop for gas or to use the bathroom I will move the breakfast foods to the trunk cooler and bring the lunch foods to the front cooler.

Toiletries For Your Road Trip

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  1. Shampoo
  2. Conditioner
  3. Face Wash
  4. Body Wash
  5. Deodorant
  6. Tooth Brush
  7. Tooth Paste
  8. Mouth Wash
  9. Floss
  10. Lotion
  11. Medications
  12. Vitamins
  13. Hair Brush
  14. Hair Ties
  15. Hair Styling Tools (curling iron, straightener, blow dryer, etc.)
  16. Hair Products (leave-in conditioner, gel, mousse, hairspray, etc.)
  17. Makeup
  18. Makeup Remover
  19. Feminine Products
  20. Razor
  21. Shaving Cream
  22. Contact Lenses
  23. Contact Solution
  24. Glasses
  25. Sunscreen

Toiletry Travel Bag

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3oz Travel Bottles

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Clothes to Pack for a Road Trip

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  1. Pajamas
  2. T-Shirt
  3. Long Sleeve
  4. Tank Top
  5. Sweatshirt
  6. Shorts
  7. Pants
  8. Underwear
  9. Socks
  10. Bra/Sports Bra
  11. Swimsuit
  12. Jacket
  13. Tennis Shoes
  14. Sandals
  15. Workout Clothes
  16. Sunglasses
  17. Jewelry
  18. Hat
  19. Belt

Road Trip Essentials For Toddlers & Babies

road trip parents guide
  1. Diapers
  2. Pull-Ups
  3. Wipes
  4. Bottles
  5. Milk/Formula
  6. Changing Pad
  7. Change of Clothes for the Vehicle
  8. Pacifier
  9. Potty Chair
  10. Potty Chair Liners
  11. Blanket
  12. SIppy Cup
  13. Monitor
  14. Monitor Charger
  15. Stroller
  16. Pack N Play
  17. Diaper Bag
  18. Diaper Cream
  19. Infant Tylenol
  20. Thermometer
  21. Spill Free Snack Cup
  22. Bib
  23. Burp Rag
  24. Swim Diaper
  25. Baby Carrier
  26. Toys
  27. Breast Pump & Parts
  28. Milk Storage Bags

Frida Baby Potty

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Potty Liners

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Pet Essentials for Your Road Trip Packing List

road trip packing

If you have fur babies like me, you’ll want to check out these pet essentials when making your road trip packing list.

  1. Food/Water Bowls– If you don’t already have these you might want to consider getting some awesome collapsable bowls for travel.
  2. Food
  3. Measuring Cup for Food
  4. Leash
  5. Pet Bed
  6. Poop Bags
  7. Toys
  8. Treats
  9. Preventative Medicine
  10. Collar & Tags
  11. Brush
  12. Crate
  13. Vaccination Records
  14. Microchip #
  15. Towel for Paws
  16. Lint Roller

Collapsible Dog Bowls

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Dog Travel Bag

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Road Trip Activities

If you are traveling with kids, then road trip activities are a MUST! If you need some ideas here are some fun things to do in the car.

Conversation Cards

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Travel Bingo

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For even more road trip activities check out my post 49 Fun Things To Do In The Car (Besides Eating & Sleeping) To Keep Your Kids Occupied On A Long Car Ride.

road trip packing tips

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Road Trip Packing List Tips

*If you plan to stay at a hotel then pack a tote/bag with everyone’s items for that one night (pajamas, clothes for the next day, toothbrush, toothpaste, pet food, etc.). Carrying in only one bag makes it SO much easier especially if you’re checking into a hotel late at night. It will save you (or your husband) multiple trips out to the vehicle.

*Have each of your kids pack a backpack for the vehicle. In it, they can have all of their activities (headphones, books, stuffy, blanket, games, etc). It will be easy for them to carry and then they can be in charge of their backpack.

*If you are traveling during the winter make sure you have emergency winter gear in your vehicle such as blankets, boots, snow pants, jackets, hats, and mittens.

*If you are making your own road trip packing list make sure to separate items such as phone and charger. It is so easy to subconsciously pass over one of these items and jump to the next even if you haven’t packed it (speaking from experience).

Road Trip Packing List Printable

Here is the free printable road trip packing list for you to print.

road trip packing ideas

Blank Road Trip Packing List Template

I also created a blank road trip packing list for you to fill in because I know how important it is to have a list with ALL the things you need to bring. You can download this below or save this post for future use!

road trip packing list for families

This Post Was All About A Road Trip Packing List

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