What to Take on A Road Trip with Kids
Blog - August 3, 2018

mural of a whale with boy sticking his hand in mouth

I received some of these items complimentary to facilitate this article.  There are also affiliate links in this post.  I only write about products that I like.  All opinions are my own.

How long do you take to make a list of what to take on a road trip with kids? We had been getting ready for this road trip for a year.  After living in Florida for 24 years, we decided to make a change and move back to Arizona, where I grew up.

Florida has been my home though, a place where I grew up as a person and blossomed into a young woman, got married and had children.

As we were preparing for the trip, I realized that I had never been on a road trip longer than a day.  Even a day trip, maybe four hours.  In those situations, you usually pack a few snacks and make one stop on the way.

But this time I knew it would be different.  The trip would take anywhere from 5-7 days.  I had to put together a road trip packing list. We needed things to do, snacks, devices, chargers, and things to keep the kids busy.

What to take on a cross country road trip with kids takes practice. What to bring is something that can change with age, but there are some basic items to take.

These are the top items for family road trips.

What Food to Take on A Road Trip with Kids

So, first things first; Snacks.  Without snacks one cannot survive on a road trip.  My kids are on the up and up when it comes to snacks.  They know about all of them.  So, at this point, goldfish and carrots are not the most exciting snacks.
We needed something with an edge.  Something new. So, I found MunchPak.  It is a subscription box with snacks from around the world.
This intrigued me because my husband and I grew up in Europe and have very different tastes in snacks.  So, we also want our children to be open minded to different foods and snacks.  They loved it!
It was so much fun to discover snacks from around the world with my boys and husband, who’s French.  We really appreciate different cultures and how they snack.
boy opening a box of cookies
There were so many fun things in the MunchPak and the best part is that it is customizable! This is a great road trip snack box because it’s fun and interesting for the whole family. You can also order MunchPak on Amazon.
two boys asleep in car
But you know what?  It’s not all about the kids.  I have to take care of myself and being mentally and physically prepared to deal with a week long road trip.
I started the KETO lifestyle and am loving it.  I’ve never felt better.  But it’s a bit of a challenge being an “on the go” mother and even more of a challenge going on a road trip.  I found MyKetoSnackBox, a low carb keto subscription box.

MyKetoSnackBox did not disappoint at all.  I loved trying every item in there!  You can do it month to month and cancel any time. One of my favorites is the Gorilly Goods Hillside Pumpkin Seed/Kale mix.

When traveling in a car, it’s all about keeping them busy.  We had some great items to keep them busy.  Not only did they thrive while doing them, they enjoyed the activities.  My kids were not bored, for six days straight. That’s a miracle!

What Activities to take on a Road Trip in the Car

I swear our ZoomKIT was a lifesaver from Kids Go Co.  I never expected it to be so useful and necessary.  Throughout the trip it was attached to my kids.  They took it on as a part of themselves and did everything on it.  Here we got stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire and my son used it while waiting.
boy eating chicken in the car
But it served so many more purposes, like eating.  This is the ZoomKIT ZoomSNACK Bento Style Lunchbox.  All we had to do is insert it in the ZoomKIT
boy sitting in a chair with crayons
And for play they have the Activity inserts.  For more information about ZoomKIT check out their site. Use code MOMJUNKY20 for 20% off entire cart. You can also find them on Amazon.
kid holding box of kid wonder subscription box
Kid Wonder Box has subscription boxes and also single box purchases like this one.  They truly send you a box of imagination.  My kids loved theirs!
This was their favorite project.  They especially liked the volcano erupting with the lava.  They also dug for dinosaur bones and got to discover the different species.  It was so much fun!
boy looking through binoculars
Binoculars are a great distraction for kids trapped in cars! They loved looking for anything flying in the sky or naming birds.  The Terra Kids Binoculars with Bag from HABA are perfect for outdoor activities too.  We like to take them to the park and go on an adventure!
I’m sure that when you travel, you have your iPads packed, movies saved and iPhone kid’s apps loaded.  But we all know that they don’t need to be plugged in for hours, right? That’s why I focused on so many activities.  I didn’t want them to have hours of screen time in the car. So, we brought books.  Yes, books.  I found some books at Target in the $1 section that were great for traveling with all 50 states to learn about.  I also got some travel journals and activity travel books from Lonely Planet Kids. The travel journals are great to have as keepsakes for when they are older.
boy paintng watercolors
OOLY is our “go to” for any art supplies.  My kids squeal with delight when they get an OOLY package, like these OOLY Chroma Blends travel watercolor palette .

These were by far the favorite for the kids, who got to color and blow up Mighty Swords.

boy blowing into a paper plane

They really kept them busy!  The OOLY 3D Colorables are also great for Birthday Parties.

child holding colored pencils

The OOLY Rainbow Colored Mechanical Pencils are fun and made my 6-year-old feel very grown up because they come with refills.  We absolutely love OOLY products.

notebook and mighty mini pens

Sometimes I sneak their stuff into my purse for my own special doodling time, like the Mighty Mini Colored Pens!

For more info click HERE or you can also buy from Amazon.

Staying Organized on a Cross Country Road Trip

I don’t know about you, but I am not organized and will find items from past trips in suitcases that I never knew I had!

boy pouring hand sanitizer

Because we go to so many public bathrooms, restaurants and hotels, it is important to stay sanitized.  My favorite one is the Everyone Hand Sanitizer Gel, Coconut and Lemon. It’s organic and made with plant-based glycerin and jojoba oil that helps hands feel moisturized.  My hands don’t dry out and it smells amazing!

We traveled through many states and got in and out of the car, in and out of   hotels and gift shops.  One thing that was helpful was the iBand Sling.
woman standing with a fanny pak
Instead of carrying a bulky purse and over stuffing it, the iBand Sling has pockets for it all, keys, cell phone, wallet, bottled water, and so much more.
man hiking

Staying organized is key because there is nothing worse that looking for items when your finishing up a days trip and just want to sleep in the hotel.

Freezer bags are perfect for organizing.  I put the kid’s underwear in them, both sizes separated in freezer bags, along with mine and my husbands. I also separated a couple of baggies of  clean outfits for both of the kids in the back of the car for emergencies.  You never know when there is spillage, an accident, or they just get caught in the rain and need a set of fresh clothes.
boy drawing on a paper maze
Getting organized, bringing activities that keep the kids busy (not make them zombies) and getting creative with snacks are key for how to travel cross country with kids under 6-years-old.   Everyone thought I was crazy to travel with kids this age for a whole week.  It was a blast and because we were prepared, it was a lot easier than we expected.
boy holding a blow up sword and shield
What do you do to prepare for big road trips?

It’s hard to know what things to pack for a road trip when traveling cross country. Hopefully this has helped.


  1. These great items sure looked like they helped you and your family travel for several days.

    I wish there were travel items like this when my children were little.

    Happy Trails to you and yours…….

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