Car Road-Trip Packing List – With Free Printable!

Car Road-Trip Packing List – With Free Printable!

Welcome Travelers!

As a mother of twins and a lover of all things Travel, I wanted to share with you what we do not leave home without on long car rides. This could mean a shorter couple hour drive or a two day adventure across the Midwest to Colorado!  We’ve come across so many obstacles, so I stay as organized as I can to relieve some stress on LONG car rides 🙂  Enjoy!

Trip Folder – I ALWAYS bring on of these on our trip and we’ve always used it!

  • A physical printout of directions to our first stop – I cannot tell you how many times my cellphone malfunctions or I lose service and cannot pull up the directions. Better safe than sorry!
  • A list of any and all Diner Drive in and Dive restaurants – We love the show and love to stop at any if we can
  • A list of any other restaurants that I’ve gotten recommendations for
  • A list of all hotels with addresses and phone numbers
  • Things to do in the area – Of course you have your cellphone to look things up to do but a lot of times my phone does not work as far as internet goes, so I make sure to visit Tripadvisor first to mark off a few spots we want to check out.

It seems a little overdoing it with all this information above, but trust me it has helped us out so many times.  Sometimes we don’t use all the things I plan or research ahead of time, but it has gotten us out of a couple of pickles on the road.  Nothing like feeling like super mom when you run into an internet problem and you have back up printouts :)!


***TIP*** It is always smart to check Groupon for local deals too.  I don’t always do this but I have kicked myself in the past when I’ve found deals that I should have known about!

First Aid Kit  –  I keep in a zippered Red First Aid Pouch in our car at ALL TIMES

Car Kit – Things that you always need in the Car

  • Tissue
  • Some spare change/Dollar Bills
  • Hair ties
  • Phone Charger
  • Lens cleaner wipes
  • Chapstick – I make my own!
  • Nail File
  • Snacks/Clif Bars – I’m not sure about you but our family eats a crazy amount of Clif Bars.  Yes they are expensive but they are super yummy, nutritious, and lacking all the additives of other granola bars that we are trying to stay away from. My favorite are the peanut butter crunch!

***TIP*** Clif Bars are expensive in General but they can serve as a small meal in an emergency situation or if someone in the car gets cranky because they are hungry and you aren’t stopping for another hour 🙂  Also, if you buy them at a gas station, they will cost you at least $2.  If you buy in bulk you will pay less than $1 for each….Save your money for gas Travelers!

Keep in Car Door – We have a Toyota Tundra and it has some pretty nice cup holder/area in the door that we keep things that we always need for each kid.  If you don’t have this space in your car door, maybe your backseat has a convenient pouch you can use.

  • Pair of socks – Each of my kids randomly pulls off their socks and we search all the time for them!
  • Tissue
  • Sunglasses
  • Water Bottle

So much easier to be able to know exactly where to go for these things.  And it makes you feel like a super momma when you are the only one who knows where every single thing is for every single person on the trip :)!

***TIP*** We all have our favorite stainless steel water bottle that we travel with.  Instead of using plastic water bottles we bring a couple gallons of water in the bed of the truck and keep one upfront with us.  Whenever one of us needs a refill, mom to the rescue with fresh water!  It saves money and less trash to clutter the car and the environment! My BFF Kimi would be so proud because she is the one that instilled these values within me 🙂

Restaurant Bag – I always have a bag (kind of like a diaper bag but for older kids) to grab and take in with us when we stop for meals.  I don’t know about you but my kids need activities and sometimes the restaurant that we chose does not have kid supplies such as crayons and coloring pages.  So I make sure we have coloring books and markers/crayons and I make sure to have some fruit snacks or gold fish to quickly give to my kids when their meals are taking longer than they would like and start to get crabby!

  • Coloring books (one for each kid)
  • Little bags with crayons – I make sure each kid has the same colors, avoids meltdowns because brother has one color and sister doesn’t 🙂
  • Sticker books – Keeps them occupied taking off stickers and putting them random places 🙂
  • Change of clothes – My kids spill A LOT so I always have a little outfit I can use in a pinch
  • Wipes – Some kind of wipes to quickly clean up my littles or the messy area they just created.
  • Fruit snacks – Our meals have sometimes taken a weird amount of time, so I always have a little treat or snack on hand to use ONLY if we run into something like this. I usually don’t treat the twins before they eat their meals but desperate times – desperate measures 🙂

Don’t forget – Here are a few things that area a must to have in the car for the little and for your sanity.

  • DVD players – Dual Screen is a must!
  • DVDs – I have forgotten these in the past and we had to spend unnecessary $!
  • LeapFrog Computers
  • LeapFrog Chargers


Here is my Road Trip Packing list so you can be as organized as I try to be!

Traveling long distance with littles can be challenging.  It takes a little prep work and brainstorming on what you think will work for your little family, but trust me it is so worth it.  I love traveling and don’t want stressful situations to alter my perception on how wicked awesome it is to show my littles the world.


Happy Travels People!




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12 thoughts on “Car Road-Trip Packing List – With Free Printable!

    • I actually have never done it but after the fact came across some amazing deals…Makes me sick when i pass up the opportunity to save some $!

  1. AAA Tour Books are fantastic — you can look up each city you’re passing through to check for free or low cost attractions. We’ve found tons of neat little places we would have otherwise missed.

  2. My kids are full grown now, but I pinned this to my “kid stuff” board on Pinterest because it’s excellent advice! Traveling with kids is both lots of fun AND a challenge!

  3. Love this! Traveling with kids is alllll about being prepared! Loved the tip about socks, I always keep an extra pair of shoes in my car because they always seem to disappear!

    • It amazes me how quickly my kids lose their socks! I have a bag in my laundry room that I go through once a month and seriously question what happens to all of them!

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