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Family Road Trip Packing List with Kids (+fun interactive toys)

Embarking on a family road trip is an exhilarating adventure, offering a unique blend of freedom, discovery, and quality time with your loved ones. Whether it’s to the enchanting Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth, the tranquil shores of Lake Chelan, or beyond, blends the thrill of adventure with the warm glow of family togetherness. Such journeys invite a mosaic of memories but necessitate a keen mix of preparation and spontaneity to ensure every mile traveled is as enjoyable as the destinations themselves.

If you’re looking for a family road trip packing list or wondering what are some of the road trip essentials for kids, you’re in the right place. This packing list is designed to give you a comprehensive overview of the things to pack—and those to leave behind—ensuring your trip is both enjoyable and comfortable.

Table of Contents

Family Road Trip Packing List (links below)

From the labyrinth of car activities designed to smooth out the long stretches to the thoughtful compilation of essentials for basking under the sunny sky or handling unexpected detours, here’s a guide imbued with our collective wisdom for making your family road trip with kids both delightful and comfortable.

Interactive Activities For the Kids

Interactive Games: We keep a treasure trove of travel-friendly games on hand, including magnetic board games, boogie boards, trivia cards, joke books, and more. These games are a hit for fostering interaction and laughter, turning the cramped quarters of a car ride into an arena of family fun.

Audiobooks and Playlists: A curated selection of audiobooks can turn dreary drives into exciting adventures.

Snack Packs: Individual snack packs, filled with a healthy balance of goodies and arranged in reusable containers, have been a game-changer for us.

Electronics and Kid Friendly Headphones: Essential for peace and personal space, we ensure all devices are charged, along with our kid friendly headphones. This lets the kids dive into movies or games without disturbing the drive, allowing for a harmonious journey.

  1. Scavenger Hunt Card Game for Kids, Activities for Family Vacations, Road Trips and Car Rides, Ages 6+
    $7.15
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    03/25/2024 09:27 pm GMT
  2. Pokemon Trainer Game, I Will Guess It! Electronic Voice Recognition Guessing Game
    $23.65
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    03/25/2024 09:27 pm GMT
  3. Magnetic Drawing Board for Toddlers & Kids
    $14.98
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    03/22/2024 10:29 pm GMT
  4. Colorful LCD Writing Tablet for Kids 3-8, 8.8 Inch
    $8.49
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    03/22/2024 09:55 pm GMT
  5. Bluey Aqua Art - Reusable Water Reveal Activity Pages With Water Pen for No-Mess Drawing and Coloring
    $5.99
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    03/25/2024 10:06 pm GMT
  6. Bluey Sticker Playset, 35+ Reusable Puffy Bluey Stickers for Kids, Perfect for Travel
    $5.99
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    03/25/2024 10:03 pm GMT
  7. Would You Rather Book For Kids - 300+ Hilarious, Silly, and Challenging Questions To Make You Laugh (Ages 7-13)
    $8.99
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    03/22/2024 10:11 pm GMT
  8. Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet Plus Volume Limited On-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones
    $109.00

    Experience peace and clear audio with the PuroQuiet-Active Noise Cancelling Headphones. These headphones come equipped with an ANC switch that effectively reduces daily noise and background sounds by up to 22 dB, providing a quieter environment without the need to raise the volume to unsafe levels.

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    03/22/2024 10:35 pm GMT

Books and Graphic Novels for Kids

Incorporating favorite books and graphic novels for the kids is also essential. Not only do they provide entertainment during long stretches of driving, but they also encourage imagination and downtime from screens. Here are some beloved titles that have been hits on our road trips:

For Early Readers: Books from the “Elephant & Piggie” series by Mo Willems. These are great for laughter and beginner readers.

Graphic Novels: The “Dog Man” series by Dav Pilkey and “Amulet” by Kazu Kibuishi are fantastic picks that keep kids engaged with their vibrant illustrations and compelling storytelling.

  1. Waiting Is Not Easy!-An Elephant and Piggie Book
    $8.71
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    03/25/2024 11:15 pm GMT
  2. Elephant & Piggie: The Complete Collection (Includes 2 Bookends) (An Elephant and Piggie Book)
    $90.21
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    03/25/2024 10:54 pm GMT
  3. Dog Man: A Graphic Novel (Dog Man #1): From the Creator of Captain Underpants
    $9.18

    "Dog Man" is a captivating graphic novel series crafted by Dav Pilkey, the creative mind behind "Captain Underpants." This series introduces Dog Man, a unique superhero with the head of a dog and the body of a policeman, brought to life through an unexpected surgery following an accident. Unlike traditional heroes, Dog Man combines a dog's loyalty and persistence with the courage of a police officer.

    The series is a hit with young readers, including my own child who adores comics. The books are vibrant, full-color, and designed with straightforward plots that are easy to follow. They even feature interactive flip pages that animate the action, though a gentle touch is advised to avoid tearing (a quick tape fix can mend any accidents). The characters are charming and humorous, making it particularly appealing to children around first grade. Filled with Pilkey's signature humor, thrilling action, and touching moments, "Dog Man" is a delightful addition to any young reader's collection.

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    04/12/2024 06:12 am GMT
  4. Dog Man: The Supa Buddies Mega Collection: From the Creator of Captain Underpants (Dog Man #1-10 Box Set)
    $69.99

    Dive into the complete set of all 10 books from the "Dog Man" series, a riveting graphic novel collection by Dav Pilkey, the beloved creator of "Captain Underpants." This series introduces readers to Dog Man, an unconventional hero with the head of a dog and the body of a policeman, stitched together following a quirky accident. More than just a hero, Dog Man epitomizes the loyalty and tenacity of a dog combined with the courage of a police officer.

    Each installment features Dog Man facing off against eccentric villains and engaging in comical situations that not only entertain but also impart values like kindness, empathy, and resilience. The vibrant, expressive illustrations enhance the engaging text, making these books ideal for young readers beginning to venture into independent reading.

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    04/12/2024 06:15 am GMT
  5. The Stonekeeper: A Graphic Novel (Amulet #1)
    $7.69

    In "The Stonekeeper," the first installment of the Amulet graphic novel series by Kazu Kibuishi, tragedy strikes Emily and Navin after the death of their father. The siblings, along with their mother, relocate to their great-grandfather's ancient and mysterious house. However, the new home quickly reveals its perils when a malevolent creature abducts their mother through a portal in the basement.

    "The Stonekeeper" combines elements of steampunk—robots, spaceships, ray guns, and gadgets—with traditional fantasy beings like elves and other monstrous creatures, creating a unique blend rarely seen in middle-grade literature. The narrative, while exploring themes familiar in fantasy such as legacy and the burden of power, maintains its originality and emotional depth.

    The graphic novel features stunning full-color illustrations that bring the fantastical and eerie settings to life.While "The Stonekeeper" offers a gripping setup for the series and is perfect for those new to graphic novels, it's darker tones and intense scenes, including moments of blood and death, may make it more suitable for slightly older readers rather than very young children. This compelling blend of Eastern and Western storytelling elements makes it an accessible introduction to the graphic novel format, promising more intriguing developments as the series continues.

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    04/12/2024 05:05 pm GMT
  6. Amulet #1-8 Box Set
    $69.99

    Dive into the enchanting world of Kazu Kibuishi's "Amulet" with this complete box set, gathering all the volumes of the beloved graphic novel series. Follow the thrilling saga of Emily and Navin as they navigate a mystical world filled with danger, secrets, and unimaginable power.

    After the tragic loss of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to their great-grandfather's old home, only to find themselves in a world far beyond their wildest imaginations. The house serves as a gateway to an otherworldly place fraught with demons, robots, and talking animals. The children soon find themselves on a critical mission to rescue their kidnapped mother, guided by a magical amulet given to Emily.

    As the series unfolds, the siblings discover their roles in a much larger battle between good and evil, coming to terms with their responsibilities as keepers of the amulet. Each book in the series escalates the stakes, introduces new allies and enemies, and delves deeper into the richly built universe Kibuishi has crafted.

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    04/12/2024 05:06 pm GMT

Comfort and Convenience

Portable Potty: You never know when nature will call, especially on long stretches without rest stops. Our foldable portable potty has been a lifesaver on numerous occasions. It’s discreet, easy to pack, and, yes, it has seen a lot of use! Packing this has alleviated many worries about finding restrooms in time, making our trips smoother and more enjoyable.

Adjustable Head Rest: When it comes to family road trips, ensuring the comfort of all passengers, especially little ones, is a top priority. That’s why an adjustable head rest for the kids is such a valuable addition to your travel gear. This innovative headrest is designed to support a 180° rotation, making it versatile enough to accommodate both children and adults of different heights.

Sun Protection Gear: Our pack always includes high SPF sunscreen, sun hats, UV-protective clothing, and sunglasses for each family member. It’s crucial for those sunny days, whether you’re exploring a new city or lounging by a lake.

First Aid Kit and Emergency Supplies: Our kit is stocked with the essentials—band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers—and of course the portal potty for those emergency potty breaks mid drive.

  1. OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty
    $20.95

    The OXO 2-in-1 Go Potty is a versatile solution for potty emergencies at home of on the go. It's designed for standalone use with disposable bags anywhere or as a potty seat on toilets, making it an essential tool for road trips and park adventures with kids. It's perfect for those "I need to go potty" emergencies.

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    03/25/2024 10:43 pm GMT
  2. Adjustable Car Seat Head Neck Support, U Shaped Car Sleeping Pillow for Kids & Adults
    $29.99
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    03/25/2024 11:21 pm GMT
  3. YETI Jr. 12 oz Kids Water Bottle, with Straw Cap
    $33.67
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    06/10/2024 07:30 pm GMT
  4. My Travel Tray - USA Made. Easily Convert Your Current Cup Holder to a Tray and Cup Holder for use with Car Seats, Booster, and Stroller
    $16.99
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    03/25/2024 10:44 pm GMT
  5. Kids Liquid Bandage Paint, Sting Free Waterproof Bandage for Scrapes and Minor Cuts
    $6.99 ($23.30 / Fl Oz)

    Kids' Colorful Liquid Bandage: Dive into a world of playful protection with our vibrant, waterproof liquid bandage designed just for kids! It's like a superhero skin glue that's both flexible and waterproof, but much more fun with its cheerful colors that's perfect for little adventurers.

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    03/25/2024 10:44 pm GMT
  6. KeepGoing Kids First Aid Kit - 130 Pc. Kit for Car, Home, Purse & Diaper Bag - Latex-Free Bandages - TSA-Approved Travel Size
    $39.95

    Elevate Your Travel Essentials – Say goodbye to the conventional and clinical look of most first aid kits. This stylish and compact kit effortlessly blends function with fashion, ensuring you're prepared without compromising on style. Perfectly sized to slip into a suitcase, diaper bag, purse, or backpack, it's the ultimate accessory for any family adventure.

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    03/25/2024 10:44 pm GMT
  7. WECARE Kids Disposable Emesis Bags for Nausea and Motion Sickness - Indivdually Wrapped
    $9.99 ($0.10 / Count)
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    03/25/2024 10:47 pm GMT
  8. Mustela Baby Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 50 Broad Spectrum
    $11.49
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    03/25/2024 11:05 pm GMT
  9. Thinkbaby SPF 50+ Baby Sunscreen – Safe, Natural Sunblock for Babies and Kids
    $12.00
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    03/25/2024 11:06 pm GMT

Leave at Home

Bulky Items: Large toys and unnecessary gadgets can take up valuable space. Opt for compact entertainment options.

Excessive Clothing: Pack versatile layers instead of individual outfits for each day. Road trips often include unexpected stops and weather changes.

Perishable Food Items: They can spoil and cause a mess. Choose non-perishable snacks or those that can withstand a bit of heat.

In updating our family road trip packing list, we’ve not only streamlined our approach to packing but also rediscovered the joy in preparing for our journeys together. This list should serve as a starting point, adaptable to your family’s specific needs and the nature of your adventure.

Continuously Curating

This list is the backbone of our road trip readiness, and we keep adding to it as we discover new items that work wonders for our family’s travel comfort and enjoyment. Whether it’s a new game that’s become an instant classic or a snack that’s unexpectedly hit the mark, our road trip gear evolves with our family’s needs and preferences. Here is our ultimate list, and we invite you to consider these recommendations as a starting point, encouraging you to adapt and expand it based on what works best for your family.

Every road trip is an opportunity to learn, laugh, and create lasting bonds. With the right preparation, every journey can be transformed into an unforgettable adventure, filled with stories to share for years to come. So, pack your bags, prepare your playlists, and set off on the road less traveled – it’s time to make memories. Safe travels!

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