We’re making the familiar 8-hour drive this spring break from Nashville to the Florida panhandle for a week’s stay at Sandestin resort in Destin, Florida. Our girls are 3 and 6 and there are certain things that make our roadtrips very tolerable (i.e. everyone stays happy and sane!)
Portable DVD player. All hail whoever invented the portable DVD player for cars because without it we might be forced to sing Hannah Montana the entire stretch of I-65 through Alabama. Bring a DVD your kids have never seen before (we’re bringing this one.) Make sure you have headphones for each child or you are taking your life into your own hands.
Batteries. Don’t forget to bring plenty of batteries for your camera, MP3 players, Didj, Leapster, etc. You don’t really want to buy batteries at a gas station, now do you? (They’ll likely be extremely overpriced, not to mention 10 years old.)
Hand sanitizer and handi wipes. I’m not really a germaphobe, I just play one when we stop at every rest stop, fast food restaurant, and gas station in a 400-mile span.
Bottled water. There are only so many gas station Icees one child can and should, consume. Steer clear of any drinks that are colored blue, too.
Children’s Tylenol (regular and cold formula). It seems inevitable that someone gets the sniffles when we’re traveling, or a headache. Wait, that would be me.
Pillows and a soft toy. Your child will love having their favorite familiar items from home at bedtime, not to mention nap time in the car. You might want to pack your favorite bottle of wine and a bottle opener. Your kids may also want their pillow to nap in the car.
Bedtime books. I always pack a few books from home for bedtime.
A car busy bag. Fill it with small portable, travel friendly items such as a travel size Doodle Pro, car games such as Melissa & Doug Travel Bingo, or small activity books like Mud Puppy vinyl play books (like this cute horse theme play scene book or this fun zoo theme scene book.
Video games and MP3 players. Yes as our girls have gotten older I’ve found great comfort in knowing that packing their Leapster is a backup for the “I’m bored!” syndrome. We haven’t yet gone for the MP3 players but I have a feeling they’re in our immediate future. (And who knew there was a Barbie MP3 player?)
Band Aids. Sightseeing means someone will probably get a blister.
Ziploc bags in a variety of sizes. Bring a few plastic bags for dirty clothes so you can keep them separated from the clean duds. Smaller size bags are great for shell collections or leaky sunscreen bottles or for keeping your precious iPhone sand free.
Bubble bath. You might as well make bath time in a strange hotel or vacation rental bathroom as festive as possible.
Baby powder. Baby powder is not just for babies. It removes sand. (My best friend told me this a couple of years ago and it really works!)
Snacks. I pack a snack bag for the car and include things like cereal bars, Ritz Bitz cracker packs, fruit snacks, raisins, etc.
Do you have any other road trip essentials to add to the list?
Hitting the road with the family for summer vacation? Be sure to visit UpTake.com for travel reviews and help in planning your trip.