The 2023 Ultimate Road Trip Check List For Families

Planning a road trip with your family can be a thrilling and adventurous experience, but it can also be quite daunting. From packing essentials to choosing the perfect destination, there are so many things to consider when planning a family road trip. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate family road trips and other road trip necessities checklist for families embarking on a journey in 2023. Whether you’re hitting the road for a weekend getaway or a cross-country adventure, this comprehensive road trip checklist will help you stay organized, prepared, and stress-free. So buckle up, grab a snack, and get ready to make unforgettable memories on the open road!

There’s nothing quite like a family road trip to create lifelong memories and strengthen bonds. However, before you hit the road, there are several things to consider and prepare for. From ensuring the safety of your vehicle and road trip necessities to packing the right gear and equipment, a successful summer road trip almost always requires meticulous planning to make sure everything goes smoothly.

But with so many things to remember and take care of, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. That’s where our 2023 ultimate road trip essentials checklist for families comes in handy. It’s designed to help you stay organized and prepared for anything that comes your way.

Whether you’re planning a short weekend getaway or a long cross-country back road adventure, this checklist will ensure that you have all the essentials you need to keep your family safe, comfortable, and entertained throughout your journey. From car maintenance and first aid kits to snacks, games, and entertainment options, our checklist covers it all.

So if you’re ready to hit the road with your loved ones and explore new destinations, be sure to use our ultimate road trip checklist for families to ensure road trip supplies a stress-free and enjoyable experience for everyone. Get ready to create unforgettable memories that your family will cherish for years to come.

Why Trust Us To Plan Your Road Trip Essentials?

We are actually professional drivers. Sam owns a trucking company and we have spent years living on the road. We know all the best tips and items to pack to make your road trip a success. 

What to do before a road trip?

Road Trip Tips – Car Audit

A car audit is an important step to take before embarking on a road trip. It involves checking the condition of your vehicle to ensure that it is safe and ready for a long journey. Here are some road trip tips for performing a car audit:

Check your tire pressure and tread depth: Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have tire pressure gauge and enough tread for safe driving.

Test your brakes: Check your brake pads and rotors to ensure they are in good condition and have enough stopping power.

Inspect your fluids: Check the levels of your engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid, and top them off if necessary.

Test your lights: Check all your headlights, taillights, turn signals, and brake lights to ensure they are working properly.

Check your car’s battery firstMake sure your car battery is fully charged and in good condition.

Inspect your windshield wipers: Check your windshield wipers and replace them if they are worn or not functioning properly.

Check your air conditioning and heating system: Make sure your air conditioning and heating systems are working properly to ensure a comfortable ride.

Performing a car audit before your road trip can help prevent breakdowns and ensure that your journey is safe and enjoyable. If you are not comfortable performing the audit yourself, consider taking your car to a mechanic for a professional inspection. Remember, safety should always be your top priority when hitting the road.

The Ultimate Road Trip Packing List – All the Road Trip Essentials You Could Ever Need!

Are you planning a road trip soon? One of the most important things you can do to ensure your trip is a success is to pack well. It’s easy to forget something important when you’re on the first usa road trip, so it’s essential to create a first ever road trip packing list essentials to make sure you have everything you need. In this blog post, we’ll share the ultimate road trip packing list to help you get started.

1. Maps and Navigation Tools

When planning a road trip, it’s important to have reliable maps and navigation tools to help you reach your destination safely and efficiently. One popular option is GPS navigation, which provides turn-by-turn directions and real-time traffic updates using satellite signals. Smartphones also have built-in GPS functionality that can be used with apps like Google Maps or Waze.

It’s always a good idea to have a physical map as a backup, especially if you’re traveling in remote areas without cell phone signal. You can purchase paper maps at gas stations, bookstores, or online. Map apps are another option for planning your route and navigating while on the road. Google Maps is a popular choice because it provides real-time traffic updates and allows you to download maps for offline use. Other options include Waze, MapQuest, and Apple Maps.

For a comprehensive collection of maps that can help you plan your entire route before hitting the road, a road atlas is a useful tool. It includes detailed maps of highways, cities, and towns, as well as information on rest areas, gas stations, and attractions along the way. Road atlases can be found at most bookstores or online.

While not a navigation tool in the traditional sense, a compass can be an important backup tool if your GPS or map app fails. It can help you orient yourself and find your bearings if you get lost. In conclusion, having reliable maps and navigation tools is crucial for a safe and enjoyable road trip. Whether you prefer GPS navigation, printed maps, or a road atlas, make sure to have the tools you need to get to your destination.

2. First Aid Kit

When embarking on a road trip, it is crucial to have a well-stocked first aid kit in your car. Accidents can happen at any time, and it is essential to have the necessary items to treat any injuries that may occur. Here are some items to consider including in your car first aid kit:

Adhesive bandages of various sizes to cover cuts and scrapes; sterile gauze and adhesive tape for larger wounds; antiseptic wipes and ointments to clean and disinfect wounds and prevent infection; pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen for headaches or other minor aches and pains; a cold compress to ease pain and reduce swelling from bumps or bruises; scissors and tweezers to cut bandages or remove splinters or other debris from wounds; medical gloves to protect against infection and to treat someone else’s injuries; an emergency blanket in case of an emergency to keep you warm and prevent hypothermia; and a CPR mask to help perform CPR safely and effectively in an emergency.

It is important to periodically check your first aid kit and replenish it as needed. Store the kit in an easily accessible location, such as the glove box or center console. A well-stocked first aid kit can provide peace of mind, knowing that you are prepared for any minor injuries or emergencies that may occur during your road trip.

3. Water Bottles & Snacks

Staying hydrated and nourished during a road trip is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable journey. Here are some tips for choosing the right water bottles and snacks for your road trip:

Water Bottles:

Reusable water bottles: Using reusable water bottles is an eco-friendly option that can also save you money. They come in a variety of sizes and materials, such as stainless steel, glass, and BPA-free plastic. Consider choosing a larger water bottle, that can hold enough water to last for several hours.

Insulated water bottles: Insulated water bottles can help keep your water cold or hot for longer periods, which is especially useful during hot summer months or in colder climates.


Healthy snacks: Choose snacks that are nutritious and filling, such as trail mix, fresh fruit, or cut vegetables. You can also pack small packets of nut butter or hummus to pair with your snacks.

Portable snacks: Pack snacks that are easy to eat on-the-go, such as granola bars, beef jerky, or pre-packaged popcorn. Consider individual snack packs that you can easily portion out for each passenger.

Sweet and savory snacks: Pack a combination of sweet and savory snacks to satisfy all cravings. This can include fruit snacks, chocolate, chips, and crackers.

It’s important to plan ahead and pack enough water and snacks to last for the entire trip. Consider refilling your water bottles at rest stops or gas stations and packing a cooler with perishable items. Avoid packing items that can easily melt, like chocolate, in hot climates. With the right water bottles and snacks, your road trip can be both comfortable and enjoyable.

How to organize snacks in a car for a road trip

Organizing your snacks for a successful road trip, can help ensure that you have easy access to them throughout your journey. Here are some tips for organizing your snacks in the car:

Use a cooler: If you’re packing perishable snacks like fresh fruit, cheese, or yogurt, consider using a cooler with ice packs to keep them fresh. Place the cooler in a location that is easily accessible, such as the back seat or trunk.

Separate snacks by type: Divide your snacks into separate containers or bags based on their type. For example, you can use one container for salty snacks like chips and crackers, and another for sweet snacks like fruit snacks or chocolate.

Use individual snack packs: If you’re traveling with multiple passengers, consider using individual snack packs for each person. This can help prevent arguments over who gets what snack and make it easier to portion out all the difference snacks.

Pack snacks in a tote or basket: Pack your snacks in a tote or basket that can be easily carried to the car and placed in the back seat or the car cool trunk. This can also make it easier to find and grab snacks while you’re driving.

Keep snacks within reach: Place your snacks in a location that is within reach while you’re driving, such as in the center console or on the passenger seat. This can help prevent distractions while driving and make it easier to grab a snack when you need it.

By organizing your snacks in the car, you can ensure that you have a variety of options available for you and your passengers during your road trip. It can also help prevent spills and make it easier to find and access your snacks while on the go.

4. Road Trip Essentials List – Entertainment to Keep Everyone Smiling

Long hours on the road can quickly become monotonous, making it essential to have entertainment options to keep everyone in the car engaged and the kids entertained. Here are some ideas for entertainment during your next summer road trip:

Music: Create a playlist of your favorite songs or albums to listen to during the trip. You can also consider using streaming services like Spotify or Pandora to create a personalized playlist based on your music preferences.

Podcasts and Audiobooks: Podcasts and audiobooks can be a great way to pass the time while on the road. Choose genres that appeal to everyone in the car, such as true crime, comedy, or sports.

Games: There are numerous games that you can play during a road trip, such as the license plate game, I Spy, or the alphabet game. You can also bring along a deck of cards or a travel-sized board game for some friendly competition.

Movies and TV shows: If your car has a DVD player or you have a laptop or tablet with you, you can bring along some movies or TV shows to watch during the trip. Consider choosing family-friendly options that everyone can enjoy.

Scenic stops, national park and attractions: Plan some scenic stops, national park, and attractions along the way to break up the drive and provide opportunities for exploration and adventure. This can include national parks, museums, or roadside attractions.

Remember to plan ahead and bring any necessary equipment or devices for your entertainment options. It’s also important to prioritize safety while driving, so be sure to use headphones or earbuds for audio-based entertainment and take breaks when needed to stretch your legs and rest your eyes. With the right entertainment options, your road trip can be a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone in the car.

5. Cozy Blanket and Pillow

Packing pillows and blankets for your road trip can make a big difference in your comfort level and ability to rest while on the road. It’s important to choose pillows that are comfortable and supportive for your head and neck, whether you opt for travel-sized pillows or standard size ones. 

Additionally, versatile blankets that can be used for napping in the car or for picnics at rest stops can be especially helpful. Consider the temperature of the areas you’ll be traveling through and choose blankets accordingly – thicker blankets or even heated blankets for colder climates, and lightweight blankets or beach towels for warmer climates. Compression bags can also help reduce the size of your pillows and blankets for easier packing and storage.

Finally, be sure to store your pillows and blankets within reach, such as in the back seat or trunk, so you can easily grab them when needed. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy a comfortable and relaxing journey on your road trip.

6. Car Essentials

When embarking on a road trip, it’s important to pack some road trip essentials and car essentials to ensure a safe and stress-free journey. Here are some of the most important road trip car essentials to consider:

Spare Tire and Tools: Make sure you have a spare tire, jack, and tire iron in case of a flat tire. You should also know how to change a flat tire before hitting the road.

Jumper Cables: Jumper cables can come in handy if your car battery dies. Make sure you know how to use them properly.

Car Chargers: The cheapest charger is a charger in a car. A dead phone equates to a dead travel day these days, requiring you to bring a charging device in your car to travel with. Usually when you have the latest cars or the best rental car or automobile, you have it if it has USB ports. A USB car charger is necessary. A car phone charger can keep your phone charged in case of an emergency or if you need to use GPS.

7. Toiletries

Pack a toiletry bag with essentials like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, and sunscreen. Don’t forget to bring a towel and toilet paper, too.

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Hand sanitizer

Facial wipes


Lip balm


Hand lotion

Feminine hygiene products

Prescription medications

Other toiletries such as deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash

8. Clothes

Pack clothes that are comfortable and appropriate for the weather. Bring extra layers, such as jackets or sweaters, in case the weather turns cold.

10. Car Documents

There are several important car documents that you should keep in your glove box to ensure that you are prepared for any unexpected situations while driving. Here are the essential car documents that you should keep in your glove box:

Vehicle registration: This is a document that proves that you are the legal owner of the vehicle. It contains information such as the make, model, and year of your vehicle, as well as the vehicle identification number (VIN).

Proof of insurance: This is a document that proves that you have valid auto insurance coverage. It typically includes information such as the policy number, coverage dates, and the name of the car insurance or provider.

Owner’s manual: This car manual is a guidebook that contains important information about your vehicle, including maintenance schedules, recommended tire pressures, and troubleshooting tips.

Roadside assistance information: This could include a phone number for your roadside assistance cell service or provider or a membership card that provides access to roadside assistance services.

Driver’s license: You should always keep your driver’s license with you while driving, as it is required by law in most countries.

By keeping these important car documents in your glove box, you can ensure that you are prepared for any unexpected situations that may arise while driving. Be sure to check that these documents are up-to-date and valid before heading out on a road trip or driving long distances.

In conclusion, packing for a road trip can be overwhelming, but with the right planning, you can make it a breeze. Use this ultimate road trip packing list as a guide, your own road trip packing list of essentials, and you’ll be ready for anything your journey throws your way. Safe travels!

Road Trip Essentials Checklist: 

Maps or GPS device
Phone charger
First aid kit
Jumper cables
Spare tire and tools
Water bottles
Travel pillow
Entertainment (books, games, music, etc.)
Cleaning supplies (paper towels, trash bags, etc.)
Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, facial wipes, sunscreen, lip balm, moisturizer, hand lotion, feminine hygiene products, prescription medications, and other toiletries as needed)
Clothes and Other vacation Supplies
If you are camping check out our camping check list here.
If you are going on a beach trip check out our beach check list here.

Why Road Trips For Vacation

A road trip can be a great way to vacation for a number of reasons. Here are some of the benefits of a road trip for vacation:


When you go on a road trip, you have the freedom to create your own itinerary, choose your own route, and make changes to your plans along the way. This level of flexibility can be very appealing, as it allows you to explore new places and experiences on your own terms.


Road trips can often be more cost-effective than other forms of travel, such as flying or taking a cruise. By driving your own vehicle, you can save money on transportation costs and choose more affordable accommodations and meals.

Scenic views and hidden gems:

Road trips offer the opportunity to see beautiful landscapes, natural wonders, and charming small towns that you might miss if you were traveling by plane or train. By taking the scenic route, you can discover hidden gems and unexpected surprises that can make your trip even more memorable.

Bonding time with travel companions: 

A road trip can be a great opportunity to spend quality time with family or friends, as you navigate the open road and explore new places together. The shared experience of a road trip can create lasting memories and strengthen relationships.

Overall, a road trip can be a fun, affordable, and flexible way to travel and explore new destinations. Whether you’re traveling solo, with family, or with friends, a road trip can be a great vacation option that offers something for everyone.

How Can I Make A Long Road Trip More Comfortable?

Long road trips can be tiring and uncomfortable, especially if you are traveling for several hours or days at a time. Here are some tips to help make your long road trip more comfortable:

Bring comfortable clothing: Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing and shoes that allow you to move easily and stretch out your legs.

Adjust your seat and position: Take the time to adjust your seat and steering wheel to a comfortable position before you start driving. You may also want to use a lumbar support or cushion to help prevent back pain.

Stay hydrated: Bring plenty of water and other hydrating beverages to help you stay alert and refreshed. Avoid drinks that are high in caffeine or sugar, as they can cause dehydration and make you feel more tired.

Take breaks: Plan to take regular breaks every two hours or so to stretch your legs, use the restroom, and grab a snack. This can help you avoid stiffness and fatigue.

Pack comfortable pillows and blankets: Bring pillows and blankets that provide adequate support and comfort for sleeping during long stretches of driving or when taking a break.

Bring entertainment: Bring along your favorite books, music, podcasts, or audiobooks to keep yourself entertained during the journey.

Keep snacks handy: Pack healthy snacks such as fruits, nuts, and granola bars to keep yourself energized and satisfied during the trip.

By following these tips, you can help make your long road trip more comfortable and enjoyable. Remember to prioritize your comfort and well-being, and take breaks as needed to help prevent fatigue and stiffness.

Fun Things to Bring on a Road Trip

Bringing along fun and entertaining items on a road trip can help make the journey more enjoyable and memorable. Here are some ideas for fun things to bring on a road trip:

Board games and card games: Pack a few of your favorite board games or card games to play during rest stops or in the evenings.

Frisbee or football: Bring along a Frisbee or football to play catch during rest stops or at the various national park or.

Coloring books and crayons: Coloring books and crayons can be a fun way to pass the time, especially for kids.

Camera or GoPro: Capture the memories of your road trip by bringing along a camera or GoPro to take photos and videos of your adventures.

Books or e-reader: Bring along a few good books or an e-reader to read during downtime or while relaxing in the evening.

Snacks and treats: Pack some fun and tasty snacks and treats that you can enjoy during the journey.

Travel journal: Bring a notebook or travel journal to jot down your experiences and memories of the road trip.

Music and podcasts: Create a playlist of your favorite tunes or download some interesting podcasts to listen to during the trip.

By bringing along these fun and entertaining items, you can help make the next adventure on your road trip more enjoyable and memorable for everyone. Remember to pack these items in an easily accessible spot in the car so that you can easily grab them when you need them.

10 Essential Road Trip Snacks

Choosing the right snacks to pack for a road trip is important to keep you energized and satisfied during long hours on the road. Here are ten essential road trip snacks to consider:

  1. Trail mix: A mixture of nuts, dried fruit, and seeds is a tasty and nutritious snack that can help keep you full and energized.
  2. Beef jerky: A protein-packed snack that can help keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods of time.
  3. Fresh fruit: Apples, bananas, and oranges are easy to pack and are a healthy and refreshing snack option.
  4. Granola bars: Granola bars are a convenient and satisfying snack that are perfect for on-the-go snacking.
  5. Popcorn: A low-calorie and easy to pack snack that can help satisfy your cravings for something salty.
  6. Veggie sticks and hummus: Carrot sticks, celery sticks, and cucumbers paired with hummus make for a healthy and delicious snack.
  7. Cheese and crackers: A simple and satisfying snack that can help keep hunger at bay.
  8. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches: A classic snack that is easy to make and perfect for on-the-go snacking.
  9. Energy bars: Energy bars are a quick and convenient snack that can help keep you fueled during long stretches of driving.
  10. Dark chocolate: A small piece of dark chocolate can satisfy your sweet tooth and provide a boost of energy.

By packing these essential road trip snacks, you can ensure that you have plenty of options to keep you satisfied and energized during your journey. Remember to pack a cooler or insulated bag to keep perishable snacks fresh, and pack your snacks in an easily accessible spot in the car.

Get Our Best Stuff Sent Straight to you & Our Free PDF Blueprint to Unlimited Motivation

Fill out the form below, and join our newsletter for announcements, new content, great tips, and a deeper look into our lives.