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Taking Your Child on a Road Trip: Your Must-Have Checklists
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Going on a road trip with your child can be an exciting experience you’ll remember and cherish. Preparation is key to a successful trip. Before you hit the road, review our checklists to help ensure you include everything you need.

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Setting off on a family road trip is about making fun memories together. Preparation, creativity, and flexibility are the keys to a happy and relaxed journey. Here are some top tips from caregivers of little ones:

  • Try syncing your travel times with your little one's sleep schedule. This way, everyone gets some quality snooze time, making the trip more enjoyable.

  • Keep the wiggles and outbursts at bay by taking regular breaks to let your child stretch their legs, use the restroom, or play in a nearby park. These little pit stops are perfect for breaking up the trip and making the entire experience feel like a fantastic adventure.

  • Introduce new toys to make car entertainment fresh and exciting. To spark their imagination, you could create an activity kit or even a "surprise bag" of small, inexpensive goodies. Unwrapping a new surprise at each stop will keep your child engaged and looking forward to the next big reveal.

  • Pack healthy snacks and plenty of water for the ride to keep everyone happy and healthy. If you’re worried about motion sickness, try natural remedies like ginger snacks or acupressure wristbands.

Staying flexible and keeping a positive attitude is key on any family trip. Embrace the unexpected and be prepared to adapt.

Packing List for Babies

  • Diapers, wipes, and changing pad

  • Diaper rash cream

  • Portable crib, mattress, and bedding

  • Blankets

  • Baby-friendly toiletries (baby wash, shampoo, and lotion)

  • Extra clothes, bibs, and hats

  • Burp cloths

  • Bottles, formula or breast milk, and feeding supplies (including bottle brush)

  • Baby food, snacks, and utensils

  • Baby carrier or sling

  • Pacifiers (if needed)

  • Baby car seat and stroller

  • Baby-friendly first-aid kit

  • Baby monitor (if necessary)

  • Age-appropriate toys

Packing List for Toddlers

  • Diapers or pull-ups, wipes, and changing pad

  • Foldable travel potty seat (if toilet-trained)

  • Easy-on, easy-off outfits, pajamas, and extra clothes (including socks and underwear)

  • Spill-proof cups, toddler-size utensils, and plates

  • Snacks and a small cooler with ice packs

  • Umbrella stroller or backpack carrier

  • Car seat

  • Portable high chair or booster seat

  • Toys, picture books, coloring books and/or paper, crayons, and washable markers. You can download our free printable activity book featuring Roar the Dragon for the journey ahead!

  • Tablet with child-friendly apps and age-appropriate headphones

  • Toddler-sized toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and shampoo)

  • Child-proofing devices for hotel rooms (outlet covers, door stoppers, etc.)

  • Blankets or favorite comfort objects

  • Sunscreen and hat

  • Insect repellent (when necessary)

Packing List for Preschoolers

  • Child-size toiletries and first-aid kit (including Band-Aids, tweezers, antiseptic wipes, etc.)

  • Weather-appropriate clothes, including rain or cold-weather gear, swimming suit if you will be at a beach or pool, and comfy clothes for play and travel

  • Comfortable shoes (walking shoes, sandals, etc.)

  • Foldable travel potty seat (if toilet-trained)

  • Snacks, water, and lunchbox

  • Car seat or booster seat

  • Entertainment for the car: activity books, toys, games, tablet with kids' apps, and headphones

  • Child-proofing devices for hotel rooms (outlet covers, door stoppers, etc.) Travel pillow and blanket

  • Sunscreen, insect repellent, and hat

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Camera or smartphone to capture memorable moments (optional)

Each child is unique, and you might need to adjust depending on their specific needs and preferences. Planning carefully and having the essentials on hand will make your road trip more enjoyable for the whole family. Safe travels!

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