Car Trip Essentials

  • Car Trip Essentials

    You're off to the Grand Canyon. Or to Grandma's. Or to see the sights. No matter where you travel to in your car, we recommend bringing the following items for a smooth, enjoyable trip.


    Wallet and/or purse and cash (sometimes we forget the most obvious things)
    Credit cards and/or traveler's checks (plus list of numbers of both)
    ID or driver's license
    Car and house keys (plus duplicate sets kept in different bags)
    Eye glasses and/or contact lenses (plus lens cleaner)
    Medical insurance cards
    Prescriptions and other medications
    Maps, directions and reservation confirmations
    Camera and film
    Books and magazines for kids and adults
    Toys, playing cards, small games
    Flashlight and batteries
    Umbrella and rain jackets
    Plastic bags for wet items
    Disposable wipes (or put damp paper towels in zippered plastic bags)
    Travel alarm
    Sewing kit
    First-aid kit (see separate packing list)
    Water/juice boxes, no-spill cups
    Paper napkins/towels
    Cooler with beverages (water is best) and lunch items
    Paper, washable markers (crayons may melt on a hot day) and clipboard or lap desk
    Snacks (crackers, mini rice cakes, dry cereal, dried fruit or nuts and the like) in small zippered plastic bags
    Small backpack for child to carry own toys and art supplies
    Towels (in case of hot seats or spills)


    Car seat
    Diaper bag
    Disposable diapers
    Changing pad
    Baby powder and lotion
    Zippered plastic bags
    Wet wipes
    Nursing pads and burp pads
    Bottles, nipples and caps
    Formula and/or juice
    Changes of clothing
    Jacket or sweater
    Collapsible stroller with canopy or umbrella
    Front or back child-carrying pack, or sling style
    Waterproof sheets
    Bathing supplies
    Large plastic bags for wet clothes (can also be used as a changing pad in a pinch)


    Individually wrapped small toys (new ones or old favorites) or activity bags to hand out at intervals during the trip
    Frisbee or ball for playing in grassy area at rest stop
    Music and books on tape (record your child's favorite stories yourself)
    Individual tape players and headphones
    Window screens
    Hand or finger puppets for entertaining at restaurants
    Portable playpen or crib
    Portable high chair or booster seat
    Magnetic travel games
    Laminated U.S. maps for kids to mark off license plates
  • Very nice list!
    We will most likely (dh and I) be taking a trip this summer back to Arkansas to visit my family. This means that all 3 grands (2,6,7) will be going too since I am the baby-sitter.
    Individually wrapped small toys (new ones or old favorites) or activity bags to hand out at intervals during the trip
    This is a wonderful tip--and I always do this. I will hit the dollar stores, cheap toy aisle at Big Lots, etc and buy up cheap toys, coloring books and markers, etc that I will then dole out on the trip. I save some for the return leg so they don't get bored. This is a 2 day trip for us so it's going to take a lot of toys. I need to get busy collecting.

    THIS trip though I am very seriously thinking of buying a vcr to use in the back seat. I'd love to trade my Jimmy in on a mini-van before then but dh and I hate car payments and we always buy new, so.....If/when we do trade I'm going to look into a built in VCR.