Travel Essentials for Kids

We are getting ready for a trip to Michigan in a week. It has been almost a year since we traveled, and I’ve been making a list of all of the things that saved our sanity in the past. We used to travel 8+ hours to see our families multiple times a year, plus the moves where I was solo with all three kids. Finding things that would keep the kids entertained so we could focus on the road was a must. Now, I feel out of practice. Here are some of my favorites from the past.

Travel Essentials

water wow books // These are our favorite travel companion. The only mess is possible spilled water, which I don’t think has ever happened to us in the YEARS that we have used these. Without fail, every time we give these to our girls in the car, they are quiet for at least an hour.

books– //  We love the “1000 things to spot in..” for the big girls and “very first book of things to spot in..” for Harper; which are both by Usborne. They are like I spy books, but much less overwhelming to my eyeballs. These kinds of books give the girls something to do besides ask how much longer the trip is.

Snacks// for obvious reasons. Goldfish, Clif KidZ bars, and applesauce pouches are some of our favorites. Use discretion when going the pouch route. If your child is young enough to squeeze it out everywhere without thinking, DON’T. Save your sanity. Also, think about your child’s age and choking hazards. A tip- we use cups to put snacks in instead of bowls because they can stick it in their cupholder. We avoid a lot of spills this way.

DVD player // For the long trips, this is a life saver. When we took three days moving from Michigan to Oklahoma, we went through a lot of movies! But, it made the trip so much less stressful for the mama who was driving the van. I want my kids to learn to be bored and entertain themselves, but sometimes a DVD is just necessary to avoid a mama mealtdown. The scholastic movies are honestly some of my favorites!

Water Bottles // You don’t want to spend a fortune on buying water at the store. The price of water bottles has gone up so much! Not to mention the fact that you are wasting so much plastic. You can refill them when you stop for lunch at whatever fast food joint you chose. You can also put juice or whatever drink you want in it.  I love Hydro Flask because they keep everything cold for so long.

Car Diffuser // I finally got one before our last move. I put calming oils (lavender, stress away, or cedarwood) in it for the trip to keep the crazy away. I also put a drop of Thieves in it to support our immune systems. We used to always get sick after a trip, and I am so thankful we’ve avoided illness since getting this.

These are all things that we have used for every trip.

I have thought about getting this for the big girls, but am not sure that they would be able to see well enough out the back windows. I’ve also thought about getting these over time to replace Water Wow books. The books last for a long time, but do wear out after a couple years.

What would you add to this list? How do you survive long road trips with kids?





2 thoughts on “Travel Essentials for Kids”

  1. I totally brought a couple cans of Vienna sausage with me this last time and told my kids it wasn’t like mini hot dogs for a protein snack at a rest area or at our destination. I also LOVE the Usborne book “Farmyard Tales” with CD! They love listening to it and following along in the book, and I get a mental break and it doesn’t annoy me. I also got another Usborne one with CD that has much more annoying stories to listen to. “Fat cat on a mat” “frog on a log” etc. they loved it, I hated it.


    1. haha!! That’s sort of how the Scolastic movies are to listen to.. they love it because the story is always changing, but it’s annoying to hear. We did sandwiches at rest areas. I love that rest areas have playgrounds now.


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