It’s time to plan for the family road trip. Your kids have been looking forward to it all year and if truth be told, so have you. You’ve already picked out all the clothes everyone’s going to need for the trip in your mind. You’re still working through scheduling all rest stops and meals, but that’s almost done. Before you finalize the dates and find car rentals, you want to make sure to remember these often overlooked essentials.
Even if you’re not planning on going to the beach or hiking, you should be sure to pack sunscreen in case of any unplanned outdoor activities. You don’t want to risk being outdoors for an extended period of time without the proper protection.
Internal movements don’t wait until you’ve safely reached your destination. Since these things tend to happen at the most inconvenient times, make sure your packing checklist includes toilet paper. The gas station off the highway makes no guarantees.
All trips start off with good intentions. Unfortunately, things tend to take a turn for the worse when you least expect it. Whether it’s due to a lack of sleep or the kids’ non-stop yelling in the backseat, make sure you have a bottle of Tylenol to nip those headaches in the bud.
If your GPS is on your phone (which it is for most of the population), then you need to make sure you have a hands-free holder for your phone. Especially if you’re going to be traveling through unfamiliar roads, the GPS needs to always be in sight so that you don’t miss exits or have to look down to confirm that you should, in fact, be taking the next right turn.
This may sound like a given nowadays, but you need to make sure you have the right car chargers. Especially since you’re going to be renting, it’s easy to forget your charger in your car. Packing a 2-port charger would be ideal.
As much as you dream of using the road trip to spend quality time with your kids, there’s going to come a time when you need peace and quiet. Enter tablets, movies and games. If your phone can serve as a hotspot, great. If not, make sure you have a portable Wi-Fi device to allow the little ones to access their favorite shows and games.
Even if you’re not the driver, you don’t want to be squinting the entire trip because the sun is in your face the entire time. Keep your sunglasses close by in case you have to give your husband a breather or have to step out of the car for a while.
You think you’re a great co-pilot. Your husband would say otherwise. Even if you would prefer to travel light, be sure to bring blankets for everyone to make those naps even better.
The most important thing to remember to bring with you is patience. Everything’s not going to be perfect, but remember that no matter what happens, the purpose of the trip is to spend time with your family. Enjoy it!