The Ultimate Road Trip Packing List

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When taking your next road trip, in addition to packing your luggage, there are certain items you MUST have for your car! Trust me, I know. This winter I drove 2,600 miles  from New York to Florida (on 1/2 of the trip I was the only parent) and just returned from a LONNNGGG ride up to Maine, and back. We even took this show on the international road, driving up to Montreal! Stocking your car with the essentials will keep the kids, and parents happy! So keep reading for my road trip packing list, and be sure to stock the car before you hit the road!

Road Trip Packing List. All the essentials you need to stock your car for your next road trip! #RoadTrip #Hippeas #FamilyTravel #Travel #SummerTravel

Road Trip Packing List


I love road trips. Driving to a destination can be a fun, and affordable way for a family to travel. Sometimes the journey is just as fun as the final stop! But hours in the car will be more enjoyable for all with some pre-trip preparation. Before our recent New York to Florida road trip, I intentionally equipped our car with these items – taking into account entertainment, food and comfort.

2021 update – we just completed an awesome Southwest Road trip to the Grand Canyon. Check out that post to see why I will never travel without a spare tire again (in my defense, it was a rental car, but still).

Road Trip Packing List: For the Kids

Let’s be honest, kids these days can only spend so much time staring out the window, or playing some of these super fun verbal games. My kids need “stuff” to entertain them. Here are some items my kids love:


DVD player – We have had this DVD player for years. It straps to the headrests and plugs into the car outlet (the circular one). We make our kids watch with these headphones and before a long trip, we will take out a ton of DVDs from our local library. This is really the only time our kids watch DVDs, and they take turns picking the movies. Right now, favorite flicks include Madagascar (one, two and three), Despicable Me (one, two and three), Minions, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life and anything from the Whimpy Kid series.


iPad –  Usually the sequence of road trip events will start off with a DVD, so mom can help cue it up, then when the movie ends, they will grab their iPads and play some games. Each kid also has a few movies downloaded on their device. They both have Zootopia (from our Hawaii trip in 2016) and now baby girl has Pitch Perfect and little man has Jumanji 2.


Road Trip Games – After a movie, and some games on their iPad, they will usually want to play some of these road trip games. I bought Rubberneckers and Scavenger Hunt, and they were both big hits on our NY to FL trip. I also picked up this pad of games – which have become a favorite to play at restaurants on the road.



Road Trip Packing List: For the Driver


Car Phone Charger – If your car is like mine and does not have a regular outlet (I know some newer cars have one) I highly recommend a car phone charger. When you need to access Google Maps or want to listen to a podcast or stream music, you don’t want to run out of battery! We also use these to charge the kids’ iPads.


Car Phone Holder – When I bought this, my husband laughed at me and told me I looked like an Uber driver, but this was the best $8 I spent on our whole NY to FL trip. Although I do not use my phone while driving, this came in handy while trying to use Google Maps or to listen to podcasts.



Road Trip Packing List: For the Family


Cooler – While driving, every person had at least one drink at their seat (Camelbak for me, and kid’s Camelbak or Contigo cups for the little ones). To keep soda, la Croix’s and extra waters cold, we brought our cooler.



Snack Tray – Before the long Florida trip, on our road trips, hubby would hold the snack bag up front and dish out food to kids as they asked. For this trip, I wanted the kids to have some independence in the back seat (and not be constantly bothering us) so I bought this clear craft tray and was able to repurpose it as a back-seat snack tray. I put it on the middle seat divider and filled it with several choices for each kid!


SNACKS – Besides car seats, gas and toll money, this might be the most important thing on the list! If you have a good stock of snacks not only won’t you have to stop as often, you will save money for sure! But of course, the question is what are the best road trip snacks? I know I like to have things on hand that are healthy, but fun and indulgent! I like to have fruit on hand (apples, bananas and grapes are great choices) and granola bars, especially for breakfast.

But I always tend toward the crunchy on a trip. So that is why I was so excited to try a new light and crunchy snack – Hippeas! They are actually the perfect road trip snack! Hippeas are made from chickpeas and contain 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving. Hippeas are also organic, gluten-free, vegan, kosher and non-GMO, so the perfect snack to bring to a class party or gathering!

Road Trip Packing List. All the essentials you need to stock your car for your next road trip! #RoadTrip #Hippeas #FamilyTravel #Travel #SummerTravel

We tested out the Vegan Cheddar Hippeas on our recent trip to the beach, and needless to say, they were a big hit. I personally liked the Sriracha Sunrise – a good crunch with a little kick! Other Hippeas flavors include Bohemian Barbecue, Pepper Power and Far Out Fajita. I can’t wait to try these this weekend – maybe while we are at the soccer field all day!

Road Trip Packing List. All the essentials you need to stock your car for your next road trip! #RoadTrip #Hippeas #FamilyTravel #Travel #SummerTravel

Want to try Hippeas? You can pick these up at over 30,000 retail locations across the US including Starbucks, Whole Foods, Wegmans, Stop & Shop, Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway, CVS, Thrive Market and on Amazon! Be sure to check out their feed on instagram!


Summer is finally upon us in the Northeast and we have planned a day trip to Eastern Connecticut and a road trip up to Montreal. We will for sure be stocking our car with these road trip essentials – including Hippeas snacks! What are you must have road trip items? Do you have a summer road trip planned?


This post was sponsored by Hippeas. I was provided bags of this tasty snack for purposes of creating this review. As always, opinions are all my own.





The Ultimate Road Trip Packing List. All the essentials you need to stock your car for your next car trip! #Vacation #RoadTrip #Hippeas #FamilyTravel #Travel #SummerTravel


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23 Comments to “The Ultimate Road Trip Packing List”

  1. LOVE roadtrips and think Snacks are always my number one essential for grown ups and children haha!! Only thing I’d add is an amazing playlist – if I could have my way it’d be a Disney playlist all the way 😉

  2. Great list! We used to use the car DVD player when the kids were little. I also would pack a art bag with coloring books, artist pads & colored pencils (not crayons- cause they melt in the heat) and would invariably always forget the pencil sharpener lol.

  3. This is very useful! We go on roadtrips often, and every time it is quite a hassle to pack. For plane I’m more limited in luggage weight, but with the road trip you can pack more and it makes it even more difficult 🙂 Thanks for the list, will check out those Hippeas too.

  4. I’m not road tripping with kids, but for our upcoming road trip in the UK I just bought a car phone charger. Even though I am not the driver I could never play games, read a book or watch a movie in the car because I get car sick. I wish it were different.

  5. Love the cell phone holder idea! I’ve seen them several times (mostly with Uber drivers and the like), and it always seemed like such a great idea for when you’re using a GPS.

  6. Kelly

    I love this nifty packing list. I drove so much as a kid that I am not a fan of road trips. All these gadgets and gizmos are what I neec to get through a road trip.

  7. Sheila

    This is such a cool list! I don’t remember having that much fun during road trips while growing up lol I am a snacker, so those Hippeas are calling my name. I need to try them out.

  8. Such a helpful post! Whenever we do a long drive, I always forget a water bottle! And then I internally tell myself off once I get to a service station and see the price of a bottle of water! A cell phone holder is a must! We have a sat nav to get us to one place and another but it isn’t always up to date, so once you get to your destination, the gps on your phone is super helpful to find your exact hotel or attraction!

  9. Snacks are indeed very important when you are on a road trip. And you do want healthy ones, not chocolate or crisps. I had tried Hippeas before and they are indeed very delicious and healthy.

  10. Iga

    This is such a cool list, I’m going to forward it to my friend, who is a mother of two and is planning her first road trip with her littlest one. Also thanks for the reminder that I really need to get a cellphone charger for myself.

  11. Great list! We upgraded from DVD players to Samsung tablets several years ago. We can save movies onto the memory card, so they can control the movies themselves. Game changer! 🙂

  12. Ron

    Thank you for sharing this post Harmony! Any parent would find this list helpful while they prepare for a road trip with their kids. Road trips can provide many opportunities for education on-the-go, so in addition to a DVD player and road trip games, I think that bringing books for kids that can read is a good idea as well. I don’t mean novels such as Harry Potter or Hunger Games, no. I mean short stories or picture books that allow kids to still be entertained but by more fruitful means. For children that do not like reading, I suggest downloading educational video games on the Ipad. It is never a bad a time to learn something new, and road trips are the perfect opportunity to do so! 🙂


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