Headed out on a road trip? Don’t forget to bring nutritious road trip snacks and these other road trip essentials to stay safe and sane on the road! You’ll want to pack these items for your road trip whether you’re traveling with kids, grandparents, or even just your girlfriends for a weekend in Napa!
This past weekend my family took a quick road trip to San Antonio! It was the first road trip we’ve done in a while with my 4-year-old, and I wanted to share some of the road trip tips I learned from our experiences.
It’s actually the first one since our road trip from Dallas to Austin, and I’m so glad we brought all of these road trip essentials!
We’re typically pack up and go travel people – totally last minute travelers, so I wrote this post for myself to keep handy for those times!
Road Trip Essentials: 6 Things to Pack
1 – Road Trip Snacks
One of the keys to a happy and fun road trip is to pack good road trip snacks but don’t just bring junk. Although I’m always a fan of bringing homemade Chex Mix as my snack of choice!
Junk can lead to meltdowns, people feeling sick, kids going crazy, and all sorts of other stuff you don’t want. We gave my 4-year-old some gummy bears on the way home and when we got home, he got super sick. Definitely won’t do that again.
Instead, load up on nutritious road trip snacks like fresh fruits, veggies, and 100% all-natural meats, cheeses, and nuts. Our favorite thing to do is load up a cooler bag with some ice, fruits, veggies, and the all new HORMEL™ NATURAL CHOICE™ snacks.
You can always bring along some homemade Chex Mix as well but make sure to include the good stuff too!
You can find all four flavors of HORMEL™ NATURAL CHOICE™ snacks in the lunch meat aisle:
- Oven-Roasted Turkey with mild white Cheddar cheese and chocolate covered pretzels
- Honey Ham with mild white Cheddar cheese and chocolate covered pretzels
- Oven-Roasted Turkey with Pepper Jack cheese and chocolate covered blueberries
- Over-Roasted Chicken with mild white Cheddar cheese and chocolate covered almonds (my fav!)
Click here to find a store in your area that carries the snacks. Then download a coupon here to save money on the snacks!
2 – Water, but Not Too Much Water
Make sure to stay hydrated on your trip by packing plenty of water for the trip. You can also do things like juice and sports drinks, but I recommend them in limited amounts so you don’t run into the same issues that you get with eating tons of sugar and junk food. And if you don’t want to stop every five minutes for a bathroom break, regulate the amount of liquid people drink. Keep them hydrated but not too hydrated.
3 – Road Trip Games
This one is mostly for kids but good for everyone. Plan out some games to play as a group on the trip to pass the time. It’s amazing how fun it can be to do a road trip scavenger hunt, look for all the letters of the alphabet on license plates, or name that tune in the car. Pick some games that are appropriate for your kids’ ages and bring them out when the fighting or “how much longer” begins.
4 – Emergency Road Trip Essentials
You never know when you are going to have car problems. Bring along jumper cables, a spare tire, and a car emergency kit just in case. My car is only a couple of years old and has had no problems but after leaving it running at the gas station with the air conditioning going full blast, the battery totally died. Luckily we had jumper cables and the person pumping gas next to us quickly jumped our battery, and we were on our way.
Another tip – if you have to leave your car in idle, turn off the A/C, unplug any chargers, and turn off the radio to conserve the battery. Your car is probably already working overtime, and you don’t want to overheat it.
5 – Individual Entertainment
Pack up individual boxes, bags, or buckets with entertainment for each person in your family. I like to use plastic boxes to keep things organized but you can do whatever works best for you. Let kids pick out things to take on the road trip then add a couple of small surprises of your own that they can find on the trip. Our boxes normally include things like my son’s tablet, travel games, and little toys (no cars!) that he can play with on his own.
If you have a kid in a car seat or booster seat, try one of these awesome trays that can hold all of their things on their lap comfortably and within reaching distance. This was the perfect way for my son to have his snacks, hold his iPad, and be able to get to his water cup without me having to help.
6 – A Great Road Trip Playlist or Audio Book
Just like it’s easier to run with an awesome running playlist, road trips can seem so much shorter when you enjoy the music you’re listening to. When we drove from one side of the country to the other, my brother made me 20 CDs called “Road Trip CDs” that were mixes of some of our favorite songs from growing up. That was the shortest road trip ever because I couldn’t wait to get to see what song would come on next.
Another great option is to pick out a great audio book that the entire group will enjoy. Or give everyone else headphones to listen to their own devices and pick out an audio book just for the driver! Many of these great books are also available in audio format!
What would you add to this list of road trip essentials?