Family fun in Alberta in 48 hours or less

Family fun in Alberta in 48 hours or less

Road Trip Survival Guide

What to Bring When Traveling with Kids

Traveling with kids can be a delightful adventure, but it also requires some careful planning to ensure the journey is smooth and enjoyable for everyone. Whether you’re heading out for a weekend getaway or a cross-country road trip, here’s a comprehensive list of essentials to bring along. This guide covers entertainment, distractions, food, first aid, and other must-haves to help parents stay sane on long drives.

Entertainment and Distractions

Keeping kids entertained during a long drive is crucial. Here are some ideas to keep boredom at bay:

1. Portable Devices

Tablets and e-Readers: Load them with movies, games, and books.

Portable DVD Players: If your car doesn’t have built-in screens, a portable DVD player can be a lifesaver.

Headphones: To avoid disturbing others with different audio preferences.

2. Traditional Toys and Games

Coloring Books and Crayons: Great for keeping little hands busy.

Travel Games: Magnetic board games, card games, and puzzle books.

Stuffed Animals and Comfort Items: Familiar items can help soothe and comfort children.

3. Creative Kits

Sticker Books and Activity Kits: Perfect for engaging creativity without making a mess.

DIY Crafts: Simple crafts kits can be a fun way to pass the time.

4. Audiobooks and Podcasts

Kid-Friendly Audiobooks: Choose stories that captivate their imagination.

Educational Podcasts: Fun and informative shows that can entertain and educate.

Food and Snacks

Healthy snacks are essential to keep everyone energized and happy. Here are some travel-friendly options:

1. Non-Perishable Snacks

Granola Bars and Trail Mix: Easy to pack and nutritious.

Dried Fruits and Nuts: Great for a quick, healthy snack.

Crackers and Rice Cakes: Perfect for munching on the go.

2. Fresh Snacks

Fruit: Apples, bananas, and grapes are easy to eat and mess-free.

Veggie Sticks: Carrot sticks, cucumber slices, and bell pepper strips.

3. Drinks

Water Bottles: Bring refillable bottles to stay hydrated.

Juice Boxes: Convenient and spill-proof.

4. Cooler for Perishables

Portable Cooler: For keeping dairy products, sandwiches, and other perishable items fresh.

First Aid and Safety

Being prepared for minor injuries and emergencies is crucial. Here’s what to include in your car’s first aid kit:

1. First Aid Essentials

Band-Aids and Adhesive Bandages: For minor cuts and scrapes.

Antiseptic Wipes and Hand Sanitizer: To clean wounds and hands.

Tweezers and Scissors: Handy for removing splinters and cutting bandages.

Pain Relievers and Medications: Include children’s pain relievers and any necessary prescription medications.

2. Emergency Supplies

Flashlight: In case of emergencies or night-time needs.

Blankets: For warmth and comfort.

Multi-Tool: Useful for various minor repairs or needs.

3. Comfort and Cleanliness

Wet Wipes and Tissues: For quick clean-ups and hygiene.

Trash Bags: To keep the car tidy and organized.

Change of Clothes: Accidents happen, so having spare clothes is a good idea.

Other Must-Haves

1. Travel Documents and Essentials

Identification and Insurance: Ensure you have all necessary documents.

Travel Itinerary and Maps: Even if you use GPS, having a backup map can be useful.

2. Comfort Items

Travel Pillows and Blankets: For naps and added comfort.

Window Shades: To keep the sun out and the car cool.

3. Organization

Backseat Organizer: Keeps toys, snacks, and other essentials within reach.

Storage Bins: For organizing larger items and keeping the car clutter-free.


Traveling with kids can be an enjoyable and memorable experience with the right preparation. By bringing along these essentials, you can help ensure that everyone stays entertained, fed, safe, and comfortable.

You might also find our “We’re Not There Yet” list of activities a life-saver for when you run out of ideas of your own!

Happy travels. Enjoy the journey as much as the destination!