The Best Road Trip Essentials

The words out, we’re heading out this summer on an epic roadtrip. When it comes to road trips, how well you’ve prepped can drastically impact how pleasant your experience is. After all, you’re stuck in a car for literal hours. With the exception of two flights, all of the travel we’ve done in Europe has been via our car. And I happen to love it! Granted, I’ll take an airport lounge literally any day, usually. But with the crazy stories coming from the European airports this summer, and having a car just gives you more flexibility all around, I’ll take a summer road trip!

With all of the kilometers we’ve put on our car, these are some of the things that have made road-tripping even better!

  • KID HEADPHONES – I know headphones might seem obvious, but if you’ve ever forgotten headphones – especially for your kids, you’ll thank me for the reminder. And while the bluetooth have always seemed tempting, I choose to go with the old plug-er-in-er headphones (for the kids), because it’s one less thing I have to charge. And when you’re traveling, that is a huge win!
    For me, I’m a basic Apple EarPods girl and have no complaints. 
  • BACKSEAT CHARGERS  –  I don’t know your car situation, but Amazon sells these cigarette lighter USB chargers and you need them. I got a duel one – so both boy’s iPads or Switches can be simultaneously charging. Trust me. We have a strict ‘no electronics’ policy when we’re outside of the car. But in the car, electronics are my best road trip friends.
  • PORTABLE VACCUM – Kids are gross. And since it’s not an option to not eat when you’re in the car for eight hours, shove your portable vacuum in the trunk and send good vibes my way. Being able to vacuum up the croissant crumbs makes getting into the car that much more bearable.
    I got mine off of but I love that this one on has a cigarette charger and this one has over seven thousand reviews
  • SNACK BAGS – This something I started doing after a few trips, and I will never go back. For each day that we’re in the car for an extended period of time, I make a snack bag. I also make a snack bag for days that I know we’ll be out and about. I take a plastic (there’s a reason for that) gallon freezer bag and write on the outside who it’s for, and for what day it’s for. Then I fill her up! It’s all food that doesn’t need to be cold (read healthy), but the mix of candy and crackers and nuts and dried fruit makes for a snack bags that the boys actually like. I specifically use disposable plastic bags so that when they’re done, we can recycle it! Or we can use it as a trash bag for another outing. I put all the car snack bags in one plastic bin, and it sits between the boys in the car. The amount of time and stress and buying snacks that it has saved us… that doesn’t mean we don’t get ice cream, or candy – we do, but having a snack bag is the cheese when you end up waiting in a line and bored means hungry. (You can spy the boy’s snack box in the middle of the photo!)
  • AUDIOBOOKS – If you haven’t looked into audiobooks for kids, you are missing out! My kiddos will easily listen to a book for at least an hour in the car. Especially if it has to do with the place that we’re heading. I loved listening to (a kid version) Anne Frank when we were heading to Amsterdam. These are some of our favorites!
    • any Magic Tree House
    • Hardy Boys
    • A to Z Mysteries
    • A Wolf Called Wander (this story really captivated us)
    • I Survived Series
  • SHEWEE + BABY WIPES – If you’re a boy, look away. But this, girls this is something that I LOVE. One, if you haven’t seen someone peeing at a pull-off in Germany, you haven’t been in Germany long enough. True story, in Europe there aren’t accessible bathrooms in all gas stations and grocery stores.  While German bathrooms tend to be clean and amazing – and totally worth the .50€ – I have stopped at gas stations outside of Germany where I would have just rather peed in the trees like the rest of the boys. And I haven’t forgotten how literally gross all the gas station bathrooms are in the States! A shewee is the answer!!! I have never peed on myself. 
  • ELECTRIC COOLER – Not just because ice isn’t a big thing in Europe, but the ease of having a refrigerator in your car is worth it! Mine has a cigarette lighter plug in the trunk, (and look in your trunk, because a lot of cars have cigarette lighters in the trunk! Who knew?!) and it literally has made road tripping that much easier because we can take it from the car to a hotel – that doesn’t have a refrigerator – and still have yogurt for breakfast.
    This is the exact one I have, purchase on

Any other just workhorse-items that you just have to have for a road trip???