This post is all about the 4 Must-Haves For Summer Road Trips! With spring upon us and summer right around the corner, many of you mamas may already have vacations planned or daydreaming of the next place you and your family will visit. While it’s essential to know how to prepare for a long trip with your family, it’s also important to know what to bring on road trips. Growing up, you likely took many road trips with your families than you do nowadays with your own. Flights are more common today and international travel – but there’s something nostalgic and intimate about making memories as a family on a road trip.
4 Must-Haves For Summer Road Trips
So, if you haven’t nailed down all of your summer plans yet, consider adding a road trip to the list of your vacations. Let’s take a look at your must-haves before you hit the road with family in tow.
The Right Luggage
While most of the packing may be left up to you as a mama, you can still get your kids involved in the packing process at age-appropriate levels. Tweens, teenagers, and your adult partner are on their own! But, one thing you can get your younger children involved in is carrying their luggage. While they may be too small to shoulder a weekender bag for the road trip, a rolling suitcase is ideal for younger kids. They feel independent, and children love being helpers. Rolling suitcases are great for the whole family because they free up your shoulders and an extra hand to carry add ons like coolers and day bags.
The Perfect Playlist
These days we are all so plugged into our devices – iPads, iPhones, and tablets. Instead of everyone listening to their respective music for the entire road trip, curate a playlist you know everyone will enjoy. Road trips, being more intimate, allow you to create memories that your children will cherish for a lifetime. Providing the soundtrack to those memories should be viewed as an honor. Of course, you want to have tunes that everyone in the car can relate to and enjoy – you can even make separate playlists catered to each family member, depending on how long the drive will be. This may sound like it would take a long time, but apps like Spotify or Apple Music make creating a memorable playlist a ten-minute or less task.
One of the easiest ways to ensure everyone stays in a positive mood throughout the car ride is to ensure they’re eating the healthiest food possible. While gas stations, truck stops, and rest areas are rites of passage that should be stopped at on a family road trip, you’re bound to partake in some serious junk food binges. That’s why a cooler prepared ahead of time with fresh fruits, veggies, and other healthy snacks is a must. Nothing will sour a fun ride like a tummy ache, except for maybe the fiftieth “are we there yet?” So, plan and pack healthy snacks like cheeses, nuts, and plenty of produce. Don’t forget the bottled water either!
Just like traveling anywhere else, you want to have essentials on hand in case of an emergency. Of course, required daily medications are at the top of the list. You also want to include a small first aid kit and a functioning flashlight since you’ll be in your vehicle. Keep cash on hand or in your glove box in case a wallet or credit card gets left behind at one of your many stops. You’ll also want to charge cords for your phones and other devices – enough for everyone in the car. In addition to all the above-mentioned emergency supplies, it’s worth having a traditional paper map of the areas you’ll be traveling to be on the safe side.
Taking a family road trip is something every family should do at least once. On top of the memories to be made, as previously mentioned, it’s an actual test of how well you work together as a team, communicate and problem solve—additionally, giving your children the opportunity to see large swaths of the country (or at least the states surrounding their own) from a more up close and personal view. Happy trails!