14 Essentials For a Mostly Wonderful Road Trip

In preparation for our last trip we received a few items for review … if we didn’t love them though, they didn’t make the cut! This list is legit!


With three cross country trips under my belt and two more in the works, I have definitely worked out the essentials for a mostly wonderful road trip. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

I say “mostly” because road trips are not easy – read more about that here. Basically, you can prepare your heart out and still blow a tire or have a little one not make it to the bathroom or rage a bit when the car noise gets to be too much.

Should you still take a road trip … even with all the potential downfalls?

YES! 100% yes. Memories are made on the road and I feel extraordinarily blessed to have taken my kids on so many adventures.

Now, I suspect this may be round one of my recommendations. I’m constantly reevaluating and finding new things that ease our time on the road. But, for now, here’s some things to consider if you’re about to hit the open road with kids …

Walker Family Goods Duffels

For Christmas Mimi blessed us all with the most amazing bags for our travels! Everyone got to choose their own color and after a few trips I can honestly say, these are the best duffels! I have the Valley size and the kids have the State. The State is good for a 5-7 day trip minus shoes and winter gear. If you have a longer trip or are toting along extra bulky items consider the Valley.

Our duffels are complete with special Mabel’s Labels tags. Because, well, Daddy can’t remember everyone’s colors so the labels help him get things sorted just right.

NOMATIC Packing Cubes

For the longest time I thought packing cubes were a fun, but non essential travel item. Then I tried NOMATIC packing cubes and I am more than sold. These packing cubes are not just for organization, they are HUGE space savers thanks to their compression feature. The collapsible tote from NOMATIC is a great travel item too … you never know when you need a quick beach bag or space for souvenirs.

Cozy Earth Basics

I’ve tried to get much better at packing capsule wardrobes when I travel – coordinating colors, comfy basics, and pieces that I can easily wash. Then the fun comes from accessories like scarves, headbands and earrings; little things. My very very favorite basics are from Cozy Earth. I especially love their joggers, shorts, and crewneck pullover.

KeepGoing First Aid Kit

I’ve put together my own first aid kit in the past but when started prepping for these longer trips I realized things were either expired or empty … we needed a refresh! KeepGoing’s GoKit was the perfect find! It’s stocked with all the things we will hopefully never need from bandaids to burn cream to nose bleed plugs to a tick remover tool. My only addition is QuikClot; not cheap, but important to have.

iPad Holder

Do I allow screens on the road … you betcha! Not nonstop, but movies are definitely in the rotation. I bought this iPad holder for the boys’ row and it is super sturdy!

Seat Organizer

I found these amazing seat organizers secondhand. And yes, I’ve tried others. And yes, I’d totally pay full price for these. This seat organizer is sturdy with all the right pockets. Win win win!

Portable Charger

I road trip and hike with a portable charger because, well, it’s important to always have a relatively full phone battery. I love this Anker charger most but it is heavy – I get three charges from it! This one is good too, but only reliable for one charge.

Handzies Natural Hand Soap + Water Wipes

It isn’t always easy to wash hands when you’re on the go … Handzies fixes that! We had the chance to try these out on our last trip to the PNW and I’m a big fan! They’re easy, fast, natural, and I’m certain helps in keeping us healthy while we travel.

Coalatree Kachula Adventure Blanket

My trunk wouldn’t be complete with a versatile blanket! Whether the kids need a backseat snuggle, we set out on a picnic, or happen to need an emergency poncho – the Kachula Adventure Blanket from Coalatree is ready to save the day!

If your road trips include hiking, be sure to check out Coalatree’s jackets, shirts, and bottoms too!

doTERRA Essential Oils

I travel with a diffuser as well as a little wellness kit from doTERRA. It’s just such a part of our routine that when we’re on the go we like having it. Our favorites to diffuse at bedtime are Balance and OnGuard. And my wellness kit has Lavender, Tea Tree, Oregano, Helichrysum, DigestZen, and PastTense. We love the Serenity Sleep Mist too – perfect pillow spritz!

Door Stop

Door stops are the easiest, cheapest safety trick for travel. Grab this 2-pack for $7 and you’ll sleep with extra peace of mind.

AIrTag + Bracelet

On the note of safety, until my kids know my phone number and can easily communicate it in case of emergency I like to have an AirTag secured in a silicone bracelet for when we’re visiting more crowded spaces.

Tula Baby Carrier

I could not travel without our Tula! When Charlie was little I had a Free to Grow, then we transitioned to a handwoven regular size, and now, he’s in a toddler Tula. It. Is. Essential. For hiking, city adventures, and naps on the go there is nothing better than getting him up and in a safe position.

Snacks! Snacks! Snacks!

Ok, you probably don’t need snack ideas – I know we all have our favorite munchies! But, in the case that you want a little refresh consider trying out Sweet Chaos popcorn (all the flavors are AMAZING!), Trader Joe’s strawberry licorice, chips from Late July, and this candy.

Last, but not least … THE FUN! Yes, yes, fun is a very important part of road trips! I’ll be back with another post about all the things the kids pack in their backpacks to stay occupied as well as some activities that keep the miles rollin’ along >>> 3, 2, 1 … Road Trip Fun!

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