Family Road Trip Travel Essentials

If you know anything about my family, you know that we travel a lot. We first started camping as a family when our oldest (and then, only) daughter was just under a year old. And ever since then, we’ve been hooked. Our summers are spent on the road with our camper in tow, hopping from campground to campground. And while traveling with kids can certainly come with its bumps in the road, we have managed to find methods along the way to make family road trips more enjoyable for everyone.

Here are three things we always make sure we have on-hand before we take off for our trips, in addition to a full tank of gas and approximately 8 million snacks.

  1. The iPad. We are not above letting our kids zone into screen time on our longer trips. We don’t let our kids watch the iPad or use technology during normal drives (to and from the grocery store, school, running errands, etc.), so when we plug the iPad in the truck, they still get super excited to be able to watch their favorite shows and movies. Pro tip: Download as many options that will possibly fit on your device through Amazon Prime, Google Play, and Netflix downloads. Your kids might not get sick of watching Cars 1,000 times in a row – but you’ll definitely get tired of listening to it from the front seat! We have this iPad holder and it works wonders.
  2. Car blankets. There’s nothing that looks more uncomfortable than a kid who falls asleep in their carseat. We have two of these lightweight muslin blankets that we use for road trips and both kids love them. They’re even large enough that I can borrow it for those times when Luke thinks it’s cool to set the air conditioning temperature in the truck as low as possible. 😉
  3. Quiet activities. We’ve found several great car-friendly activities that we simply won’t leave home without anymore. Melissa and Doug sticker books, magic marker coloring books, and water wow books are some of the kids’ (and our) absolute favorites. Most recently, we discovered these amazing silicone placemats that also double as coloring sheets from Beulah’s General Store in East Aurora, and they’ve been a big hit with both kids (ages 5.5 and 3.5)! We took this along with us on our plane ride to Florida this past spring break, and it goes without saying that the markers have seen plenty of use ever since.

The best part about these coloring mats is that they wipe completely clean, making for endless coloring fun! They also double as placemats, which I’m sure will come in handy in our camper this summer. (Note to self: Buy another one of these so each kid can have their own!)


As our children grow, I’m sure we will face new challenges once we take off for life on the road. But for now, these few simple items have been a Godsend! If you’re planning on traveling this holiday weekend or have big plans for summer vacation, be sure to head to Beulah’s to stock up on our new favorite car ride companion!  (& maybe grab a travel outfit or three for yourself while you’re there. #necessities) You can find Beulah’s General Store at 726 Main Street in East Aurora and follow along with the shop on Facebook here.

Special thanks to Beulah’s General Store for providing us product to review for this post!


Samantha is the founder and owner of Her friends call her Sam, Sammi, or Sammi Jo. Her two favorite people call her “Mommy.” Follow along with her ramblings on Twitter and Instagram, or on her personal blog, Kin + Kindling.

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