Traveling in a Car with Kids? Here Are the Essentials to Make It a Stress-Free Trip

From snacks to wipes, and screen and screen-free entertainment options, these are the must-have items that you'll be glad to have when you hit the road.

By Megan Gray May 18, 2024 1:00 AMTags
shop_car travel with kids_heroPhoto Courtesy of MoMo Productions

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You never know what's going to happen when you're traveling with kids, especially in the car. Will this be the time that everyone gets car sick? Will you have enough snacks? Will everyone get bored immediately? That's why it's important to be ready for anything and everything. But, if you don't have the bandwidth right now to get your road trip packing list together, then have no fear. I've put together a roundup of the best products to keep in your car that will entertain, feed, and keep your kids clean, as well as keep the backseat organized.

If you're looking for a budget and kid-friendly tablet that's equipped with interactive elements to keep your kids occupied, then you'll find it below. If you're looking for a screen-free option, there's a joke book for budding comedy writers and an innovative audio player. There's also the necessities that are always important to have in the car – first aid kit, wipes, vomit bags, and more.

Whether you're traveling near or far, you want everyone happy and satisfied. So, scroll down for the best products to pack if you're in the car with kids, and hit the road.

Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Sippy Cup

These sippy cups have been a staple in my home, for both my sons. They're easy to use, easy to clean, and keeps spills to a minimum. Plus, the handles are easy to hold and they fit conveniently in a child's car seat cup holder. If you're looking for something for bigger kids, I love this Simple Modern stainless steel tumbler with a straw that comes in so many cute prints.

Amazon Elements Baby Wipes, Unscented, 9-Pack

Messes can and will happen when you're in a car with kids. Be ready for the clean up with this 9-pack of unscented baby wipes.

High Road Large CarHop Car Seat Organizer

Not only does this back seat organizer have pockets and cup holders for kids, it also features an insulated cooler compartment to keep snacks and drinks cool. It also conveniently folds when not in use.

Contixo 7-Inch Kids Tablet 32GB

This budget-friendly tablet is fortified with screen protection against scuffs and scratches, and comes with a kid-friendly case. It's also equipped with parental controls and over 50 Disney storybooks.

Brica Stretch-to-Fit Sun Shade

The sun can get in your eyes when you're driving, so protect your little one with this sun shade. It can stretch for a custom fit and the suction cups make placement a breeze.

melii Snap & Go Baby Food Storage Containers with Lids, Set of 12

These containers are the perfect size for baby amounts of food and feature airtight lids that easily snap into place. Plus, they're stackable, and microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe, and they're easy for little hands to open.

Stasher Platinum Silicone Food Grade Reusable Storage Bag

Having a reusable storage bag on hand is always a great idea, for snacks, toiletries, and more (and saves on single-use plastics). Best of all, you can throw it in the dishwasher when it needs a refresh.

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Brica Backseat Organizer with Wipes Case

Further organize your backseat with this organizer. Not only does it feature a refillable compartment for wipes, it also includes 5 pockets, 2 cup holders, and a clear pouch for a tablet, so everything is within reach.

The Highlights Big Book of Activities for Little Kids

Everyone needs this Highlights Activity Book, whether you're on the road or just at home (I have one and have already bought several copies for friends). It's full of fun games, songs, and activities to keep kids entertained, from ages 3 to 6. But, if you're looking for something lighter, these Highlights Sticker Fun Books are an excellent backup, and keep kids occupied for hours.

LOL 101: A Kid's Guide to Writing Jokes

A road trip is a great time to start working on your child's joke writing skills. This handy how-to manual is full of fun exercises, illustrations, and sample jokes that will keep everyone in the car laughing.

Toniebox Audio Player Starter Set

The Toniebox is another screen-free option that's great for the road. Kids 3+ can use it for storytelling and singalongs, and the best part is that it's so easy for them to use and enjoy on their own (and my son loves it). Just set it up on the app, place the character on the box, and you're good to go. Each character has its own set of stories and/or songs to enjoy -- I highlighted two below.

YGDZ Vomit Bags Disposable, 15 Pack

If your kids get sick in the car, you know how stressful it can be for everyone. Make it a little easier with these disposable vomit bags. They have a wide brim that's easy to fit over your mouth and a secure closure system to keep everything secure. 

Happy Tot Organics Variety Pack

Snacks are a necessity on long car trips. I'm a fan of these pouches that are full of fiber and protein. They're so easy to open, squeeze, and eat, and my kids actually love the flavors.

Little Unicorn Primrose Patch Indoor/Outdoor Blanket

Keeping a water-resistant blanket in your car is ideal for impromptu picnics, beach trips, or just laying it down in the backseat if kids are messy. This blanket easily folds and features a carrying handle for convenient portability. Plus, it comes in a few sizes and so many cute prints.

Johnson & Johnson All-Purpose Portable Compact First Aid Kit, 160 Pieces

It's always good to keep a first aid kit in your car in case of accidents. This 160-piece kit is great for itches, scratches, burns, insect bites, and more. There's band-aids, gauze, and even pain relievers and a cold pack, just in case. Plus, it's backed by over 18,000 5-star Amazon reviews.

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—Originally published Mar. 16, 2024 at 4 AM PT.