Road Trip Ready for Adventures with Little Ones

I’ll admit, I never expected to be a mini van mom. I’m a believer now, completely spoiled by the conveniences it offers. Plus, on cold or rainy days we have enough room for a picnic for four in the back!

Road Trip Ready for Adventures with Little Ones

Here’s how I stocked our van to have anything I might need on the go.

Glove Box or Console:

  1. Vehicle Registration
  2. Insurance – Car as well as Health insurance cards
  3. Peppermint Essential Oil – This is a game changer for those who get carsick! Any time you feel woozy, open the bottle and take a big inhale.
  4. Microfiber cloth for the dust that inevitably settles on your dash and entertainment screen. Instant clean!
  5. Individual-use Sunscreen Packets in case my full-size bottle is MIA from a beach bag or day trip backpack.
  6. Laundry detergent – Single use pack or pod JUST IN CASE you’re far from home and you have a carsick mess in a carseat you can wash the clothes/car seat liner with it. This has happened to us about once every 6 months with our son. Don’t let that stench ruin the rest of your journey.
  7. Kid Hand Sanitizer
  8. Gum/Mints
  9. Backup pair of cheap sunglasses
  10. Mask(s)
  11. Extra snacks
    • Rice Rusks are a welcomed snack til at least age 3
    • Baby Food Pouch (I don’t like to keep this in the car during extreme temperatures though)
  12. Cords/Cables – Lightning charger, headphones, micro usb charger
  13. Rain poncho
  14. Emergency Cash (Just $10 has saved me on a few occasions where I forgot my wallet or was cashless.)
  15. Postage Stamps – I like to keep envelope and postcard stamps handy.
  16. Medicine / Personal Care
    • Pain Reliever (Bonine or Dramamine)
    • Motion Sickness Pills
    • Deodorant
    • Small Hairbrush
    • Dental Kit with toothbrush/paste
    • Boogie Wipes – Made for runny noses, but I also use them as a wet wipe. Less harsh that baby wipes (unless you’re already using water wipes).
    • Nail File/Clipper
    • Tweezers
    • Hair Tie
    • Band-Aids
    • Sanitizing Wipes
  17. Pen
  18. Post-its (For leaving notes for others or reminders for yourself.)

Read on for ideas to keep your children entertained on the journey!

Kid Activities:

Below are the items that live in my vehicle. Get more ideas here Favorite Travel Activities Under $15 and here Gift Ideas for Families Who Love Travel.

  1. Restaurant Backpack – A bag filled with activities/toys they only see when you’re out and about. This keeps them entertained while you can enjoy a meal out or a visit to a brewery. Here’s what we keep in our busy bag:
  2. Car Activities all stored in a Collapsible Car Organizer Bin
    1. Crayola Color Wonder Markers (No mess coloring)
    2. Board Books (at age 3, my toddler still sometimes tears pages, so I stick to board books in the car. Press Here is one of his favorites!
    3. A cookie sheet and magnets
    4. Water painting/drawling board
    5. A knotted shoestring and beads – This makes a big mess, but it probably keeps my 3 year old more entertained than anything else in the box
    6. A few Squigz
  3. Kid Headphones – Headphones specifically made for kids are best because they have a pre set maximum volume. We use these cute Forky Headphones so we don’t have to listen to Shiny and You’re Welcome on repeat.

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links on which (at no additional cost to you) I may earn a small commission. I promise to use any kickback to explore more of our incredible world. Read full privacy policy here


  1. Small, battery operated vacuum – We use a Dewalt Wet/Dry Vacuum as it is easy to swap out the battery from our garage’s charging station
  2. Trash bin DIY – Convert a cereal container to a lidded trash receptacle
  3. Umbrella

One More Tip:

In the unlikely event you are in an accident, label each kid’s carseat with a bright piece of paper stating:

  • Their Name
  • DOB
  • Parent Name(s) and Phone Numbers
  • Primary Doctor and Phone Number
  • Allergies

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