For most of us, traveling with family is a wonderful opportunity to make memories with our loved ones and bond over shared experiences. However, although traveling is meant to be a leisurely activity, preparing for your next family road trip may be a stressful endeavor. When spending time away from home, you will certainly want to remember to bring all the essential belongings. Therefore, packing a perfect family travel kit is the key to a successful and memorable family trip.
Below, we have compiled a general list of things to pack for your next family vacation, broken down into two categories: the Essentials & the Specifics. We hope that this will make it easier for you to pack the ultimate road trip family travel kit!
- The Essentials: The Bare Minimum
- The Specifics: Pick Only Those That Apply for Your Next Trip
- Wrapping Up the Road Trip Family Travel Kit Guide
The Essentials: The Bare Minimum
The must-have items in your family travel kit or, as a matter of fact, any travel kit fall in the essentials category. You shouldn’t leave your home without these packed.
1. Food, Cookware & Utensils
Although you will find restaurants and eateries everywhere you go, you may still want to pack your favorite snacks and munchies. By planning ahead and bringing snacks, you will have a fully stocked car, will not need to make as many stops for food, and can easily grab snacks to-go for all the activities on your itinerary.
What should you bring for snacks? Some options include:
· Healthy snacks (fruits, energy bars, nuts) to help you stay in shape while traveling.
· Kid favorites (crackers, fruit snacks, juice boxes) for picky eaters.
· Food for those with restricted dietary needs (vegan food, baby food, gluten-free options).
· Mess-free or individually wrapped snacks for convenient snacking in the car.
· Sandwich ingredients (bread, condiments, deli meats, cheese) for easy meals on the road.
Additionally, if you are planning an outdoor excursion, you might wish to bring cooking utensils, such as a frying pan. You might want to have a late-night meal in the middle of nowhere, and in such a situation, eggs and a frying pan can really come in handy.
Also, you should pack eating utensils such as plates, wipes, and cutlery to eat your on-the-go meals with ease. Further, having a reusable water bottle is eco-friendly and a real lifesaver during outdoor recreational activities such as biking, mountain climbing, and hiking. Food-related items are a top priority when it comes to packing a family travel kit.
2. Medical Kit
It goes without saying that having a proper medical and first aid kit is a critical component of any family travel kit. When you are traveling with family and kids, you should be well-prepared for any injury, especially if you are planning an outdoor excursion.
Bandages, pain spray, antiseptic and similar items should always be readily available. Additionally, always carry allergy-related medicines to counteract any accidental allergic reactions from a new environment or cuisine.
If you are traveling to a hot or humid destination, you should pack a mosquito repellent. This should form part of your medical kit because mosquitoes are bearers of some of the world’s deadliest diseases.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may wish to take extra precautions while traveling. Consider packing hand sanitizer and an extra face mask or face shield while traveling anywhere.
3. Clothing & Footwear
When traveling with your family, ensure that everyone packs the clothes they will need for your travels. Of course, you should pack plenty of clean underwear, socks, and weather-appropriate clothing. Don’t forget diapers or pull-ups for babies and young children, as well!
Make sure to also bring shoes that will be comfortable and serve your needs while traveling. Depending on the activities you have planned for your travel, the type of footwear you should pack will vary. If you are planning to go trekking, hiking, or even sightseeing, there isn’t anything more comfortable or protective than sports shoes. A trip to the beach necessitates that you bring sandals or flip-flops. If you anticipate colder weather, rain, or snow, you should pack water-resistant or insulated shoes with gripping treads. Don’t forget a pair of fancy dress shoes if you plan to attend any formal events, parties, or tourist sites.
You also need to pack according to the season and local climate. Bring sufficient layers for wintertime travels, especially with kids as they are more susceptible to the winter chill than adults. Also, don’t forget your swimwear if you are planning a beach vacation. Renting swimwear or equipment can shake up your vacation budget drastically and can be extremely unhygienic.
4. Weather Protective Gear
Depending on the expected (or unexpected) weather conditions and climates you may encounter on your travels, you will want to be prepared and pack accordingly. Below are some general guidelines for you to use.
Sun-protective gear should include:
· Hats and sunglasses
· Sunscreen Lotion
· Lightweight neck scarf, swimsuit coverup, or jacket
Rain-protective gear should include:
The cold-protective gear should include:
· Neck scarf or muffler
5. Travel Documents, Cash & Permits
Neglecting to bring important travel documents can cut your trip short and spoil your fun. While traveling, you may need specific documents for international trips or while booking reservations for places like national parks and preserves.
Thus, make a list of all the must-have travel documents and create a separate bag to secure everything in an easy-to-access place. When possible, try to keep this bag on your person or in a secure safe so that nothing will be lost if you should lose the rest of your luggage.
Further, although we live in a digital age, depending upon digital payments without a backup plan is not always a good idea. What if your phone dies in the middle of nowhere and you need to buy something urgently? Keeping some cash on hand is always advisable.
The Specifics: Pick Only Those That Apply for Your Next Trip
Apart from the essentials, there are other vacation-specific items to include in your family travel kit. For example, if you are going on a ski trip with your family, it is obvious to pack the ski equipment. However, you will need to bring different items on a summer camping trip. So here are some specific family travel kit components for you to consider packing.
1. Camping Specifics
When you are going on a camping trip, you must have a few essentials with you for a fun and hassle-free vacation. Rented equipment might lack quality and may not be appropriate for your family size. Further, there is always a possibility of not finding the equipment to rent because of a tourist rush. So it is usually best to carry your own camping equipment; after all, that is what makes it a camping trip.
Bring warm sleeping bags, ensuring that they are adequate for the weather conditions as the temperature can fall a lot at night. Flashlights, mosquito repellent, and bonfire equipment are also necessary.
Consider items that will make a camping trip more fun. A deck of cards, musical instrument, or book about wildlife could make the trip even more memorable.
2. Skiing Specifics
For a ski trip, you may wish to bring your own skiing equipment. This includes skis, hiking poles, gumboots, and a lot of winter protection.
A balaclava would be essential, and so are ski goggles. Further, most family ski trips won’t be on very advanced slopes; however, you should pack a small medical kit for ski injuries. Also, it is best to have travel insurance that reduces out-of-pocket medical expenses.
3. Beach Specifics
Although the most obvious beach specifics are sun-protective gear, there are plenty of other things you can bring for fun family activities.
For instance, kids might love to use sandcastle equipment to build a stunning castle and create a memorable photo opportunity. Further, some sporting equipment such as beach volleyball could add a lot of fun and keep your family entertained.
Finally, many beaches have watersports and adventures, including snorkeling, scuba diving, jet-skiing, etc. These could require pre-bookings, permits, safety equipment, and other necessary paraphernalia. So, if you are planning to try these out, make sure to either rent the required gear or book the same at the destination to avoid last-minute shortages. If you do so, don’t forget the booking documents and permits when you arrive.
While this list is not extensive, we hope it gave you an idea of some items to bring in your family travel kit. The underlying mantra is, being prepared can help you avoid unnecessary hassles and enable you to have a fun and memorable road trip.
Wrapping Up the Road Trip Family Travel Kit Guide
Packing the perfect family travel kit for the road trip is not as difficult as it sounds. With a little bit of planning and forethought, you can be well-prepared for your travels. Remember to prioritize brining what you need, not just what you want. You don’t have to cram your vehicle full of unnecessary things, but don’t forget the essentials. Like everything in life, there should be a balance between both extremes; carrying too much could also be inconvenient.
So now that you are all packed, scroll through our vast selection of lovely holiday accommodations on our platform Rental Trader. We have all kinds of family-friendly options for you, such as beach resorts, ski resorts, vacation rentals, hotels, homestays, and more. If you want to know more about these accommodations, visit our website.