I’m a pretty experienced traveler when it comes to road tripping across the United States with kids. Peyton and I have been doing this since she was born. At first, it was hour long car rides to see Grandma and Grandpa. But by her first birthday, she did her first 5-hour road trip to Chicago. Along the way, I have found some must-have accessories for my vehicle to help it survive traveling with a young child.
Since Peyton was little I have always had a seat protector on the back seat. I know they are sold geared towards pet parents but all us parents need these if traveling anywhere with pets or children. It will save your backseat. Many are waterproof which will save your upholstery from potty accidents, bottle spill and whatever else they can drop back there. Bonus is they are fairly inexpensive, so if it gets a little gross you can just toss it out and buy a new. I usually wash ours on delicate a few times a year and then replace it once it starts to look worn. But it has saved my backseat so many times that I will never not have one in my vehicle.
Even if you are not bringing snacks with you on the road trip, you may want to bring a small collapsable cooler. My favorite is the Market Fresh Thermal by Thirty-One. It can be stored under a front seat if not using it but can be ready to go in seconds. Sometimes you come across fruit stands or have leftovers you want to bring with you. There have been times I have bought cupcakes and wanted to keep them cool on our way home. You just never know when a cooler is needed.
Cell Phone Holder
With every state having a different law for cell phones it’s best to get a cell phone holder that attaches to your dash in some fashion rather than hold it or look down at it for directions. I personally use my cell phone for the GPS feature every time we travel. But I also don’t want to get pulled over and have to explain that I am holding on to it so I can see the route I am driving. It’s much easier, and safer, to have it set at eye level on the dash so I can glance over and see the route.
This is a huge one for us, bring chargers! Lots and lots of chargers. It never fails that one breaks or we need more than one at a time. I always like to take a charger for each person/electronic and then toss 2 more in the bag as well. That way, everyone has a charger and there will be no fighting.
These are 4 of my must-have items when are on a road trip.