Best Family Road Trip Packing List: What Should I Pack for a Family Vacation?

The family road trip packing list you’ll find below lists everything you’ll need to pack for a family vacation. We cover everyone’s packing needs for a multi-generational trip, from baby to senior citizen — even the pets if you’re bringing them along! 

Go ahead and scan the checklists below to make sure you’re not forgetting to pack anything when you and your whole family go on a road trip.

CONTENTS – In this article, you find a family road trip packing list so you can plan the things to pack on a multi-generational family trip, including:

Road Trip Packing List for Families: The Complexities of Packing for A Multi-Generational Family Road Trip

You are excited and start to plan for a multi-generational trip but you are not sure what to pack to make the trip more memorable and exciting. After all, you want everyone to have fun on your family vacation!

Packing for a multi-generation road trip can be challenging if you don’t list it out in advance and try to gather ideas at the eleventh hour. There’s just too many moving parts. Also, don’t overlook the importance of some fun things to pack for a road trip. That’s the whole point of a family vacation, right?

So in today’s topic, we are going to assist you in packing the most essential items for a multi-generational family road trip. You may want to pare the list down depending on your needs, but at least you’ll know you’ve thought of everything when you have children or seniors along for the ride.

You’ll find the detailed lists below.

What to Pack for a Road Trip with Kids

Depending on their age(s), what to pack for a road trip with kids can vary. That’s why we’ve broken it down into separate packing lists for babies, toddlers, younger children, tweens, teens, and college-aged kids.

Each of these road trip essentials for kids differs by their uniquely different needs! Select from those below which suit your family make-up.

Related Article: How to Plan Your Family Vacation

Baby Road Trip Packing List

  • Infant/Baby Car seat
  • Car sun shade
  • Diaper travel bag
  • Diapers, diaper cream, wet wipes and changing pad
  • Weather appropriate, easy-wearing baby outfits
  • Swaddling blankets
  • Baby monitor
  • An awesome baby carrier
  • Small lightweight travel stroller
  • Travel breast pump, milk storage bag
  • Travel bottle warmer
  • Silicone feeder
  • Baby food, serving dish and spoon
  • Bibs 
  • Pacifier(s)
  • Trash bag for soiled diapers
  • Wash bag for dirty clothes 
  • Baby shampoo and bubble bath, washcloths, baby towel
  • Favorite toys and books
  • First aid kit, medicine

Road Trip with Toddler Packing List

  • Toddler Car seat
  • Car sun shade
  • Diaper travel bag
  • Diapers, diaper cream, wet wipes and changing pad
  • Weather appropriate outfits and shoes
  • Car blanket & pillow
  • Baby monitor
  • Small lightweight travel stroller
  • Healthy snacks and drinks
  • Serving dish and cutlery
  • Sippy cup
  • Bibs
  • Trash bag for soiled diapers
  • Wash bag for dirty clothes 
  • Baby shampoo and bubble bath, washcloths, baby towel
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush and hair accessories
  • First aid kit, hand sanitizer, medicine
  • Favorite toys, books, stickers, paper, arts & crafts
  • Travel potty toilet seat

Road Trip Essentials for Younger Kids

  • Weather appropriate outfits and shoes
  • Car blanket & pillow
  • Healthy snacks and drinks
  • Serving dish and cutlery
  • Wash bag for dirty clothes 
  • Baby shampoo and bubble bath, washcloths, towel
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush and hair accessories
  • First aid kit, mask, hand sanitizer, medicine
  • Favorite toys, books, paper, arts & crafts, car games
  • Tablet or smartphone, headphones, audio books (with chargers!)

What to Pack for a Road Trip for Tweens*

  • Weather appropriate outfits and shoes
  • Car blanket & pillow
  • Water bottles
  • Healthy snacks and drinks
  • Wash bag for dirty clothes 
  • Soap, shampoo, towel, deoderant
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
  • Hairbrush and hair accessories
  • Sunglasses, sun screen 
  • First aid kit, mask, hand sanitizer, medicine, proof of vaccination
  • Favorite activities, books, puzzles, magazines, coloring books, arts & crafts
  • Small flashlight
  • Tablet, laptop, or smartphone, headphones (with chargers!)

Essentials Checklist for Teenagers on A Road Trip*

  • Emergency details card
  • Packing cubes, duffle bag, lightweight daypack
  • Neck wallet
  • Phone, charger cord, power bank, headphones, camera, and other essential electronic items
  • Water bottles
  • Soap, shampoo, deoderant
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
  • Travel towel, travel pillow & blanket, cooling towel.
  • Sunglasses, sun screen 
  • Skin care cream
  • Hoodie, weather friendly clothes
  • Athletic-type shoes, sandals, waterproof shoes
  • Books, magazines, eBook, painting book, puzzle book, outdoor games/toys
  • Snacks, candies
  • First aid kit, mask, hand sanitizer, medicine, proof of vaccination
  • Small flashlight 

Packing Checklist for College-Aged Children*

  • Emergency details card
  • Packing cubes, duffle bag, lightweight daypack
  • Neck wallet
  • Phone, charger cord, power bank, headphones, camera, and other essential electronic items
  • Water bottles
  • Soap, shampoo
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
  • Travel towel, travel pillow & blanket, cooling towel.
  • Sunglasses, sun screen 
  • Skin care cream
  • Hoodie, weather friendly clothes
  • Athletic-type shoes, sandals, waterproof shoes
  • Books, magazines, eBook, painting book, puzzle book, outdoor games/toys
  • First aid kit, mask, hand sanitizer, medicine, proof of vaccination
  • Snacks, candies
  • Small flashlight 

*Tweens, teenagers, and college-aged children should be capable of packing for themselves, but it helps if you review some of the things that might be helpful for them to bring along.

Essentials Checklist for Senior Adults on A Road Trip

  • Essential medicines, over-the-counter and prescribed
  • Important documents including medicine list, doctor name and contact number, any travel related documents
  • Adult diapers or pads
  • Weather appropriate outfits
  • Hat and sunscreen
  • Extra pair of glasses
  • Hearing aids and charger
  • Cane, walker, or wheelchair
  • Comfortable shoes, flip flops, socks
  • Travel size toiletries
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste or denture cup/denture cleaner
  • Small umbrella
  • Favorite books, newspaper, magazines
  • Magnifying glass
  • Smartphone, tablet, phone charger
  • Travel pillow and blanket
  • Favorite snacks, water
  • Masks, hand sanitizer, hand soap, disinfectant wipes, proof of vaccination

Related Post: Delicious Food to Bring on a Road Trip

Road Trip Essentials for Couples

  • Photo id
  • Cash, debit cards, credit cards
  • House keys
  • Print or electronic map, or downloaded map location on phone app
  • First aid kit, over the counter medicines, prescription meds
  • Masks, sanitizer, proof of vaccination
  • Air freshener
  • Soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, birth control
  • Phone charger, power bank, phone holder
  • Flash light, few pairs of batteries and solar powered light
  • Proper clothing, shoes, rain jacket, light jackets, essential cosmetics
  • Travel Towel
  • Hats, sun screen, sun glasses
  • Water bottles
  • Garbage bags, small trash can
  • Car organizers
  • Roof racks
  • Travel food containers, healthy foods
  • Travel games, road trip playlist and podcasts, notebook and pen, portable speaker, books.
  • Tablet, laptop(s), charging cords
  • Camera, extra SD card, extra battery, charger

Related Article: Best Outfits to Wear on Your Road Trip

What to Pack for Your Pets on a Road Trip

  • Water Dish and water
  • Pet Food
  • Leash
  • Pet Meds
  • Muzzle as needed
  • Pet Bed/Blanket
  • Favorite Pet Toy(s)
  • Pooper Scooper and bags
  • Pee Pads/Litter Box, Litter, Scooper

Car Safety and Essential Road Trip Checklist

  • Check tire tread and air
  • Vehicle registration, inspection, car insurance policy, car manual, other important documents
  • Driver license
  • Spare tire, roadside assistance card
  • Car fluids topped off
  • Car tool bag, roadside emergency kit

Related Post: Important Safety Tips for Your Vacation

Final Thoughts on A Family Road Trip Packing List

There you have it. It’s easy to see how this family road trip packing list can add up. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and really think about what you want to bring along. In the end, you might just need a bigger car for the trip. 

If so, read about these tips for renting a vw bus for your family adventure! 

Click here to continue reading a primer in planning a road trip.

Let us know if we have missed any essential items for a multi-generational road trip. Happy Journey!

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.

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