The Ultimate Car Trip Packing List for Families with Young Children

This is my Family Car Trip packing list, I hope it helps you remember what you might want to bring on a trip. Although I use it for every car trip, it may not be complete for your needs, so feel free to use it as a base for your planning.

The Waist Belt:

  • Phone
  • Wallet
  • $ bills & toll booth change
  • Directions
  • Travel & hotel information

The essential carry-in the car bag / Just plain in the car:

  • Formula
  • Rice
  • Baby Food
  • Baby Wipes
  • Baby Bottles
  • Pacifiers
  • Books on Tape
  • Books for parents
  • Favorite Baby Video Tapes
  • DVD’s with headphones for kids

Make up bag:

  • Freshener/moisturizer
  • Sun screen
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash &floss
  • Body & hand lotions
  • Makeup & deodorant
  • Talcum powder, shampoo/conditioner/gel/hair spray (non-aerosol),
  • Brushes/combs, hair bands

Folding tote bag/fanny pack

  • flap happy haps caps or visors
  • Phone List for work / hand held recorder for work notes, Notebook and Pen
  • First Aid Kit with: eyewash, medicines/bandages/antiseptic cream, germicidal hand cleaner, vitamins, Tylenol PM, Benedryl, baby Tylenol, tweezers. Neosporin / PediaCare decongestant, Sunblock
  • extra glasses/Sunglasses
  • camera – Video Camera and chargers  and batteries
  • passport/money/documents/keys (home & luggage)

Soft sided cooler

  • Juice boxes
  • Bottled water
  • Milk and formula bottles
  • Snacks, lunch, dinner

Have it Handy:

  • Favorite blanket/toy, doll, pacifiers, box of small toys
  • Diapers, Wipes and plastic bags for diaper disposal.
  • Portable potty for the side of the road emergencies


  • Personal 2-way radios
  • Zip-Lock bags/garbage bags
  • A nightlight
  • flip flops/water shoes, socks/white tennis shoes
  • Kids shoes, shorts, tees, socks underwear, warm clothes PJ’s, bathing suits, sunhats (1.5 outfits per day of vacation plus 2 warm outfits and warm hats)
  • Diaper rash ointment, Diapers, Wipes
  • Sippy Cups, Bottles, Insulated mug
  • Pack n’ Play
  • Double Stroller
  • Shovel and pails for kids
  • Specialty food items: Rice Milk, Soy yogurts, Formula etc.

Mom’s Stuff

  • Clothing:Night gowns/robe purses (daytime & evening) pantyhose/knee-high stockings bras/panties/slips swimsuits (3) /cover-up, Teva Sandals, lotion, lip gloss, white shorts/white slacks/two blouses or polo shirts
  • Jewelry, toiletries, hair dryer, curling iron, brushes, shampoos.

Dad’s LIST:

  • Clothing, Shoes (Socks Optional),D ay Wear, Tee Shirts or Polo Shirts, Shorts, Swim wear , Tennis shoes & socks, Other Wear, Boxer or Briefs, Sleepwear/Robe, Hat or Cap, Sunglasses  Teva Sandels knock around shorts and t-shirts
  • Shaving Kit (his includes what he needs)
  • Sunglasses – Sunglasses covers
  • Swiss Army Knife
  • Travel Clock
  • Short, Multi-Plug Extension Cord
  • Strapping Tape/Duct Tape, Cable Ties
  • Book to read


  • How animals will be cared for
  • Copies of passports, driver’s license, and credit cards before leaving home.
  • Charge all cameras and video camera batteries
  • Research restaurants and things to do, print out map if avail.

Keeping Baby Happy in the Car:

  • Peekaboo (many variations with blanket) where is… hide the toy, bring it out…
  • Magnetic Erasable doodle pad – I have a few of these if you don’t have one.
  • Goldfish (everyone likes them), Cheerios one at a time.
  • DVD’s

If it’s going to rain:

  • Umbrellas
  • Rain coats
  • Warm sneakers and socks
  • Scrabble
  • Indoor games