Road Trip Survival Tips

I love road trips. (**as an adult. . . sharing the backseat of a minivan with my 2 sisters and a dog and road tripping to North Carolina from Minnesota. . . well that’s another story. . .)

We went on one back in 2011 to Colorado to visit Peggy and Brian and the girls. It was one of the best vacations that we have had.


Scott and I both like to ride in the car as well as drive, so it works out to split the driving between us and the other person is responsible for finding good music and coming up with conversation topics and sometimes dumb games. Winking smile

And then, this spring we drove out to WY to meet up with Peggy and Brian and family (+Finn this time!). And this time we had a full car with Luke (11 months old at the time) and Abby (8 years old!).


And we had just as much fun this time as last time. I am really looking forward to making road trips a yearly family vacation for us! Next year, we are already planning another trip out to Colorado to visit again!

But, as you can imagine, preparing for a road trip, takes time and advanced thinking! Planning is everything when you are stuck in the car for 8+ hours per day. Especially when you have a baby and dog in the backseat. Winking smile

So, I thought I would share with you my road trip must-haves!

For the car:
Good travel buddies
Paper towels
Baby wipes – even if you don’t have a baby – good for wiping hands!
Good playlist
Phone with map app and backup map just in case!

Trail mix –>  Target has the BEST selection! Or you can make your own. Smile
Fruit – apples, clementines, bananas, grapes
Teddy grahams
Gummy bears
LUNA bars/granola bars

For lunches:

We usually pack a cooler full of stuff for sandwiches so we don’t have to 1. stop for lunch and 2. pay for lunch (disclaimer – we stopped for lunch with the baby and dog, but on our 1st road trip, we would just keep driving)
Turkey/ham/roast beef
Miracle whip/mayo/mustard

For the baby:
South Dakota_2013 009 (2)
Snacks for baby – i.e. things that don’t make too much of a mess and can be eaten easily. We loved string cheese, teddy grahams, and fruit pouches.
Favorite toys –> anything to keep him entertained
iPad –> we used Netflix Instant play to stream a few toddler shows (Veggie Tales mostly) when he got really annoyed with being in the car seat. It bought us a few minutes of quiet. . .
Extra extra baby wipes – for everything – hands, mouth, butt, nose, etc.

For the dog:
South Dakota_2013 004 (2)
water dish
puppy treats
tennis ball –> perfect for running off some puppy energy at rest stops while Luke played on the slide and burned off baby energy.

Have you been on any road trips? Anything you would add to my list??


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16 Responses to Road Trip Survival Tips

  1. MMMM target monster trail mix is the best ever!! Not the healthiest at all, but the BEST! 🙂
    Brooke @ Running In Heels recently posted..Weekend Recap & Why I’m A Proud GirlfriendMy Profile

    • KT

      I have never had that one. . . I will have to check it out!! I love the espresso mix or the monkey one with banana chips.

  2. I wish my dog could go on our road trip this summer! Oh well! We are driving to Florida- about 14-16 hours I think, so thats a long way and Ill have to pack plenty of goodies 🙂
    Sara @ fitcupcaker recently posted..My Favorite Lunch Spot and Artisana Super Foods Prize Pack GiveawayMy Profile

    • KT

      I love car snacks!!! Good luck on your road trip – hope you are going to have some good road tripping buddies?!

  3. We take mini-road trips pretty frequently to visit our family in Atlanta. It’s a 4.5 hour drive, and with the girls, it’s often closer to 5. When it was just the three of us (have to count MacAfee, our four-legged boy), we’d rarely stop. Now we usually have to make at least one meal/potty stop. We pack the car with plenty of snacks and toys to keep the girls entertained. It’s nice because our oldest is now starting to entertain our youngest. Some must haves in our car: Magna Doodle, plenty of books, notepad and pen for our oldest, carrot sticks, granola bars, fresh fruit, and, most importantly, LOTS of patience!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Breastfeeding Mythbusters – Will I Be Able to Produce Enough Milk?My Profile

  4. Trail mix is an absolute must for road trips. I have serious self-control issues with that stuff though. It’s definitely one of my all-time favorite snacks!
    Melanie @ Beautifully Nutty recently posted..California Cheeseburger SaladMy Profile

    • KT

      Me too – so it’s a nice treat to have on car trips because we don’t usually have it other times!

  5. These are great road-trip tips! It sounds like we travel in a similar way… lots of snacks, food for lunches, music in the car, etc. Baby wipes are SO important, agreed. I like to bring lots of veggies and fruits that can be eaten easily (like grapes, carrots, sugar snap peas) because they satisfy my urge to munch while I drive but don’t kill me with too many calories. recently posted..So You’re (still) Considering the Long Run (Part 2)?My Profile

  6. Nicole @ FruitNFitness

    I love road trips! I always bring lots of snaks like fruits, trail mixes and stuff. My dog always comes with me when I drive home (ky to mn) and its about 13 hours and he’s always such a trooper. He’s my favorite road trip companion.

    • KT

      Aren’t they the best? Never complain. Always seem happy! Abby has been road tripping with me since she was a 8 week old puppy.

  7. I wish I liked road trips. I just hate hate hate driving (it makes me dizzy and then I start freaking out – is that strange??!) and I hate being confined to a car for an extended period of time. Needless to say, I’m not very fun when it comes to traveling via roads 😉 You MUST try the Archer Farms Monster Mix – so so good yet so so dangerous! I love the photo of you kissing Abby’s head. I can imagine her saying “Mom, this is so embarrassing!” 🙂
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