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12 Best Tips for a Family Road Trip – Packing List & more

Every family road trips a bit differently. Some people use all the technology, and some use none. Some people rise before first light to get an early start, but others leave late in the afternoon. 

There is no doubt that, for everyone, snacks and water bottles are essential.

Here are my other essentials for a successful road trip:

car on road

I also reached out to the #TOTSquad on Facebook, and asked for their top tips for a successful long drive and what’s on their essential packing list. 

Here are their suggestions:

Bought my then 7yos cameras for their birthdays  – often forget to bring them, but so much fun when we do, so def on my list! [Olympus Tough – via eBay]

– Kate, via Facebook

We always make sure to have lots of snacks on hand and stop every 2 hours! We tend to knit, crochet, take turns at choosing music, listen to podcasts, play car games and take note of the changing scenery

– Wonder [Magazine], via Facebook

Apparently I’m odd because my kids don’t get electronics in the car. Ever. But we do just fine. Even on 9 hr drives. How? I have 2 kids, 8 & 5. I pack a box. I put a box in-between their seats and stuff it with books and a couple of a activities, like colour in, maybe a sticker book or activity book. Or toys. They can help themselves, and with a travel tray ( which I only use on trips over 2 hrs), and I’m left to enjoy some car karaoke

– Karen, via Facebook

Have the approach that we get there when we get there. If we have to make multiple stops for the kids, it’s ok. Long trips are hard for all of us, but especially for our kids.

– Chrissie [Chaos to Calm], via Facebook

A full lunchbox of snacks each. And “find me” or where’s Wally books. Plus an audio book CD or two just in case.

– Bec, via Facebook

I do bring devices on roadtrips.  I try and load my youngest (5yo) a movie or two and some sort of nature documentary so she has some choice, plus I pack her some drawing or an activity book. My eldest (nearly 11) will pack herself a book / graphic novel, an activity and choose her shows.  I bring snacks for everyone, water bottles plus a large bottle for refills.  We leave for long drives mid Friday afternoon when the kids are a bit tired – then it’s a bit of screen time, takeaway pizza for dinner and then they sleep while I listen to podcasts or an audio book.

– Helen

What do you pack when you go on a road trip?

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I hope this post has helped or inspired you! Get my awesome weekly newsletter in your inbox every week to find out more ways for your family to have fun together!

cropped Kristyna Hess Lockdown Portraits x

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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