Going on a true road trip is a parental rite-of-passage. It’s a necessary experience that every family in the USA should endure. While road trips are a great way to experience the incredible and sprawling landmass that is America, they’re not for the faint of heart. They require planning, patience, and more planning.
That’s why we’re here to help you with one of the most primal necessities that your road trip will require: the bag. For parents of young children, you know that they’re unpredictable hellions that can experience the highest of highs and lowest of lows in the span of about 30 seconds. That’s why it’s up to you to be prepared.
Think about how many diapers you’ll probably need on your road trip. Now double it. There’s no room for conservative estimates. You could be 5 blowouts from a carwash in the middle of Hollow Rock Tennessee, using your t-shirt as a diaper because you didn’t pack enough. Just no.
The only thing worse than a baby with a dirty diaper is a hungry baby. Make sure to pack plenty of snacks that are never farther away than an arm’s reach.
If there’s one thing that kids are, it’s picky. If they don’t have their blanky or stuffed buddy, nobody is sleeping on the trip. These must be packed. Heck, we would support putting a GPS tracker on them just to be safe (the blankets or buddies--not the kids).
Kids are gross and make messes. Be ready for them with a can of Lysol wipes. Trust me.
Again, kids are gross, and you’ll need to clean them up when they inevitably make some sort of mess. Be ready by having hand sanitizer on standby.
While the open road is magnificent and beautiful, and all of those mushy things, it’s also really boring sometimes. Bring some toys to keep the kids busy.
Spills, soils, and accidents happen. Paper towels will be your best friend. They’ll help you clean up larger liquid spills, can be doubled as napkins, and of course, they’ll be your saving grace when little Suzie gets carsick in the backseat.
Small Trash Bags
We recommend using recycled grocery bags, but whatever your choice, just make sure that you have trash bags on the ready. If you don’t, your snack wrappers, trash towels, and spilled food will sit in your car until it fills up with garbage and nastiness.
This is the little brother to snacks. Make sure that you have some drinks handy for the ride. Whether you choose water bottles, juice boxes, or refillable bottles (do those please), make sure they’re available at a moment’s notice. Beware! Too much to drink, and you’ll be tempted to take them away completely due to the inordinate amount of potty breaks you’ll be forced to make.
Change of Clothes
This is the last essential for everyone in the car. Make sure that everyone has at least 1 change of clothes available for when the unpredictable and disgusting happens. If pants, shirts, socks, or shoes get covered in some sort of undesirable bodily expenditure, make sure that the offending party doesn’t have to bask for hours in the rotten feeling of yuck. Bring a change or two of clothes.
With a little bit of planning, patience, and know-how, your road trip can be a raging success. Just don’t forget this stuff! You’ve been warned!