Are you going on a road trip with kids?  Traveling across state lines is common in our family, especially during the holidays.  Below are a few things to remember in that packing list and some printable games that are FREE!

Between car sickness to cracker crumbs, I have had the full kit and kaboodle experience when it comes to learning what is needed in the car for long rides.  Some items that I thought we needed were actually just expensive replacements for items that I already have on hand.  Keep reading and see if any of these simple, every day items can be added to your upcoming packing list.

Top 5 Things to bring for an "easier" trip with kids

#1  Plastic Bags.  With all the groceries that our family purchases, we have several hundred plastic bags in the home.  Bring a few a these in the car and just store these in a handy place.  We have used plastic bags in our car for a variety of things...dirty diaper holder, garbage, puke collector (yep...once had a kid throwing up from the Wisconsin Dells all the way home to Rochester...so not fun!)  Those bags came in handy.

#2  Snacks. Snacks. Snacks.  I'm not just talking about snacks for kids...I'm talking about the grownups too.

  • My kids are big fans of the Go Packs by Nabisco.  There are a variety of snack things to pick from and these fit in the cup holder of the car.  It is a win/win!
  • Mix up some homemade Chex Mix or just take some snack size bags and divvy up some cereal.  Kix and Life are some of our favorites to grab and go.
  • We usually stock a mini cooler with some GoGurts, string cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and other easy to eat items.
  • My favorite snack for myself are chocolate covered peanuts.  I also don't share.  ;)

#3  Bottles of water.  Almost every house has oodles of water bottles and yet, we often forget to fill those up before we leave for trips.  Bring a water bottle from home for each child.  You will have it handy to fill up at any stop you make AND you will save some money (and help make the Earth a better place!).

#4  Notebook & washable (I repeat), washable writing utensils.  Years ago Crayola came out with the most amazing thing ever - markers that only worked on specific paper.  My car seats were saved during the toddler years because of this invention.  We've moved past this stage in our home but my kiddos still like to draw and document their journey.  A simple notebook and a pencil work.  (we also will sometimes purchase postcards from the place we are visiting and the kids glue the postcards in their notebook.  Ta-da...instant scrapbook!)

#5  Games.  Depending on the length of your ride and attention span of your littles...you

are going to need something to keep the "are we there yet?" phrases from popping up every 5 minutes.  Here are a few games that you can print of that are classics for the car. (you can save the pictures and print)

What items do you bring with on trips?  Share your best tip for traveling with kiddos in the comments.