Preparing for Road Trips (even short ones)

Preparing for Road Trips (even short ones)

Make sure you’re prepared (regardless of distance) when hitting the road his holiday season.


When you’re taking a cross-country flight or all-day road trip, you know you’ve got to prepare. You have your checklist, your itinerary and your scheduled stops, and nothing is going to stop you.

But for some reason, we sometimes think we can wing those shorter trips – that is until we make it 30 minutes into that two-hour drive to Grandma’s and hear the “I’m hungry” groan from the back seat. And we realize how woefully unprepared we are. It’s too late to turn around and we really don’t want to stop at a gas station.

What to Pack
It will depend on the age of your pint-sized passengers, but regardless of distance or time in the car, you’ll definitely want to bring along:

  • Sippy cups
  • Snacks (plastic baggies with everyone’s favourites)
  • Toys or tablets, being sure to download the videos in advance if you won’t have a data connection (now may be the time to spring for that new 99-cent app)
  • Paper towels and/or wipes for spills
  • Tissues
  • Garbage bag to collect bits of trash
  • Audio books or music

Tip: Get some ideas for entertaining everyone in the car with our creative ideas.

For Babies and Toddlers:

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  • Favourite blankies or stuffed animals
  • Diapers and wipes
  • Extra bottles
  • Change(s) of clothes (if you’ll be driving back that night, pack their pyjamas and get them dressed before loading them back in the car for the ride home, in case they fall asleep)
  • Overnight bag (if there’s a chance they’ll be sleeping at Grandma’s house)
  • Burp cloths

For School-age Kids:

  • Snacks
  • Drinks
  • Sunglasses
  • Change of shoes
  • Toys

Tip: You can put a lot of these items together ahead of time and load up the car the night before. This’ll save you time the morning of traveling because no family in history has ever gotten in the car together on time.

How do you prep for those long or short trips? Let us know in the comments.

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