Stock Your Car Right for Your Holiday

Summer is the season of day trips and road trips! There’s a lot to celebrate and lots of family fun in the car to be had, so we want to be sure you get your trip off on the right foot. Here are twelve items you’ll want to be sure to pack in your car:


You never know when you might need sunscreen, and you definitely don’t want to be caught without! Always keep some in your car to be ready for scenic stops or lunch al fresco. For extra precaution, store in a sealable bag in case of overheating.

Reusable water bottles 

We’re not advocating for all-you-can-drink water in the car (lest you make dozens of bathroom stops), but having water bottles accessible will keep everyone hydrated along the way, and are always good to have in emergency situations. Plus, reusable water bottles can be used throughout the whole trip!


Car trips with hangry (yes, we said “hangry”) people are unpleasant. We’re all nicer when we’re fed, so keep a well-stocked stash of snacks like nuts, dried fruit, granola bars, etc. to stave off hunger and keep things amicable. Just be sure to avoid anything prone to melting!


Blankets are a super versatile item to have in the car. They can be used for cozying up for a car nap, picnicking outside, and are good to have should you run into any car troubles.

Bug spray

If you’re spending any time outside this summer, you’ll want to be sure to pack bug spray. It’s an easy way to keep your family safe from ticks and mosquitos while still having all the summer fun outside. If you’re not a fan of deet, try a natural repellent formula. 


Asking kids to sit unoccupied for hours on end is a lot to ask. Keep them happy and entertained with some of their favorite games and toys. Some families have games and toys that they save specifically for the car, which makes them especially exciting! 

Paper maps

We know it’s 2019 and you are probably using your phone for directions, but hear us out: paper maps are good to have if find yourself stuck without service. They can also be a fun geography lesson for the kids to follow along and navigate. Stash a road atlas in your seat back pocket so you have it if you need it.


You should try to keep a flashlight in your car for emergency situations year-round, but they’re especially useful on long drives that continue after sundown. Traveling with kids means things are constantly being dropped on the floor, and a flashlight can make all the difference when the sippy cup has rolled under the seat for the millionth time. They’re also useful for finding your own items when the kids have dozed off (if you’re lucky) and you don’t want to wake them.

Extra batteries

Speaking of flashlights, you’ll want to make sure losing power isn’t a possibility, so keep extra batteries in the car (ideally in the same place you keep the flashlight). Additionally, think back to being a kid–did you ever have a favorite game or gadget die on you midway through? If so, you’ll know the importance of having extra batteries for those with you too. Keep a few different sizes in the glove compartment so you can switch them out if you need to.

First aid kit

Not the most glamorous item, but incredibly important. A first aid kit of essentials such as bandaids, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, acetaminophen, and a thermometer will ensure you can quickly and safely handle minor medical situations without scrambling to find the supplies you need while on the road.  

Coloring and activity books

Coloring and activity books can keep a wide age-range of kids occupied for long periods of time. They take up very little space in the car, and best of all–they’re quiet! You can find these almost anywhere, and they come featuring an endless array of subjects.


Bring along headphones in case some people in your car want to listen to music or watch a movie while others don’t. Headphones will keep the movie watchers happy and the non-movie watchers undisturbed.

Charging cords

When your phone is your main method of communication and often your GPS, watching your battery dwindle away in the car can be stressful. Charging cords are an essential, so before you set out, make sure you have car-friendly chargers for your phones. 


Keeping these items in the car will set you up for stress-free trips with the kids all summer long. Any must-have summer car items we missed? Give us a shout with your own recommendations!