Family Road Trip Checklist When Traveling on a Budget + Free Printable

If you have ever been on a family road trip, you know how easy it is to forget things.  Forgetting things causes you to spend way too much money grabbing stuff as you can on your trip.  That is why a checklist is essential to preparation and packing.

Family packing a car for a road trip with kids. The car has it's doors open and the family is packing a suitcase into the back. There is text over the photo that says free printable family road trip checklist.

I always find myself doing a mental checklist as I am packing.  When we first started taking road trips with kids, I would be checking and re-checking that we had everything.

Even though I did that, we would STILL leave stuff behind!  I was always so annoyed by the amount of money we would spend just because I had forgotten a brush or wipes for hands.

How to prepare for a family road trip

When I was young, I thought road trips happened by everyone just getting in the car and going and having a blast as you go!

As an adult, I have realized that there was so much more planning that happened behind what I saw that made the trip work. Traveling with kids was so much more work than I ever expected.

And if you are traveling on a budget you have to do even more planning to get the food and the activities prepped ahead of time.  It can be exhausting!

The best way to get ready to take a family road trip is to start with the most important essentials and work your way to the wants.

Start with packing the essentials and then move to the fun stuff.  This will ensure you get the items you need and don’t forget the important stuff.

What to bring on a road trip

There are SOOO many options for items you should bring on a family road trip that it can be overwhelming just to start.

Here are a few of my most important must pack items so you can start planning.

For the car:

License and Registration
Insurance Card
Car Manual
Paper Maps
garbage bag
flashlight
Multitool
rags
duct tape

In the suitcase:

Underclothes
Clothing
Sweatshirt or Hoodie
Sunhat or Baseball Cap
Swimsuits (and towels)
Toiletries
Vitamins and Medications
Comfortable Walking Shoes and Sandals

Food and snacks for a road trip:

Granola Bars
Fruit Snacks
Hard Candies
Crackers and Pretzels
Reusable Water Bottles
Juice Boxes
Fresh Fruit
Cheese Sticks
Fresh Veggies

What should kids bring on a family road trip

Kids need their own little stash of stuff to keep them occupied while in the car.  It is also helpful to have them a few easy to reach snacks

Audiobooks
Tablets
Game systems
Books
Crayons and Coloring books
Stickers
Snacks
Music Playlist

Free printable family road trip checklist

I realize that it is always more fun to have a colorful checklist rather than a handwritten one.  So I created this family road trip checklist to help me and you to prepare for a family road trip and not forget your life! 😉

Here is how you get your free printable checklist for your family road trip. Click the image below and It will open a PDF of the printable checklist.  You can download or print it from there.

Free Printable Family Road Trip Checklist 

Free printable of a family roadtrip checklist.  has a car on the left corner and the title family road trip checklist at the top. It has categories for first aid, kids, car care, food, in the suitcase, and entertainment.

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