J’adore #87, Travel Edition 6: Road Trip Essentials

My family went on a lot of road trips growing up. If we needed to travel anywhere it was usually by car. My grandparents and extended family were all in the San Francisco Bay Area and it didn't matter if we were stationed on the East Coast or West, we were driving!

3 kids sitting on the road with backpacks

Also whenever we moved from one Army base to another, unless it was international, we were driving. In between for other vacations, or heck, even the love of baseball, we would get in the car and drive for several hours or days as a family on a road trip.

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My sister and I didn't exactly get along, so it was vitally important for my parents to keep us occupied so that we didn't fight with each other. In the 70s and 80s that meant lots of books. That was the era before devices, unless of course you count listening to the naughty conversations on the CB radio, and before games were really portal.

Thank goodness the times have changed! And while I can appreciate the endless entertainment options that come from a device, I also think road trips are a great time to digitally unplug…except the GPS of course! Although sometimes it's fun to get lost from time to time!

TableTopics Card Pack

TableTopics Card Pack

[Gifted] The fine folks at TABLETOPICS have many great conversation starter card kits for anything from a gathering of family members to Girls' Night Out,  and they have just released 2 new portable and on-the-go conversation starter card sets: the Road Trip and Travel editions. I don't know about you but I can talk about travel 24/7 and love the idea of question prompts to explore my love of travel.

Given the past year and the release, all of us travelers need, this set of cards is a great way to get the travel engines and imagination kick-started! The Travel deck is ideal for human beings ages 12+. The Road Trip card set has trip-specific questions and is perfect for humans ages 6+. 

Whether you buy them on the TableTopics website or from Amazon, the MSRP is $9 and includes 40 question cards in a travel-friendly case.

Of course, you do not have to travel to use these cards! My team at work participates in a Question of the Day (QOTD) which I help coordinate and these questions are going to totally come in handy when I run through the original set of questions my co-worker and I came up with! Consider the Table Topics cards great for team calls and get-togethers at work as well (no politics, no religion, these cards are a safe topic!).

Pocket-Size Math Flash Cards

Pocket-Size Math Flash Cards

[Gifted] Road trips are the perfect time to get your kids to build math skills – they are a captive audience! And if you have these Pocket-Size Math Flash Cards from Think Tank Scholar the kiddos won't even realize that it's work. Math is fun with this set. Flashcards are a proven learning tool and this set not only has 600 of them but also 20 math games. Your kids will be math geniuses before they even reach your destination!

Buy them on the Think Tank Scholar website or on Amazon.

Road Trip Activities and Travel Journal for Kids

Road Trip Activities and Travel Journal for Kids

[Gifted] Even as an incurable bookworm, reading can get monotonous during a road trip. Particularly if you are driving 8-10 hours a day (wait, what? That's only MY Dad?) I remember my sister and I also geeked out on Mad Libs. It was a different activity from reading and forced us to be creative. That combination of activities is what you have in the Road Trip Activities and Travel Journal for Kids from freelance travel and lifestyle journalist, Kristy Alpert

This book has the perfect balance of activities including car games, puzzles, writing prompts, questionnaires, interview ideas, scavenger hunts, brainteasers, and more! There is something for every type of kid and allows children to stretch different parts of the brain. There are more than 50 activities. Plenty to keep the kiddos entertained. They might even regret arriving 😉

PlaneAire Hands

PlaneAire Hands Sanitizers

[Gifted] Unless your road trip is just a trip across town, there will be inevitable stops along the way. That means public restrooms, possibly some restaurants or coffee stops (unless you pack your own), and these days that means carrying extra items to clean and sanitize your surfaces and your hands. I don't know about you, but with the amount of sanitizer, I am using these days, smell matters! I do want natural ingredients and I do want it to smell nice.

And if I can I want it to be made in the USA. I get all that with PlaneAir Hands Hand Sanitizer. Yes, I know the name says “plane” but we all know that you need to use these everywhere, not just while in the air. The most “plane” specific thing about this product is that it is 2 fluid ounces so you can absolutely have it in your carry-on!

These hand sanitizers come in a variety of fragrances, but I tried Tangerine Coriander and Sandalwood. I love anything orange so wasn't surprised that I liked this one, but the sandalwood took me by surprise. It is usually a scent I like a lot, Mr. Misadventures, and I recently tried a sandalwood deodorant that we hate, but this one I actually like! PlaneAir Hands uses ingredients like green tea extract, and aloe vera, along with essential oils in combinations created by this small woman-owned business based in New Jersey.

You can buy these PlaneAire Hands hand sanitizers as well as gel and lotion sanitizers directly from their website or Amazon.

The Road Trip Survival Guide

2 books by Rob Taylor

[NOT Gifted] If you want to survive a family road trip there is one rule…PREPARE! One-half of the travel blogging duo 2 Travel Dads, Rob Taylor has all you need in his new book, The Road Trip Survival Guide. Also, check out Rob's first book The Ultimate Travel Journal For Kids which came out in 2019!

I suggest you get both Kristy and Rob's books because when it comes to road-tripping with kids, you can NEVER have too many activities!

Kids Travel Bundle

Get the Kids Travel Journal with Prompts (45 pages) and Kids Road Trip Activity Pack (20 pages) together!

How about you? What would you add to the road trip essential list? Do share!

Looking for more road trip tips for traveling with kids? Check these out! 

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3 kids sitting on road with backpacksCollage of travel books for road trips3 kids sticking head out of window

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  1. I really enjoyed reading this post. These are all great suggestions.

  2. Tara Pittman says:

    The hand sanitizer sounds awesome. I love the ingredients in it.

  3. Amber Myers says:

    This is a great list. I’ll keep it in mind if we can do a road trip. We haven’t done one in a while.

  4. Everyone should read this before setting out on their road trip. YOu have to cover all your bases!

  5. Jenn @ EngineerMommy says:

    We take a lot of road trips. These are great tips on what to pack. I need to check out those cards.

  6. Eileen M Loya says:

    I like the Tabletop Topics. It would be a great way to keep the kids entertained, and having a lively conversation with your children is nice. The hand sanitizers is essential to have ready to use anytime.

  7. Sara LaFountain says:

    We have the table topics dinner questions and they are awesome. I had no idea that there was a travel version!

  8. Briana Baker says:

    Such fun ideas to make road trips more fun for the family! Now I want to attempt one with our kiddos!

  9. These are all such fun road trip ideas! I’m going to have to buy the Table Topics cards, I love that idea!!

  10. Nikki Wayne says:

    Table topics sounds fun. Even just for small gatherings. Thanks for sharing these ideas.

  11. This sounds great. I bet my family would love having this. Keeps you busy too.


    The tabletopics cards sound good for us. They’d help keep us busy whilst travelling.

  13. It is good to be as prepared as possible for when traveling with kids. These are definitely some useful ways to make things go more smoothly.

  14. These are really useful things we need to take while travelling with kids. Yes I always carry lot of snacks and books as they get bored very easily.

  15. Road trip activities are so important. Kids need always to have an activity!