4 Simple Steps for Road Trip Prep

These simple steps for road trip prep is a sponsored post.

Headed out on a road trip? Here's a quick road trip prep checklist to help you plan!

4 Simple Steps for Road Trip Prep

On our bucket list is planning a whirlwind trip to the Grand Canyon. (planning being the key word, but hey, a girl can dream right). We’ve already done a lot of travel this year, so I’m not sure it will be this summer, but at some point, it will happen.

The furthest we’ve gone with the kids in the car is to Portland, so the idea of driving several thousand miles is a little daunting to be honest. There’s a lot of preparation involved.

Prepping the kids. Prepping ourselves. Prepping the car.

Check out these 4 simple steps for road trip prep

Prepping the car.

Prepping the car is actually pretty important. I’m impressed at anyone who can just get in the car and go, but really it’s not a good idea.Start by removing everything you won’t need on your trip. You’ll need the extra space for your luggage anyway. Get your car washed and vacuum it out too. After you’ve done for that, get your list of your trip essentials and service your car. Get your oil changed, check the fluid levels, yada yada.

Don’t Forget the Snacks

To avoid the “I’m hungry” that will come every two seconds from the backseat, I’m packing snacks. A few months ago I got some of those Snackeez cups you see on TV. I know it sounds cheesy but the kids love them and it makes it easy.

Bonus is they are happy with water so I don’t have to worry about juice getting spilled in their car seats either. I also pick up lunch packs of their favorite snacks and some fresh fruit. I throw it all in a small laundry basket and keep it where I can reach it in the car.

Throw your road trip snacks in a small laundry basket to keep them all in one place AD

Take things to do!

Gone are the days of stacks of books on road trips, my kids are glued to their electronics. 10 years ago that probably would have driven me batty, but this spring I picked up some headphones. We have volume limiter headphones too, so I’m not worried about damaging their hearing (not like me who used to crank up the sound on my Sony Walkman.

A life saver on our trips is Internet in the car! Yes! You heard me! I got my hands on a ZTE Mobley – it’s a sweet little car hotspot with AT&T service. It allows you to connect up to five Wi-Fi devices while on the road. No charging/charging cables required.It’s plugged into our OMD port in our van, and it keeps the kids happily streaming their videos while we’re on the road. It’s also super helpful when we want to pull up maps on our iPads or if I need to do some work on my laptop. It’s pretty fabulous.


Don’t worry, I pack non electronic goodies too. I’m also going to printout maps of where we’re going and lists for the kids to check off of things to look for. Sebby loves maps, so I know he’s going to like this road trip activity. I add some coloring and activity books and we’re set.

The kids all have their own backpack of their stuff. It keeps everything organized and helps them carry it to the hotel rooms. Bonus points is it also keeps what they bring with them to a minimum too, and I am not complaining about that one bit.

When they get older, I’m going to create word search and crossword puzzles for them to do in the car with words and clues based on where we are going. If you have older kids, be sure to print out the crossword below!
Check out this cool State Capitol Crossword Puzzle from I am the Maven®

Stop Frequently

Not only is it important to not be sitting for a long time, it’s good to stop and see the sights along the way. There are so many cool little things to see when you’re driving thousands of miles to your destination. Stop and see a majestic volcano like Mt. St. Helens, the largest ear of corn or you can spend 25 minutes seeing how cheese is made, you should stop. Those memories are well worth it!

Don't miss sights like Mt St Helens when you go on a road trip!

What do you do for road trip prep?

About Kerri Jablonski

Kerri Jablonski AKA The Maven lives in Seattle,WA with her 3 kids (2008, 2010, 2013), husband, cats and backyard chickens. Two of her children have special needs. Kerri enjoys cooking, travel, movies and spending time with her family.


  1. Such great tips – and I love the crossword puzzle!

  2. Great tips! Summer roadtrips are the best! We have a roadtrip to Vermont coming up, and I suspect I’ll need to grab an oil change before we go. Thanks for sharing! #client

  3. Jenna Wood says:

    I just spent 7 hours on a plane and didn’t move recently and regretted it. Stopping to enjoy the trip, and keep active is really important. Thanks for sharing the great tips!

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