Road Trip Must-Haves for Mom

Summer is here, and that means it’s road trip season! I know that when it comes to planning our summer road trip, my main focus is on my kids and making sure I have enough goodies and games to keep them occupied until we get to our destination, but I also have a list of things that I know that I need to survive the trip. Here are the top 10 items on my list.road trip must haves

10 – Chapstick

I always need something on my lips, and for some reason long stretches in the car make my lips super dry. It may have something to do with the gross amount of sunflower seeds I eat or the constant air conditioner hitting my face. Whatever it is, chapstick solves the problem.

9 – Hair ties

This is another thing that may sound silly, but I have lots of hair, and sometimes I just need it out of the way. I always have hair ties around to tame the mane.

8 – Snacks

This one is pretty self-explanatory. You need stuff to keep you energized on the drive. I like to bring a little cooler for the car for drinks and healthy snacks like apples and baby carrots. I always have some treats too. There’s no way I could handle a long drive without gummy bears and sunflower seeds! The trick for road trip snacks is balance. Balance out the junk with healthy options and balance the sweet with salty or carbs. There is nothing worse than the stomachache you get from too much sugar.

7 – Dramamine

I have never had a problem with car sickness, but my better half can get sick even if he’s the one driving. My daughter has issues with it from time to time as well. Dramamine is a must-have in our car to help them out on the road. The non-drowsy formula is great for adults, and they also make a chewable kid-friendly version. I have both in my car right now so that I never have to worry about forgetting it.

6 – Phone Charger

Here’s another no-brainer. My phone serves several purposes in the car, and I need to know that I’m not going to be stranded with a dead battery. I have a car charger that is always in my car (I actually have one in each car so I don’t have to worry about switching them) so that I am always prepared.

5 – Portable DVD Player

Yes, you are right, this one is more for the demanding little people in the back seat, but let’s face it: they make or break the trip. There are only so many times they can play the ABC game or license plate bingo before they start driving each other (and you) crazy. Having something to play their movies on, whether it be an iPad or a DVD player will save you all a lot of tears. The one I have has two screens that connect to each other and play the same movie, and they attach to the head rests of the car. Its perfect for my car, because then each row gets a screen and all 4 kids can see, and it helps cut down on fighting. Just don’t forget to bring the DVDs!

4 – Headphones

Now before you tell me that it’s unsafe to drive in headphones, let me say: get the kind that are split. I use the ones that came with my iPhone, because they also have a built in microphone so I can use it to answer and make calls without taking my hands off the wheel. Safety first! I also only put my headphones in one ear so I can still hear the kids and the cars around me. Your headphones will also help you not have to listen to the same Disney movie for the millionth time. You’re welcome!

3, 2, and 1 – My Phone

My phone counts as 3 because it works as my GPS, it is my music, and it’s my lifeline in case of an emergency. Smart phones are great because you can use them for so many things. I love that even if I am somewhere that I have never been before, I can search for a gas station or McDonalds and everyone is happy. I love that I can load it up with my favorite music and I can tune out Elsa Letting It Go or Dusty Crophopper learning to be a fire fighter. I love that if I need a grown up to talk to I can call my mom or my husband (I usually road trip with just the kids because of my husband’s job).

Are you road-tripping at all this summer? What’s on your list of Mommy Must-Haves?

Ashley Breinholt
Ashley is an Iowa transplant from Arizona and a busy mom of 4. She spends most of her day chasing around her little herd and hoping to catch a glimpse of her main squeeze when he gets a break from the hospital. She has a bachelor's degree in Communication from Arizona State University and is currently the Vice President of Iowa Medical Partners where she helps plan events and service projects and runs the blog. In her free time, Ashley enjoys running, reading, cooking, and decorating (and redecorating) the house. She loves everything about Iowa! She and her family like to explore everything that Iowa has to offer in every season. Life may be crazy but she loves every minute of it!


  1. Great list! In our family, instead of headphones for the grown ups, we do headphones for the kids. That way, whatever annoying video they’re watching is just for them and we don’t have to hear it at all. 🙂


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