Summer Family Road Trip Travel Gear Guide

Summer is right around the corner and with summer comes family road trips. I’ve written before about good travel apps for road trips, but I recently road tested some new travel gear (along with some old favorites) that are perfect for family road trips.

If you have a family road trip planned this summer, here are some products you should check out.

Family Road Trip Travel Gear

Road trip travel gear guide1. 50 Road Trip Games  This easy-to-pack card deck has games in four categories: Classics, Brain Games, Pop Culture and Just for Fun, with games appropriate for ages five and up. You can eliminate the dreaded “Are we there yet?” with these fun games that get the whole family involved. These games kept us going on our trip to the Berkshires in MA last weekend and made the miles just fly by.

Summer road trip travel gear guide2. Roadfood: The Coast-to-Coast Guide to 900 of the Best Barbecue Joints, Lobster Shacks, Ice Cream Parlors, Highway Diners and Much, Much More by Jane and Michael Stern. I love that this book takes you off the major highways and away from crowded rest areas to find those small local gems where you can get good food that gives you a true taste of the region. When we make our road trip down to Virginia this summer I’ll be bringing this along to find the best crab cakes, BBQ, seafood, diners and more.

Summer road trip travel gear guide3. Melissa and Doug Travel Bingo Game Melissa and Doug makes quite a few fun, flip-to-win travel games but travel bingo has been a mainstay on our road trips for years. Each set includes two game boards with wooden flip doors that players close when they find the items they are looking for. The game includes four double-sided game cards with categories including vehicles, country, city, and signs. Just beware that kids like to close all the little doors at once and it can create quite a racket!

Ecovessel water bottle4. EcoVessel Insulated Water Bottle  I am constantly amazed by how long this water bottle keeps liquids cold, even in extreme summer heat! I always need cold water so it was such a relief to find this lifesaver. I’ve taken it on long drives, left it in the car while we are out doing something and when I come back, the water inside is still cool and refreshing. I don’t know how it works so well but I love it!


Summer road trip travel gear guide5. Smart iReach Selfie Stick  I admit that I’ve been pretty skeptical about selfie-sticks, but after taking too many photos like the one below where you can’t see the beautiful scene behind our heads, I decided to give it a try. I don’t have anything to compare it to but the Smart iReach is very easy to use. It works with both iOS and Android devices with no apps to download. Its simple Bluetooth functionality means you don’t need to fuss with self timers. Just connect via Bluetooth, open the camera app, clip in the phone and use the button on the Smart iReach to take photos or videos. My tween loves playing with this so much I wish I had gotten one with a pink grip!

Faraglioni rocks

Pre-selfie stick

Summer road trip travel gear guide6. Mosquitno Bands Summer also means mosquitoes, ticks and other pests. I usually keep bug spray in the car but it isn’t always easy to fit it into a day pack. Mosquitno bands offer an innovative alternative to bug spray. DEET-free, these bands are infused with citronella oil to keep bugs away for up to up to six days. I’m never sure how well citronella works but I tested one out on the Backcountry Trails in Alabama and came away without a bite. Bands come in plenty of sporty colors, including tie-dye, but the company also offers “Spotz“, which are button size stick on patches in cool designs. Those are a little stinky so better stuck around your waist than up by your face.
Cooluli electric cooler7. Cooluli Electric Cooler and Warmer On our first major road trip, I completely forgot to bring a cooler, which left us constantly looking to buy cold bottled water instead of using refillable water bottles. But even with a cooler, you still need to find a way to freeze the ice pack each night and not every hotel fridge is equipped for that. A plug in cooler is really the best option for long road trips. You can keep your drinks cold and also, instead of throwing out all those leftovers when you eat out because they will spoil, you can keep some cold and use the hotel microwave to reheat them and save some cash on meals.

Summer road trip travel gear guide8. Portable Potty I can’t tell you how many times our portable potty saved the day when our daughter was younger. If you have a toddler that is potty training, or even a young one that has to go when they have to go…don’t go on a long road trip without one. I like the models where you just take the bag and dispose of it, no dumping or washing required. We had a model where the sides flipped down with storage compartments on both sides for wipes, extra bags, and hand sanitizer.



Summer family road trip travel gear guide -- know what you need before you hit the road!

What are your favorite family road trip products?

Note: I received some of these products for free for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Comments are closed.

28 Comments on “Summer Family Road Trip Travel Gear Guide

  1. Great list! I really like the collapsible water bottle.

    Love this list! The Melissa and Doug Travel Bingo game has been a family favorite for us for years too:)

    What a great list! My kids would love the 50 road trip games. I’m all about the food, so I have to check out that book. I love eating like the locals when I’m on vacation.

    I swear by portable potties! We used a similar one all the time with the oldest two and it’ll eventually come out of storage when it’s time for number three to use it. I honestly think they are one of the best inventions ever! Love the look of the collapsible water bottle. Great list!

      Thanks Katja! I could really embarrass my daughter telling her the places she has gone — it was such a good investment!

    Brilliant! I have not seen the bug bands and collapsible bottles are fantastic and need for upcoming summer travel.

    I bought a copy of Road Food for my next road trip. I’m hoping to find some really great off the wall place to eat.

    Road trip games are necessary for any age! My fiancé play a game where we name a country/city/etc. that begins with the last letter – example Germany – the following person would have to name a country/city with the letter Y.

      We love that one too!

    Great list! How portable is that portable potty? We’re going to England/Scotland next year with a 3 year old who I HOPE will be potty trained by then but probably won’t be able to hold it too long

      It is the size of a briefcase. It was a lifesaver for us on the road.

    this is a great list!!

    What a great list! We have the travel card game and it never gets old. I also love travel bingo. Great entertainment for those long hours in the car.

    Great list of things to have on hand! I always prepacked small bags filled snacks and small toys, and doled them out throughout the trip. Now I’d make sure to have plenty of power cords for all of our devices.

    Such great things in this list! I love the mosquito bands for the kids. They are a must have this time of year – and of course, a selfie stick!

    Great list! Especially for travelling with younger kids…I like the mosquito bands and squashable water bottles a lot! books would be our number one item as both our kids love to read on long road trips

    Great list! I love the games ideas and we don’t leave home without a portable potty.

    We love summer road trips but it’s so important to pack the right things so you’re well prepared and don’t have to spend your vacation making extra stops and shopping! Thanks for a great list that I’ve pinned to refer to later this summer when we go away!

    We are doing a major road trip at the end of summer. I’ll keep these tips handy!

    Love the idea of the road trip games, what a great way to get everyone to look up from their phones 🙂

    That Road trip food guide is amazing! I wish we had that when we did our New England road trip in 2012

    That collapsible water bottle looks awesome. We have some collapsible bowls which are great for eating while out and about and folding up when flying home!

    So far they have worked but have only used them during the day. The true test is ahead.

    So many good ideas on here! I didn’t know about those potties, but that would have saved us a few times when my kids were small. 🙂

      🙂 it came to good use in our family.

    Great list and I am immediately going to buy those mosquito wrist bands, I love it if I don’t have to spray or lotion myself to death due to mosquitos!

    is it weird that i wish there was a portable potty for adults? haha i don’t know how many times i’ve been on the road where there are no restrooms or we’re stuck in traffic and i really wish there was something better than a bottle or cup. my bladder has not been too happy with me on trips haha

    Don’t know how I’ve stumbled over this page, probably because our next family road trip is around the corner. Anyway…Great tips thank you – I will have a special look for the mosquito bands…I’ve never seen them before.

Get your free Family Vacation Planning Kit

Sign up for our newsletter and receive a Family Vacation Planning Kit!
We3Travel.com will use the information you provide on this form to send you newsletters. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting tamara@we3travel.com. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.