These are the items every parent should take on day trips

When you’re traveling with kids, it can be a hassle trying to remember everything you’ll need on your trip. Even if you’re just going out for the day, there are plenty of items you should probably take with you. This list of important things to remember to take on day trips can help make the packing process simpler.

Health and safety items

Since children seem to be magnets for getting hurt, consider including a number of health and safety products in your day trip bag. These items can be helpful not only for your children but also for you, depending on what you decide to pack.
A first-aid kit is of utmost importance to have in your car. Perhaps you could get one and leave it in the car so it’s always there when you need it. At the very least, if you do not have an entire first-aid kit, be sure to have tweezers and bandages available.

father and child on day trip
Luis Quintero/Pexels

Over-the-counter medications are also handy. The variety of medicines to take on a day trip will probably differ by destination, but could include an allergy medicine, a heartburn relief medicine, and a painkiller. Child-friendly versions of these are ideal for families.
If you’re going somewhere outside, sunscreen is a must-have item! Be sure to apply sunblock before going out in the sun and to reapply it to you and your kids’ often neglected areas, such as the ears and the backs of legs, at least every hour or so. Bug spray might also be a product you’ll want to have if you’re in an area dense with insects.

Whether they are playing in dirt or are sticky after eating lunch, children can benefit from using hand sanitizer at many times. An alcohol-based formula is best for killing germs.

Refreshments

If your family is venturing somewhere that doesn’t sell food, like to a forest for a hike, you’ll want to go out prepared with enough food and water for everyone for the day.
First and foremost, hydration should be a priority. Make sure to bring a satisfactory number of water bottles to last the day. Or fill up reusable bottles for everyone and bring jugs of water to refill them with if you’re going to a place with no water fountains.

Between set meals, we guarantee your children will want snacks. Distributing snacks can be made easy if you place them in portion-size bags before leaving. Opt for healthier snacks and those that pack energy over sugary or messy foods.
To save money on eating out, pack lunches for the whole family. Peanut butter sandwiches are a protein-rich option that does not require refrigeration.

If traveling with an infant, be mindful of their nutritional needs. As appropriate, bring formula (and water to mix with it), bottles, a nursing cover, baby food, utensils, and a burp cloth.

Comfort and entertainment

Day trips might involve long car rides. To make them less monotonous, provide yourself and your kids with some of the following things.
Avoid relentlessly being asked if you’ve arrived at your destination yet by making a child- friendly form of entertainment available. Be this behind-the-seat DVD players, a tablet loading with games for each person, or more traditional portable road trip game sets, something is better than nothing. You can also involve the whole car in the fun by talking as a family during activities like the license plate game or by listening to the same audiobook or music and reading or singing along.

parents giving baby toy
Katie E/Pexels

Even if your children aren’t using electronic devices on the trip, you probably are. Bring charging cords and external battery packs as needed so you can use your phone’s GPS on the way home or to call 911 in case of an emergency.
Long drives can be tough on the feet. You may want to pack slippers or a change of socks just for driving, or for ultimate comfort as a passenger.
Being out all day can easily tire out young children. To facilitate enjoyable napping, bring travel pillows and blankets.

Products to bring just in case

Accidents are bound to happen, especially with kids around! Anticipate which items you might regret not packing and ensure you pack them.
Cash and coins can be handy when you come upon a cash-only establishment or a toll road. Have enough of each to last you through the day so you needn’t rush to a gas station to get cash back!

Rain can come from out of nowhere! You can be sure to keep your family dry if you pack an umbrella and perhaps some towels in your day trip bag.
It is probably a good idea to take a few plastic bags with you. These can hold soiled clothes or provide a place for kids to get sick in case of carsickness.

Kids of all ages are usually quick to get into sticky situations — both literally and figuratively. Packing a change of clothes for each child could definitely prove useful during your day trip. Better safe than sorry.

Babies and toddlers require many more supplies than older children do. Besides formula and bottles, always remember diapers, diaper cream, wipes, a changing pad, comfort items, and plastic or wet bags.

couple and child on day out
Mena Fox/Pexels

A spare set of keys can help ease your mind if one set gets locked in the car. No need to call a locksmith if you have a spare key.

If car trouble happens, you’ll be stressed enough given the circumstances. Make the situation easier to handle by having a roadside assistance kit or, at the very least, jumper cables and a flashlight. These can be kept in your trunk, but it is ideal to keep a seat belt cutting tool somewhere in the car’s cabin.

Confused or annoyed with having to remember to take so many things on a trip? Following our packing guide to the most necessary items for a day trip can make packing simple. Just keep the list by your side when assembling your bag. The listed products are great for families with kids of all ages, and many are useful to have even if you’re not traveling with children.

Editors' Recommendations