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Roadtripping with Teens: What they Consider Essential

If you’re planning drive to your next destination with teens instead of fly, there are a few road trip essentials for teens that you’ll want to make sure to pack.

Road Tripping with Teens- What they Consider Essential

My family traveled with my husband’s job and often that meant the kids and I were traveling to meet my husband. They learned early on how to pack in record time and rarely forgot anything that was essential (to them). When it came time to pack, I’d tell them where we were going and they would jump into action. My boys’ even learned to pack the vehicle like pros before the age of ten. They thought of loading the vehicle as “their job” and made sure it was packed and ready when it was time to hit the road.

I recently asked my kids to share some of the things they consider essential when it comes to taking a road trip and they shared what they think are items they simply can’t do without when road tripping.

Teenage Road Trip Essentials List

  • Cell Phone– This is pretty much indispensable. Our smartphones allow us to listen to our Spotify playlists, cruise the internet, post to SnapChat and TikTok, text our friends, listen to or read books, take pictures and watch videos on YouTube or catch up on our favorite TV show.
  • Car Charger– You don’t want to forget a car charger so check and double check that you have one packed for your trip. We have one just for the car that actually stays in the vehicle at all times. You can also purchase external battery chargers like the ones shown here if you’ll be visiting any amusement parks or attractions and are worried about the battery on your phone dying.
  • Ear Buds or headphones– Today you can read a book, listen to a book, play your favorite music, converse with friends, watch movies and stay in touch with your friends right from your phone. But that doesn’t mean everyone in the car wants to listen to the same thing you’re listening too. That’s when ear buds come in handy. Make sure you have these at the top of your essentials for teens travel packing list and know how to connect them to your phone before your road trip begins.
  • Gum or Breath Mints– You don’t want to be in the car with someone with stinky breath (go figure) and its fun to blow bubbles. 
  • A travel pillow and/or a blanket– Teens like to be comfortable! Besides the air conditioner can get cold. I really like this blanket and pillow set for car or plane travel. This dinosaur neck pillow will support your neck. And this unicorn neck pillow is super cute too and comes in several colors.
  • Snacks, Pop & Water– Teenagers eat and drink all the time so we make sure we have plenty of snacks and water for each of them. I also normally buy them a cute water bottle based on their personalities and interests.
  • A sweatshirt– I always pack a sweatshirt when road tripping. It comes in handy when the air conditioner gets too cold or when you’re driving through several states and experience fluctuations in the temperature.
  • Comfortable shoes & clothes– Workout clothes are perfect for road tripping. I know teens want to be fashion forward first and comfortable second, but the perfect road trip outfit will allow them to be comfortable and look good. Think gym shorts for the buys and yoga pants for the girls with a cute t-shirt or hoodie. Comfy shoes are a must as well. My kids prefer to kick their shoes off in the car so they like to wear flip flops or crocs, something they can easily slip on if we’re stopping at a gas station or rest stop.
  • Money– My kids love to have their own spending money. Even before they had jobs, we would divide the change we’d saved in our travel jar, or give them opportunities through extra chores to earn a bit for the trip.
  • A travel journal and pen– Just in case the teens get the urge to write. You can easily make this DIY travel journal or buy one like this for your trip.
  • A simple First Aid Kit- This is essential no matter who you’re traveling with. Our basic car first aid kit includes Tylenol, Benadryl (spray and tablets), Motion Sickness Medicine, Chap Stick, sun burn spray and a couple essential oils.

So, is this an exhaustive list? Of course not. What the kids pack changes based on where we are heading to, but this is a list of road trip essentials for teens.

Now it’s your turn, what ONE item do you consider essential when it comes to packing for a road trip?

Did you enjoy this post? Here are a few other’s you’ll enjoy. 

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40+ Things to do in Atlanta with Teens

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Amy Buchanan

Wednesday 19th of May 2021

Hair ties. If they have long hair.

Tonya Prater

Monday 30th of August 2021

Perfect! Yes, hair ties are even a must for me!

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama

Thursday 13th of May 2010

Love this list- I am going to link to it on my blog! Look forward to meeting you at Savvy Blogging Summit!!


Thursday 22nd of April 2010

This is a great list! Thanks for sharing!

Adori Graphics

Wednesday 21st of April 2010

LOL thanks for an insight into the wonders of the teenage mind :)


Wednesday 21st of April 2010

My family! JK....def a camera. Books are fab, cell phone, water and healthy snacks. Sorry I havent been by in a while....but Im back to regular blogging and reading again! Hope you and your family are safe! Protection Status
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