Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

What To Pack For A Road Trip For Tweens


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Myriam Mintz



Embarking on a road trip can be an exciting and memorable adventure for tweens. Whether it’s a family outing or a trip with friends, hitting the open road offers endless opportunities for exploration and fun. However, to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey, proper planning and preparation are essential. One of the key aspects of planning for a road trip is knowing what to pack.


When it comes to packing for a road trip, tweens need to consider a range of factors such as weather conditions, duration of the trip, and specific activities planned along the way. The goal is to pack efficiently, bringing along essential items while minimizing unnecessary bulk. This article will guide you through the must-have items that tweens should pack to ensure a comfortable, entertaining, and safe road trip experience.


From clothing and footwear to entertainment and emergency supplies, we’ve got you covered. So, buckle up and let’s dive into the packing essentials for a road trip with tweens!


Essential Clothing Items

When it comes to packing clothes for a road trip, it’s crucial to strike a balance between comfort and style. Here are some essential clothing items that tweens should consider:

  1. T-shirts and Tops: Pack a variety of t-shirts and tops in neutral colors that can be easily mixed and matched. Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton to stay comfortable throughout the journey.
  2. Bottoms: Bring a couple of versatile bottoms like jeans or leggings that can be worn with different tops. Additionally, pack a pair of shorts or skirts for warmer days.
  3. Outerwear: Depending on the weather, pack a lightweight jacket, hoodie, or cardigan for layering purposes. A waterproof jacket is also a wise choice in case of unexpected rain.
  4. Sleepwear: Don’t forget to pack comfortable sleepwear for overnight stays or camping adventures during the road trip.
  5. Swimwear: If you plan on visiting beaches or swimming pools along the way, pack swimsuits to take a refreshing dip.

Remember to pack enough underwear and socks for the duration of the trip. Consider the number of days you’ll be traveling and factor in some extra pairs for emergencies or unexpected delays.


It’s also a good idea to pack a few dressier outfits if you have special events or occasions planned during the trip. This allows tweens to be prepared for any unexpected formal outings that might arise.


Lastly, remember to pack comfortable and versatile clothing items that tweens can easily move in while sitting in the car for long periods. This will ensure comfort and flexibility, making the whole journey much more enjoyable for everyone.


Comfortable Footwear

When packing for a road trip, it’s essential to choose footwear that is comfortable and suitable for a variety of activities. Here are some tips for selecting the right footwear for tweens:

  1. Sneakers or Athletic Shoes: Pack a pair of sturdy sneakers or athletic shoes that provide ample support for walking and outdoor activities. Look for shoes with cushioning and good traction to ensure comfort and stability.
  2. Flip-Flops or Sandals: For warm weather or beach excursions, include a pair of flip-flops or sandals that are easy to slip on and off. These will come in handy when at the poolside or exploring sandy areas.
  3. Comfortable Slip-Ons: Consider packing a pair of comfortable slip-on shoes or loafers that are convenient for quick stops or casual outings along the way.
  4. Hiking Boots or Trail Shoes: If your road trip involves hiking or outdoor adventures, it’s crucial to pack suitable hiking boots or trail shoes that provide ankle support and grip on varied terrain.

Make sure to pack socks suitable for the different types of footwear you bring. It’s always a good idea to have a few extra pairs in case they get wet or dirty during the trip.


Encourage tweens to wear their more comfortable shoes during the car journey, especially if it will be a long drive. This will help them stay comfortable and avoid any discomfort or blisters that may arise from wearing new or uncomfortable footwear.


Remember, choosing comfortable footwear will ensure that tweens can fully enjoy all the activities and explore different destinations without any discomfort or foot-related issues.


Weather-Appropriate Gear

When preparing for a road trip, it’s crucial to take into account the weather conditions of your destinations. Being prepared with the right gear will ensure that tweens stay comfortable and protected no matter the weather. Here are some weather-appropriate gear items to pack:

  1. Umbrella or Raincoat: If you’re traveling to an area with frequent rainfall, pack an umbrella or a lightweight raincoat to keep dry during unexpected showers.
  2. Sun Protection: For destinations with sunny weather, make sure to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect against harmful UV rays. Aloe vera gel can also come in handy in case of sunburns.
  3. Layering Items: Regardless of the weather, it’s wise to pack layering pieces such as lightweight sweaters or cardigans. These can be easily added or removed to adjust to fluctuating temperatures.
  4. Warm Clothing: If traveling to colder regions, pack sweaters, jackets, and thermals to stay cozy. Don’t forget to include gloves, scarves, and hats to shield against chilly winds.
  5. Bug Repellent: If your road trip involves camping or spending time outdoors, pack bug repellents to protect against pesky insects.
  6. Beach Gear: If you’re planning to visit beaches or lakes, pack swimsuits, beach towels, and beach chairs to fully enjoy the water and sun.

It’s essential to research the weather conditions of your destinations beforehand and pack accordingly. This will ensure that tweens are prepared for whatever climate they encounter along the road trip.


By considering the weather, you can ensure that tweens are comfortable, protected, and able to fully enjoy the road trip experience, regardless of the external conditions.


Toiletries and Personal Care Items

Packing the right toiletries and personal care items for a road trip is essential for maintaining hygiene and personal comfort. Here are some items to include:

  1. Toothbrush, Toothpaste, and Dental Floss: Don’t forget to pack the essentials for maintaining good oral hygiene.
  2. Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Wash: Bring travel-sized bottles of your favorite toiletries or decant them into smaller containers to save space.
  3. Deodorant: Keep fresh and odor-free throughout the trip by packing deodorant or antiperspirant.
  4. Skincare Products: Include moisturizer, sunscreen, and lip balm to protect the skin from dryness and sunburns. If your tween has specific skincare needs, such as acne treatment, remember to pack those products as well.
  5. Hair Care Items: Bring a hairbrush or comb, hair ties, and any styling products or accessories that your tween uses regularly.
  6. Menstrual Products: If your tween has started menstruation or is likely to during the trip, ensure they have an adequate supply of menstrual products like pads or tampons.
  7. Medications and First Aid Supplies: Pack any necessary prescription medications and a basic first-aid kit that includes band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.
  8. Towels and Washcloths: If you’re unsure about the availability of towels at your accommodations, pack travel-sized towels or washcloths for convenience.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to pack a small bag for storing dirty laundry and separate plastic bags for any wet or soiled items.


Remember, personal care items are crucial for maintaining comfort and cleanliness during the road trip. By packing everything your tween needs, you can ensure they feel fresh and confident throughout the journey.


Entertainment and Electronics

A road trip can involve long hours on the road, so it’s important to pack entertainment and electronics to keep tweens entertained and engaged throughout the journey. Here are some must-have items to consider:

  1. Portable Music Player: Load up a portable music player or smartphone with your tween’s favorite music playlists or audiobooks to enjoy during the drive.
  2. Tablet or E-Reader: Pack a tablet or e-reader preloaded with movies, TV shows, books, or educational apps to keep tweens entertained during downtime.
  3. Headphones: Don’t forget to include a pair of comfortable headphones, so tweens can enjoy their entertainment without disturbing others in the car.
  4. Portable Gaming Console: If your tween is into gaming, consider bringing a handheld gaming console with their favorite games to keep them occupied during long stretches of the trip.
  5. Card Games or Board Games: Pack a few compact card games or travel-sized board games that the whole family can enjoy during rest breaks or evenings at the accommodation.
  6. Camera or Smartphone: Encourage tweens to document their road trip memories by packing a camera or smartphone with a good camera function. They can capture beautiful landscapes, funny moments, and group selfies.
  7. Journals or Sketchbooks: Provide tweens with a journal or sketchbook to write down their thoughts, doodle, or capture the sights and experiences of the road trip.
  8. Chargers and Power Banks: Don’t forget to pack chargers for all electronic devices and consider bringing power banks to ensure you can charge them on the go.

It’s important to strike a balance between screen time and other forms of entertainment. Encourage tweens to take breaks from electronic devices and engage in conversations, enjoy the scenery, or participate in group activities during the road trip.


By packing a variety of entertainment options, you can keep tweens engaged and entertained, making the road trip enjoyable for everyone involved.


Snacks and Drinks

No road trip is complete without delicious snacks and refreshing drinks to keep everyone energized and satisfied along the way. Here are some snack and beverage ideas for your road trip:

  1. Pre-Packaged Snacks: Stock up on individual-sized portions of chips, pretzels, popcorn, granola bars, or fruit snacks. These are convenient and can be easily enjoyed on the road.
  2. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: Pack easy-to-eat fruits like apples, grapes, or berries and sliced vegetables like carrots or bell peppers. They provide a healthy alternative and keep everyone feeling refreshed.
  3. Sandwiches or Wraps: Prepare sandwiches or wraps with fillings like deli meat, cheese, or peanut butter and jelly. They make for a satisfying and portable meal option during the road trip.
  4. Trail Mix: Create a custom trail mix with a mix of nuts, dried fruits, seeds, and chocolate chips. It’s a great option for snacking and provides a boost of energy.
  5. Yogurt Cups or Cheese Sticks: Pack individual servings of yogurt or cheese sticks for a protein-packed snack option.

When it comes to beverages, stay hydrated and refreshed with these options:

  1. Water Bottles: Carry refillable water bottles for each person in the car. Staying hydrated is essential during long drives.
  2. Juice Boxes or Pouches: Pack juice boxes or pouches for a refreshing and flavorful drink option.
  3. Reusable Coffee or Travel Mugs: If you’re a coffee or tea lover, bring along a travel mug to enjoy hot beverages during the drive.
  4. Energy Drinks or Sports Drinks: For a quick energy boost, consider packing energy drinks or sports drinks, but consume them in moderation.

Remember, it’s important to practice responsible snacking and keep the car clean. Dispose of any wrappers or containers properly and keep a small trash bag in the car for easy cleanup.


By packing a variety of snacks and drinks, you can keep energy levels high and ensure that everyone enjoys tasty treats throughout the road trip.


Road Trip Survival Kit

A well-prepared road trip survival kit is essential to handle any unexpected situations that may arise along the journey. Here are some items to include in your survival kit:

  1. First Aid Kit: Pack a basic first aid kit that includes adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any necessary medications.
  2. Emergency Contact Information: Keep a list of emergency contact numbers, including roadside assistance, insurance information, and important contact numbers in case of emergencies.
  3. Roadside Emergency Tools: Include items like jumper cables, a tire pressure gauge, a basic toolkit, and a flashlight with extra batteries.
  4. Map or GPS System: If traveling to areas with limited cell service, bring along a physical road map or a GPS system to ensure you don’t get lost.
  5. Blankets and Pillows: Pack blankets and travel pillows for added comfort during rest breaks or overnight stays.
  6. Portable Phone Charger: Ensure that you have a portable phone charger or power bank to keep your devices charged, especially if you rely on them for navigation or emergencies.
  7. Snacks and Water: Pack extra non-perishable snacks and water in case of unexpected delays or when traveling through areas with limited food options.
  8. Extra Cash and Coins: Keep some extra cash and coins on hand, as some places may not accept credit cards or electronic payments.
  9. Entertainment Items: Include items like books, magazines, or travel games to keep entertained during downtime or in case of unforeseen delays.

It’s crucial to periodically check your survival kit before the trip to ensure that items are in good condition and fully stocked. This way, you’ll be prepared for any situation that may arise on the road.


Remember, having a well-prepared road trip survival kit will provide peace of mind and ensure that you’re ready to handle any unexpected challenges that come your way during the journey.


Important Documents and Money

When going on a road trip, it’s essential to have all the necessary documents and sufficient money to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey. Here’s a checklist of important items to include:

  1. Driver’s License and Identification: Ensure you have a valid driver’s license for the designated driver and identification for all passengers, if required.
  2. Vehicle Documents: Carry the vehicle registration, insurance papers, and proof of ownership (title or lease agreement) to comply with legal requirements and to present if necessary.
  3. Travel and Accommodation Confirmation: Keep a copy of your travel itinerary, hotel reservations, and any other confirmations you may need during the trip.
  4. Emergency Contact Information: Have a list of emergency contact numbers, including family members, friends, and your insurance provider. Keep these details readily accessible in case of unforeseen circumstances.
  5. Credit Cards and Cash: Bring a mix of credit/debit cards and cash for financial transactions. Some places may not accept cards, so it’s always wise to carry some cash for emergencies or places with limited electronic payment options.
  6. Toll Money: If you’ll be passing through toll roads, make sure you have enough cash or a transponder to cover the toll fees along the way.
  7. Travel Insurance: Consider obtaining travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, or any unforeseen events that may disrupt your travel plans.
  8. Passports and Visas: If your road trip involves border crossings or international travel, ensure that everyone has valid passports and necessary visas for the countries you’ll be visiting.

Before embarking on your road trip, it’s important to double-check and organize all your important documents in a secure folder or bag. This will ensure easy access and peace of mind during your journey.


By having all the essential documents and sufficient money on hand, you can navigate through your road trip smoothly, ensuring a stress-free and enjoyable experience.


Safety and Emergency Supplies

Ensuring safety during a road trip is of utmost importance. It’s essential to be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances or emergencies that may arise along the way. Here are some safety and emergency supplies to pack:

  1. Emergency Kit: Prepare an emergency kit that includes items such as a fully stocked first aid kit, flashlight, extra batteries, roadside flares, and a multi-tool.
  2. Emergency Blanket and Poncho: Pack emergency blankets and ponchos to stay warm and dry in case of unexpected weather conditions or roadside emergencies.
  3. Reflective Vest: Include a reflective vest, which is essential for visibility if you need to exit your vehicle on the side of the road during emergencies.
  4. Fire Extinguisher: Pack a compact fire extinguisher designed for vehicles in case of a small fire.
  5. Spare Tire and Jack: Ensure you have a fully inflated spare tire, jack, and lug wrench in case of a flat tire.
  6. Car Manual and Tools: Keep the car manual and basic tools like a tire pressure gauge, jumper cables, and a funnel for emergency refueling.
  7. Extra Water and Non-Perishable Food: Have extra water bottles and non-perishable snacks in case of breakdowns or any situations that may require waiting for assistance.
  8. Emergency Whistle: Include an emergency whistle that can be used to signal for help in case of emergencies.
  9. Phone Charger and Backup Power Source: Pack a car charger for your phone and consider having a backup power source, such as a power bank, to ensure communication during emergencies.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with these items and ensure that everyone in the vehicle knows where they are located. Additionally, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on basic car maintenance and emergency procedures before setting off on your road trip.


By being well-prepared with safety and emergency supplies, you can handle unexpected situations with confidence and ensure the safety of everyone on the road trip.



Embarking on a road trip with tweens can be an exciting and memorable adventure. By packing the right essentials, you can ensure a comfortable, entertaining, and safe journey for everyone involved. From clothing and footwear to snacks, entertainment, and emergency supplies, each item plays a crucial role in enhancing the road trip experience.


Consider the weather conditions of your destinations and pack weather-appropriate clothing and gear. Choose comfortable clothing items and footwear to ensure comfort during long hours on the road. Pack a variety of snacks and drinks to keep everyone energized and satisfied along the journey.


Entertainment and electronics are essential to keep tweens engaged and entertained during the drive. Bring along their favorite music, books, games, and electronics to make the journey enjoyable for all. It’s also important to pack a road trip survival kit, including first aid supplies, emergency tools, and important documents, to be prepared for any unexpected situations.


Ultimately, a successful road trip with tweens requires careful planning and packing. Take the time to research and prepare for the specific needs and preferences of both you and your tweens. With the right items in tow, you can create unforgettable memories, explore new destinations, and bond with your tween companions on an incredible road trip adventure.


So, gather your belongings, hit the open road, and embark on an unforgettable road trip with your tweens. Adventure awaits!