How to Pack for a Winter Holiday Trip With Baby

Winter's arrival signals the beginning of exciting travel plans with your children. But, before diving into hotel reservations and mapping out your journey, it's crucial to pack a bag with all the essentials. This guide will help you prepare for a hassle-free and memorable trip with your little ones, regardless of your destination.

Essentials for Your Winter Road Trip with the Family

How to Pack for a Winter Holiday Trip With Baby

Once your car is primed for the journey, it's time to pack specific winter items, along with vital emergency gear. Here's a list of must-haves for your winter road trip:

Ice Clearing Tools

Before setting off, you'll likely need to defrost your car's windshield. Carry an ice scraper to clear your windshield and consider a can of windshield de-icer to quickly melt away any snow.

Specialized Washer Fluid

The combination of road salt and grime can quickly dirty your windshield. Avoid using plain water, which can freeze, and instead opt for winter-grade washer fluid. This is especially essential for winter road trips in the USA, as you'll probably use it frequently.

Traction and Snow Clearing Gear

Include a snow shovel, a snow brush, and either sand or kitty litter in your car. These items are crucial if you find yourself stuck. The sand or kitty litter can provide the necessary traction on icy patches. If you're caught in a snowdrift, a shovel and broom are invaluable for digging out your vehicle. Additionally, a tow strap is useful if you need another vehicle to help pull you out.

Appropriate Tires or Chains

Be mindful of tire chain regulations in different states during your winter travels in the USA. These laws vary and dictate the specific requirements for using tire chains. Ensure you have the right size chains and know how to attach them. In snowy or icy conditions, tire chains can be a lifesaver for maintaining safety.

Winter Roadside Emergency Kit

In case of an unexpected stop, be prepared with a comprehensive winter emergency kit. Check that your kit includes jumper cables or a jump starter pack, a safety vest, a flashlight, and emergency markers or flares. These items are essential for handling roadside emergencies during winter travels.

Keeping Warm on Your Winter Road Journey

How to Pack for a Winter Holiday Trip With Baby

When planning a winter road trip, especially with kids, it's essential to ensure everyone stays warm and cozy. Here are the key items to include for warmth:


Transform your car into a cozy sanctuary with a stack of blankets. Perfect for naptime during long drives, these blankets are not only for comfort but also serve as a safety measure. In case of car trouble where the heater isn't an option, these blankets will be crucial.


Always carry coats in your car during winter, even if your journey involves moving between heated environments. In the event of a breakdown or if you get stuck, having warm coats for every family member is essential for safety and comfort.

Waterproof Mittens/Gloves

Remember the practical use of your car's glove box! Keep a pair of waterproof gloves or mittens in your vehicle for unexpected situations like changing a tire or shoveling snow. Ensure each child has their own pair of warm gloves, too. For those who like to be extra prepared, include a few hand warmer packs for added warmth.

Winter Road Trip Entertainment

How to Pack for a Winter Holiday Trip With Baby

Coloring Books and Stickers

New coloring and sticker books are not just fun; they promise some quiet time too. They're a hit with kids and a great way to kick off the trip.


Don't underestimate the power of snacks! Let each child pick their favorite (preferably non-messy) snack for a delightful road trip experience.

Interactive Games

Dry Erase Boards for Games

Pack small dry erase boards for classic games like Tic Tac Toe, Hangman, or Pictionary. Simple yet entertaining!

Classic Road Trip Games

Engage everyone with "I Spy" and "20 Questions". For a twist of fun, bring along printed MadLibs to share laughs.


A road trip is an exception to the usual screen time rules. Load tablets with videos (downloaded in advance) to ensure uninterrupted entertainment.


Turn the journey into a musical adventure. Let the kids play DJ, taking turns to choose songs for a family sing-along.


Bring along family-favorite books. One parent can read aloud while the other drives. It's a cozy way to pass time and potentially lull the kids to sleep.

Kid-Friendly Podcasts

For those prone to carsickness, opt for engaging podcasts. 'What If World' is great for little ones, while 'The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel' captivates tweens.

With these essentials, your winter road trip is sure to be a delightful and entertaining adventure for the whole family!

Concluding Your Winter Road Trip Planning with Kids

This guide is designed to ease your winter road trip planning with your family. By removing the guesswork, we've offered plenty of factors for you to consider. Proper preparation is key to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable journey. Our goal is to simplify your family adventures. Utilize the provided road trip checklist to ensure you pack all the essential items for your winter excursion. Additionally, adhere to the safety checklist to maintain your family's safety throughout your travels. With these tools and tips, you're set for a memorable and hassle-free winter road trip with your loved ones.

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