Pack supplies in case of an emergency.
Make sure your car emergency kit is well stocked and that you have food and water for everyone. Consider bringing collapsible safety cones to put out if your car breaks down. If you’re driving somewhere cold, pack appropriate gear such as blankets and a shovel.
Clear the clutter.
Clean your car and remove any clutter that’s built up inside. Pay special attention to your windows to ensure you have proper visibility, and remove any extraneous items you won’t need on your trip.
Get kids involved.
If your child is 4 or older, have them pack their own bag, suggests licensed professional counselor and registered play therapist Robyn Rausch of Calming Communities. “It helps them be responsible for their things, limits bag destruction while people are looking for something, and helps them be excited for the trip.”
Stash away plenty of toys—such as puzzle books, coloring tools, Rubik’s cubes, and other small manipulatable devices, Rausch suggests. Make several playlists—both ones for kids and ones for adults—so that you can alternate, she says. Organize family-friendly road trip activities, such as scavenger hunts or I Spy games, too.