A Packing List for Your Spring Break Road Trip

Spring break is almost here in Ontario! While long drives in the car may first bring to mind your favourite road-trip movies, in reality, they likely look more like this: wide open roads, forests that stretch farther than the eye can see, gorgeous skies above…and nary a washroom in sight. In this blog post, I’ll go over your spring break road trip packing list. Although I can’t promise it’ll bring a washroom closer to you, it can help make your trip more enjoyable.

Emergency Kit for Your Road Trip

You’re not just packing in the rare case of an accident; you’re also packing for unexpected weather and car and navigational mishaps.

  1. Food and water: If you get stuck in a massive traffic jam, have to pull over because of a blizzard or wait for a tow truck because your car broke down, you’ll want to eat. Energy bars are a good solution here.
  2. Extra clothing and blankets: They’ll help keep you warm if you’re driving in wintery areas and can be used to switch out wet clothes if you get wet in the rain in warmer ones.
  3. First-aid kit with a seatbelt cutter: I know this sounds scary, but remember that a first-aid kit also contains bandages, which come in mighty handy if you get a papercut.
  4. Snow-removal tools: You probably already have a snow brush and scraper in your car. For road trips, take a small shovel, too.
  5. Wind-up flashlight and a whistle: The flashlight will help you to see, and both items can help you attract attention.
  6. Paper: Roadmaps, a copy of your emergency plan, and a list of phone numbers. Unfortunately, battery life on our devices isn’t limitless yet, and you may not get a signal. (A compass might be handy too, to help you orient yourself.)
  7. Source of heat: A deep can with a candle in it, and a pack of matches can help you keep warm inside the vehicle without running the engine.
Packing for unexpected weather
Packing for unexpected weather

The Government of Canada maintains a full site on emergency preparedness, including a page on preparing an emergency kit for your car. The items we list here and the additional ones on the government’s site should be a part of your spring break packing list.

When Kids Come Along for the Ride

The beauty of a family road trip during spring break is that you can spend quality time together. Don’t forget these essential items for your children so you can also have more fun on your spring break road trip.

  • Food and water: Kids may require special food because of sensitivities/allergies and/or age. If your baby is being breastfed, take along extra breastmilk properly stored in bottles. I’m speaking from experience here: sometimes you’re not able to breastfeed directly in the car. (And certainly not while the vehicle is moving.)
  • Toys: Are you the kind of parent who hid some of the mounds of toys your kids got for Christmas so you can pull them out later? Now’s the time to pack them.
  • Extra clothing: Kids warrant extra attention here, too. They can easily drop food or drink on their clothing or produce more than a diaper can handle. Keep them comfortable (and happy) by having fresh clothing available that you can change your kids into at the next pit stop.
  • Entertainment: Pack their favourite music, or even try downloading a few audio books. The aural distraction will give your kids something interesting to listen to and your voice a break from talking so loud to the back.

Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush

I don’t know about you, but the two things I often forget to pack are my toothbrush and pajamas. If you have things that have that same status, write them down on your packing list for your spring break road trip. Then pack everything up and have fun!

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