Dr. Green Mom’s Top 10 Road Trip Essentials
When I travel, I try to be prepared for anything and everything! I also endeavor to travel light, and sometimes that leads to its own set of problems. I can’t be the only momma who’s had to run to the drugstore in the middle of the night! Here is a preliminary list of what I consider to be my top 10 road trip essentials, which covers everything that my family needs without too much extra baggage.
1. Inexpensive Glass Water Bottles
Water bottles are an everyday essential for us. When we travel, I choose inexpensive glass water bottles over stainless steel ones because of how often water bottles get lost or misplaced when we’re on the go.
I like Voss bottles because they are narrow enough for small hands and relatively easy to find in stores. Glass isn’t always practical, and when my kids were younger, we simply packed back-up stainless steel water bottles in case one or two got lost.
I’m not an affiliate; I simply like these bottles.
2. Age Appropriate Activities
We aren’t a screen-free family, so we allow our kids to use technology to keep themselves entertained while on a drive. However, we limit their screen time and have other options readily available. Road trip bingo is a family favorite.
3. Arnica Oil
We always have arnica oil on hand in case of bumps and bruises. It also helps heal sunburns and relieve sore muscles from too much driving. Arnica oil does double duty as a carrier oil to dilute any essential oils that I’ve got on hand (see below for my favorite).
4. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is my number one road trip essential for fending off germs. We don’t take it preventatively, but we use it at the first sign of sniffles, sore throat, or any other infection.
5. Homeopathic Remedies
Sometimes I’m tempted to bring my whole homeopathic remedy kit, but I rarely use most of them. My pared-down homeopathic essentials are arnica (for accidents, aches, and pains), nux vomica (for overindulging), ledum (for insect bites), and belladonna (for overheating).
I usually order my homeopathics from Boiron in the 30C potency. However, you can find them in many local pharmacies and natural health stores. Read here to learn about making a family homeopathy kit: How To Create A Family Homeopathy Kit – Dr. Green Mom
6. First Aid Kit
I always double-check my first aid kit before we go on a long trip, especially if we’re going to be in the wilderness. I replenish stocks of bandages and check the expiration dates of the various liquids. I also read through the first aid booklet to ensure I know where everything is and how to use it.
7. Lavender Essential Oil
We love essential oils in my home and use a lot of them! However, when I travel, I usually only bring lavender or a lavender blend. The calming scent makes any hotel room or tent feel like home and helps everyone sleep better. Lavender essential oil is also useful for motion sickness, headaches, skin irritation, and insect bites. If I’m applying it to the skin, I use arnica oil as the carrier oil to dilute it.
8. Waterproof Picnic Blanket
A large waterproof picnic blanket always lives in my vehicle. It gives us the freedom to eat and play almost anywhere without worrying that we will get too wet and dirty to be comfortable for the rest of our trip.
Magnesium might not be everyone’s road trip essential, but I like to have it on hand to make my homemade rehydration drink in case we overdo it in the sun and to help us wind down before bed.
10. Herbs To Help Settle Before Bed
My family doesn’t usually sleep well in unfamiliar places. Consequently, I’ve learned to bring remedies to help us have a good night’s rest so when morning comes we’re rested and ready for fun! If we’re switching time zones and I’m worried about jet lag, I bring melatonin. If I know that the trip will be particularly stressful or anxiety-provoking for me, then I pack a kava supplement, which helps to calm the nervous system and elevate mood.
When I add these essentials to our usual travel items (clothes, snacks, toiletries, sunscreen, etc.) I find that everything goes more smoothly, and my mind is at ease. I hope there is an idea or two on this list that makes your travels a little easier and healthier!
Silva, G. L., Luft, C., Lunardelli, A., Amaral, R. H., Melo, D. A., Donadio, M. V., Nunes, F. B., de Azambuja, M. S., Santana, J. C., Moraes, C. M., Mello, R. O., Cassel, E., Pereira, M. A., & de Oliveira, J. R. (2015). Antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of lavender essential oil. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciencias, 87(2 Suppl), 1397–1408. https://doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201520150056
Smith, A. G., Miles, V. N., Holmes, D. T., Chen, X., & Lei, W. (2021). Clinical Trials, Potential Mechanisms, and Adverse Effects of Arnica as an Adjunct Medication for Pain Management. Medicines (Basel, Switzerland), 8(10), 58. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines8100058
Kuchta, K., Hladikova, M., Thomsen, M., Nahrstedt, A., & Schmidt, M. (2021). Kava (Piper methysticum) Extract for the Treatment of Nervous Anxiety, Tension and Restlessness. Drug research, 71(2), 83–93. https://doi.org/10.1055/a-1268-7135
Zisapel N. (2018). New perspectives on the role of melatonin in human sleep, circadian rhythms and their regulation. British journal of pharmacology, 175(16), 3190–3199. https://doi.org/10.1111/bph.14116