I am participating in a VIN campaign for Clorox® . I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Clorox® and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.Teen Road Trip Tips & Printable Car Essentials

A few weeks ago, my husband had to travel to Las Vegas for work and asked if we wanted to come with him. I’m always up for a mini family vacation, but our first trip to Vegas was a total disaster. There were many of things that made our first family road trip to Vegas a disaster: a traffic jam, food spills, missing basic essentials, etc. So when I asked the kids if they wanted to go to Vegas again, it was no surprise that I received a less than stellar response. This time, I was determined to make the road trip better and asked for their feedback. Together, we came up with a list of teen road trip tips & a printable car essentials list, plus a giveaway that can make your road trip better too!

Las VegasBut before we get to the road tips, I want to share a bonus tip that helps make my entire family vacation go smoother – Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster. It’s my new favorite laundry buddy and I’ll tell you why. We tend to pack light, which means we may have to wear our clothing multiple times. It’s a smart idea to reuse clothing, but not if I have to be the stain police, that’s a total downer. Clorox 2® makes removing tough stains and brightening colors easier, which allows me to worry less about ruined clothes and focus more on the family adventure – like visiting the Hoover Dam, The Wild Life Habitat, Mermaid Show, and more.

Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster

By adding just a little Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster to my wash, I can remove four times more stains than detergent alone (when used as a pre-treater; tested vs. a leading detergent). Clorox 2® works on tough stains like coffee, tea, red wine, ballpoint ink, body soil, makeup. I can even use it to pre-treat set-in stains that I thought would be there forever – even ones that have been through the dryer! I can’t tell you what a stress reliever it is to not worry about stains and just enjoy all the messes a trip can bring.

Before and After

Don’t believe me? Check out my husband’s shirt he wore at Vegas. I pre-treated with Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster and the results were amazing! Now that I’ve shared my bonus tip, let’s get to the teen road trip tips! 

Las Vegas Road Trip

Teen Road Trip Tips & Printable Car Essentials

Expect the Unexpected

The first rule for a good road trip is to make sure everyone has the mindset that the unexpected can happen. A flat tire, engine trouble or an accident can cause delays and unnecessary stress. On our first road trip to Las Vegas, an accident turned our 4-hour trip into an 8-hour trip. Not fun. This time, we made sure everyone was aware of the possibility of delays and to be flexible on timelines.

Basic Essentials

Basic essentials are items that make traveling in a cramped car for hours a little more comfortable. These items will help with accidental spills, boo-boos, aches-n-pains, and other mishaps. 

  • Mini First Aid Kit/Medications – Always a good idea to bring any needed medications. It’s also a good idea to bring pain relievers, as it’s not uncommon for someone to have a headache during the long trip. 
  • Towel/Paper towels – Great for spills or a quick clean up. 
  • Pillow/Blanket – No one likes a stiff neck or cold legs. A mini pillow and small blanket will make a long car ride more comfortable.
  • Jacket – Good to have if you have to travel at night or to a cooler area.
  • Tissue – A change is surroundings can trigger allergies and cause a runny nose. 
  • Clorox 2® Stain Fighter Precision Pen for Colors – Eating in a confined area can result in drips and spills on clothing. Having a stain fighter can help prevent meltdowns when something gets on your teen’s favorite shirt. Apply, scrub, rinse at the hotel, and dry for quick stain removal. 
  • Plastic bags – Use for trash or soiled items.


Long road trips with teens require lots of snacks. Packing a cooler with fresh fruits, drinks, and snacks is a must. And if you ask my teens, it’s THE most important essential for a road trip. Yes, food beat out electronics for the number one essential item – shocking! You can check out our Tame Teen Hunger Snack Boxes to see how we pack for our road trips.

  • Water/Drinks – Not only can water be a thirst quencher, it’s good  to help with cleaning up messes too.
  • Fruits – Bananas, oranges, grapes, and apples are family favorites and travel well. 
  • Snacks – Granola bars, peanuts, chips, crackers, trail mix, etc.
  • Mini meals – Bring small meals to eat. I like to pack rice balls, Spam musubi, and sandwiches.
  • Breath fresheners – Bring along gum and mints because no one wants to smell the breath of Godzilla. 


Riding for hours in a car can get boring. My teens voted entertainment the second most important thing to have for a road trip; the cell phone and tablet being the top two ‘must-have’ electronic entertainment items. 

  • Cell phone – This is a great compact entertainment system when on the road. It can be used to take pictures, listen to music, watch movies, play games and more. 
  • Tablet – Great to watch movies and play games. 
  • External battery bank – This isn’t a ‘must-have’, but it’s good to have on-hand just in case all the car chargers are in use. 
  • Earbuds/splitter Not everyone wants to listen to the same things. Keep arguments to a minimum by having earbuds for each family member or earbud splitter when they do want to share. 
  • Travel games – Not all entertainment needs to be electronic. Bring pencil and paper to play hangman, tic-tac-toe, or a word scramble game. You can also find tons of printable games on the web. 
  • Books – It’s nice to take a break from the electronics and catch up on some reading. 

Take Breaks

Long car rides can be hard on the body, especially on the back and tush. Taking breaks and walking around can help stretch out stiff muscles and get the blood moving. It’s recommended to take breaks every 20-30 minutes.


I hope you found these teen road trip tips and printable car essentials list useful. It definitely helped make this last road trip less stressful and a lot of fun! 

Are you going on a road trip? Comment below with your best road trip tip!

I am participating in a VIN campaign for Clorox® . I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Clorox® and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.

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  1. When we travel, I always have extra cash and coins on hand. Never know where tolls are popping up these days and you don’t want to swipe your credit card everywhere you go especially if the purchase items cost less than $10. Bring along a pillow and have snacks on hand. I also always being wipes and hand sanitizer. Its great for a lot of reasons.
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  2. Because we have the luxury of having a 3rd row in our SUV I assigned each of us a row. That way my teen son, tween gal and I can all have a little space and our favorite comfort items nearby. Plus my son gets more legroom that way. The cooler is my co-pilot.

  3. My best tip is to pack lots of water and snacks. I hate having to stop and buy things along the way, especially since prices at quick stops can be so high.

  4. My best road trip tip is to drive thru the night! It makes things a lot easier, I think and you feel like you get there faster 😛


  5. These are fantastic tips! My kids would agree with yours that food is the most important thing for a road trip, but I think that it more due to the fact that they get some snacks that we don’t normally keep in the house on road trips. Thanks for sharing these. I’m going to need them in a few weeks when we go on vacation!

  6. I always look for site seeing and restaurant coupons /groupons to area we are traveling thru. It can break up the trip and save money

  7. I think it’s best not to over-plan when taking a trip, especially a road trip where you might see something along the way and want to stop! I wish I could take a road trip this summer but it’s not likely.

  8. My best travel tip is don’t over pack. It just makes things miserable, plan out what you will need and don’t pack extras.

  9. We’re leaving tomorrow morning on a road trip! We’re traveling to see an NBA game with our grandson (who lives with us) and our Chinese exchange student. They’ve each downloaded a couple of movies they want to watch and have plenty of water and snacks where they can be reached.

  10. Plan ahead, Tripadvisor is great to find restaurants and attractions in areas you have not been to before. I also like to look for blogs about areas I’m going to especially written by people who have traveled to the area, I have gotten some great ideas from reading about other peoples exprerience.

  11. My best tip is to keep a journal of your trip so that you can write down funny or interesting things that happened while on your trip.

  12. My best road trip tip is if you have a DVD player in your vehicle then rent a Redbox movie or two! We did that and just returned it when we got to our destination!

  13. A few years ago I drove with my three daughters to an anime convention in Anaheim, CA (we live just east of Chicago). It was 2000 miles each way, and took two days driving – with me being the only driver. While we had fun at the event, I think we actually had more fun on the drive there and back. Singing along with music, joking around, and just getting a chance to talk and reconnect. We’ve taken quite a few drives to other conventions, but none nearly as far as that one, but we always find a way to have fun on the trip there.

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