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The best family road trip essentials in 2023

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Can you believe it's already May? With the 2023 school year soon coming to a close, summer is headed our way. If you're thinking about going on road trip this year -- one of America's quintessential family activities -- you might get anxious thinking about everything you need to pack. Don't panic! We've found the best family road trip essentials for you.

Related: How we choose the best products for your home, work and life

Whether you and the fam are headed to Disney World, the beach or a fun destination, the experts at CBS Essentials have found top-rated vacation must-haves for your summer 2023 road trip. Keep reading to shop luggage, games, storage solutions and more for the best family road trip yet. 

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Best family road trip essentials in 2023

No matter where you're headed this summer, you can stay fully prepared with these road trip essentials for the whole family. With top-rated luggage, tablets, summer clothes and more, you'll have everything you need to take the road less traveled... or just the fastest major highway. 

Lusso Gear 2-pack kick mat car seat protectors


This two-pack of car seat protectors will make your car cleaner and keep your kids' activities neat and organized all summer long. These mats are waterproof and machine-washable. The reinforced straps and strong mesh mean these won't sag under the weight of your kid's toys and tablets and can hold more than the average car seat organizer.

Lusso Gear 2-pack kick mat car seat protectors, $25 (reduced from $28)

Travelers Club kids 5-piece luggage set

Travelers Club Kids Luggage 5-Piece Set

This five-piece set includes everything your child needs to travel in comfort and style. It comes with an 18-inch hardside carry-on, a backpack, a lunch bag, a neck pillow and a luggage tag.

The set is available in four fun prints.

Travelers Club kids 5-piece luggage set, $68 (down from $89)

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro


The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro tablet is designed for school-aged kids. It comes bundled with a kid-friendly case, a two-year worry-free guarantee and a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+. The Kids Pro tablet also has access to a digital store where parents can buy and download additional content, including popular games such as Roblox and Minecraft.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (32 GB), $100 (reduced from $150) 

Lisen tablet holder mount for car

Tablet holder car mount amazon

This tablet holder from Lisen is perfect for long car journeys with kids. It has a sturdy triangular structure that can hold up to 40 pounds without shaking on bumpy roads. It's easy to install and can be quickly disassembled. The holder can rotate 360 degrees and has a multi-angle function for ideal viewing. It's compatible with a wide range of devices and can fit any car. 

Lisen tablet holder mount for car, $18 after coupon (lowered from $30)

Apple AirPods (2nd generation)

Apple AirPods (2nd Generation)

Don't want to hear your kids' tablets as they're watching shows or playing games on the drive? They need a pair of AirPods. Retailing for $159 at Apple, they're on currently sale at Walmart for $99. These AirPods boast more than 24 hours of listening time (with the wireless charging case), a foolproof, one-tap setup for Apple device owners and a low-latency wireless connection (for full immersion when consuming movies and music). 

Apple AirPods (2nd generation), $99 (reduced from $159)

Hotor car trash can


If you're on a road trip, one of the things you don't think you need, but you definitely do need, is a car trash can. Keep those fast food wrappers and empty snack bags out of sight and out of mind, then empty it out when you stop. It has a durable, waterproof inner lining, an adjustable strap and is collapsible when not in use.

You don't have to use it for garbage. You can also use it as additional car storage -- try storing your drinks or toys in here too.

Hotor car trash can, $10 (lowered from $16)

Best family road trip essentials for amusement parks in 2023

Amusement parks are full of rides, characters, experiences and fun. That's exactly what your amusement park road trip should be like, too. If you're looking for vacation essentials for your theme park trip, look no further.

American Tourister Disney hardside carry-on

American Tourister Kids' Disney Hardside Upright Luggage

You know which amusement park this hardside luggage is for -- enjoy the Disney-themed collection from American Tourister. Available in a variety of sizes and themes including Disney Princess, Mickey and Minnie Mouse and "Frozen," the 4.8-star-rated bag rolls on side-mounted skate wheels and has dual handles for maneuverability. Available in 16- and 18-inch sizes. 

American Tourister Disney hardside carry-on, $54

Dramamine motion sickness chewable tablets for kids


Dramamine? You bet. Not only is it ideal for kids with queasy stomachs on car trips, but it can work if you've gone on one too many roller coasters. These are grape flavor and especially formulated for kids. They can reduce dizziness, vomiting and nausea.

Dramamine motion sickness chewable tablets for kids, $4 (lowered from $6) 

May Tree transparent tote bag


Many amusement parks and stadiums require see-through bags to ensure safety. Even if they don't, it makes it easier to get through security for when you want to bring a diaper bag or lunches through to a theme park. Before you leave, check on the standards at the place you're visiting to make sure.

May Tree transparent tote bag, $18 (originally $26) 

Ravensburger World of Disney Eye Found It card game


Road trips can get boring for kids. Break up the screen time by having them play a hidden picture card game -- this one features Disney characters and can help children occupy themselves for hours. You'll be able to explore twelve Disney realms in this fun card game. Parents (or at least parents who aren't driving) can get in on the fun as well. 

Ravensburger World of Disney Eye Found It card game, $6 (down from $10) 

Best family road trip essentials for camping in 2023

Camping is a time-honored tradition that enables us to escape the constraints of a screens-obsessed, stressful life and relax in the great, beautiful outdoors. Looking for essentials for your camping trip? We've got your back.

Melissa & Doug Let's Explore binoculars and compass play set


Your kids can get ready for camping with this playset that includes a compass and binoculars for hands-on, screen-free play. A field guide includes a map, potential activities and instructions for using the binoculars and compass -- both of which really work. 

Melissa & Doug Let's Explore binoculars and compass play set, $13 

Foval car power converter  


If you've taken your car to go camping and need a break from the outdoors, sneak into your vehicle and take advantage of this car-powered converter. With two standard AC sockets and four USB charging ports, this DC 12V to AC 110V converter can power up to 180 watts, making it great for charging laptops, tablets, cell phones and other electronic devices. It's also extremely portable and lightweight, making it easy to store and bring with you on your travels. With built-in multi-protection and a smart cooling fan, you can rest easy knowing your devices are safe and secure. 

Keep in mind, this device won't work with high-powered electrical equipment such as fans, heaters or hair dryers, so don't try.

Foval car power converter, $20 (reduced from $26)

Protect Life first aid and emergency survival kit 


You should have a first aid kit in your car no matter what, but it's especially important when you're camping. 

This extensive, 250-piece emergency kit has everything you need to help keep you safe in a variety of situations. It contains emergency items such as mylar blankets, a whistle, a compass and glow sticks in addition to the comprehensive medical supplies needed for first aid.

Protect Life first aid and emergency survival kit, $30  

Hydro Flask water bottles

Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Bottle with Flex Cap

Hydro Flask water bottles are great for drinks on-the-go instead of single-use plastic bottles. They keep your water cold for much longer than a standard plastic bottle -- up to 24 hours -- making them a must-have for the hot days out in the elements.

Get one for the whole family.

Hydro Flask standard mouth bottle with flex cap, $22 (reduced from $30)

Hydro Flask wide mouth bottle with flex cap, $39 (reduced from $45)

Hydro Flask vacuum-insulated stainless steel wide mouth water bottle with straw lid (40-Ounce), $55 (reduced from $82)

Hydro Flask wide mouth bottle with Flex Sip Lid, $23 (reduced from $33)

Best family road trip essentials for the beach in 2023

Let's go to the beach in style with these family beach trip necessities. We can't stop the sand from getting all over your car but we can help you find the ultimate beach road trip products for 2023.

Ben Kaufman Cabana Stripe 6-pack beach towels


Don't forget the towels. Not only can you use them to dry off after the beach or pool, but they can help keep wet or sandy bathing suits from seeping into the seats in your car. These are very colorful, highly absorbent and come in a pack of six so that there are enough beach towels for the whole family.

Ben Kaufman Cabana Stripe 6-pack beach towels, $40

L'autre Peau 4-pack travel-size SPF 30 sunscreens


These travel-sized sunscreens come in a pack of four so that they're easy to grab and go or keep attached to your keys. Perfect for impromptu beach trips, this SPF 30 sunscreen is water-resistant and will keep the whole family protected from the sun's UV rays.

L'autre Peau 4-pack travel-size SPF 30 sunscreens, $14 

Bluboon mesh beach tote bag with detachable insulated cooler

Bluboon mesh beach tote bag

This large mesh tote beach bag features a built-in detachable cooler. It has zip pockets to keep your essentials secure and a large external pocket for valuables. The padded handles make it comfortable to carry and the mesh design lets you easily find your items and shake off sand. 

Great for beach days, picnics, and more. It will keep drinks cool on the road trip and at the beach.

Bluboon mesh beach tote bag with detachable insulated cooler, $25

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