Though sunshine, warm nights and beach days are pretty darn awesome, our favorite part of summer is the return of a timeless pastime: the road trip. Throwing everything you need in the car and hitting the road is totally empowering, exciting and energizing. Growing up, I spent many an hour in the backseat of a Ford Explorer beside my stepsister, sharing headphones and switching back and forth between her Walkman and my Discman, inventing games to pass the time and only sometimes listening to our parents ;)

Today, we’ve teamed up with HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® to share our list of must-haves for every family road trip. From a cozy DIY pillow and blanket in one to photo props for all your inevitable selfies, we recommend keeping these items in your car at all times. That way you’re always ready to get in the car and drive.

While we’re on the topic of summertime travel, be sure to visit the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® website for tons of tips and information for keeping your family prepared for summer sun and fun. Now, fire up those playlists and podcasts, and read on to see what’s on our road trip list.

1. DIY Travel Blanket and Pillow in One: You’re going to need convertible comfort when spending significant time in the backseat, and we have you covered (pun def intended) with a DIY blanket that’s a pillow when you need it. Pups love it too ;) Keep scrolling for our tutorial!

2. Weekend Beauty Essentials: Dopp it like it’s hot with a travel beauty bag that is as cute as it is handy. Take all of the comforts of home on the road with you and pack up your must-have toiletries to make rest stop touchups a breeze.

3. Sidewalk Chalk to Create Art Everywhere You Go: Pull over, stretch legs, make art with your custom road trip hashtag on the side of the road, take picture, hop back in car.

4. Lunch Bags Filled With Snacks: Guys, it’s a road trip, so do NOT forget the snacks! And how could you with a treat bag as sweet as this one?

5. A Basket That Turns into a Backpack: Stash all your souvenirs in this quick DIY you can hack with a basket and a couple belts you probably have lying around.

6. Cord Organizers: Road trip tech is probably the most important kind of tech out there. Think about it — a cord organizer could save your phone from dying, thereby saving YOU from having to sing (or listen to) every single round of “99 Bottles.”

7. The Perfect Jewelry Organizer: While we’re on the subject of organization, let me introduce you to a DIY that will keep all of your accessories neat and orderly. Your bling has seriously never looked this lovely.

8. Color Blocked Mancala: When good old-fashioned Punch Bug gets old, you’ll need another game to bust out in the backseat or at your cozy curbside campsite.

9. Photo Props for All Those Selfies: Remember that road trip hashtag we mentioned? Well, get it poppin’ and fill up your feed with fun photos in front of all those bucket list landmarks you’re driving to. A few signature photo props will encourage your fellow road trippers to get in on your pics and add to your memories.

10. Lots of Extra Tote Bags: Whether you’re packing up a picnic at the Grand Canyon or finding a semi-permanent home for all the swag you scored at Dollywood, you totes need some spare totes.

Now, back to that pillow-blanket-awesomeness. Scroll on to learn how to make your own.


– five yards of fleece (different colors)


– sewing machine

– pins

– ruler

– fabric scissors


1. Determine the size of your blanket and divide the width by 3 and the length by 6. This will be the size of your quilt squares. Ours measured 12 x 15 inches. Cut out 18 rectangles in different colors.

2. Sew three rectangles together to form a panel. Pin four panels together and sew to form a 3 x 4 quilt.

3. Sew two rectangles together, pin and sew to the left row of rectangles on your quilt. Repeat for the right side. You will now have 16 rectangles sewn together, with two missing from the middle of the bottom two rows.

4. Cut a piece of fleece to line the back of the blanket. Pin to the squares and sew together. Do not sew the perimeter of the missing rectangles.

5. Turn right side out and pin the last two sewn panels to the blanket. Sew three sides, leaving the side touching the edge of the blanket open. This will be the section where you will stuff the blanket to form your travel pillow.

6. Fold it up! Lay the blanket rectangle-side facing down and fold over the left panel. Then fold in the right panel. Fold the pocket section up and stuff the remaining tail into the opening to form your pillow.

First step is determining the size of your blanket. The fleece we purchased from the store had a width of 50 inches. We decided to make the blanket 50 x 72 inches (two yards). You will need to purchase a total of five yards of fleece: three yards of your base color and one yard of your two accent colors. Now you need to determine the size of your rectangles for your quilting pattern. Ours were 12 x 15. Cut 18 of these in different colors.

Pin three across and sew. These will be your panels. Change the order of colors to form a quilting pattern.

Pin four panels together and sew. Then sew two rectangles to the bottom left and right rows. This will form a hole in the middle row. Don’t worry — this is correct!

Cut your panel for the backside of the blanket, pin and sew.

Turn right side out. Ta-dah! You’re almost there.

Sew your last two rectangles together and pin to your blanket. Sew three sides of the panel, leaving the edge matching the edge of the blanket open. This will be where your blanket stuffs inside to turn into a pillow.

Your very own travel “planket.”

And now, a crazy behind-the-scenes GIF from our shoot ;)

What are your road trip must-haves? Talk to us in the comments below.

This post is a collaboration with HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®.