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My 9 Things: What @ArielleMae packs for the ultimate road trip with kids

Get the inside scoop on packing (and traveling!) with kids from family travel expert and Mom Camp founder, Arielle Mae Sonnenberg. Hint: It’s all about the snacks. | By Leanne Philip | July 13, 2023 (Updated September 8, 2023)

Say the words “road trip with kids,” and most people would start running for the hills. Not Arielle Mae Sonnenberg, aka @ariellemae, however. Says Sonnenberg, “My husband and I have always loved to travel, and we wanted our girls to grow up experiencing the world with us too.” And that’s exactly what they do — travel the world alongside their two daughters. From Paris to Palm Beach County and everywhere in between, Arielle and her husband, Billy, love sharing their sense of adventure and exploration with their two girls, Juniper and Berkley — especially when it comes to road trips.

Says Sonnenberg, “I love the freedom you have when taking road trips ...You can take your time, stop when you want, wherever you want and see so much more than you would flying to a specific destination.”

That covers the road trip part, but what about where to stay along the way? Sonnenberg’s advice: “Location and cleanliness are extremely important. We always want to be in an area that is close by to things we want to do. And when it’s time to come back to our room, I don’t want to worry about anything but being able to get a good night’s sleep and relax!” These are just some of the reasons she and her family loved their recent stay at Hampton Inn Delray Beach while experiencing the ultimate road trip. The centrally located hotel made for the perfect rest stop.

“There are so many activities nearby that the girls love — from the beach, to parks and playgrounds,” says Sonnenberg. Another reason the family of four loved their time at Hampton Inn Delray Beach? The food. Children are notoriously picky, and Sonnenberg’s two girls are no different.

“Our girls get up early and are ready for breakfast right away. Being able to just take a quick trip to the lobby for a hot meal fills their bellies and gives us as parents the chance to head back to the room and have more time to get ready and wake up after. It’s a great way for us all to start our morning off right!”

For more must-have travel tips (pack one activity for each hour of your trip. Oh, and don’t forget the snacks. LOTS of snacks), follow along and see how Sonnenberg and her crew enjoy the ultimate road trip — one Hampton waffle at a time!

Baby wipes

Since becoming a mom, I’ve realized wipes are essential no matter how old your kiddos are. You can use them on hands, faces, tables, your car, in bathrooms, I mean the list never ends, right?!


I’m always capturing moments and am known for wanting that family photo at the very top of the waterfall we just hiked. Having my tripod everywhere we go gives us the freedom to capture those photos without worrying if someone will be there to take it for us.

Deck of cards

We are game players! There were many times we were in our hotel room together for the night and wished we had something to play. A deck of cards is our easy solution to pack and turn any night into a family game night!

Battery pack/Portable charger

There is nothing worse than traveling and having your electronics die on you before you can take that photo, pull up those directions or tell your family you made it safely.

Travel plates and utensils

A few times on road trips, we’ve stopped to get groceries, or camped out and had nothing to put our food on. Now we have a bag with plates, utensils, and napkins that we make sure to always restore and keep in the car.


Living in Florida, sunscreen is a part of our daily skincare! And the best hack for kiddos? Bring a makeup brush to apply it onto their faces! It goes on so much smoother and easier!

Phone light

As a content creator, I want to share our travels no matter what time of the day it may be. Having my light means I can always do that!

Bag for dirty laundry/Fold up laundry basket

There have been times we’ve traveled, and our clothes have gotten wet or sandy. The last thing I want to do is put those back in the suitcase with all the clean clothes! Having a fold-up laundry basket or bag in the back of the car is a great way to toss the dirty clothes in and have them ready for the wash right when we get home!

Plenty of snacks

I can’t stress this enough! Snacks are essential. The last thing you want to do is make extra stops on your road trip in between meals or sights just for a quick snack. And my girls are going to walk farther, hike more and just overall last longer on a travel journey if they have a snack in hand!

Leanne Philip is a content marketing manager at Hilton. She has written for numerous print and digital platforms, including Travel + Leisure, The Atlantan and Barneys New York.