As a police wife, I travel with my kids…A LOT! Sometimes my husband is with me but most of the time, it’s just me and the kids! 🙂 I have learned a few tricks in the past several thousand miles but the main lesson is to be prepared for the unexpected!
I really sat down and thought about everything that I always like to have in the car with me, whether we are running errands or are on a 8 hour car ride. Here is my list of must-haves for the car and please share any other ideas you have with me in the comments!
Now this isn’t a survival list for being stranded in the wilderness but every card needs a good first aid kit.
I have the one from KidzStuff and it was designed by a pediatric doctor from Nicklaus Children’s Hospital based on his experience of working in an ER. It has 94 pieces and includes everything from the basic bandaids to the CPR mask, instant cold pack, and burn cream. It also has a small book with instructions for different emergencies or situations.
I really realized that I was missing this important item in the car in December. I was Christmas shopping with my two little helpers and Cole was running and hit his face on the sidewalk. I had NOTHING! He just had to hold baby wipes to his face for the 45 minutes across town back home because I didn’t have the stuff to fix him up. Now I do! 🙂
The next two items you always need in the car is a large trash bag and a “throw up” bowl.
The trash bag can be used for SO many things and it really comes in handy with messy clothes, trash, or covering something during bad weather. I have even used one to line a wet car seat from a spill or accident.
The “throw up” bowl is ALWAYS in our car because my son has thrown up in the car SO many times. He has even thrown up in town just running errands or driving to church. I even needed it a few times when I was pregnant. You never know when car sickness is going to strike and this has saved my skin so many times! Just keep it under the seat within arms reach. Get one from the Dollar store because you might be throwing it away! 🙂
The next items are a little obvious but necessities! Wipes! I have a baby right now but I think a package of Wet Ones wipes and a package of baby wipes are really great for pretty much any situation and any age of kids. I use the Wet Ones for my kids hands after the bathroom or rest stops and use the baby wipes for messes or spills. They just come in handy all the time!
I also always have a USB adapter for the car and an extra phone charger in the car. I know I’m not alone when I say that when my phone dies, I feel a little panicky and alone in the world. I let my son play with my phone a lot at restaurants or doctor’s waiting rooms and I like to charge my phone in the car afterwards. This is especially important when you are on road trips when you are the only adult in the car.
I also keep a little DVD player and head phones in the car. This is the one we use and it has two screens which is a nice feature. I like using these because the grown ups don’t have to listen to the kid’s movie through the sound system if they are using head phones. My son also has a little Ipod shuffle that he LOVES for car rides. If you live in a bigger city with traffic, these will come in handy even running errands. 🙂
Last thing is a change of clothes and underwear for each kid. This will save you from having to run home for new clothes or buy them new clothes on the road after an accident or spill. These can be clothes that your kids don’t wear very much or are outgrowing. I also keep a little drawstring backpack full of diapers under the seat just in case.
What are your must-haves for the car with your kids? If you have a great idea please share in the comments because we all need all the help we can get! 🙂