Many moms and dads will tell you that the secret to being an all-star parent is being prepared for anything. It's imperative that your family-friendly car is baby proofed for whatever may come your way on the road. Whether you are about to leave the house for a weekend away or a quick trip to the grocery store, it’s important to remember that anything can happen with kids.
While most new moms keep an arsenal of emergency items in a diaper bag, don’t forget there is another great place to store essentials while on the go: the car. Your car goes most of the same places you do, and it is the perfect spot to store items that you may not want to continuously keep in the diaper bag.
Keep your car stocked with the following 20 items and your next trip across town (or across the country) will be much smoother sailing.
- 1 Tissues
- 2 Snacks
- 3 Plastic bags
- 4 Bandaids
- 5 Water Bottles
- 6 Power Converter
- 7 Emergency Kit
- 8 Hand Sanitizer
- 9 Reusable Shopping Bags
- 10 A Coin Purse
- 11 Pen & Paper
- 12 Outdoor Blanket
- 13 Extra Jackets
- 14 Changing Pad or Towel
- 15 Books and Magazines
- 16 Kids Music
- 17 Wet Wipes
- 18 Umbrella
- 19 Sunscreen
- 20 Change of Clothes
Always keep a box of tissues on hand. Whether your child has a gooey sneeze or needs to wipe their hands after eating, these will save you time and time again. Stock up on the small $.99 boxes and make sure you never run out.
Keep bags of animal crackers, granola, or peanuts stashed away for when hunger unexpectedly strikes. You’ll thank yourself when you’re able to offer your children a little something to eat to tide them over until the next meal.
Whether you prefer a roll of doggie bags or leftover plastic bags from the store, these are perfect to have on hand for makeshift trash bags. Rather than letting the back seat fill up with wrappers and dropped food, use these plastic bags to clean up after each car trip.
You never know when someone will need one. Save your seats from bloodstains and soothe little boo-boos by keeping bandages on hand.
It’s always a good idea to have water on hand for when the kids get thirsty. Keep in mind that it’s best not to keep plastic bottles during the warmer months as they tend to leak chemicals. Think ahead during the summer and fill a water bottle before you leave the house or keep a metal water bottle in the trunk to fill along the road.
This handy gadget converts a cigarette lighter plug into a normal outlet. This is a lifesaver when an iPad or laptop needs to be charged while on the road.
While first aid is definitely a must have in the car, the emergency kit will also have a flashlight, batteries, and extra clothes in case you find yourself in an isolated area with car trouble. This will likely come in handy in non-emergency situations as well.
If you want to keep you and your kids from getting sick, use hand sanitizer often. De-germ after school, after the playground, before dinner, etc.
Reusable Shopping Bags
This will save the day when you’re grocery shopping or when you realize you have a little too much to carry.
A Coin Purse
Keep a stash of small change and loose bills. You never know when you’ll have to pay for parking or a toll. This also comes in handy when shopping with kids - Give them a little ‘allowance’ to spend to keep them occupied and happy.
Pen & Paper
Whether you are writing down your own shopping list or you want to give your child something to do, a pen and paper will be used time and time again.
Sometimes there are gaps between kids activities and you’ll find yourself with time to kill. Having an outdoor blanket in the car is perfect for impromptu picnics and time at the park.
Keep extra layers of clothing in the car just in case the weather takes a turn you weren’t expecting. This is also important just in case you wind up at a restaurant with blasting air conditioning or no one can agree on the proper car cabin temperature.
Changing Pad or Towel
For moms with kids who are still in diapers, you will find yourself doing quick changes in parking lots fairly often. Make this easier on yourself by keeping a portable changing pad or a designated changing towel in the trunk.
Books and Magazines
In-cabin entertainment is essential when traveling with children. Having books and magazines on hand will make a long trip or being stuck in traffic far less stressful.
Keep a stockpile of children’s CDs or a playlist of Disney music. Turning your car rides into singalongs will make them go by much faster for your little ones.
Perfect for cleaning up spills or wiping dirty fingers. Buy travel sizes boxes and keep them hidden away in the glove compartment.
Unexpected rain is always a bummer, especially when you have kids. Keep everyone dry and happy by storing an umbrella in the trunk.
You never know when you’ll want to make a pitstop at the park on a sunny day.
Change of Clothes
Whether it’s a spill or potty accident, an extra change of clothes and shoes may save your family outing.