What to Pack in Your Car if you Have Kids: The Essentials
As parents we have to think of everything, all the time, there is no exaggeration to it. We have to constantly ask ourselves what our kids need for school, what the family needs to stay healthy and warm, what we as parents need to keep from spiraling to insanity, and the list goes on and on.
Even within that list there are even more lists, including the list of essential things parents need to have in the car at all times. Let’s be honest, and it does not matter if you have one kid to ten, you are always trying to find things in your car when it comes to them, and when emergencies pop up your car is not ready.
But not to worry, through years of experience we have developed a list of essentials to help you prepare for whatever life throws your way on the go.
License, Registration & Insurance – This should go without saying right? You’d be surprised to the amount of families caught without it. You do not want to be caught off guard in any scenario when having this information is of the utmost importance, especially in an emergency or law enforcement instance. If you are in a family with multiple vehicles you should also consider having copies in each vehicle.
Emergency Contact List – Adding to the important papers that you already have in your car the emergency list is definitely a must. As parents we seldom have the time to let our phones charge to their full capacity, so it only makes sense to have a list of important contacts for the inconvenience and unfortunate times of a dead battery. However a dead battery can be circumvented another way which brings us to our next Item.
Car Charger/ Battery Pack – Having one or both of these will definitely keep you juiced while you are on the go. Unlimited charge grants you the ability to travel more seamlessly while not having to worry about if your phone will make it from point A to point B, and if you get lost along the way you have the charge to use your phones navigation to get back on track to that recital you where on your way to or even give someone a call for more explicit directions.
Emergency/ First-Aid Kit – No vehicle is complete without one of these, especially for extended periods of time on the road. But before we just toss one in the trunk of the vehicle we should make sure it is equipped with some of the must-have items.
For starters let’s have some band-aids for those arm and leg scrapes that are destined to happen and a little isopropyl alcohol for disinfectant.. We definitely want to have some adult and children medicine like painkillers and something for cough, cold and flu. Sterile disposable gloves and alcohol-free free cleansing wipes.
Preferably a digital thermometer and some hand sanitizer as well. Why not throw some lollipops in there too, because you never know when a little sugar is gonna stop your little one from having the meltdown of the century.
Water – While we are still on emergency items to have in the car water. Water has multiple uses in the car from using as a rinsing agent to cleaning and hydration. The main focus being on hydration because nobody needs a break down on a hot day with nothing to drink.
Just to be noted many suggest avoid using and reusing plastic bottles that are not BPA free due to the possible chemicals that could leak into the water, though not harmful from one dose the accumulation could affect the health of those who drink it.
Seatbelt Cutter – For the rare case that an emergency happens while in the car and the buckle to the seat belt is jammed having this tool under the seat or in the glove box would be able to help you and kids get out of that seatbelt and on your way to safety.
Blankets and Towels – Some extra towels and blankets are good for added warmth during long trips and the spontaneous naps that like to occur on short trips from the supermarket to the house. Towels are great for the all the spills that decide to happen in the car and even those times someone needs an extra towel at the beach or the water park.
Extra Diaper Bag – This profoundly applies for our babies and toddlers, but a good idea would be to have an entirely separate diaper bag from the regular one with all the same necessary items inside like bottles and sippy cups.
Also of course as your kids began to grow their needs will change for what is in the bag so let us have the bag filled with the age-appropriate items tucked away in the car.
Umbrella – Are lives are as unpredictable as the weather so this brings to umbrellas. How many times have you been out on a sunny day with your kid maybe at the store or park for a play date then out of nowhere the sky is covered with clouds and it is raining on your parade?
Or better yet when has the rain ever inconvenience you because you did not have the handy dandy umbrella? With having one in your cat at all times you be at ease for you and your kids remaining dry while being out and about.
Clothes – Having access to one or two extra outfits is also ideal. Some accidents are sometimes a bit too big a job for just wipes. Having extra clothes can also be used for changes of weather for better layering, or some outerwear that cools the warmer days down.
Snacks – On a less serious note than some of the items previously mentioned, snacks are without a doubt the way to any kids heart. Of course you can bring in the normal everyday snacks in the car that they eat, however the snacks we want to keep in the car should be the non perishable type.
Some great examples for your kids can be dried fruits which will give great sources of vitamin A and C., oatmeal which will provide a nice dietary supply if fiber, whole wheat pretzels for complex carbohydrates and whole grains for energy.
All these snacks options are healthy and can withstand the test of time in your car until your little one grabs it.
Trash Bags – These can have some other uses from the common pick of trash the kids like to leave in the vehicle. These can be a mode of transport of dirty or wet clothes that were changed from in the car, and even just gathering a whole bunch of things and moving them from the inside of the car to another place without making multiple trips. It could also be used as a storage component for the clothes, blankets and towels
Toys – Your kids favorite toys will save you headaches and tantrum times more than you know. But let us keep some other toys in there so they can have a change of flavor from time to time.
If your little one is artistic it would beneficial to bring a coloring book or notepad along with some crayons to keep in the back for them so when the moments come when they use those materials you can allow their imagination to soar.
Whether it is traveling to see relatives, road trips that allow you and your family to experience new and exciting places or even the drive to the store or a friends house all these car essentials are here to keep you covered.
With all the uncertainty that happens day to day as parents you can at the minimum stress less about what is in the car for you and your kids.
So by all means put some or all of these things in your car and if you already have some in there your well on your way. We hope we were able to reduce the stress and increase the fun while your on and off the road with your family.