Whether it’s a five minute ride to the grocery store, or an epic road trip, you never know what could happen in the car – especially when you have kids. My daughter is an always hungry, often bored, and constantly car-sick inflicted toddler. In other words, she’s the perfect storm of terrible on long and short drives.
It’s taken a little trial and error (and a crazy amount of baby wipes) to figure out exactly what I need to keep stored in both of our vehicles, at all times. But, I’ve managed to come up with a pretty awesome list of ingredients for kid-friendly and stress-free car trips. Here are 10 things I can’t leave my house without: the car edition…
I store a couple old towels in my trunk so I’m covered for every type of clean-up emergency you can imagine. I’m talking puke, muddy dog paws, spilled drinks, and unexpected rain showers. They also come in handy as a makeshift blanket or pillow.
2. Baby wipes
Extremely useful even if you’re well past the baby stage. Use the towels to mop up whatever mess you’re dealing with, and bring out the baby wipes for a final clean and polish.
3. Extra clothes and diapers
I have never found myself saying, “I wish I hadn’t packed that backup hoodie or those extra diapers.” The weather changes, kids are messy, and accidents happen.
4. Vehicle compatible phone charger
I’m just plain lazy when it comes to charging my phone. Sometimes the car is the only guaranteed place I plug it in to refuel. Plus, full battery life means I’m ready to pass it back to my daughter to watch an episode or two of Paw Patrol when we’re in the car for the long haul.
5. Plastic grocery bags
For garbage, vomit clean-up, and wet clothes. You can never have enough of these stashed in the glove compartment.
6. Emergency snacks
Did I mention my kid is always hungry? I keep a box of granola bars in my trunk for snacking emergencies – hers and mine.
To wash down those granola bars. A water bottle or two is another trunk basic.
8. Car toys!
Pick a few toys to live in your vehicle. That way they’re always there when you need them, and they have the extra special appeal of only getting played with when you’re driving.
I don’t think this one needs an explanation. Stash them somewhere easy to reach and stock as many as you can.
10. Mini first aid kit
Fill a ziploc bag with travel-sized medical must-haves: band aids, neosporin, advil, etc. It’ll save your life, I promise.
And that’s it. My ten ingredients to a peaceful and relatively clean car ride. What do you keep in yours?