If you have children, or care for someone else's children and wind up driving them around, you know that traveling with them can be both fun and frustrating. Depending upon the ages of the children, there are certain items that you should always make sure you have with you in the car, and some safety essentials, no matter their ages.
1) First aid kit.
A first aid kit is a must, no matter how old the children are. Accidents can happen at any time, so it's best to be prepared with bandages, sanitary wipes, etc.
2) A wet bag.
If you find yourselves caught in a rainstorm, or in the event a child soils their clothing, keep a wet bag in the car. This should be a waterproof bag that has a closure, and can be washed once you get home.
3) Trash bags.
Keep trash bags handy for older children. For smaller children, keep a small canvas trash bin velcroed to the seat in front of them, or near to them. This way, they can easily dispose of items like wrappers, dirty tissues, etc.
4) Busy bags.
Busy bags are great to have in the car. You may find yourself stuck in traffic, or needing an activity of you wind up going to a restaurant or an appointment. Keep items like coloring books and crayons, small books, activity books, etc in these bags for fun on the go!
5) Sticker books.
Sticker books are fun for kids who are old enough to use them. They are virtually mess-free, and can provide hours of fun while on the road.
6) Device chargers and/or extra batteries.
If your child has a favorite toy or device, such as a child's tablet that they enjoy playing with in the car, make sure it's charged before you leave the house. It's also a good idea to keep a portable charger, and/or extra batteries in the car, so you can re-charge the toy or device on the go.
7) Diapers and wipes.
If you're traveling with young children who are not yet potty-trained, always have extra diapers and wipes with you, as well as a disposal bag, and a changing mat.
8) Extra clothing.
Life's little-unexpected bumps do pop up every now and then. You don't want to be caught out for the day without a fresh outfit for a child, if they accidentally soil their clothing. Make sure to include undergarments, socks, a top and bottom, and outerwear, if needed.
9) Travel or neck pillow.
There are several different types of travel pillows that are made specifically for infants, and for children. If you're going to be in the car for an extended period of time, it's a good idea to keep one of these pillows on hand for their comfort.
10) Non-perishable snacks and water.
Kids are almost always hungry, so keep some non-perishable snacks and bottled water in the car. If you can grab something like a piece of fruit on your way out the door, that's great, but busy parents often forget these last minute grab-items. In warmer weather, do not store bottled water in your car. Water should be kept cool, and served at a safe temperature.
Keeping these items in your car when traveling with kids can be a lifesaver in tricky situations. They'll keep you and the kids smiling until you reach your destination.
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