Kid sitting in the back of a van packed for the beach

For parents on the go: essentials to keep in your car

From skinned knees to spilled drinks, traveling with kids is always an adventure. Whether you’re planning a road trip for your summer vacation or you’re just headed down the road for soccer practice, here are some ideas to kit out your car and make the journey a little easier.

Storage:   Store your kit in a car organizer. Google “car organizer” or “trunk cargo organizer” for various sizes and options to fit your family’s needs. You can spend $20 for a nice tote or spend $2 and store items in a reusable grocery bag. Recycle old, small duffle bags or compact suitcases for this purpose, too.

First Aid:   This is not only a given—with kids, it’s a must. No car should be without a first aid kit. These kits are relatively inexpensive to purchase from Walmart or Target, and they’re easy to keep stocked. If you don’t have a first aid kit, you can’t go wrong with a box of multi-sized BAND-AIDS, an antiseptic spray such as Bactine, and a tube of Neosporin.

Towels:   Repurpose old, clean towels to sop up spills and wipe up messes. Wrap them around wet kids after that spur-of-the-moment swim, that accidentally-on-purpose slip into the creek, or that sudden rainstorm. Use them as make-shift jackets or blankets when the weather turns unexpectedly chilly.

Sports:   Whatever the season, whatever the sport, on-the-go necessities could include spare pairs of socks and shoelaces and extra equipment such as air pumps or shin guards. Plan ahead and accordingly to your child’s activities. Add to your first aid kit by including sunscreen and elastic or compression bandages.

Food:   Pack nonperishable snacks such as dried fruit and nuts, crackers, granola bars, and trail mix as healthy alternatives to fast food. Replenish periodically. Chauffeuring moms and dads often need to stash a quick snack for themselves or to stave off the hungry horde before dinner.

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