7 Must-Haves for Traveling with Kids

When you travel with kids, it never hurts to be prepared with key items to keep in your car, just in case. Find out more about Mighty Mommy's 7 "must-haves."

Cheryl Butler
3-minute read

7 Must-Haves for Traveling with Kids

When you travel with kids, whether it’s just a 10-minute drive to the grocery store or a 2-hour road trip, it never hurts to be prepared with key items to keep in your car, just in case.

Here are 7 items that Mighty Mommy never leaves home without:

#1 Paper goods and plastic bags:  A roll of paper towels, toilet paper (oh yes, for those emergencies behind a tree!), diaper wipes, tissues, a few diapers or pull ups, and even a pad of paper and a few pens for those last-minute shopping lists or notes to self.  Stash some of your plastic grocery bags to use for quick tidying of the usual wrappers, straw papers, and other trash that accumulates after a few outings.  They also come in handy for wet clothes or car sick bags!

#2 Snacks:  Keep a plastic container or an extra lunchbox in the car with some extra snacks like trail mix, peanut butter crackers, pretzels, juice boxes, and even some gum and lollipops. It’ll help keep the kids (and their tummies) happy on long drives.

#3 Money: Keep an extra $20 bill tucked safely away in an envelope in your glove compartment in addition to a few dollars of loose change.  You absolutely never know when you might get stuck and need a few bucks.

#4 Batteries and phone Charger: With all the technology we can’t live without today, have an extra cell phone charger and AA and AAA batteries in the car for those times when your kid’s handheld video games die or when you’ve forgotten to juice up your phone.  On that note, have a written list of phone numbers in a safe place in the car, too.  If your phone should go kaput, you’ll have important numbers at your fingertips and not stored in your dead device.

#5 Activities: It never hurts to have a Plan B ready to go in case your travel plans go awry.  Hit the dollar store and grab a few coloring or puzzle books, crayons, and dolls or small toy cars to stow away for those times when your kids get cranky or need a distraction.  If your car has a DVD player, it’s always a good idea to have one or two fun movies or kid’s shows ready to go.

#6 Change of clothes, towels, and blankets.  If (or rather when) your child has an accident, gets car sick, or spills her milk all over herself, you’ll be happy you packed that extra set of clothing for her and a towel to mop up the mess.  A blanket is always a good idea for tired kids, to wrap up and snuggle with at a cold sporting event, or even for a last-minute picnic or trip to the beach.  By the way, I always keep an extra shirt and pair of sweatpants for me in the car as well.

#7 Patience! Years ago when I had 3 kids under the age of 4, my mother framed an 8 x 10 poster for me that said “Try not to lose your patience – it might too hard to find again!”  I took photos of it and kept it taped to my kitchen cabinet, my bathroom door, and also pasted one in my car as a much needed reminder.

For more of Mighty Mommy’s easy tips for practical parenting, go to mightymommy.quickanddirtytips.com


Photos from Shutterstock.

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Cheryl Butler Project Parenthood

Cheryl L. Butler was the host of the Mighty Mommy podcast for nine years from 2012 to 2021. She is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. You can reach her by email.