When you travel with kids, there are certain things you know you need to take. Snacks, drinks, extra clothes, travel potty, activities… well… you get the idea. But what’s often missing from these lists are the health and safety road trip essentials.
Traveling with kids is hard enough, but when an unexpected road bump happens, you need to be prepared to deal with it. After much trial (and lots of error), these are the things you must have in your car at all times when you’re going anywhere with kids.
Warning: this is not a cutesy list of activity bins or even a basket of cleaning supplies. These are the road trip essentials that could save your life, your kid’s lives, and will make emergencies more bearable.
Let’s jump in!
Road Trip Essentials
First Aid Kit
Every car must have a first aid kit. You never know when a child might fall, or worse, you could get in an accident. Depending on your budget, there are some great premade car first aid kits on Amazon, but they can get pretty pricey. If you’d like to make one yourself, here’s exactly how to do that at the Dollar Store!
This is a fancy word for puke bags. Vomit happens. It’s part of life. But getting vomit cleaned up, and the smell out of a car seat or your vehicle is a painstaking process. Ask me how I know. The thought of the smell of old vomit alone is enough to make me want to gag.
Instead, always keep emesis bags in your car. They are one of my road trip essentials. Older kids understand they need to puke right into them and it’s easy to hold the bag up for a younger child- especially if there are two adults in your vehicle.
If you’re traveling solo with kids, just set the puke bag on your child’s car seat and hope for the best. Emesis bags with wider openings tend to work best in this type of situation.
You stop for lunch at Wendy’s. Everyone piles inside to go to the bathroom and grab food. When you all head back out to the car, you notice that one of your tires has gone flat.
A lot of the pumps also have a built-in pressure gauge. So you can pump your tire up, wait a few minutes, and check the pressure. If it’s going down, you know you need to add the fix a flat before you hit the road.
So in 10 minutes, you can have your tire pumped back up, fix a flat added if needed, and you can be on your merry way like nothing ever happened. See why it’s one of my road trip essentials?
These multi-tools belong in every vehicle. They can slice a seatbelt and shatter a window. So if you get an accident and are trapped in your car, you can slice yourself out of your seat belt and break a window to get out.
You can also use the belt slicer to cut the straps of your child’s car seats and get everyone out of the vehicle if needed.
I’m not suggesting you slice everyone’s straps and use a window buster in every accident, but, in situations where it is more dangerous to stay in the car- it’s worth it to get everyone out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.
Carseat Instruction Manual
Always keep your car seat instruction manuals in your car. Always. If something happens to the seat, or you’re suddenly second-guessing the way your husband installed the seat, you need to be able to get the answers to those questions quickly. That’s where the manual comes in handy.
It’s also helpful to have if you end up needing to switch vehicles mid-trip and want to make sure the install is correct, or if you can wash seat fabric when someone has an accident.
And there we go! Five road trip essentials that you won’t find on many other lists, but that are imperative to the health and safety of your family. Get them in your vehicle ASAP!
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