Tips from our Parent Magazine Intern, Rebecca Heath

Going on trips with my Mema was so much fun because she was so well-prepared and had absolutely everything I needed. She could reach inside her purse and get out silverware, a poncho, a snack, almost everything! Here are some handy items for a survival kit.

Pack to meet your family’s needs and situation. It will be different packing for families with babies versus families that are traveling with senior citizens.

  1. Tissues

  2. Hand sanitizer

  3. Band-Aids

  4. Over-the-counter and prescription medicines and any necessary medical equipment

  5. Melatonin if you’re riding at night with small children

  6. Flashlight for power outages

  7. Spare batteries

  8. Paper towels for any messes in the car

  9. A plastic bag to keep trash to a minimum

  10. Candy (for bribes)

  11. Bring a towel that can be used at random changing stations or in case you have to change the baby in the car.

  12. Chapstick

  13. Phone charger and backup charger for emergencies

  14. Bring cash in case of card failure and extra coins for parking meters.

  15. Travel blanket and pillow

  16. Extra car key (on a different ring) in case yours is misplaced

  17. Bring a paper map in case you’re in an area with a poor phone signal.

  18. Power inverter with AC outlet and USB

  19. Umbrella

  20. A fan!

  21. If you’re traveling in the winter, put blankets, snacks and water bottles in the trunk in case you get stranded. The folks stranded on I-95 during the snowstorm found that out the hard way.

  22. And most importantly — if stopping halfway, pack a bag with a change of clothes and toiletries for each person for one night so that everything doesn’t have to get pulled out just for an overnight stay. Put that bag in last so that it’s easily accessible. In the morning, pack that one bag, toss it in the car and you’re back on the road in no time!