Little travellers need a surprising amount of stuff! At least once a week, I notice that my son forgets something and I say “You left home without ____?”. But ever since he was a baby, I have learned to be prepared – so there is almost a small world that travels in the car with us! When emergencies pop up, I like to be prepared. It was mostly “learning through experience” that brought me to this list. I’ve been caught without many of these too many times and I’ve learned my lesson! Since travelling with toddlers can be unpredictable, in the end, even the most well thought out plans may be confronted with the ever-changing needs and moods of a travelling toddler.
7 Things you must carry in your car while travelling with toddlers:
Here are 7 things you must carry in your car while undertaking short or long journeys by road!
1. A ‘Hygiene tote’
This is a small canvas bag (so it can be washed once in a while) that you should keep in the car at all times. Depending on your toddler’s age, you can pack:
1. A hand sanitizer
2. Disinfecting wipes
3. Disposable Diapers
4. Paper soap strips
6. Hand wash soap
7. Anti-mosquito patches, spray or lotion
2. The extras
I keep an extra pair of flip-flops or shoes in the boot. I first learnt this when my son for some strange reason threw one shoe out of the car at 2. Kids have been known to break a flip-flop, so having extras is always a good idea. Also, kids will step in mud or a puddle – so a clean pair always come in handy! Extra clothes are also a good idea to keep while travelling with toddlers- for the reasons cited above or, in the rainy season, if the child gets wet.
Cotton jackets or stoles or zip up sweatshirts in the trunk. I do this because our kids are constantly cold, especially in restaurants, so if I can have a coat handy, it works out great. I even do this in the summertime because this is when everyone has their AC on full blast and our kiddos get extra-cold if we are out to eat. In addition to clothes, accessories such as hats and towels are handy too. They need not occupy space. I always keep a small plastic box with these essentials in the boot.
4. Empty garbage bags
Always keep extra plastic grocery bags in the car, perhaps in the glove compartment – always handy to throw dirty wipes, diapers, fruit peels etc.
5. A plastic sheet or towel
If your toddler is newly potty trained, consider packing a plastic sheet or waterproof pad to cover his sleep space.
6. An umbrella/ raincoat
Do I need to explain this?
7. Anti-boredom organizer
As my child grew, I realized, he no longer wanted to simply ‘look outside’. So I tied a canvas shoe organizer to the back of the passenger seat. Each pocket contained a selection of downloadable Join-the-dots sheets, pre-stamped blank postcards (find them at the post office), which he used to write to friends and relatives (and we actually dropped them in letterboxes along the way!), a few pocket-sized books, some crayons and drawing sheets. It also contained small jars of cookies, candies or trail mix for those “i-am-suddenly-hungry-times”
Have I missed out on anything?
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