The Traveling Family

Five Must Haves For Your Travel Emergency Kit

Travel safety is at the forefront of any parent’s mind.

Just think about it: how much time do you spend in the car with your kids?

On an average week, between driving them to and from school and activities, to friends’ houses, and to visit family, I probably spend a good 8 hours a week in the car with my kids.

That’s a lot of car time.

Ninety-nine percent of the time, everything will be fine. Every so often there are things that happen, no matter how careful we are. Accidents happen. You will run out of gas. You will get lost.

A tire will blow on the interstate and you’ll be stranded there with a toddler for a few hours waiting for roadside assistance (ask me how I know).

Last week on our way home from school, someone made an illegal left hand turn and the car behind us had to swerve violently to miss our van as well as the left turner. It was scary, and close, and got me thinking:

Are we prepared in case of an emergency?

What to Pack In An Emergency Kit For The Car

  1. First Aid Supplies
    You’ll want to include bandages, gauze, alcohol wipes, pain killer/fever reducer medication, and medical/emergency contact information. Keep these supplies in a water-tight container, either a zip top baggie or a plastic container with a lid – you definitely don’t want soggy bandages! 
    Included in this bag: anti-itch cream, ibuprofen, triple antibiotic ointment, A&D, travel sized Lysol spray, and my baggie of bandages.
    Included in this baggie: my emergency contact and medical information list, bandages, cotton swabs, gauze pads, and alcohol wipes.

  2. Blankets and/or jackets
    Keeping a variety of blankets and/or jackets in the back of the car can be a lifesaving practice should you be involved in a crash or become stranded in an unknown area, at night, or during inclement weather. I keep blankets in the car anyway, especially in the colder months, since my girls don’t wear their jackets under their seat belts for safety reasons. These will also come in handy should you decide to have an impromptu picnic!

  3. Water and nonperishable snacks
    Prepare for the worst and hope for the best, always. In case of a situation in which you become stranded, water and snacks are going to be vital. Especially when you have littles with you! I like to have extra in the car just in case we are out of the house longer than expected and I didn’t come prepared for cranky, hangry kids!
  4. Flares, flashlights, extra batteries, a jack, and the ability to change a tire
    If you can’t change a tire, stop reading now and go learn. No, it’s not life-saving but it’s definitely a sanity-saving skill that every adult should have. When I blew a tire on a busy interstate, I was stranded with my toddler for hours waiting for roadside assistance from my insurance to show up. I know how to change a tire. I hadn’t put the jack back where it belongs after I had used it last. Can you believe that?! Luckily, I had snacks and toys and books in the car to keep Caroline busy but it was really scary to be just feet away from 80 mile-an-hour traffic for so long. I started thinking, “What if this was at night?” and added flares and flashlights with extra batteries to our trunk the next day.
  5. Anything specific to your family’s needs
    Remember, emergencies aren’t always life-threatening. Sometimes it’s something as simple as a forgotten pair of shoes, tampons or pads for mom, or broken glasses.  Sometimes, an emergency can arise on a long drive and realizing you have forgotten diapers, wipes, snacks, or something else you or your kids could need. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Making sure you have the supplies your family will need for the situations they will find themselves in is the most important tip when it comes to creating your travel emergency kit! (Since it’s winter, I have hats included right now. We always have a roll of toilet paper because a) Toddlers have tiny, unpredictable bladders and b) Our six -year-old gets frequent nose bleeds.)

What types of things do you keep in your travel emergency kit? Leave your ideas below!

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