As the end of the school year rolls around, I’m slowly organizing our car for day trips this summer. With 5 kids ranging from age 17 down to 6, I feel like I’m preparing for moving a small army. However, Be Prepared is my motto. I need to make sure we have the essentials with us wherever we go to keep our trips as stress-free as possible.
A long, long time ago, I homeschooled my oldest son from preschool through 6th grade. One of my favorite activities was our field trips to places in the Delaware Valley. Since it was just the 2 of us, we could do a day trip at a moment’s notice, and travel pretty far in a day. Now I am bringing 5 kids along with their various needs. Fortunately, we’re long out of the diaper, potty training, and napping stage.
What to Put in the Car for Day Trips
Caveat – I don’t have all of these items for myself yet. We haven’t needed most of them, however, as a Girl Scout leader, I’m learning that I feel less stressed if I plan for needs rather than respond to needs.
This is my What-If-I’m-Incapacitated Folder. My kids don’t need to worry about finding this information, nor do the police and paramedics.
- contact information for closest family members – if something happens to your cell phone, you need a back up list of phone numbers
- medical information and insurance information – in case you don’t carry all the insurance cards with you, and the information is not on your phone
- AAA membership information – we have a AAA membership in case of a flat tire or dead battery, and yes, we’ve used it for those reasons.
First aid kit
With 5 kids, a bump or bruise is inevitable. Not to mention headaches and fevers. I picked up a camping first aid kit at REI for about $70. It comes with tons of stuff, and can be carried strapped across the body if needed. You can put your own first aid kit together in a shoe box with the following items. Just remember to check the expiration date on items periodically.
- Band aids
- First aid ointment
- Sunburn Lotion
- Poison ivy lotion
Other Items for the Car
- Extra clothes for the youngest 2 kids – I had to throw away underwear once when a child had an accident. They had no underwear for the rest of our trip.
- Snack kit – granola bars, plastic ware, cloth napkins, dried fruit
- Car sickness kit – plastic grocery bags, a rag towel, wipes
Extras I’d Love to Have for the Car
- small hand vac either battery-operated or plugs into cigarette lighter
- organizers for the back of each seat for the kids stuff
- outlet for charging other items that need a plug-in outlet
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