Family car essentials to keep handy in the family car to make the family commute and travel that little more comfortable
All of us at Carter either grew up in a family (well most of us) and some of us have families of our own. We did a little survey to find out who carries what in their cars:
- Wet-wipes: Yip, old faithful wet-wipes come out top of our list of family car essentials. For spills, drool, vomit, ice-cream covered faces and hands, grubby bare feet and teethers chewing on car seats – a handy box of wet-wipes is indispensible
- First aid kit and torch: available in many shapes and sizes. We personally like the larger 4×4 type kit that can be stuck in a corner of the boot. Has everything one may need in an emergency. Keep a torch in it for night-time search missions for missing pacifiers, etc
- Toys: and preferably ones that don’t absorb stuff. Think action figures or Barbie – at least they can be wiped down with your tissues (see below) and hand sanitiser (see below) and left in the car. Fluffy toys left to roll around cars are a bacteria and mould haven!
- Blankets or towels in the boot: For big spills and late night trips home, sleeping on the back seat
- Pop-up bin trash bags: In a roll, in a door. No more excuse not to clean-up every now and then
- Extra nappy-bag: filled with new born essentials now – both in the event that you forget something or if you happen to be out longer than expected and run out. Let this back-up-bag of essentials grow with your little ones
- Umbrella: In the back of the boot. Doesn’t take up any space. Great for sunny sport practices. Great for surprise thunder storms. Even better on date night
- Hand-sanitiser: Cubby-hole, centre console, and boot. Let those handy beggars at the traffic lights take your empties and restock when needed
- Tissues or a toilet roll: tissues in the back, bogrol in the boot. And don’t forget the velvet-wrapped decorative tissue-box-cover if you bought your new car in Lens or Phoenix
- Water-bottles: but get a nifty carrier or family car with enough cup-holders – nothing is more annoying than cornering and hearing all the half-empty water bottles under the front seats roll around… Also, leaving opened water bottles in hot cars is a no-no. Not only do dodgy toxins leach from the plastic but the bottle becomes a warm and moist petri-dish for bacteria. Open it, drink it, recycle it, restock it
- Hats: in the back-up nappy bag
- Snacks: sugar-free snack bars or trail mix in the back-up nappy bag
- Emergency contact details and medical aid card copy: phones get damaged and purses go missing. In the event of an accident where the driver may be unconscious, you want paramedics to get you and your little one to the best hospital you can afford and alert emergency contacts. Photocopy your medical aid card and type out your emergency contacts. Stick these in your cubby-hole and in the sun-visor
- Sunscreen: in the back-up nappy bag
- Sun shade / window socks: to keep the little ones comfy, even in direct sunlight
- Extra change of clothes: for particularly messy outings or unexpected spills on the way to the party
- Extra nappies: back-up nappy bag
- Kids CD’s: Rotate these. For your own sanity. Consider stories if you don’t want the Barney song stuck in your head for weeks
- Car sickness tablets: in first aid kit or back-up nappy bag
- Porta-potty: on longer trips, remember that you may need to take the potty with you!
And, the last but not least of our family car essentials (for our older Carter kids): a chore list and gold stars! Once a week, get the kids involved in helping you tidy the car: Rotate toys, clear out water bottles, vacuum crumbs, restock wet-wipes, etc. Let them earn a gold star for helping. Extra credit for getting wet with dad on the weekend and helping him wash the car!
Let us know what your essential car-companions are and help us grow our helpful list!
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