Any time of year is appropriate to organize a travel emergency preparedness kit to stash in your car, but with snowy winter weather headed our way and increased holiday travel, I thought it was time to update ours.

My husband will tell you that I am really good at packing EVERYTHING when we are headed out of town, but for day trips or day to day travels it is nice to have some basic necessities already packed and set in the car.

Depending where you live, what conditions you need to be packing for, as well as, who you need to prepare for will all vary.  Your kit doesn’t need to be fancy.  Many of the items you can probably pick up from your dollar store or fairly inexpensively at other stores.



Think of things to add that you may need for whatever situation you may find yourself in, like if you had a flat tire and were sitting and waiting for help.   Or think of what might just be handy to have for first aid while you’re at the playground.  Modify has you feel necessary.  Here are several ideas:

  • List of phone numbers:  insurance, family and friends that may be able to provide assistance, (even if they are just looking up tow trucks online.)
  • Blanket
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Hand warmers
  • Jumper cables
  • Battery charger
  • Ice scraper
  • Bandaids, regular and large
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Lavender Essential Oil for minor skin irrations or calming (Keep essential oils from extreme heat.  Check out this quick article on storage of essential oils here.)
  • Gauge pads
  • Paper tape (easy to tear)
  • Benadryl for allergic reactions
  • Pain reliever medicine
  • Instant ice packs
  • Water
  • Plastic bags

Food items that won’t be affected if they get really warm or freeze.  Think of what might be convenient and handy for you.  Here are some suggestions:

Boredom Busters or Distraction Keepers

  • Suckers
  • Notebook and colored pencils
  • Deck of cards, Uno, or BrainQuest card file

You can separate items as you wish into zip lock bags and then put your Emergency Kit in a tote with a lid.  I was able to fit two blankets in the tote I had.  The tote is still small enough that it won’t be in the way of anything we may be tossing in the back of van.  This would make a fantastic, thoughtful, and fairly inexpensive gift.

Other items I keep in my car to have (or have had) easy access to, like in my glove compartment, are things like a spare feminine hygiene product, spare diaper, tissues, baby wipes, paper towel, plastic shopping bags, and scissors.

Even when we go on a day trip, I usually make sure we have a set a spare, comfy clothes for each person.  If someone spills their lunch all over himself, I don’t want to have to worry about running around and finding clean clothes or if something does happen and we don’t end up making it home that day.  I usually pack comfy pants, t-shirt, socks, and undies for each person.


Click here for a printable checklist.


Mini “Emergency Kit”

Having some Band-aids or a mini first aid kit in your purse, kid’s backpack, or strapped to your bike can come in handy.  Keep it small, convenient, and easily portable.  Don’t allow young kids to have easy access to medicines or other harmful materials.

  • Band-aids
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Phone numbers
  • Pain reliever
  • Benadryl

What other items do you keep in your car to be prepared?  Share in the comment sections below.

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