For over 100 years, part of the motto of the Boy Scouts has been “Be Prepared.”  I long to have this phrase describe me as a mom.  At times that might, but I was far from being prepared as a new mom.

When my oldest child was a toddler, we were spending time with one of my dear high school friends and her youngest two kids.  Some sort of a calamity happened where a Band-aid was needed, and not only did she have one with, but she knew were it was.  Throughout the morning, other “mommy” items were needed, and she would reach in her bag and they would appear.  Like magic.  Only having one child, I recall thinking, “I can barely remember to bring my diaper bag. I will never be that organized where I feel ready for anything like that.”

After a decade of being a mom, I can tell you that I still do not have it all together (anymore than my friend did back then).  But I have learned a few tricks along the way of how to manage going places with kids.  They are not magic by any means, but we’ll keep that secret to ourselves.  Here are my top five favorites, and I will be expanding on a few of the ideas in the weeks to come.

1) First aid kit.

2 Keeping light jackets in the car and an extra set of clothes can save an outing!  This is particularly true if one is potty training.  (From personal experience, I will say that it is possible to use hand dryers to dry wet pants, but it is not recommended on a usual basis! 🙂 )  I still have extra underwear for my youngest two in the minivan even though we are a few years past the training days – they still have come in handy!

3) Snacks (unless you really like fast food).  Sometimes adventures take longer than they should or than you think they will.  Great car snacks: raisins, crackers, granola bars.  Beware of anything that melts – Nebraska weather can change quickly!

4)  Activities for your youngest ones in case they lose interest faster than your older ones.  Crayola Color Wonder markers should be your friend – they do not melt in the car and only write on designated surfaces.   Even plain paper can create many possibilities. We also have various seek and find books that can be “read” by even young children.

5) Books on cd.  While we do have DVD players in our Odysseys and will definitely use them on long trips. when we are driving around locally, the kids almost seem to enjoy listening to books even more.  Thankfully our local library has many selections available for check-out.

What do you pack or do to be more prepared when traveling with kids?

Author: neodyssey