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Far from being a car salesperson, I am a simple mother of two, not a very knowledgeable car owner, but relatively safe; a late driver, having grown up in New York City, and someone with a history of owning either used cars or keeping new ones until they’re spent.
One or two things I have learned over the years, however, with regard to making traveling with children easier, have to do with certain things to have on hand as a matter of course. For example:
• An entire twelve-pack of bottled water. Even if you’re not into having bottles of water around on a regular basis, keeping water bottles in your trunk can literally save you if you have a thirsty little one, an unexpected spill, an accident, a sick one, or a roadside emergency. I learned this trick during my seven years living in Los Angeles when earthquake, kids in cars, and at preschool were a normal part of every day life.
• A first aid kit. It can be natural, with aloe cream and bandages made from the wings of small altruistic fairies, or the straight up, no nonsense drug store kind; but whichever kind it is, it will give you peace of mind and can be your absolute saving grace in the middle of a long trip when one of the kiddies is sneezing, picking a scab, scratching their sibling, or all of the above. Not to mention in warmer weather, should you be outside and your youngster falls and scrapes a knee, having antibacterial and band aids right in your car can turn a potential early ending in tears to an extended play time with a few kisses and hugs.
• Paper, in the form of pads, pens and markers or crayons. Depending on the ages of your children, crayons or markers may not work. However, my own two sons who are (gasp!) already 9 and 12, and heavily into video and computer games, can still spend an amazing amount of time drawing, making up characters and comics, writing out jokes or short stories, or just amusing themselves with doodling.
• Tissues! So self-explanatory as to be in the same category as oxygen, nevertheless if I am in the car without them I can find myself to be so distraught I vow to never, ever again get into my car without a box of them.