When my kids were younger, I hated lugging around giant diaper bags, especially if we were going out somewhere remotely nice and I wanted to look a little more presentable than jogging pants and tennis shoes. But they sure did come in handy when transporting all of the necessary accoutrements. In fact, I used to leave a packed diaper bag in the car just in case I rushed out the door in a hurry and forgot one. (I learned the hard way that baby wipes will freeze if left in the car during the middle of the winter.) As the kids got older, the bags got smaller, even though my need to carry around supplies had not waned. There are just certain things a parent needs on hand to help make the day seamless.
Thus, I created my Parent Survival Kit. Parent Survival Kits are simply travel-size supplies, stashed in clear zippered bags. When I first made them, I just used quart sized Ziploc bags, but now it is really easy to find clear quart sized bags for travel that are a little more durable. I keep two on hand at all times, one for everyday use and one to leave in the car on the days that I am carrying a smaller purse. By keeping them pre-packed, it makes changing purses, bags, or totes a breeze and reduces the chance of forgetting something important. I simply grab my pre-packed bag of goodies, throw it in whatever bag I am traveling with that day, and head out the door. It is especially handy when going on vacation, a day at the park, watching my children’s sporting events, field trips and even a long day of errands.
Here’s a list of supplies that I keep packed in my Parent Survival Kit:
- Children’s Tylenol
- Lip Balm
- Hand Sanitizer
- Hand Lotion
- Cleaning Wipes (baby wipes work great even when they aren’t babies)
- Nail Clippers
- Travel Size Suntan Lotion
- Bug Bite Relief (pads, spray or roll-on)
- Tide to Go
- A plastic bag
Of course, various items come and go from this list — things like baby wipes and extra underwear when my girls were still preschoolers to tampons and mouth wax for sharp braces now that they are older. This list may seem excessive, but I can tell you it was really handy to have when we were traveling with my children, my niece and my nephew last summer. Someone got bit by a spider, someone else fell down and scraped their knee, another child got bird poop on their hand and I even think by the end of the day someone felt feverish. When you travel with children, anything is possible. The nice thing is being prepared so that the whole day isn’t ruined.