I’ll admit, I never expected to be a mini van mom. I’m a believer now, completely spoiled by the conveniences it offers. Plus, on cold or rainy days we have enough room for a picnic for four in the back!
Here’s how I stocked our van to have anything I might need on the go.
Glove Box or Console:
- Vehicle Registration
- Insurance – Car as well as Health insurance cards
- Peppermint Essential Oil – This is a game changer for those who get carsick! Any time you feel woozy, open the bottle and take a big inhale.
- Microfiber cloth for the dust that inevitably settles on your dash and entertainment screen. Instant clean!
- Individual-use Sunscreen Packets in case my full-size bottle is MIA from a beach bag or day trip backpack.
- Laundry detergent – Single use pack or pod JUST IN CASE you’re far from home and you have a carsick mess in a carseat you can wash the clothes/car seat liner with it. This has happened to us about once every 6 months with our son. Don’t let that stench ruin the rest of your journey.
- Kid Hand Sanitizer
- Backup pair of cheap sunglasses
- Extra snacks
- Rice Rusks are a welcomed snack til at least age 3
- Baby Food Pouch (I don’t like to keep this in the car during extreme temperatures though)
- Cords/Cables – Lightning charger, headphones, micro usb charger
- Rain poncho
- Emergency Cash (Just $10 has saved me on a few occasions where I forgot my wallet or was cashless.)
- Postage Stamps – I like to keep envelope and postcard stamps handy.
- Medicine / Personal Care
- Pain Reliever (Bonine or Dramamine)
- Motion Sickness Pills
- Small Hairbrush
- Dental Kit with toothbrush/paste
- Boogie Wipes – Made for runny noses, but I also use them as a wet wipe. Less harsh that baby wipes (unless you’re already using water wipes).
- Nail File/Clipper
- Hair Tie
- Sanitizing Wipes
- Post-its (For leaving notes for others or reminders for yourself.)
Read on for ideas to keep your children entertained on the journey!
- Restaurant Backpack – A bag filled with activities/toys they only see when you’re out and about. This keeps them entertained while you can enjoy a meal out or a visit to a brewery. Here’s what we keep in our busy bag:
- Car Activities all stored in a Collapsible Car Organizer Bin
- Crayola Color Wonder Markers (No mess coloring)
- Board Books (at age 3, my toddler still sometimes tears pages, so I stick to board books in the car. Press Here is one of his favorites!
- A cookie sheet and magnets
- Water painting/drawling board
- A knotted shoestring and beads – This makes a big mess, but it probably keeps my 3 year old more entertained than anything else in the box
- A few Squigz
- Kid Headphones – Headphones specifically made for kids are best because they have a pre set maximum volume. We use these cute Forky Headphones so we don’t have to listen to Shiny and You’re Welcome on repeat.
- Small, battery operated vacuum – We use a Dewalt Wet/Dry Vacuum as it is easy to swap out the battery from our garage’s charging station
- Trash bin DIY – Convert a cereal container to a lidded trash receptacle
One More Tip:
In the unlikely event you are in an accident, label each kid’s carseat with a bright piece of paper stating:
- Their Name
- Parent Name(s) and Phone Numbers
- Primary Doctor and Phone Number