We’re well into another school year, and if your family is anything like ours, you are on the go non-stop right now. With after school activities like Guides, Swimming, Art, Music and weekend activities like Hockey, Ringette and Soccer there’s barely time for dinner, let alone making sure you prepare for vehicle for everything!
I put together a list of helpful ways you can prepare your vehicle for another school year of activities, and fall or winter road trips.
1) Emergency Kit: You’ve all heard it before and it’s no cliché. You need to have an emergency kit in your car. Every year, without fail, cars get stuck on the highway, or on icy roads for hours, during a storm. When you live in Canada, you need to be prepared for the weather to change, at a moments notice! Having an emergency kit with booster cables, candles, ponchos, water, granola bars, a snow shovel, a spare tire and jack means you’ll be ready for anything!
2) Storage containers, wipes, zip locks and grocery bags: These are probably the four most useful things, next to the emergency kit, you could keep in your car. How many times have you eaten out and found garbage, from the meal, in your car, weeks later? How about something spilled in your car? Dirty hands? Wet mittens or clothing? If you want to keep your car even slightly clean and organized, these tools are essential. Wipes are also a great dash cleaner, if you feel like spiffing up your car, while on the road. Plastic grocery bags make great in between the seats garbage bags and storage cubes keep all the junk organized in the trunk!
3) Snacks and water: Even though you already have granola bars and water in your emergency kit; you’re going to want to store a lot more snacks in your vehicle, if you’re always on the go. This way you aren’t robbing from your emergency kit, every time you have an event around lunch or supper or are running late. Trust me…the one thing I can guarantee is: your children will get hungry! Some great snacks, which will keep for a long time in your car, are: meal replacement bars, trail mix, dried fruit, and beef jerky. Great snacks to grab on the day you’re eating them are: fruit, hummus and pita or carrots, sandwiches, boiled eggs and smoothies. Being prepared with healthy snacks can keep you out of the drive-though and save you money.
4) Blankets: Having spare blankets can really come in handy, especially if you’re a hockey or ringette mom or dad! Those rinks are COLD! Even if your kids don’t play sports a blanket can come in handy on a road trip, or in an emergency, and you’ll be all ready for the Santa Claus Parade!
5) Spare booster seat: If you have children under the age of 10, and you often carpool to your children’s activities; it’s a great idea to have a spare booster seat in the trunk. You never know when you might want to give a mom a hand by bringing their child home as the last-minute.
6) Your own exercise clothing/sneakers/yoga mat: We all know how easy it is to forget our own gear, when we’re running around making sure our kids get to all their activities. Keep your exercise or sports gear in the car ready to go. You’ll never have another excuse to miss a yoga or exercise class!
7) Spare Winter gear: It’s always a good idea to have extra sweaters, gloves, mittens and hats in the car in the fall and winter. These get forgotten easily and are necessary for field trips, at the rink, and just to go to school!
We borrowed a Ford Escape, this summer, while on the road in British Columbia, and I got to know all the fantastic features the vehicle has, to help out families on the road. Things like leather seats (for drink and food spills), a sunroof (for airing out those Hockey smells) and a dvd system (to entertain your family while rushing from one activity to the next) are some of the amenities I fell in love with. The trunk had plenty of space for a boogie board, all our wetsuits, bags and more! Just check out how awesome it was for carrying our surfboards!
Have you got any great suggestions to help families get prepared for Fall or Winter, on the road?
Disclosure: We were given the use of a Ford Escape Media Car on our trip to Vancouver, however, all opinions are my own.