Things to Keep in the Car: An Essential List for Parents

kids in carGot kids in the car? If you are a busy parent that is constantly searching for things in your car that AREN’T there, then this list is for you!

Here is my list of essential items to keep in your car (especially if you have kids!):


Wet Wipes– These are great for quick hand-washing, cleaning messy faces, and other uses that require a bit more than just a napkin.

Hand Sanitizer– Great for hand-washing (quick fix for sticky hands!) or general sanitizing.

Fingernail Clippers– This multi-purpose tool has many uses.  You never know when you might need one!

Kleenex– This is a no-brainer!

Napkins– Hitting the drive-through?  We know all-to-well that these rarely make it in the bag when we pick up our food.  I always keep a small stack in my glove box.

Paper Cups– These are especially useful if you have more than one child.  I often use these when my daughters want to share a drink after stopping at a convenience store.  They are also useful for a variety of other reasons.  I usually keep only two or three of them in the car at a time.

Lotion– Because dry skin is a drag!

Band Aids – You never know when you might need one…and there’s nothing worse than needing one and not having one!

Sun Screen – It’s always good to have some readily available “just in case!”

Bottle of Water – Just like the Kleenex, this is also a “no-brainer, with this this review article you can also find many pitchers to take with you in the car!”

Small Blanket – Because kids like to take naps sometimes!  A small travel pillow would also be nice!

Pen – These come in handy quite often!

Sticky Notes – Need to write down a number or address?  This would certainly help!

Loose Change– Because vending machines and parking meters are a reality we must deal with at times!

Q-tips – Can be used for more than just cleaning one’s ears!  Handy to have around!

I have a small plastic box in my car that I replenish every-so-often. I can’t begin to tell you how often I resort to this little box during various escapades!

Can you think of any other items that are a must-have for traveling parents?