Whether it’s arguing in the backseat, declaring they need the loo just after you set off, or constantly asking ‘are we there yet?’, car journeys with children can be challenging.

So, before heading out on any road trip with kids, stock up the car with these emergency supplies.

A first-aid kit

Children have an uncanny talent for finding new and inventive ways of injuring themselves.

As a result, having a first-aid kit in the car that allows you to step in and tend to that cut knee or bee sting, is always a good idea. Everything from bandages and plasters to antiseptic spray can come in useful – the NHS has a list of essentials.


It can be tempting to avoid giving the little ones anything to drink in the car, to avoid endless loo stops.

However, it’s really important that you do have drinks with you to keep them hydrated. So, be sure to bring along a decent-sized water bottle.


All parents have been there ‒ suddenly your child is famished and they get progressively more irritable with every moment that passes.

It’s always worthwhile having some food in the car when heading out with kids. That doesn’t always have to mean preparing a belt and braces picnic; the failsafe of some non-perishable food ‒ like an oat bar ‒ can do the job.

A change of clothes

Just as kids are fantastic at finding weird ways to hurt themselves, they are also incredible at getting downright mucky, often requiring an emergency outfit change.

At the very least having clean underwear to hand is a sensible move. You might also want to pack some spare clothes for yourself, just in case they get you grubby, too.

Wet wipes

Along similar lines, a packet of wet wipes in the glove compartment is a must for anyone travelling with children.

It’s always a good idea to restock regularly. Realising that you have run out – or that an old packet of wipes has dried out – when you really need them can be as real hassle.

Hand sanitiser

In the bid to keep both you and the kids clean, having some hand sanitiser in the car is a good idea, too.

It’s all too easy for them to put their hands somewhere they shouldn’t, or for you to end up with mucky hands when cleaning them up.

Rubbish bags

Having something to put the rubbish in is always helpful - keep some bin bags in the boot, just in case.


Any parent will tell you that having something to hand to distract the kids – such as a book or a toy – on a long journey can be a lifesaver. The same goes if you need to pull over to the side of the road and wait for a breakdown van.

It’s also worth reminding yourself of some simple car games. They can help you while the hours away and you won’t have to spend a penny.

Protection against the elements

Getting the kids into the car for a trip out can be a far lengthier experience than you expect, and, inevitably, things get missed in the process.

It’s easy to forget to put sun cream on your children on a hot day, for example, so it’s handy to keep some factor 50 in the car.

This being the UK, it always makes sense to prepare for rain, as well, so keep an umbrella or old rain jackets on standby in the boot.


Blankets can be a very flexible friend for any parent on the road. Should the weather turn cold, they are great for keeping the kids warm and cosy in the back and ‒ fingers crossed ‒ may help them take a nap. And, of course, you’ll be able to use the blanket for a picnic too.

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