Going on a European road trip without decent supplies is a plan destined for disaster. With a whole family in the car there is a lot that can go wrong, so it’s best to be prepared. If you’re not sure what essentials you’re going to need to keep in your car, here are a few to get you started:
Make sure you pack more than just one CD if you’re planning on listening to music during the drive. While music can be great fun to listen to, listening to the same twelve songs on repeat for eight hours can drive someone a little crazy. Either bring a plentiful supply of music, or invest in Spotify or Deezer so you can choose the songs you want to listen to and get some good variety of songs on your road trip.
When everyone’s hungry, tensions can and will rise and the last thing you want is to be locked in a car with some very hungry and cranky kids for a few hours. Packing a couple of snacks and drinks will prevent grumbling bellies and tantrums. Snacks can also save you from having to spend money at pit stops.
It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. There are a few countries in Europe where it’s the law to have a first aid kit in the car, and these usually include supplies for basic first aid. Some families even hold their travel insurance information in these first aid kits, or, if you live in the UK, your UK EHIC card. If your family is prone to bumps and scrapes or a bit of car sickness, carrying a firs aid kit in your car will do a world of good.
Blankets or Pillows or Both
For extra-long journeys, the best way to keep little kids quiet is to let them have a little nap. If you pack a couple of little pillows and blankets in the car and make them comfortable, they’ll drift off pretty quickly.
Baby wipes, hand sanitizer, tissues and a spare set of clothes are typically necessary when you’ve got young kids in the car. Liquids spill, noses run, and kids get dirty. So, unless you want your car interior covered in sticky hand prints, don’t neglect to pack these supplies before your trip.
Jumper Cables, a Spare Tire and a Spare Set of Keys
The reasons are pretty obvious here. You don’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere and lose your car.
Of course, you need to make some sensible decisions when it comes to choosing the right kind of entertainment for your trip. It needs to be somewhat quiet for the sake of everyone else in the car and small enough for them to actually use. Think about books, board games and hand-held consoles. You want a few things to keep them entertained when they’re in the car and when the family is together outside of the car.
Make sure you’ve got travel chargers that you can plug into your car for all of your gadgets. A few spare batteries for toys and flashlights will also come in handy.