With Kids, Travel Kit Can Save the Day


Whether it’s anticipating a backseat disaster, coming up with a quick dinner solution or keeping memories alive, our Readers have just the perfect solution.

TRAVEL KIT. I have a little kit I keep in the car. It contains gallon-size zip-lock bags, paper napkins, straws and antibacterial soap. It’s amazing how many times I use it. Once, my daughter became sick on the way home from an event. The zip lock bag and napkins came in very handy. Then there was the time my son had to pet a friend’s dog and then wanted to have a snack on the ride home. Antibacterial soap to the rescue. Having straws handy means I can keep my eyes on the road and take a swig of a can of soda at the same time. Mary Jo., Kentucky



SHOO FLIES. I’ve learned that keeping fresh rosemary around keeps the flies away. A growing plant in a windowsill is a great idea. Bud M., email

ROLLS LIKE BOB’S. Sometimes I forget to buy dinner rolls to go with the entree I’ve made for dinner. Then I remember what they used to do at Bob’s Big Boy when I went there as a kid. They toasted split hamburger buns and served them in place of dinner rolls. If it’s good enough for Bob, then it’s good enough for my family. They love it, too! Jennifer B., Wyoming

SAVING MEMORIES. My husband loved his trophies from his “glory days,” but they were becoming unsightly in their sprawling mass. He agreed to part with them, on one condition that I take a picture of each trophy. I have more space and he still has proof of his past achievements. Carol S., Vermont

MYLAR-ED WALLS. A good use for Mylar balloons after the celebration is over is to deflate them and use them like wallpaper in your child’s bedroom. Start in the center of the wall and move outward, overlaying them as the years and balloons grow. We did this for my daughter and by the time she was a senior in high school her one wall was totally covered. Her friends enjoyed the Celebration Wall and our daughter would relive some of the celebrations and memories as she talked about some of the unique and different balloons. Jim M., Florida

DIY ICE PACKS. To make your own flexible ice packs pour 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol into a zip-type plastic bag and close. Put zipped bag into a second bag, seal, and freeze. You will have a slushy bag of ice whenever needed for sprains, headaches. Make sure you label these bags clearly. Donna G., Florida

SHELF LINER. If you want sturdy shelf liner material that looks great and cleans up easily, consider self-stick vinyl floor tiles. They’re simple to cut to size and come in lots of colors and styles. Look on the clearance table for opened boxes or discontinued styles that have been marked down for quick sale. Marcy C., e-mail

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3 replies
  1. NF
    NF says:

    No kids, but always think back to previous trip disasters over the years. Things i keep in my vehicle…toilet paper(don’t laff, has served many purposes), paper towels, tissues, disinfecting wipes like Clorox(use as hand wipes and damage control), a wad of plastic grocery bags, home made fabric freshener , an old plastic loyalty card, small bottle of vinegar and water(former and latter used as de-icing). I keep most of this in a clear, plastic filing container and a seat organizer strapped to the back of my passenger seat. Has saved my tukas many times. I also have the basic car emergency supplies which everyone should have.
    Great tips, love the suitcase idea.
    Confused about space issue with self stick tiles, have used them many times to line shelving and top workbenches. They r indestructible and easy to clean.

  2. grammy
    grammy says:

    My Daughter-in-law and son moved into a home they purchased that had the selfstick tiles as liners. A real headache as they took up needed space and were impossible to remove. Consider that before utilizing this hint. Grammy

  3. Beck
    Beck says:

    Our kids each had a little suitcase they could put their blanket in along with crayons, coloring book, and a stuffed animal. This worked well when they got tired and cranky because they had their “stuff” with them they would go right to sleep. We always keep extra napkins, straws, plastic store bags to hold diapers until a trash can can be found or as a sick bag. Wet wipes and Kleenex also a staple in the van.


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