Four Ways We Keep our Family Safe and Happy On Car Rides

This post has been sponsored by Cars.com. All opinions are my own.

This year, one of my goals is to make sure that our family is prepared in case of emergencies, both at home or on the road. Over the past month, I've made it my goal to ensure that our cars are stocked and ready for anything that we might encounter on the road. I know that no matter where we go, whether it's just to the grocery store up the street or on a long drive for a family vacation, we can have peace of mind knowing that we're prepared for any situation that comes our way. Here's a list of the things that we've done to make our drives happier!

Safe travel tips for young families

An Emergency Kit

This is kind of like a 72 hour kit for your car, we keep ours in our trunk underneath a pile of blankets to pull out if the need arises. I've stocked each car with a variety of non-perishable snacks (cracker packs, granola bars, fruit snacks, etc.), a game and a few toys to occupy the kids, extra diapers and wipes for each kid, an extra set of clothes, flashlights, emergency blankets and a few water bottles. In addition to that backpack of supplies, we have a tote with any tools that would help us fix minor issues on our car, ie flat tire.

A Way to Stay Warm

The last couple of winters, I've run into a few disastrous commutes due to snow and ice on the roads. Drives that would normally take 20 minutes have taken two or three hours, and I've found myself having to turn around and return home in some situations. There are a lot of mornings when I think, 'I don't need my coat, I'm just running in and out of work', but I remind myself to bring it along anyway. Even if my coat sits on the seat of my car, I know that I'll be prepared to get out and fix a flat tire or stand on the side of the road if being inside of my car is a dangerous situation.

We always bring the kids' coats along with us and have blankets that we can use to cover them while maintaining their safety by not having them wear a coat in their car seats. I also have a small pile of blankets and a pillow in my trunk. Sometimes we use those for star gazing opportunities, but I also like having the on hand just in case.

The Diaper Bag

This is another one of those "always be prepared" situations. The other day we were leaving to go to my mom's house for the morning and I'd forgotten the diaper bag upstairs. I didn't want to run all the way back up the stairs and knew that my mom had everything I'd need for my kids at her house (diapers and wipes, extra clothes, food and drinks) and her house is only 10 minutes away. I grabbed the diaper bag anyway because I knew that even if it stayed in the car the entire time, we'd be prepared if a need arose. If we got in a fender bender or were stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire, we have diapers and wipes, water cups, a few toys and both of the kids' comfort objects.

I.C.E. Cards

This is one of the my favorite nerdy features of our cars. On each side of the kids' car seats you'll find a bright colored piece of paper that says "in case of emergency". The rest of the card contains their full name, their birth date, any known allergies, an emergency contact and their pediatrician's information. In the event that someone comes up on our car and the driver is unable to communicate, they'll know everything that they need to know to help our children in the back seat. Depending on whose car the seat is in, depends on the emergency contact information. In my car, the emergency contact is their grandma, because both Joe and I drive them in that car on a regular basis. In Joe's car, the emergency contact is me and in my mom's car, the emergency contacts are both Joe and I.

If you want an I.C.E. card template you can print for your carseats, click here. These are set up to be a 3x5 size. I sent mine to a print shop after I'd input our information and had them printed on bright colored cardstock, then laminated. You could also print them on your own at home.

Carseat In Case of Emergency Card Free Download

Speaking of car seats, we just got a couple of new ones to install in each of our cars, because our baby isn't a baby anymore and is about to outgrow her infant seat. We're taking advice from Cars.com and scheduling a car seat check in our area to ensure that our kid's car seats are installed correctly. With our new car seats, I'm having Joe print and laminate new I.C.E. cards as well.

I'd love to be able to control the situations that we run into on the road, whether it be a flat tire, a broken down car, a fender bender or the weather. Unfortunately, I don't have full control over everything in our lives. I do have the power to prepare and forsee a variety of potential situations. And by being prepared, I can keep my family safe and happy, no matter what comes our way.

With a little preparation, you will have peace of mind on any car ride with your family.