I pack light and efficient. Granted I never packed excessively nor did I need all the bells and whistles but as I have had more children (on number 4 and he is my last) I have gotten smarter and a little wiser.
I was never one to need the top brand products, and I didn't need one of every piece of baby furniture. However as I get older I may also be getting cheaper or as they say frugal!
My kids range in age from 2 -15 so my "must haves" will definitely differ from those of you with 4 under the age of 6! I am in awe of you!!
1. The potty! I don't recommend a specific kind other than one at least with a lid. I do know there are some with disposable bags which definitely would be a plus. I just have a standard one with a lid. Of course with potty comes a roll of toilet paper and wipes are optional as well. Whether you are potty training or taking a long trip this is a great way to help in situations. I utilize mine when we are even going to the zoo.
I need medicine as my child gets sick if she skips a nap and has to much excitement.
Water is a must have especially as the temperature rises in the summertime. Bugs spray because if we are hiking out and about we are prepared. Sunblock is a necessity as I have a husband that needs it more than the rest of us. No, I don't want my children to burn either but, my husband definitely beats us to it. Hand sanitizer is great for all occasions. Playground, beach, fishing and hiking; it's nice to have handy.
3. Baby wipes. These nice little moist towels are a great accessory for everything from top to bottoms. They make for a great hand wipe even prior to sanitizer just to get off the initial grim before you get them thoroughly clean. Just keep an eye on your wipes as the heat can dry the wipes out!
5. Beach bag. We live in the wettest part of VA. The YMCA with a pool is down the street. We are surrounded by water even though I do not live at or near the beach. We can got to a beach in as short of a drive as 20 minutes or longer for bigger more public beaches. It's nice to have a bag with suits and towels to just go swimming without going home to get the bag.
7. Fishing pole.
I can't keep this in the car, but I would if I could just because if we are near the water why not fish too. However my truck is not as big as I think so that does stay home and only travels when we are specifically going out to do it! I have a separate bag that includes more hand sanitizer, a old chip container with all fishing supplies like hooks, weights and such, garden gloves, sunscreen (we know who that is for) and more bug spray). Of course worms are grabbed with the fishing pole.
These are my necessities for a car trip. Long, short, water or mosquito bound. I have the supplies to keep them comfortable and some what clean and presentable. I would love to hear what else is in your car at all times maybe I need to add to mine. What did I miss that is your must have. I do have a first aid kit that should be added, but what else do I need?