Pack Secret Weapons
Of course you should have the basics: first-aid kit, jumper cables, flashlights, batteries, food, and water. One lesser-known lifesaver is gallon-size Ziploc bags, says Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, a family-travel expert at the travel site MiniTime.com. “They’re ideal for messy snack trash, like banana peels,” she says. “The airtight seal also makes them the perfect barf bag in a pinch. I just wish they were opaque!”
Also indispensable: a universal electronics charger (from about $9, amazon.com) that plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter. You can use its USB port to power up smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras, and other gadgets. If you have many devices, get one with two ports so you can charge a couple at once.