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Traveling with kids is no easy feat—their short attention spans alone will try your patience. So if you’re looking for tips on what to bring to make that road trip, day trip or getaway a little easier, you’ve come to the right place. Here are six essentials for keeping your kids (and you) calm and cool—straight from six real parents who know.

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A Gentle Sunscreen

Rachel is a PureWow mom who never travels without sunscreen for her son: “I’ve become a bit obsessed with finding ones that are chemical-free,” she says. “I apply it everywhere—from my son’s belly to his face and scalp. The clean versions have never irritated his skin in the slightest.”

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Wet Ones Travel Packs

Bachelor star Molly Mesnick is known for her Insta-worthy family. But as a mother, she knows life isn’t always picture perfect. “Melted ice cream and sticky fingers about to ruin our family pic? It happens, but I always have Wet Ones® on hand to save the day—and our photo!” Psst, the Wet Ones® Travel Packs are the perfect size for sticking in every bag, just in case.

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An “Emergency” Kit

You never know when hanger will strike, so it’s best to have a prepacked kit filled with a few what-if lifesavers. “Wet Ones® Hand Wipes, a vegetable pouch, Goldfish crackers, a change of clothes…those are in all of our to-go bags,” says Mark, a PureWow dad. “Oh, and a plastic bag—in case we need the outfit change.”

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Beauty Samples (the *Good* Kind)

Nothing can stifle a vacation high quite like forgetting your shampoo and having to wash your hair with a two-in-one mini bottle from the hotel. PureWow’s chief revenue officer, Kate, combats this problem by stockpiling high-end samples throughout the year, just for these very moments. “I have a drawer in my home where I store the samples I get from beauty stores, events and from our lovely beauty editors, and I save them for vacations exclusively. It’s a nice way to elevate my routine since I’m often using a fancy product that I would never buy for myself,” says Kate.

girl coloring in the car
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Back Seat Entertainment

Road trips can go awry as fast as your kids can say “Are we there yet?” To curb backseatboredom, PureWow mom Jillian recommends the Water Wow! for the preschool set. The coloring pad works with a refillable water pen—no paint or crayons—making it perfect for the plane, restaurants and white hotel bedding. If your crew happens to be a little older, Road Trip Bingo is a great game that gets all the backseat passengers involved (and distracted from how many hours they’ve already been sitting).

little boy playing with bubbles
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Bubbles

OK, so your indoor entertainment is all set, but what about outdoors? Let’s say you’re at a company picnic or touring your city’s botanic gardens. According to multiple PureWow parents, whipping out a small bottle of bubbles is a surefire way to distract kids from being unsettled and put them right into mesmerized territory. Day saved.

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