Guest post by Allison Williams

Years of youth ministry has taught me to be like a boy scout on trips: always prepared! I have a large tote bag that stays packed in storage that I throw in the bus for every overnight trip we take. My bag is a large, black, Thirty-One Brand Utility Tote with several dividers to help organize it. Here what’s inside:

  • Trash bags — 3-4 of the thick, heavy duty kind
  • First Aid Kit — Make sure to include a CPR mask and extra gloves
  • Zip Ties & Bungee Cords
  • Tape: Duct, Masking, Scotch, Electrical, & Painter’s — Fill a gallon size ziplock bag with every kind you use, then throw in an extra roll of duct tape for good measure.
  • 2 Pack of Dark 4x Hanes Men’s T-Shirts — These come in handy for wardrobe malfunctions. They are not see through, fit nearly everyone, and are almost like a tunic on most teens.
  • 12 Pack of Sharpies
  • Thank You Notes — This is important to model for your students. As a group, make sure to thank the people that made your trip incredible!
  • A Snap Top Case Full of Cheap Pens — Oftentimes, a conference speaker will just assume you have these on hand.
  • Chargers — I bring every standard kind of charger and car charger that I can find. (Lost and found at your church may be a borrowing gold mine).
  • Post Its & Index Cards
  • Batteries — Keep the kinds you use on hand, but make sure to have plenty AA & AAAs.
  • Clorox Wipes & Febreeze — This is a great start to holding over a vomit situation until you can get to a carwash or detailer.
  • 4 or 5 Age-Appropriate DVDs — Car trouble? Conference delay? They may complain about your choices, but you’d rather have these and not need them, then need them and not have them.
  • Flash Drive — Where are these when we need them?!
  • Decks of cards: Standard, UNO, Would You Rather
  • Scissors
  • Feminine Hygiene Products — Bring a variety of options and brands (teen ladies like to stick with what they’re used to using at home). Put 5 – 6 of these options in a small wristlet that one of your gals can just grab out of the trip bag and discreetly take to the bathroom with them.
  • Birthday Banner and Hat — You’re going to miss someone’s birthday on their registration form, you just won’t realize it until their best friend tells you at breakfast.
  • High Sugar, Non-Melting Snack — It’s irresponsible to be stuck in traffic when a kid’s blood sugar is bottoming out. Be prepared!
  • A Couple of Extra Bibles

It is worth the effort and cost to create an emergency trip bag. It will ultimately save you time, money, and so many headaches when you are on the road with your students. This list is what’s in my bag, please mention in the comments ideas of what you keep in yours.