Why You Should Pack a ‘Summer Essentials’ Bag and What Goes In It.
Be ready for anything this summer when you pack this simple bag and store it in your vehicle to be used when needed; these 10 essentials could be life saver!
(All other product links in this post are not affiliated or sponsored and are just my favorites.)
I am constantly on the go and now that it’s summer I feel like I’m out of the house about 75% of the time. My grandma lives on the lake about two miles down the road, so if we’re not at the park, or running errands, we’re over there chilling on the lake shore and enjoying the sun.
Of course with babies this can present a certain problem; I never seem to have what I need! Normally I have a swimming bag in the car at all times, but this past week I forgot to stock it again and found myself at the beach with out it (waa-waa). My son of course decided that was they day he desperately wanted to go swimming, and even though we were only there for a short time, he managed to get his clothes so dirty and wet that I had to strip him down before going home.
Not only that, but of course we ended up staying longer than I planned, so I had hungry babes who ended up mooching snacks off their cousin. I felt a little frazzled by the whole ordeal and was kicking myself that I hadn’t repacked my bag earlier. That experience renewed my desire to be ready for anything this summer and get my on the go bag together again.
If you’re like me and constantly find yourself on the go during the summer, consider stocking a bag with all your summer essentials to have ready whenever they’re needed so you’re not caught empty handed. Not sure where to start? Check out my list below of my 10 summer essential must haves! This bag is my life line during the summer!
My 10 Summer Essentials in One Bag:
1) Swim suits. I always have our swimsuits on hand; I mean we live in the land of 10,000 lakes for heavens sake, we are constantly at the lake, a pool, or even just playing in the sprinklers. That is why I have two swimsuits for each child, I have our main suits by SwimZip, and then I also have a back up that I leave in the van at all times (these I either buy on clearance at the end of the season or have picked up at garage sales for cheap so I don’t mind if they don’t see much use).
2) Snacks. Dear Lord. If there is one thing you don’t want to be caught without it’s snacks! I don’t know about you, but my kids get h-angry, especially my daughter. Her sweet little princess demeanor can go from angelic to full blown hulk temper tantrum in an instant if she’s hungry, hand her a cracker and she’s back to being a perfect little cherub again. Since my bag is usually stored in the car, I resort to snacks that won’t go bad or get yucky in the heat like granola bars, breakfast biscuits, individual crackers packages, etc. I know these aren’t the healthiest options, but like I said, these are snacks, and I would rather have something to offer my hungry little beasts than face a full blown melt down -ya know?
3) Sunscreen. I do not apply sunscreen to my kids on a daily basis, I usually rub them down with coconut oil in the morning as it has natural sunblocking properties, but if I know we’re going to be in the sun for an extended period of time I like to have sunscreen on hand. I use Acure Organics All Natural Organic Baby Sunscreen because according to my research, it’s the safest one on the market right now. (Note: this is another reason I love my SwimZip swimsuits! Because they offer sun protection I don’t feel nervous about my kids playing in the water without regular sunscreen applications.)
4) Hats. I have two floppy bucket hats that cover faces and tender little ears stashed in my bag; if my kids are going to be out in direct sunlight for more than 30-40 minutes I usually will end up putting a hat on them.
5) Towels. This seems like an obvious one, but you would be surprised how often I show up to the beach with friends and they’ve forgotten to bring towels! I bought two $5 towels from Walmart a while back and have a few extras that I rotate in if those are in the wash. Typically I keep my bag stocked with two towels at all times.
6) Bug spray. With living up north comes mosquitoes the size of small humming birds -ugh. So having a good bug spray is a must! I often find that trips to the beach turn into BBQ’s and bonfires, so to be ready for anything I keep my Bella B Buzzy Bee Naturals Bug Repellent in my bag and just tote it along with me.
7) Warmer clothes. Like I said above, it seems like beach days turn into bonfire nights and I always find myself with chilly kids clambering up into my lap to get warm. I like having a pair of sweat pants and maybe a little sweater in my bag so that when warm days turn to cool evenings I’m prepared. Plus, when kids get done swimming a lot of times they go into air conditioned houses and get chilled! It’s helpful to have a different outfit for them to change into if they need to warm up. (Since these clothes may not see a lot of use, consider hand me downs, garage sale finds, or even clothes that may be a little small. They don’t have to be super trendy, just comfy and warm. More often than not I’ll change my kids into these only to have them fall asleep on the ride home, so make sure it’s something they can sleep in if necessary!)
8) Wipes. Even if you don’t have a baby anymore, having some sort of wet wipe or napkin can be crucial to keeping your cool during these sticky summer months. I find myself at a continual picnic during the summer and let’s not even talk about the amount of popsicles and freezies my kids consume, so having a thing of wipes on hand is super helpful. (Note: I recently found a new product that I’m absolutely loving: Kleenex Go Anywhere packs. These handi little packages can be clipped around the handle of a bag, or anything for that matter, and make it easy to always have a wipe on hand! If you’re interested in picking up a package for yourself, you can receive cash back on your Kleenex Go Anywhere purchase at Walmart by using this coupon.)
9) Things for Baby. If you’re slowly outgrowing your diaper bag, or if you’re like me and have ditched your diaper bag altogether, you can use this as a make shift diaper bag for the summer without having to lug anything extra with you. I basically just throw in all the essentials for baby; an extra diaper, a reusable swim diaper, a pacifier (because I am always misplacing them), and even an empty sippy cup to fill with water or juice.
10) First Aid. Last but not least comes probably my greatest tip of all; have a bandaid at the ready! I have started carrying a bandaid in the coin pocket of my wallet so I always have one available. And now that it’s summer I make sure to stock my bag with a few first aid essentials because I know all you moms feel me when I say boo-boos happen! I like to pack a bug bite stick, and some chap stick too because those things are always useful!
All these items can be thrown into a beach bag, tote, or even a plastic garbage bag if necessary and just left in your car. Then when you find yourself in need of something it’ll be right there in your bag! I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have this bag with me during our busy summer schedule! It helps me feel like I can be more spontaneous with my kids, and if push came to shove, I could even send them off on an impromptu over night if I wanted to!
As far as restocking goes, make it a priority to bring the bag inside with you after each use and just put it back in good order. It doesn’t take much once you get a feel for what you need and those few extra minutes spent restocking your bag will be invaluable a few days later when you’re on the go and find yourself reaching for something in that bag.
Not to mention with this bag packed and at the ready in your car, all you need to get out the door in the morning is your water bottles and maybe a packed lunch. I save myself tons of time (and stress) in the morning by having the peace of mind that everything I need is already in the car. As a mama there is nothing better than feeling like I can take a few extra moments sipping my coffee because I’m already ahead of the game.
Cheers to an easy summer,
PS) The reason I don’t stock water bottles in my car (which would seem like a really smart choice) is that when the plastic bottles heat up, they release BPA and other harmful chemicals into your water which you then drink. Plain and simple, not good. That’s why I choose reusable water bottles instead and have a large thermos from Mira Brands that I fill with water and use to refill everyone else’s water bottles.