Summer is finally here and most schools are getting out this week if they haven’t already. And even though we’ve been done with school for a few weeks, now, I still feel underprepared when that first full week of real summer weather hits us. (Wait, I’m going to be in a swimsuit this week?! Am I ready for this?? Have I shaved?! Do I even have time to shave?!?!) Not to mention, I still don’t have swim diapers for the 18-month old. Time to stock up on our summer gear and load up the van so we’re always prepared. Last year, I had our tailgate stocked with a bunch of “just in case” items that proved to be super helpful in getting us out of the house quickly and whenever we were staying somewhere longer than expected.
So, what should you have in your minivan or car this summer so you’re always prepared? I load up a big Thirty-One utility tote and keep it in the back. Here’s my list:
- A ziplock bag with sunscreen and bug spray. I don’t think an explanation is necessary, here. Common sense summer items you never want to be caught without!
- A ziplock bag with baby powder. This is a miracle-worker at getting wet sand off sticky little bodies/feet! I keep it in a bag so I don’t get powder all over the van.
- A gallon of water. Helpful in cleaning off dirty hands and feet, and in case of other emergencies. 🙂
- A bag of swim diapers & regular diapers–obviously only necessary if you have a child in diapers. Keeping an extra bag in the car is helpful to ensure you won’t run out. 😉
- An extra container of wet wipes. It doesn’t matter if you have kids in diapers or not, I think we all know that wet wipes are great for a number of reasons! Cleaning sticky hands, faces, water bottles, or the inside of the car itself!
- A bag of sweatshirts–one for each family member. You know the drill–you go somewhere during the day and it’s hot so everyone is in shorts and a T-shirt. But then you stay into the late evening and it cools down and you’re outside and now you’re chilly. Run to the van and grab a sweatshirt for those cooler summer nights!
- Kids’ beach toys & beach towels. I just keep these in the car so that when we do go to the lake or beach, it’s one less thing I have to pack that morning. I keep my kids’ beach toys in a large mesh laundry bag. This way I can easily shake all the sand out of everything before it goes back in the van, and the toys dry quickly. And yes, wash the towels between beach visits! 😉
- Umbrella stroller. Again, only if you have a child young enough for one. During spring and fall, I keep our jogging stroller in the van for those long walks and hikes, but during beach season it no longer fits so the umbrella stroller is perfect to always have on hand!
- Extra empty plastic bags. They act as extra trash bags for the “carry in/carry out” state parks, and laundry bags for those wet swimsuits that come off before the kids hop in their car seats. You can store a bunch in an old cylinder wet wipe container, too!
- Picnic blanket. I pretty much have this in my van all year ’round, but it’s worth mentioning.
Now you’re ready for whatever this summer has in store for you!