13 Must-Have Essentials For Your Summer Car Kit

summer car kit

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Summer is the stuff dreams are made of: lazy, warm days, relaxed schedules and hopefully tons of memory-making activities. Much of the season is spent outside and on-the-go and that’s why now is the time to prepare your summer car kit! All the essentials you need to master summer, packed in a plastic bin and stowed neatly in the trunk of your car. Don’t let anything get in the way of stopping your summer fun!

summer car kit

Source: SimplyKierste.com

1. Plastic Storage Bin

You’ll need a plastic storage tote to keep all your summer car kit essentials in one place. Pick the size that best works for you and the size of your family (and trunk space!), You may prefer a large box that accommodates big items, or a taller file-size box to not take over your trunk. Clear or colored, it doesn’t matter- just make sure it’s something that works for you. We love the box above from SimplyKierste.com, which looks like it can easily contain all the summer essentials without taking up tons of room.

2. Sunscreen

When you think of summer, you think of sunscreen! Don’t let unplanned trips to the park make you fearful because you forgot the sunscreen at home. Always keep an extra tube in your car kit. I recommend storing in a plastic bag, and checking it often. The summer heat can cause sunscreen to leak, explode and even lose it’s consistency. Swap out often!

3. Hand Wipes

You can never have enough hand wipes on hand, even if your babies are out of diapers. Whether it’s baby wipes or disinfecting hand wipes, make sure they’re always in your car kit to help clean off sandy or dirty hands, skinned knees and filthy faces.

4. Disinfecting Wipes

Picnic tables are super gross and that’s why it’s always a good idea to keep some disinfecting wipes in your car kit. Wipe down disgusting surfaces before playing or eating for maximum fun.

5. Bug Spray

Depending on where you live, bugs can really take the fun out of summer fun. Keep a small bottle of bug spray around to blast pesky pests and keep your kiddos from ending the day with itchy bites.

6. Hand Sanitizer

Oh, the many, many germs of playgrounds, pools and beaches. Hand sanitizer is a must! What else can we say? Germs, bad. Clean hands, good.

7.  Plastic Tablecloth

Whether you decide on an impromptu picnic or just want to avoid the bird-poop covered table at the park, you can never go wrong keeping a plastic tablecloth on hand! You can find them at the dollar store and won’t feel bad when you toss them in the trash at the end of the day.

8. Tote Bag or Grocery Bags

You can never run out of reasons to carry plastic grocery bags. Pile in soiled clothes or carry lunches easily- there are so many ways to use grocery bags. It’s also smart to keep a tote bag that’s easily folded and stored for those trips to the beach or pool. Carry towels and snacks easily!

9. First Aid Kit

No one wants to end a day early because of a boo boo! Keep bandaids, disinfectant and more in a compact first aid kit. Whether it’s you or the kids who end up needing it, you’ll be glad it’s in your summer car kit this year.

10. Mom Essentials

Moms have needs too! Keep a small stash bobby pins, hair elastics, travel-size deodorant and feminine protection product tucked away in your kit. You’ll be glad you have just a few basic essentials to keep the play coming.

11. Tissues

Water play always brings out snotty noses! Keep a few packs of travel-size tissues on hand for boogers or anything else that comes up.

12. Paper Towels

A small roll of paper towels can come in handy for spills, but also car rides that end up in car sickness! Trust us, these won’t go to waste this summer.

13. Extra Clothes

Accidents happen and you don’t want to end the fun early because you don’t have any extra pair of undies or a change of clothes because someone got soaked. Whether it’s a pair of pajamas for late night summer get togethers or just a change of clothes to keep playing, you can’t go wrong having extra clothes in the trunk.


Every family is different so you may find you need just a few more essentials in your kit! If you’ve got babies in the house, don’t forget the extra diapers and wipes. Families with big swimmers, it may also be a good idea to pack an extra towel and flip flops. We hope this list gets your started and looking forward to summer!

What would you add to your summer car kit? Let us know in the comments below!



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13 Must-Have Essentials For Your Summer Car Kit

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Karly Wood

Karly Wood

Editor at Red Tricycle
I'm a born and bred Southern California native and currently the managing editor at Red Tri. I get to share my life with my husband of 13 years and our beautiful, 5-year old daughter. In my free time you'll catch me cheering for the Dodgers, cooking, baking, reading, crafting and probably watching a little HGTV!
Karly Wood

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