What to Keep in Your Car Summer Essentials Bag to Save Your Sanity

Jun 3, 2020 | Lifestyle, Organization

We all know summertime with kids can be CRAZY, especially when we are out and about, trying to do all. the. fun. things. Well, stress no more, Mama. This summer essentials bag is about to make your life way easier!

Make sure you're never caught out and about without the summer essentials! Fun Cheap or Free

What is a summer essentials bag, you ask? Oh, you know, only a summertime mom's BEST FRIEND! Seriously, guys… No more getting stuck at the park, ill prepared. No more leaving events early because your kids get thirsty, or scrape their knee, or get hungry!

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This handy summer essentials bag will stay in your car at all times and be your saving grace when something goes wrong or comes up unexpectedly. And let's face it, despite our best efforts, nothing ever seems to go to plan, right? We'll show you how to pack your summer essentials car bag with everything you need to be prepared for almost anything summer throws your way.


We all want to get out and make the most of the summer, but going out with kids can be rough. Let's face it—kids can be soooo needy. Sometimes it's justified, aaaaand sometimes it's not. Either way, this genius summer essentials bag will have you ready to tackle any issue that pops up without ruining the day.


We love this incredible bag because it folds up to almost nothing when you're not using it, but it's HUGE when it's open! Of course, you don't have to use this bag… any bag you have will work. You can even use a cardboard box or tote in your trunk.

Remember to always replenish what you use from your summer essentials car bag so you always have what you need. Now, let's get on with a list of essentials that you need in your bag!


Snacks are a must-have in your summer essentials bag! Tips from Fun Cheap or Free

It's madness if you try to leave your house without any of these! There's a reason that they're summer essentials… Do yourself a favor and keep the following items stocked and ready to go at all times.

  • Snacks – A MUST! Be sure to pack snacks for the kids AND for you! Summer isn't fun when you're hangry, so keep your favorites on hand. We love a good protein bar for mom.
  • Water Bottles – We always keep water bottles in our car because you never know when you'll need one. There's nothing worse than being somewhere, like the park or pool, and having to leave early because your kids are just so thirsty they're gonna die. Bonus points for using reusable water bottles you can simply refill!
  • Caffeine Packets – Sometimes we just need a little summertime pick me up, okay? Caffeine packets are life! But seriously, these are great to keep on hand. All you need is a bottle of water and you're good to go…and go, and go, and go!
  • Baby Bottle and Formula – If you have a baby, you never want to leave home unprepared. Keep an extra bottle and a handy formula dispenser in your survival kit for emergencies. You never know when you're going to get stuck somewhere or be out longer than you think, especially when everybody is actually behaving and having a good time!

These simple items may not seem like a big deal, but they have saved our skins a few times.


Don't forget the summer essentials for both Mom and kids! Ideas from Fun Cheap or Free

Alright, on to all the necessities to keep those kids (and Mama) safe and happy! You can never go wrong keeping multiples of these in your car.


  • Swimsuits or a Change of Clothes for each kid. – Try to keep one swimsuit per kid in the bag at all times. Hello, it is summer after all! You may be at a park or a friend's house where there's water that you weren't expecting and next thing you know, your kid is having to wear soggy clothes the rest of the day. Well, not when you have your handy dandy summer essentials car bag!
  • Hats – Sun hats are also essential. We don't want the kids burning if they're in the sun for too long, even if they're slathered in sunscreen. Sunburn is the worst, so we avoid it at all costs!
  • Sunscreen – Always keep a tube or two of sunscreen in your bag so that you don't have to worry about leaving the park or pool early if you don't have any.
  • Wet Wipes – Whether you have a baby or not, wet wipes are a must! They make cleaning up sticky hands and faces super easy. Need we say more? Make sure you have a place to toss them when you're done.
  • Giant Beach Towel – A giant beach towel can be used for so many different things during the summer. You can have a picnic on it, or use it to sit on the hot ground while you're watching a parade. You can also use it to dry everybody off if you go swimming and forget to bring towels.

An alternative to the giant beach towel is this lightweight picnic blanket. It's weighted on the edges and is perfect for a spontaneous picnic in the grass!


Always keep a hair bag in your car, you never know when you'll need it! Ideas from Fun Cheap or Free

You just never know when you're going to need a hairbrush… for you or your kids! There's nothing too fancy about the hair bag, just keep the main products that you would need to fix your kids' hair in a small zipper bag and you'll be ready to whip them into presentation shape no matter what the day held. Here's what is in ours:

This could really come in handy after a pool day when the kids' hair is a tangled mess!


Always keep a grocery bag or a trash bag (or two!) in your car at all times. It could be a throw up bag, a bag for wet swimsuits, or even a garbage bag. Whatever it is, you'll have it when you need it and you'll be thanking yourself!

You could also have a designated “wet” bag, instead. This could be used for wet bathing suits or wet clothes after an accident. (It happens…) If you go the washable “wet” bag route, you should still keep a grocery sack or two handy for trash.


Everyone needs this basic first aid necessity. Get yourself a cute little first aid kit with some hurt-free cleaning ointment, too, because #kids… Need we say more?

Keeping essentials in the car at all times is something we strongly believe in. Check out why we think it's so important here! This summer essentials version is exactly what you need to get through the summer stress-free. Customize it to make it your own and include what YOU need!

What do you think is a must have in a summer essentials car bag? Tell us in the comments below!

Everything you need to pack in your car so that you have ALL the Summer Essentials when you need them - Fun Cheap or Free

https://funcheaporfree.com/summer-essentials/(opens in a new tab)

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1 Comment

  1. Robin Waldron

    Hi Jordan, an addition for your hair care is Suave Kids Detangler Spray – 10 Fl Oz for $2.99 or Johnsons Detangler Spray 10 Fl Oz for $3.99 which can be found at Walmart, Target, pharmacies, etc. The detangler works great for taming those unruly locks. Tip: Spray hair with detangler, gently massage fingers thru hair (starting detangling with fingers if hair is especially long), then brush or comb out, working from hair ends toward scalp. No more snarls or knots!! When I was younger, my hair length was past my waist. This saved the day!!


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