25 Things to Keep in the Car – Summer Fun with Kids


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To make summer outings with kids easier and more fun, here’s a list of 25 Things to Keep in the Car. Let’s be prepared for whatever little catastrophes might happen. Because let’s just face it, some drama always happens every time we leave the house!

25 Things to keep in the car for summer travel and for an organized summer fun with kids #letstalkbums #sp

It’s pretty safe to say that I am not an organized person by nature. Chaos and mess seem to rule my life – and I have to work hard to maintain any attempt at organization that I am able to devise. One of the things I love most about blogging is that it encourages me to move outside my comfort zone and get better at at things like organization. I’m not gonna lie to you – I’m a huge work in progress.

I’m pretty happy right now, though.  I have a secret little compartment in the back of my car all packed up with useful things to keep me prepared for disasters that always seem to find me!

25 Things to Keep in the Car for Organized Summer Fun with Kids

25 Things to keep in the car for summer travel and for an organized summer fun with kids #letstalkbums #sp
First Aid Supplies

While I do have a smaller kit in my purse, invariably, one of my four kids gets a scrape or a bite or some type of first aid problem which needs more attention than the simple bandaid or neosporin. This kit is very important!

Things to keep in the car for summer travel and for an organized summer.
  • Nail clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Bandaids – bandaids make everything better, don’t they? I stock a lot of different sizes and styles to keep the littles happy – big ones, little ones, butterflies, patterned, and plain.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – I’ve got this in a spray bottle for wound cleaning. My super smart friend Chantal suggested in {and  lot of the other items on this list too!}
  • Ibuprofen for adults – hubs is always asking me for motrin so I threw in some for him too.
  • Ibuprofen for kids – we don’t use this a lot, but sometimes it comes in handy.
  • Calendula cream – for all kinds of needs. I like to use this in place petroleum jelly
  • Arnica gel – for bruises
  • Homeopathic remedies (I’ve got a little kit that includes my favorites like arnica and belladonna, as well as a small book which lists which remedy works best for which ailment). 
  • Neosporin – also for wound cleaning

For dirty kids {tell me I’m not the only person whose kids get seriously dirty…}

25 Things to Keep in the Car - Summer Fun with Kids #sp #LetsTalkBums
  • Change of clothes
  • Towels
  • Hats
  • Plastic bags from the store  for dirty or wet stuff
  • Reusable grocery bag for quick trips in the store
  • Thieves oil – I just never know when I might find myself in a germ infested situation where I might like to give my kids a little protection.  If you haven’t tried Thieves Oil, I highly recommend it! It’s great for helping us all ward of illness.

Miscellaneous supplies…

Things to keep in the car for summer travel and for an organized summer.
  • Bug spray – we’ve got a nice natural version that’s made locally. It smells like vanilla and is wonderful and effective!
  • Sunscreen – seriously important for me as well as my ginger babies.
  • Snacks – someone is ALWAYS hunger, but I stock a box of cliff bars for emergencies only…
  • Water – we have water bottles in the front, but someone always run out. I stock a couple extra water bottles just in case.
  • Phone charger (Am I the only one whose chargers always stop working?? I have no idea what’s up with my chargers but I always have to use new cords.)
  • Camera battery charger (It’s Murphy’s Law that my camera always ends up with a dead battery and no SD card when I most need it…)
  • Extra SD card

And finally, for bathroom problems… {we all know public restrooms are absolutely disgusting!}

  • A couple rolls of Toilet Paper – wellll…do you have TP in your car? Sometimes, the kids just have to go – public restroom or no public restroom!
  • Flushable Cleansing Cloths On-The-Go Soft Pack – there’s nothing worse than having a dirty mess to clean up and nothing to get the job done. I love that these cloths are alcohol free and safe for flushing! The wet/dry combo of the TP combined with the cleansing cloths on the go is very helpful in certain dirty situations, for sure!
25 Things to Keep in the Car #LetsTalkBums

When it’s all said and done and everything is packaged up very nicely – this is what the secret little compartment in the back of my car looks like! Now I’m ready for whatever summer throws at me!

What do you keep in your car that I forgot??

If you liked this post, here are a few more you may like:

Top Must Haves for Adults in the Summer

5 Easy Tips for Keeping Your Car Clean – especially if your kids are slobs

What to bring along for ultimate camping fun

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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  1. Love this post. I can’t believe I haven’t made a kit like this yet…..I would feel so much more at ease when on the road!

  2. Good tips, especially the toilet paper ones. It never fails, my kids have to go in the middle of nowhere in rural Iowa!

  3. Great post Michelle. I have heard of Thieves oil lately. What exactly do you use it for? Your kids aren’t the only ones who get dirty. My youngest is a dirt magnet. I have a chance of clothes just for him where ever we go.

    1. Nicky, we primarily use the thieves oil in the winter – but it’s also great for travel or when you go somewhere nasty (airplanes etc). I put a little in some sort of carrier lotion and then put it on my kids’ feet. We call it tickle cream. They love it!

  4. I ALWAYS have a roll of TP in the car- and I LOVE those flushable wipes !! I seriously cannot live without them! This is was great post- lots of great tips and of course, CUTE KIDS

  5. what a great idea to just keep a tub packed in the car… I love it!! And yes, my kids are dirty all the time too! ;o)

  6. Great list of items! I keep a first aid kit, work gloves, contact lens case, antibacterial wipes and a few other things. Love your list!

    1. Thanks, Nicole! My kit will change in the winter to include blankets and gloves etc! None of use wear contacts so we can skip that, but that’s probably a great thing to keep in your car as well! 🙂

  7. Wow! You’re sure prepared! All of these items sound like very useful things to keep in your car. I’ll have to look into Thieves oil.