I like to travel light. I feel like purses and packs weigh me down. So when I was pregnant with my oldest son (a decade ago!), I made up my mind that I was going to keep things as simple as possible when out with the baby. One extra diaper and some wipes is all you really need, right?
Fast forward to when the baby is about six months old. I’m babysitting my three nieces (all under twelve), pop the baby into a carrier, and embark on a woodland adventure. I want this blog to be a pleasant space, so I won’t get graphic – but just imagine all of your nightmares coming out of a baby’s body – in the middle of wilderness with three preteen girls who would never be the same.
Friends, lessons were learned that day. So, while I would still prefer to be unencumbered by the many accessories that accompany parenthood, I’ve come to realize that an ounce of preparedness equals a pound of peace.
With that in mind, I’ve taken to making “bins” filled with essentials for every occasion (or at least all the occasions I can think of). Since summer has officially arrived, I’d like to share my Summer Essentials Bin. We keep this by our door and pop it into the car if we’re going to be away from home for any length of time. Here’s what we keep inside:
- tote bag
- bug repellent (aerosol cans explode in extreme temperatures, so lotion might be a better option if it will be a hot day)
- wet wipes (for cleaning hands, faces, and the dirtiest place in the world – kids’ seats in the car)
- changes of clothes for each of the kids *see note*
- sweatshirts in case the weather changes
- flipflops for all (great in case tennies get wet)
- extra socks (for places like indoor play areas that require socks)
- wet bag or big zip-top bags for wet things
- activity book
- notebook drawing, tic-tac-toe, and list making
- colored pencils
- a book (or five)
- a little bit of cash
- a pair of kids’ safety scissors (because not being able to get off a waterproof wristband makes me lose all my chill)
- first aid kit
- antibacterial ointment
- ice pack
- If you really want to be a superstar, put some blister guards in there. I hope you’ll never need them, but if you do, you’ll be so glad you have them.
*Note* – If I’m being honest with myself and who I am inside, I should probably toss and extra t-shirt in there for myself. We went strawberry picking the other day and I got so much strawberry juice on myself that I looked like I was an extra in The Godfather.
In a related, but different department, my husband likes to keep a rotating assortment of these things in the trunk:
- soccer ball
- tennis balls and rackets
- beach ball (deflated until it’s go-time)
- ball pump
- old blanket for picnics
- travel/soft water bowl for the dog
These are the things we’ve thought of so far, but I know we’ve got to be missing some great ideas! I’d love to hear what you always make sure to have along for summer adventures! Putting our heads together we can be prepared for everything this summer will throw at us! Have a beautiful, fun, sunshiney, and safe summer everyone!