Luckily I’ve never been stuck up a creek without a paddle…wait a minute, actually I have! But that’s another story, for another time.
Being at a beach without a towel is like being stuck up a creek without a paddle.
I can’t even remember how many times I’ve wished I had a ball… or a towel… or a bandaid in my car! Well, this summer I vowed to change that. I will never again pass up a beach opportunity because we don’t have bathing suits and towels. Or suffer through the relentless whining of bored children.
Last summer I even told myself, “You should keep a ball in the car.” Yet, I never managed to remember to put one in.
Inspiration finally struck me this year, with the idea to pack a summer survival tote.
Now if I can just remember to put it in the car…
As I started gathering things to include in my summer survival tote, I kept coming up with more and more brilliant items as I walked around my house.
A large blanket was number 1 because you never know when the picnic mood will strike. Towels and a pop-up beach tent were next, for those times when your little one (or you!) needs to grab a bit of shade. “Extra bathing suits, extra underwear…why not? Bandaids! Great idea! Oh! May as well have an antibiotic ointment too!”
The list just keeps going. Use whatever you already have and what your kids like or check out this list for some inspiration.
Summer Survival Tote
Essential items for your Summer Survival Tote:
- Large Blanket
- Pop-up beach tent
- Fun beach towels or any towels will do
- Blow up floatie or boat
- Sand toys
- Balls like a soccer ball or blow up balls that take up less space
- Quality sunscreen (This one is important, see my note below)
- Bathing suits for the kids and maybe you too! I’m also a fan of UV protective shirts and big fan of Carter’s stuff
- Bucket hats, sun hats, or baseball hats
- Extra underwear and socks
- Swim diaper / Diaper / Pull-up
- Water guns
- Tissues / Bandaids / Antibiotic ointment
- A couple books
- Paper plates / utensils / napkins
- Also VERY important…SNACKS!
I am a huge proponent of making small changes wherever I can to help me and my family live healthier lives. The little things add up and simple changes can make a big impact.
Choosing a natural sunscreen is an important and simple change that you can make easily. Natural means mineral or plant based. So look for ingredients like Zinc and Titanium, or Raspberry Seed Oil. Avoid chemical and synthetic ingredients, like oxybenzone and parabens. Think about it… Sunscreen goes all over your skin, which your skin then absorbs into your body.
Quality, natural sunscreens can be found at local health food stores usually, but are usually cheaper on Amazon.
These are some of my favorites:
Badger All Natural Sunscreen
Badger Balm Lavender, Badger Balm Chamomile and Calendula
Coolest thing ever… Badger Face Stick – for quick and easy application to nose and cheeks!
Aveeno Sensitive Skin
Banana Boat Natural Reflect Lotion
Don’t forget your lips! Badger Lip Balm Sun Stick
Remember to replenish your tote throughout the summer. Add new items to change it up.
Find a tote you are sure will fit in your trunk and pack accordingly. Bonus if you have an SUV.
Keep your sunscreen and snacks in a box near your front door, ready to grab as you head out. Sunscreen and snacks are best not left in the car!
Yes, I’ve included a lot of affiliate links in this post… but I put a lot of effort and research into it! Many of the items you will already have… like extra bathing suits and underwear. You can search your favorite dollar store or second-hand store for some of the items, but sometimes Amazon offers better prices, especially for the sunscreen.
For more on sunscreen or for recipes to make your own if you’re feeling ambitious, visit Wellness Mama, one of my favorite places on the internet.
Check out the EWG’s Guide to Sunscreen. They also have lots of great articles and resources. You can search any sunscreen or product (like make-up, helloooo, it goes on your skin!) to see how it measures up.
There you have it…
Your summer survival tote is ready! Now go put it in your car.
Did you think of anything I forgot?
Let me know!