Hobbies on a budget: Things You Need to Keep in the Car for Summer

By Sharon Williams

Contributing columnist 

Whether you are planning a trip to the beach, heading out for a day at the park or just running errands around town, there are several things everyone needs to keep in their vehicle and should stay there all summer long. Then no matter where you end up, you will be ready for a fun day with the family.

Bag chairs: Bag chairs don’t take up much space but they can sure be handy at events. You may need them for a quick fishing trip, cook out, company picnic or for extra seating at a friend’s barbecue.

First aid kit: We keep a can of bug spray and a first aid kit in the car all summer long. This is one of those things you don’t want to wish you had. If you find yourself out catching lightning bugs at the park or ball field, you’ll be glad you have this. 

A travel first aid kit should be stocked with Bandaids, tweezers for splinters and some first aid ointment. Some people like to keep sunscreen in their car as well, but be careful with this. Sunscreen will melt and make a mess.  You may want to purchase some sunscreen travel packs that you can use in emergencies instead.

Cooler bag: Even if you’re just planning a quick trip to the grocery, the car gets hot fast. Ice cream melts and meat can spoil very quickly in the summer heat. Keep a collapsible cooler bag in the back of your vehicle so you will be ready for any grocery runs.

GPS or map: If you’re like us, you never know when you’re going to go on an unplanned road trip. Keep the GPS or map in the vehicle ready for an adventure. Though we love our GPS we still make sure to keep a current state map in the glove compartment just in case the roads aren’t on GPS.

Blanket: Yes, I know it’s hot outside, but it can often get cold in the vehicles for some members of the family —- especially if they get sunburned from a day outside. Keep a small throw blanket in the back just in case someone is cooler than the rest of the family.

Paper towels and plastic bag: People generate trash and travelers seem to make even more than normal. I keep a roll of paper towels and a plastic grocery bag stashed inside the car door pocket. This way I have a plan to clean up messes and collect garbage. You can buy small rolls of trash bags that fit the small trash cans. These would be perfect to keep in the car as well — plus they would smell good when you opened them up.

Charging cords: Most families have devices and phones that we rely on. Make life easier by keeping an extra cord, USB charger and even a plugin adaptor for each of the main devices you rely on. That way you will never be caught without a full charge and connection to the outside world. We keep these cords and adaptors in the glove compartment and never take them out of the car.

Bonus things to consider: Do you have common medicines that you rely on? Should you keep an extra bottle of antacids, pain reliever or head ache medicines in the car? What about an extra flashlight, feminine care products for emergencies or loose change? Think about the things you regularly need and then put an extra back up in the car so you are always ready for whatever comes.

Is your vehicle stocked with these important things? What else do you keep in the car during the summer months? I’d love to hear.

For more ideas on hobbies and life, check out Hobbies on a Budget (www.hobbiesonabudget.com)