Simplify Your Family's Emergency Preparedness

Summer Car Kit Essentials:

How to be prepared on the road

summer car kit essentials collage including sunscreen, sunglasses and allergy medicines.

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Heading out on a summer road trip? Or maybe you’re like me and you’ll be zooming around between baseball practices and swim meets? Don’t hit the road without your essential summer car kit!


Whether you’re planning a long drive or playing Uber for your kids, being prepared is key to a stress-free journey. In this post, I’ll guide you through the must-have items to include in your car kit, ensuring you stay safe and prepared for any unexpected situations that may arise.


From basic roadside assistance tools to emergency supplies and comfort essentials, this comprehensive checklist will help you assemble the perfect, personalized summer car kit. It covers everything from jumper cables and a tire repair kit to a first aid kit and sun protection. Whether it’s a dead battery or a sudden need for shade, you’ll be ready to handle it all. So let’s get started and make sure your car is summer-ready!

Importance of having a summer car kit

I recently covered the essentials for an emergency car kit plus things to consider for winter and emphasized why it’s a good idea to keep seasonal items stored together. The same is true for your summer car kit. Being prepared for specific summer car emergencies makes sure you have the necessary tools to handle common roadside emergencies. 

Summertime brings its own set of challenges:


  • Extreme temperatures
  • Increased traffic
  • Potential for car breakdowns

By having a season-appropriate, well-stocked car, you can tackle these challenges head-on and minimize any disruptions to your trips.

Additionally, a DIY car kit ensures your comfort and convenience during all your travels. 

Essential items for a summer car kit

summer car kit items spread out on a beach towel.

There will be a lot of crossover with your winter car kit. Some things are just essential year-round. You’ll find those in the post I mentioned above. Here I want to highlight the must-have items for your summer car kit:

  • Engine Coolant – Summer temperatures mean there’s a higher likelihood of your engine overheating. 
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat – Maybe not the most stylish option, but a wide-brimmed hat could come in real handy if you find yourself unexpectedly in the blazing sun for hours.
  • Insect Repellent – One word…Ticks. Okay, and mosquitoes. You really don’t want to deal with bites from either.
  • Baby Powder – Works great for removing sand from little feet/hands.
  • Allergy Medications/Ointments/Epi-Pen – Outdoor allergens are just more prevalent in summer, so make sure you’ve considered your own family’s needs here.
  • Tennis Shoes – So you can swap flip flops if you need to leave on foot randomly.
  • Battery-Powered FanI LOVE this one (affiliate link). Use it for sitting at a baseball game, the waterpark, or at an outdoor reception.
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
  • Swimsuits/Water Shoes – Have you ever taken your kid to a park and find out once you’re there that it has a splash pad? Yeah, me too.
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunshade – There are a couple directions you can take this – the traditional windshield shade or this really cool one that deploys like an umbrella, but on the inside of your car (affiliate link). The latter would be great shade if you need to change a flat tire.
  • Aloe – Don’t wait until you get home to start easing the sunburn or bug bite.
  • Plastic Grocery Bags  – For storing wet clothing, dirty toys, dirt-clumped shoes, etc.
  • Hair Bag – Hair ties, detangler spray, comb/brush – just stash them all in a gallon-size Ziploc bag.
  • Beach Towels – Summer just lends itself to unexpected adventures, many of them involving water, sand, or dirt.

Remember to regularly check and replenish your car kit to ensure that all items are in good condition and within their expiration dates. This is especially important to do when you make the swap from winter to summer. A well-maintained car kit will provide you with peace of mind all summer long.

Checking and maintaining your vehicle for summer

Before hitting the road for a summer adventure, it’s important to ensure that your vehicle is in top shape. Extreme temperatures and challenging road conditions can put additional stress on your car, so taking the time to check and maintain it beforehand will prevent potential issues and breakdowns.

Tips for staying cool in your car during hot weather

Driving in hot weather can be uncomfortable and even dangerous if you don’t take the necessary precautions. Here are some tips to help you stay cool in your car during the scorching summer heat:


  1. Park in the Shade: Whenever possible, park your car in shaded areas to minimize the heat buildup inside. If shade is not available, use a sunshade on your windshield to block out the sun’s rays.
  2. Use Sunshades on Windows: In addition to the windshield, use sunshades on your side windows to reduce heat and glare.
  3. Ventilate Before Entering: Before getting into your car, roll down the windows or open the doors for a few minutes to allow the hot air to escape. This will make it easier to cool down the interior quickly.
  4. Use Air Conditioning Strategically: When you first enter your car, turn on the air conditioning and roll down the windows to let out the hot air. Once the interior has cooled down, close the windows and switch to recirculating mode to maintain a comfortable temperature.
  5. Stay Hydrated: Keep a bottle of water within reach and drink regularly to stay hydrated and cool.
  6. Use Seat Covers: Invest in seat covers that are designed to reflect heat and keep your seats cool.
  7. Dress Appropriately: Wear lightweight, breathable clothing to stay comfortable in the heat.

How to handle common summer car emergencies

Despite our best efforts, emergencies can still occur while on the road. Being prepared and knowing how to handle common summer car emergencies can make all the difference. Here’s what you need to know:

See how so many of the emergency car kit items would be helpful in these situations? You’d be well-prepared to tackle any of them. And if you need a little extra guidance (or in case nerves take over), check out this set of Car Emergency Printables for your glove compartment!

Remember to stay calm and assess the situation before taking any action. If you’re unsure about what to do, contact a professional for assistance. Being prepared and knowing how to handle these emergencies will help you stay safe and get back on the road quickly.

Time to hit the road in your well-stocked car

family sitting in car using map from their summer car kit.

Hopefully, you’re feeling good about DIY-ing your summer car kit. I mentioned this in the winter car emergency kit post, but it’s worth repeating these suggestions for how to store all of this stuff!

Was this post helpful? Did I forget anything? I’d love to hear from you! Email me at:

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