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8 Things Parents Should Pack In Their Swim Bag This Summer

The warm weather means beach vacations, relaxing poolside and wading through the water park. It also means toting your tot and all their stuff from place to place, hoping that everything doesn’t get soaked by every splish and splash.

Before you pack up the car, you need to pack your bag — your swim bag that is. What should you stash in your swim sack for a day of beach or pool play? Check out the must-have’s that will make a summer day of aqua awesomeness even better.


This is an absolute for any outdoor adventure. Whether you’re spending half an hour sitting poolside or swimming for the entire day, your whole family needs a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher. Oh, but don’t just bring along one sunscreen. Pack a spray for quick application and a stick for delicate areas such as your child’s face and ears.

Hats and Glasses

Even though sunscreen can protect your kiddo’s skin, a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses add extra protection that you’ll welcome. And bonus, the hat and glasses combo makes for some pretty cute pics. Snap a few photos of your shady lady or glasses-loving guy and add them to a summer-time family photo book.

Extra Suit

You’re half-way through your pool day when rip — your little one’s swimsuit sustains non-recoverable damage. You could pack the day away and head home early. Or you could pull the second suit out of your bag and keep the family-fun going. Even if your kiddo doesn’t have a swimwear calamity, they can pull a cute costume change part way through their day. This gives them a chance to dry off and gives you a totally new photo op too!


It’s only been five minutes, but the kids are clamoring for something to eat. Even though they ate lunch half an hour ago, they’re ready to hit the snack bar. Forget about the pricey treats and save your bank account by bringing your own snacks along. Stash fruits, ice cream, bottles of water and even more mini refreshments in your swim bag for an energy recharge in between swimming and water-filled play.


The soaking wet swimsuit shouldn’t have to sit next to your cell phone, snacks, sandwiches and everything else in your swim sack. Instead of tossing everyone’s suits into your tot’s tote, pack a plastic zipper baggie. Zip the wet items into the bag, keeping their damp drips away from everything else.

Dry Clothes

Even though your little one plans on spending the majority of the day in the water, they might want to dry off at some point. Maybe they want to play at the park that borders the community pool or take a stroll down the beach’s boardwalk. Whether you’re headed out immediately after your pool/beach day, you’d rather not soak the car’s upholstery, or you know that your kiddo will throw a royal tantrum if they have to stay in their wetsuit for one more moment than they want to. A change of dry clothes can more than come in handy.


Board books can keep the kiddos busy when they aren’t in the water. And unlike your phone or a tablet, they won’t fry if someone accidentally splashes them. Bring your child’s favorite stories along for the day or take a photo board book that you made of last year’s swim-filled summer.

Your Phone

Okay, okay so you want this to be a tech-free day. And that’s fine. But in case of an emergency, you need a way to contact the outside world. While using your phone to text and email isn’t adding to your family bonding time, you can use your device to play paparazzi and photograph the sun-soaked swimming day!