Summer’s here—and you definitely know it. The air conditioner is blasting, the kids shriek with joy as they play outside, and you’re gearing up for a season full of fun, adventures, and some much-needed downtime. As you gear up for all that the coming months are sure to inevitably bring, it’s a good idea to be prepared with some basic essentials. Editing the contents of your bag is the best way to make sure that you’re ready for anything.
How many times have you been caught without something that you desperately needed? When you do a little bag revision in preparation for summer, you’ll never have to deal with that issue again. The essentials you toss inside your purse or canvas tote bag can make all the difference to your comfort throughout the season. Here are four of the most important pieces to consider adding now.
You don’t really think much about layering in the summertime—with good reason, of course. Rarely do people actually want to wear cardigans and jackets when the mercury skyrockets. The only time you might think about it is if conditions are unseasonably cool or if the wind picks up when you’re out in the evening. Those are precisely the reasons you may want to keep something light in your bag that you can throw on at a moment’s notice.
Tissue-weight cardigans are ideal for this purpose. They’re so light they almost feel gauzy and filmy, not thick and woolly. You won’t regret having one handy since they’ll provide an instant barrier against the sudden coolness without overwhelming you with warmth. Plus, they’re especially easy to slide into any bag without taking up too much space. If the wind picks up on date night or when you’re out with the family, you’ll be grateful you thought to pack this little number.
Don’t leave home without your sunscreen in the summer. It’s a good idea to keep some type of sunblock on you at all times, whether it’s a stick that you can conveniently rub into your skin at a moment’s notice or a bottle if you’re hitting the beach with the family. The bottom line is that it’s more than an essential—it’s a must for combatting those potent UVA and UVB rays that could otherwise increase your chances of burns and skin conditions.
Because the heat can also compromise your comfort and leave you feeling sticky, it’s smart to keep a hair tie or a headband handy, so you can push your strands out your face or pull your mane back into a ponytail or braid. Other beauty musts to toss inside anything from a hobo bag to a canvas tote purse include lip balm with SPF, hand cream, sanitizer, and wipes so you can quickly freshen up when you’re on the go.
If you’re headed to the beach with the family, don’t forget the towels—and don’t limit it to just one, either. While a couple of large beach towels are a must if you’re going to relax on the sand and dip your feet in the water, you may also find it necessary to pack along extra towels for assorted reasons if you’re traveling with children. Even if you don’t have to journey a long way, you’ll find it’s much better to be over-prepared than caught without an extra towel.
A couple of washcloths, for example, are good to stash inside each kid’s beach tote along with their beach towels. They can use these to wipe down their faces after they eat, for example, or even when in the car snacking during the road trip. As a parent, you never know when your littlest one will spit up or make a mess that requires a towel. Always err on the side of caution for your own comfort.
Whether you’re headed to the actual beach or to the lake, or even a water park, you don’t want to be caught without some kind of cover-up that you can toss on over a bathing suit. The beauty of modern cover-ups is that they’re so much more versatile than the sheer and flimsy pieces of the old days. These contemporary styles take your warm-weather style in an entirely different direction.
What to pick? Have some fun! If you’re at the shore and want to make a quick transition from the beach to the boardwalk, why not add a maxi or midi length swimsuit cover-up to your bag? You can toss it on over your bikini or tankini and look instantly pulled together in minutes. These styles look great with anything, from flip-flops to sandals, and you can even add a statement necklace or a bracelet if you want to quickly dress up your outfit.
The essentials can clearly make all the difference—not just to your comfort but also to your family. If you happen to be the fix-it person for everyone, you probably have a lot of these items stashed inside your bag already. Being prepared is always a plus, especially during the balmy summer months.