What should be in my summer to-go bag? Well, that depends on who the bag's for. Just you? Kids? Pets? Keep that in mind while packing up. We're going to talk on the basis that this bag is for you alone, and you can add in what others might need along the way. It's summer, which means the sun is out! So, we'll likely want protection in the form of a hat, sunglasses and/or sunblock. If you're grabbing and going for outdoor activities, like the beach or a picnic, feel free to throw in a water bottle, a hair rubber band and maybe even a beach or gym towel. If you're really active, toss in an extra change of clothes while you're at it. And, of course, keep personal care in mind: gum, snacks or medicine are good ideas to toss in with your basic first aid kit (bandages and the like) and a bottle of hand sanitizer or baby wipes.
How big should this bag be? Again, it depends on how many you're packing for. But, try to keep it manageable. Over-sized beach bags are called over-sized for a reason! Keep it large enough to hold what you'll need, but small enough that you can carry it along with a purse, picnic basket, bike helmet or diaper bag. This is the bag I'm using this summer:
It's available at Target, in a variety of colors/patterns. I have one in a multi-color stripe. It's large enough that when I went to the beach a few days ago, I had room for my wallet, phone, ear buds, gum, a snack, water bottle, beach towel, change of clothes, magazine, book, sunblock and sunglasses! It fit tons!
Where to keep this wonder-bag? Well, it depends on how often you'll grab for it, who's grabbing for it and what kind of entry/exit space you have. If you have hooks or cubbies near your door, hang it in there for easy access and easy put-away. Otherwise, stash it in a closet near by. If you know it will be a rare occasion to grab your summer bag, then keeping it in a linen or bedroom closet is fine, too. Just make sure it doesn't get buried under clothes and towels!