The Summer Daytrip: 1 Bag, All The Essentials

This is kind of one of those “do as I say, not as I do” posts.  I’m notoriously bad when it comes to over-packing, especially for overnight trips.  I’m one of those “better safe than sorry” folks who brings 4 pairs of underwear on an overnight trip, and a cardigan and a jean jacket even when it’s not supposed to get cooler than 80 degrees outside.  No joke, that’s how I packed for July 4th up in Lake Geneva.  However, when it comes to the summer daytrip, I’m a pro at bringing one bag and one bag only, and having all of the essentials in that single bag.  And no, it’s not one of those “is that a bodybag or a duffelbag” bags, ha!

Typically, when hubs and I take daytrips, we’re going to a pool or beach, and it requires a change of clothes and some cosmetics, along with whatever we’ll need for the day and evening. To make it easy, I’m going to show you what I usually bring for that kind of daytrip.  Obviously, if you’re not going to a beach or pool, you won’t need as much stuff, since you probably won’t be changing clothes after getting wet or sandy.

The Bag
The bag itself is pretty important.  It has to be roomy enough to pack stuff in, but still small enough so that you’re not lugging a big honkin’ thing around all day.  Totes, crossbody satchels, and backpacks are great for daytrips, and often have lots of pockets (I love pockets!).  Here are some bags that are similar to ones I have used for daytrips (or bags I’d buy for a daytrip if I decided I needed a new cute one), and they’re all under $35!

From left to right:Colorblocked Weekender, $34.80; Med Woven Satchel, $34.80; Striped Canvas Tote, $24.80; Mossimo Supply Co. Joy Woven Print Backpack, $29.99; Mossimo Supply Co. Pink Printed Canvas Foldover Tote, $29.99; The Webster at Target Cream Wallpaper Beachbag, $29.99; Bueno Weekender Bag, $34.99; Xhilaration Multi Fruit Print Backpack, $24.99

Tip: Make sure that if you’re ordering a bag online, you look at the dimensions before ordering.  Sometimes, even small bags can look roomy enough for a lot of stuff!

Shoes are always important, haha, but in the case of a daytrip, you need something that can go from beachy casual to a little nicer dinner easily.  Don’t get me wrong, heels are great and all, but who wants to drag them around all day?  Plus, they take up valuable space in your bag, which can be a pain.  Gladiator sandals, pretty flats, and even slip on boat shoes can be dressed up with the help of a cute sundress.  Here’s some fun-but-versatile footwear I’m totally digging right now, and they’re all amazingly under $25!

From top to bottom, starting on the left: Nelly Strappy Sandal, $19.99; Dakota Moc, $24.99; Cindy Woven Flat, $29.99; Maxy-01 Gladiator Open Toe Flat Sandal, $20.20; Emily Espadrille Flat, $24.99; Liliana Basic-23 Jeweled Embellished Thong Flat Sandal, $22.20; Women’s Surf Moc, $24.99; City Classified Cesar-S Fringe Thong Flat Sandal, $20.20

Extra Clothes
I’m a fan of easy-to-wear pieces that can go from poolside to a restaurant easily… but at the same time, I always make sure to bring something extra just in case something gets dirty or wet.  Plus, it’s nice to change into something fresh, especially if you have the opportunity to shower between your daytime and nighttime activities!  Dresses are by far the easiest, and often the most comfortable.  Check out these pretty summer dresses, ranging from short skirts to maxi dresses, all for under $35.

From left to right: Linen-Blend Shirtdress, $24.80; Surplice Floral Print Maxi Dress, $27.80; Women’s Jersey Tank Maxi Dresses, $34.94; Xhilaration Juniors Sleeveless Dress, $24.99; Sheer Southwest High-Low Dress, $22.80; Merona Women’s V-Neck Cap Sleeve Stripe Value Dress, $19.99; Xhilaration Juniors Back Dress, $18.00; Mossimo Supply Co. Juniors V-Neck Skater Dress, $20.00

Tip: If you’re not a fan of dresses, a romper or jumpsuit is another easy-to-wear and comfortable, yes easy to dress up, option.

Accessories can make or break an outfit, and are definitely the key to dressing up an outfit and making it pop.  Having a few key accessories for the beach or pool, as well as some for later, can help change things up a little, and can also help dress up a simple look.  Hats and hair accessories can also double up–keeping you cool and (in the case of hats) helping shade your face from damaging UV rays.  Here are some great accessories you can use to take your look from simple to fab, both poolside and out to dinner.

From left to right: Mossimo Supply Co. Tan Solid Fedora with Floral Trim, $12.99; The Webster at Target Navy Stripe Hat, $19.99; Merona Red Audrey Floppy Bow Hat, $14.99; Beaded Rosette Hair Clip, $3.80; Boho Fringe Hair Elastic, $2.80; Abstract Polka Dot Headwrap, $3.80; Multi-Color Seed-Bead Necklace, $16.94; Mustache Chain Necklace, $12.94; Beaded Tribal Necklace, $8.80; Filigree Pearlescent Necklace, $6.80; Wing Chain Necklace, $5.80; Geo Cutout Necklace, $9.80; F6805 Aviator Sunglasses, $5.80; F7375 Sunglasses, $5.80; F9303 Square Sunglasses, $5.80; Xhilaration Women’s Round Bracelet Watch, $12.99

Tip: To avoid losing jewelry at the beach or pool, secure it in a plastic baggie an inside zipper pocket of your bag, and make sure that pocket is reserved only for jewelry.

Beauty Products
The right beauty products are important, but even more important is the right protection.  When I go anywhere over the summer, I make sure I bring my own sunscreen for my face and body, as well as protection for my lips (I bring a balm for daytime and a gloss for nighttime).  Last summer I started using more gentle sunscreen on my face, and a stronger SPF, and it worked well for me.  I also bring leave-in conditioner and a detangling comb (now that my hair is getting long), along with a home-made beachy spray that works nice with my hair when it’s wet.  I bring a very small selection of versatile cosmetics too, so I can freshen up before heading out, and that’s it!  My cosmetics go in a travel cosmetics bag, while the rest I just toss at the bottom of my oversize bag.

From left to right: Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunblock Lotion SPF 60+, $9.99; up & up Continuous Spray Sport SPF 50, $6.59; Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner, $14.95; Conair Wide Tooth Comb, $2.99; DIY Beach Hair SpraySoftlips Vanilla w/SPF 20, $2.99; Murad Vitalic Energizing Pomegranate Lip Protector SPF 15, $17.00; CoverGirl Lash Blast 24 Hour Mascara, $8.99; NARS The Multiple (in Orgasm), $39.00; e.l.f. Essential Shine Eraser, $1; Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes, $6.49

Tip: If you’re worried about bottles leaking, toss ’em into a couple plastic bags from the grocery store.  You can then use one of the bags later for your wet swimsuit.

So there you have it… everything you need for a daytrip to the beach or pool in one bag!
It seems like a lot, but it’s really not.  Or do you pack even lighter for a daytrip?  Let me know in the comments!

13 comments for “The Summer Daytrip: 1 Bag, All The Essentials

  1. July 5, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Love the tips, where have you been all my life?
    They make so much sense, will “try” to follow them on my next day trip.

  2. July 5, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Haha thanks! I hope they work for you… Come back Nd let me know!

  3. July 6, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    I am always taking little weekend trips and now I have gotten the packing down to an exact science. Everyone always makes fun of me because I pack my things in a fun over-sized purse and am ready to go. Great tips! – Katy

  4. July 6, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    I always pack my shampoos/lotions etc in plastic bags because when you don’t, they inevitably leak. Thanks for the tips.

  5. July 6, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    They make fun of you for using a cute bag?! That’s silliness!

  6. July 6, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Love the dresses! By the way, you won the Pretty Practical giveaway on my blog. Come check it out here!

  7. July 6, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    YAY!!! <3

  8. July 6, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    I love the way you laid each section out with the essentials. We don’t do a lot of day trips, but I could see this working for our first day at Walt Disney World. Usually, we get to Orlando before our room is ready, so packing my essentials bag would mean having everything I needed for the day by the pool.


  9. July 6, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Definitely a great idea to bring everything you need in one easy-to-grab bag so that you can store your luggage away without missing something! Have fun in Disney!!

  10. July 6, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Cute dresses! I need to find a great Maxi!

  11. Mel
    July 6, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    What great tips! I love all your dresses! Gorgeous!!

  12. July 18, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Great tips! I am a *horrible* over-packer; must see if I can apply some of these same ideas to weekend bags.

  13. July 19, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    Let me know how it goes!

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