Summer is such a casual time. The sun is out, the shoes are off, and plans come together seemingly at the last minute. You can (and should) be ready to grab and go – anytime, anywhere – by packing a bag stocked with the essentials. And what "the essentials" are, of course, depends on what you like to do this time of year.
So while we definitely think everyone should have a summer bag switch ready at the helm, your summer bag all depends on your personality.
The Beach Bum
If you're within 30 miles of an ocean or lakeshore, you'll want to keep a bag stocked with sun-ready essentials to make your day at the beach, well, a day at the beach. That means sunscreen, a towel and a waterproof phone case. It's also not a bad idea to throw a pair of cheap sunglasses in there as a backup (the ones here in our bag are The Sweethome's favorite affordable pair).
BAG: Canvas Bike to the Beach Bag, $175
ESSENTIALS: ZeroUV Polarized Sunglasses, $10.99 / Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Hair Cream, $6.79 / Neutrogena Clear Face Sunblock Lotion, $5.96 / LifeProof iPhone 6 Waterproof Case, $39.99 / L.L. Bean Seaside Beach Towel, $29.50 / The Beverly Hills Slim Portable Power Charger, $24
The Playful Park-Goer
A day at the park, with in kids in tow (or not), is your idea of perfection. Be ready with music and activities for them, and some vino for you. If you have a corkscrew and unbreakable glasses already stocked, all you need to do is grab a bottle (from the pantry, or the corner store), toss it into this bag, and throw the bag over your shoulder.
BAG: L.L. Bean Boat and Tote Bag, $29.95
ESSENTIALS: Fouta Beach Towel, $48 / Discraft Chameleon Sport Disc, $10 / Packable Silicone Wine Glasses, $12.97 for 2 / Brass Anchor Corkscrew, $24 / Bose Soundlink Bluetooth Speaker, $116.99 / Travel Backgammon and Checkers Game Bag, $58
When kayaking, camping or climbing could be on the docket any given day, you'll need a sturdy travel backpack stocked with sporty gear (and maybe a first aid kit). A collapsible hat and sunscreen keeps you protected from the elements, and Chums sunglass holders keeps your sunnies protected from you losing them.
BAG: Osprey Farpoint 55 M/L Travel Backpack, $179.95
ESSENTIALS: Brooks Seattle Collapsible Hat, $29.99 / Chums Neoprene Eyewear Retainer, $10.55 / Othello Yoga Mat, $60 / Mizu V6 Camp Vibes Water Bottle, $39 / REI Day Hiker First Aid Kit, $13.50 / NO-AD Sport Sunscreen, $15