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summer go bag :: always be prepared… for fun

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Summer has officially arrived, which means that my kids and I are constantly on the go having fun and adventures. Park dates, beach days, pool parties, impromptu picnics, and last minute escapes to the lake keep us on the go between all the other activities we have scheduled. The thing is, you just never know when a picnic with friends will turn into a visit to a splash pad, or a trip to feed the fish at a park ends with a mud-coated child. I like to be prepared for the unexpected with a summer go bag and it’s all planned around extending our fun.

A few years ago I shared my original summer go bag, but today I’m rather excited to let you know how I still use the same sturdy canvas tote to now fit 4 people instead of 3! Plus, I’ve had a few years to streamline my packing. Below is my suggested list of items to stock in your summer fun go bag, but keep in mind that every family is different so think about yours and add or remove items as appropriate. I also have to note that I could not have fit all the clothing, bathing suits, and beach towels for 4 people without my travel Space Bags. You can pick them up online or in your local stores but they really do make it possible to pack a lot of stuff into a small space.

Summer Go Bag on The SIMPLE Moms Always Be Prepared for Fun!

For each person I packed

  • beach towel
  • bathing suit (not pictured, because Oops!)
  • socks
  • underwear (including sports bra for me – you never know when a kid will do something that prompts your complete change of clothing)
  • lightweight jacket/zip-up
  • shorts
  • t-shirt
  • toothbrush
  • PJs (just for the kids, this included pants in case of cold weather with adult sized t-shirts)


Summer Go Bag always prepared for Fun contents on The SIMPLE Moms
To share I packed a single

  • toothpaste
  • travel sized bodywash
  • travel sized shampoo & conditioner
  • travel sized lotion
  • sunscreen
  • bug spray (not shown but added after the photos)
  • cotton swabs
  • cotton rounds
  • hairbrush(es)
  • baby wipes
  • baby powder (good for removing dry sand from feet)
  • hair ties
  • plastic grocery bags (for dirty/wet laundry as well as emergency trash bags)
  • fully stocked first aid kit
  • spare phone charger cord and wall plug


Summer Go Bag prepared for fun Tips on The SIMPLE Moms
Stuff we needed that you may not but are also great prompts for unique items you may need

  • swim diapers
  • regular diapers
  • contacts
  • face wash, toner, and moisturizer
  • deodorant
  • pacifier with clip/bib
  • prescription medication doses (always follow any warnings or directions from your doctor/pharmacist for storage of medications and keep in mind the ages of children traveling with you – i.e. are they going to try to get in to your meds?)
  • dry bag to keep important items from getting wet or sinking if we go boating (phone, keys, wallet, etc.)


Summer Go Bag of Fun packing level expert on The SIMPLE Moms
After consolidating the above toiletries into a small bag and the clothing/towels into the Space Bags I was able to fit all of these items into a single canvas bag from Lands End and I was SUPER excited about my packing skills. Make sure the clothes are items you won’t miss if they don’t get used for a few weeks or even all summer. Any items you always keep handy during the summer months?


*I was compensated in no way for any of the above listed, or photographed, items. All opinions are my own.*

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  • Laura Gravett
    July 26, 2017 at 9:14 am

    We have a similar stash in the trunk of our car. I totally need to add a couple of things to ours now that I see your list!! I also carry a picnic blanket year-round for spontaneous picnics. It is so nice to be out and decide to scrap making dinner, stop at a market or sandwich shop, and plop down at a park for an unplanned outing! It has honestly come in handy when soccer runs longer than usual or Atlanta’s evening rush hour traffic proves to be too much to overcome…we just wait it out with a picnic and playground then zip home for baths and bedtime stories!

    • Carinn
      July 26, 2017 at 10:53 pm

      The picnic basket is a GREAT idea! I’ll have to add that to my car. Such a healthier option than grabbing fast food!