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Have Bag, Will Travel (or Go to the Beach, or the Park, or on a Picnic)

Posted By Jessica Fisher On April 19, 2010 @ 1:32 am In Homekeeping,Memory Making,Parenting and Family,Summertime,Travel | 71 Comments

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Now’s the season for getting out and about. The weather is warming up. Spring fever has hit.

During Springtime, the outdoors positively beckons you to load up the family and head out for adventure.

But, do you ever find yourself…

  • at the beach or other fun locale, and the weather turns cold, and tshirts and shorts just won’t cut it?
  • on a family field trip at a location where budget-friendly meals are a foreign concept?
  • at the park for an impromptu outing and find that you have no balls or toys in the car?
  • on a road trip without sufficient activities for the kids to amuse themselves with?
  • on your way to a faraway special event only to find out that someone made it into the car without any shoes?

{FishMama waves one hand while shamefully covering her eyes with the other.}

This has happened to us more times than I can count. And I can count pretty high. Though I was once a Girl Scout, I often find myself woefully unprepared. And that’s a bummer when you want to be out with the family having a good time.

The last thing you want to do is shiver in the cold, buy your kid new shoes when she has five pairs at home, or pay through the nose for a mediocre sandwich.

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A few months ago, FishPapa and I started brainstorming the Bag Idea.

The Idea was that we would create lists of the things we might like to have on an outing and then create bags to hold all these items. Then, we’d try to keep the bags packed and ready to go at all times.

Well, an idea is only as good as its execution. We’d had this great idea, but didn’t put feet to it. And all of the above scenarios have happened since we conjured up the Bag Idea.

FishMama says no more!

I’ve got my lists, I’ve packed my bags, and I even made cute little tags to go with, so that when it’s time to repack the bag, we know what should go into it. We’re ready to hit the road — whether it be a road trip, the day at the beach, playtime at the park, or a simple picnic. And, Lord willing, we’ll be prepared!

Have Bag, Will Travel

You can easily do this yourself [5].

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1. Gather your bags. I found some on clearance and others were discovered in dejunking some of my closets. We decided to use bags with zippers or closures instead of tote bags since a certain someone [7] in the family has a tendency to undo a lot of my hard work. Zippers won’t prevent her from digging in, but they should slow her down.

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2. Print your lists. Getting feedback from FishPapa and the grammas, I jotted down all the things that I thought we might need on a certain outing. For instance, on the ideal picnic, some things that I would like to regularly have would include: tablecloth, napkins, cups, plates, straws, plastic ware, bread knife, sunscreen, bug spray, and hand wipes. I made lists for the beach, playtime at the park, picnicking, roadtrips, as well as for a snack bag and a spare-change-of-clothes bag, “just in case.”

I printed these two-sided lists on colorful paper, cut them out, and then laminated them in self laminating luggage tags [9]. No, this is not necessary, but I thought they were cute this way and I know they will be durable. The tags I used also came with plastic loops making it super easy to hang them on the bags when I was done.

If you have access to a laminating machine, you could do it that way. And metal rings or ribbon should work just as well as luggage tags. And if you’d like to give our lists a go, I made them into a free Bag Tags printable [10], available to you for your personal use. Have fun with them and let me know how they work for you.

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3. Gather your stuff. Having recently sorted through the kids’ clothes helped me locate swimsuits and extra sweatshirts. Knowing what was in my stockpile made it easier to collect sunscreens and bugsprays and to know what I needed to go buy, too. So, this is an excellent activity to keep in mind as you declutter your home [12].

Below is the park play bag, including a football, insect repellent, sunscreen, bubbles, a kite, and an airplane toy that really flies. Most of these were items we already had that I consolidated so that we’re prepared next time we head out.

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4. Assemble your bags. This part is a test of your skill at spatial relationships. I had to repack and reassign different bags because things didn’t fit easily. If you can, have extra bags handy in case some just don’t work for your purpose.

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5. Store bags in an easily accessible place. I chose one of the foyer closets. Most of the bags fit on the top shelf, another hangs from the bar and the last sits on the floor. Since it’s on our way out the door, this closet is easy to get to, perfect for an outing.

I’m hoping that having supplies at the ready will help our family enjoy the great outdoors and other adventures a little bit more this season.

What do you do to stay organized and prepared for adventure?


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[3] Image: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/04/have-bag-will-travel-or-go-to-the-beach-or-the-park-or-on-a-picnic.html/park

[4] Image: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/04/have-bag-will-travel-or-go-to-the-beach-or-the-park-or-on-a-picnic.html/flip-flops

[5] do this yourself: http://asoftplace.net

[6] Image: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/04/have-bag-will-travel-or-go-to-the-beach-or-the-park-or-on-a-picnic.html/bags-1

[7] a certain someone: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/01/pantry-challenge-how-we-did.html/january-044

[8] Image: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/04/have-bag-will-travel-or-go-to-the-beach-or-the-park-or-on-a-picnic.html/bag-tags

[9] self laminating luggage tags : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002Q0YD28?ie=UTF8&tag=oflwtf-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B002Q0YD28

[10] a free Bag Tags printable: http://lifeasmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Bag-Tags.pdf

[11] Image: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/04/have-bag-will-travel-or-go-to-the-beach-or-the-park-or-on-a-picnic.html/bags-3

[12] as you declutter your home: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/04/the-spring-clean-along-battling-clutter.html

[13] Image: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/04/have-bag-will-travel-or-go-to-the-beach-or-the-park-or-on-a-picnic.html/bag-packed

[14] Image: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/04/have-bag-will-travel-or-go-to-the-beach-or-the-park-or-on-a-picnic.html/bags-on-shelf

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