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Summer Tourist Day Bag

Summer is the most popular time to head out to a Central Florida theme park, festival, fair, concert, or a number of other tourist destinations. We’re sharing what we take with us when we’re in full tourist mode to help us endure the Florida summer elements. We found these items on Amazon.

Get A Comfortable, Dedicated Tourist Bag

All of our favorite “Day Bag” products were purchased on Amazon!

Ditch lugging around your day-to-day purses and bags for a dedicated more travel-friendly option. We pay special attention to reviews and look for bags with a weather resistant material that won’t stick to skin and clothes, making it feel even hotter outside than it already is.

MIni Backpacks

They are like a pumped up purse or a not so clunky traditional backpack. Mini backpacks are all the rage right now because they are light, more comfortable to wear, allow us to be hands free, and come in a range of styles from cute to luxury branded.

Belt Bags

Wether you call them a “belt bag,” “belly bag,” or “waist bag” …yeah, they’re just fancy new ways of saying “fanny packs.” You know them, you love them. They’re the original travel-friendly and hands-free way to be!

Crossbody/Messenger Bags

These bags are great for storing lots of things without the strain of a backpack, but stays put more than a traditional shoulder purse or tote. The little pockets make for built in organizing too.

Our favorite Summer Tourist bags? For theme parks, a Loungefly mini backpack is our go-to bag. They are small enough to manage all day in the park without needing a locker, yet still spacious enough to carry A LOT of necessities, souvineers, and even items (like phones/sunglasses) for others in our group. For general travel, our top pick is a lower profile Vera Bradley cotton crossbody purse. Those bags are perfect for solo adventurers and non-theme park vacationing.

Think SMALL Attachments

Mini carabiners attach items like water bottles, umbrellas, hats, and even bags of souvenirs to your day bag, keeping them ready at a moment’s notice.

Attachable mini water bottles. Having purchased several, our favorite is a mini collapsible sports bottle with a carabiner. It’s made of squishy silicone and is so light we barely know it’s there. We typically bring it empty and fill it at various water bottle stations we find during the day. We’ve also packed it with nothing but ice before we leave so that it’s a source of melting cold water for hours. Remember, whichever bottle you choose, you’ll be lugging it around all day, so small and light is the key.

Attachable mini hand sanitizer. It’s hot and sweaty out there. Keeping this easily accessible will ensure you use it when you should. We prefer the pretty styles and scents from Bath and Body Works. The quality of the bottle and attachment is durable and we’ve never lost one yet!

What’s IN Our Day Bag?

Sunscreen – BRING. THE. SUNSCREEN. You think you won’t need it, but it’s Florida, in the summertime, and you absolutely will need it! Find a small travel bottle(s) of good smelling breathable sunscreen that is rated 50SPF at a minimum. We love Hawaiian Tropic face and body line of sunscreens.

Mini Umbrella – A MUST to provide your own personal shade and to shield yourself from the inevitable afternoon Florida rainstorm.

Hat – If you’re not an umbrella/parasol person, you’re going to need a good hat with a wide brim. We like rough and tumble crushable options that we can wear in the rain, at the pool or ocean, or just walking around the theme parks and then can tuck away into our bags indoors or at night. Keep in mind: visors are not protective hats, and sunburns on the head are no fun at all.

Zip Baggies – We usually have at least one of these in our bag and we always use it. Whether we are packing away left over food, a malfunctioning sunscreen bottle, a wet poncho, or storing masks, a plastic zip baggy really comes in handy!

Personal Fan – A small fan with a BIG breeze is a life saver. I cannot tell you how many times my tiny rechargeable or accordion fan have saved me. I don’t leave home without one! The hands free neck versions are good too, but I think they are better for people with short hair. (Ouch)

Crackers – A pack of peanut butter crackers, or a non-chocolate granola bar endure the heat and tussle of a bag well and come in handy when you’re too tired to wait in another sun-filled line for a snack.

Gingerale – If the venue allows it, we always try to bring a can of gingerale. When we’ve ridden one too many roller coasters or the heat gets to be too much – it’s always the stomach that needs calming. Gingerale always does the trick and helps us cool down too.

Pro Tip: Store chilled cans in a coozie to keep your cold cans from sweating all over the inside of your bag.

Transparent Poncho – A $0.97 emergency poncho will feel like it’s worth a million bucks when you get trapped outdoors in a Florida pop-up storm. Ponchos even come in handy for staying dry on water rides, or in the winter months when we slightly underestimated how cool it was outside. The plastic works just like a wind breaker.

Hair Clip – Just another simple accessory that has saved us time and time again.

Sunglasses – Look cool AND protect eyes from the sun? That’s a win/win!

Pro Tip: Look for “polarized” 100% UV lenses to see easier without strain. Also note, sometimes very cheap and older sunglasses have little to no UV protection. Make sure to look for 100% UV on the label or sticker.

Be Sure to Organize

Even though these day bags are small, if you don’t organize you will be constantly digging around what feels like a black hole – frustratingly not finding anything you need when you need it. Avoid dumping out the contents of your bag every time someone asks for a piece of gum by designating a place for everything you plan to bring along.

Flat Pouch Wallet – You just need the essential cards, cash, and ID’s. Save on space and weight by transferring the necessary cards, cash, and tickets into a low profile insert instead of carting the weight and bulk of your regular wallet.

Small Pouches – Makeup pouches, reusable fabric baggies, even traditional plastic zip bags are a great way to organize the inside of your tourist bag. Think one for sunglasses, one for sunblocks and makeup, one for snacks, one for keys, etc.

Mini Pill Box – We use a micro pill case to pack a first aid kit instead of bringing all of the bottles and boxes. Keep it small: a blister bandaid, a few antacid type chews, ibuprofens, allergy, or any prescriptions needed for the day.

Not feeling the pouches? Try a mini backpack organizer! We found several handmade ones on Etsy.

PRO TIP: Keep the bag light. Only transfer *the essentials* from your day-to-day purse. No one *needs* their miniature photo album in the concrete wilderness of a theme park.

Whether you’re vacationing or just spending a day at the amusement parks, packing a few of these essential comforts can really make the day so much more enjoyable. Happy Summer, everyone!

Curb Appeal

Create an Instant Butterfly Garden

Grab the garden gloves! Today, we’re creating a not-so-secret garden that continuously attracts beautiful butterflies and their whimsical friends. The best news is, you can create a butterfly garden on a small budget with just a few good plants – which means you can have fun growing your garden by collecting plants little by little if the need be.

D&CO. PRO TIP: Buy in threes. Three always seems to be the magic number for how many plants to buy, especially when starting out. Grouping three of the same plants together (planting a few feet apart for growth) usually makes the best visual, and also makes it easy for butterflies to find.

Most of the plants that attract butterflies love the Florida sunshine, therefore a great area for a butterfly garden is one that has at least part sun – check plant labels or with an associate for specific plant care and warnings*. Butterfly plants are usually simple looking, with lots of green leaves and small flower accents. A butterfly garden should grow a little more wild than be perfectly trimmed and shaped all the time, if you want the plants to attract the most winged visitors. (Too frequent trimming gets rid of flowers and buds, which are what attracts the butterflies.) Approach your butterfly garden design more like you are building a theme park for butterflies, than creating a traditional tightly manicured garden.

Common Butterfly Attractors:


Monarch Caterpillar eating Milkweed leaves

Milkweed
The easiest way to get butterflies to show up in your yard is to plant some Milkweed. Milkweed is a host plant for Monarch butterflies and comes in a few varieties. We like the type pictured here best. It’s labeled a “host plant” because Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on the plant so caterpillars have something to eat when they hatch. The caterpillars will eat this plant down to a nub. Don’t worry, the plant continuously leafs out and grows back again. We suggest planting it behind or among other plants so that you don’t notice as much when the caterpillars eat it all – and they will absolutely eat it ALL! Note: Milkweed is toxic to nearly everything but the Monarch caterpillar, so keep it away from curious children and animals. 


Penta flowers with butterfly

Pentas
These tiny star flowers come in a variety of colors and attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, honey bees, bumble bees… all of the little creatures that make a garden magical. Note: Some varieties are long and leggy, some are neat and shrub-like. Be sure to check labels or ask an associate about the type of penta you are purchasing, so that you know what space is best for planting it.


Yellow Shrimp Plant

Shrimp Plants
Shrimp plants have flowers that kind of look like little shrimps from a distance. It’s a butterfly favorite in any color. Note: Hummingbirds LOVE this plant too. In our yard, they seem to gravitate to the red variety. 

 

 


Plumbago with lots of flowers!

Plumbago
This one is a large loose bush that butterflies and hummingbirds love. You want to keep it a little wild so that the flowers are always plentiful and present – it’s what the butterflies are attracted to and feeding on. 

 

Plumbago

By adding all or any of these four simple butterfly attractors, your garden is sure to be a hit with all kinds of butterflies.  

Share your butterfly gardens with @DeAnnaAndCompany by using the hashtag #GrowWithDandCO

* Keep in mind: some plants can be toxic to animals and humans. Be sure to check labels and with a knowledgable plant associate for information. Additionally, it’s a good rule of thumb to always wear gloves and eye protection while gardening, and to thoroughly wash hands/shower after.