Planning to attend an all-day event this spring or summer? Chances are, your answer is a resounding “Yes!”—and we’re right there with you. For us, the key to enjoying a full day of outdoor activity is planning out and packing up our essentials way ahead of time. There’s nothing more disappointing than finally snagging a parking spot and making it beyond the ticket counter, only to realize that you left your camera, sunglasses, to-go stain remover or cash in the car (or, even worse, at home!).
Trust us: Proactively packing a bag with thoughtful essentials is the very best way to ensure that you enjoy a stress-free day of memory-making. Abby experienced this firsthand while attending this year’s Kentucky Derby on behalf of Tide—by planning out her day beforehand, she enjoyed a gorgeous, worry-free day at the racetrack. Check out her 10 handbag must-haves, and then read on for her recommendations for what to do if you find yourself in Louisville!
1. Cell phone: This one seems fairly obvious, but we’ve been known to assume that our cell phones are on us when they’re actually at home or charging in the car. Tell us we aren’t the only ones!
2. Cash & ID: We rely heavily on our credit cards these days, but many stands at festivals and concerts only take cash. Make a withdrawal at your bank a day or two before the event—that way, buying food, drinks and souvenirs will be a cinch (and you’ll avoid those brutal ATM fees!). Also: A little card holder with a spot for your cash will free up space in your purse and remind you to bring your ID.
3. Camera: While most phones have pretty great photo-taking abilities, an actual camera is beneficial if you plan on taking a lot of pictures. An Instax camera is a fun way to capture moments with new friends!
4. Sunblock: If you’re going to be outside, don’t let sunblock be an afterthought—no matter the weather! A bad sunburn is no way to remember a concert or festival. (We love Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen.)
5. Sunglasses: Make sure to bring a pair that has UV protection! This is a great alternative to the pair pictured, which is currently sold out.
6. Hand sanitizer: Two words: public bathrooms.
7. Tide To Go pen: Spills are always especially likely in crowded outdoor spaces where everyone is eating and drinking. This pen instantly removes stains—it’s been an outfit lifesaver! Not to mention, it’s the size of a lip gloss, so it’s incredibly easy to pop into your purse!
8. Band-Aids: No matter how practical your shoes are, being on your feet all day can be uncomfortable—and it’s impossible to enjoy yourself when your feet are in pain! Band-Aids barely take up any space in your bag, but they’ll alleviate pain from any blisters or cuts!
9. Mobile battery charger: Abby used a mobile phone charger for the first time at the Derby, and it was a game changer! Between texting, taking photos and Instagramming, our phone batteries rarely make it through the day—plus, there’s usually no convenient place to charge your phone at big venues or stadiums. A mobile battery charger allows you to charge your phone anywhere. For $20, it’s totally worth it!
10. A powder compact, moisturizing lip gloss & hair elastic: We like to have a few beauty essentials on hand when we’re out and about so we can freshen up and look our best throughout the day.
Where to stay: Abby stayed at the Embassy Suites in downtown Louisville, which had opened only three weeks earlier! An absolutely beautiful hotel with such a helpful and friendly staff, it’s located right next to Fourth Street Live!, which is full of fun bars and restaurants. Plus, it’s conveniently located next to a CVS (should you forget any toiletry essentials) and a Starbucks, which Abby enjoyed!