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What to Bring to a Waterpark Vacation: The Must Haves and Have Nots

water slides

Waterparks are fun, but they’re also kind of gross. Everything is wet, people aren’t practicing good hygiene, and there is nowhere to safely leave your valuables while you swim. It’s hard to know what to bring to a waterpark to have what you need and not what you don’t. Don’t overdo it.

What to Bring to a Waterpark Vacation

1. Clothing

2. Accessories

3. Documentation

4. Toiletries

5. Methods of Payment

6. Medications and First Aid

7. Miscellaneous

8. Baby Items

9. Water Park Bag


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What to Bring to a Waterpark Vacation

1. Clothing

Pro tip: Check the weather!

Bonus pro tip: You don’t need a bunch of extra clothing. Bring only what you need for the length of your trip. Even better, pack laundry pods and do laundry halfway through your trip. You just cut your luggage in half.

Waterpark Essentials

A. Pants 

B. Shorts 

C. T-shirts 

D. Pajamas 

E. Underwear

F. Bras 

G. Socks 

H. Walking shoes

I. Swimwear – Two per person. Hang wet suits in the bathroom and alternate.

J. Sandals or flip flops

K. Workout gear – Only if you will use it.

L. Rain jacket – If needed.

M. Water shoes – Only if you want them.

What to Exclude From Your Waterpark Checklist

A. An iron

B. Wrinkle release spray– Steam from the shower has the same effect.

C. A sewing kit

play structure Castaway Cay

2. Accessories

What Should I Bring to a Waterpark?

A. Goggles 

B. Sunglasses – In addition to or instead of hats.

C. Hats – In addition to or instead of sunglasses.

D. Hair ties 

E. Belt – If needed.

F. Jewelry – Think minimal and cheap.

G. Ponchos – If needed, check the weather.

What to Exclude From Your Waterpark Vacation Checklist

A. Umbrellas – Ponchos are better.

B. Floaties – Unless the park doesn’t supply life jackets.

C. A large selection of expensive jewelry

Waterslide at Disney Hilton Head

3. Documentation

What to Pack (or Ensure You Can Access on Your Phone)

A. Identification or passports for all travelers

B. Global Entry Card – If needed.

C. Priority Pass card – If you have it, for airport lounge access.

D. Health insurance card

E. Airline reservation confirmations and boarding passes

F. Hotel reservation confirmations

G. Ground transportation reservation confirmations 

What Not to Pack

A. Any unnecessary or duplicate documentation with your personal information

waterslide at Boardwalk Resort

4. Bathroom Essentials

Pro tip: Purchase travel bottles to bring your favorite products in smaller quantities.

What Should You Bring to a Waterpark?

A. Glasses

B. Contact solution and extra contacts

C. Toothbrush

D. Toothpaste

E. Mouthwash

F. Floss

G. Chapstick

H. Hand sanitizer

I. Cotton swabs

J. Tissue

K. Tweezers

L. Face wash

M. Deodorant 

N. Sunscreen

O. Shampoo – Only if you need a particular kind, like tear-free.

P. Conditioner – Only if you want or need a specific kind.

Q. Lotion – Only bring it if you need a special kind.

R. Body wash – Only if you need a specific kind.

S. Loofah

T. Razor

U. Feminine hygiene products 

V. Makeup

W. Makeup remover

X. Hairbrush

Y. Bug spray

Z. Hair styling products

AA. Nail file

What Not to Bring

A. Nail clippers – Clip your nails before you leave or use a file.

B. Nail polish – Paint from the comfort of your home.

C. Hair dryer – They are almost definitely available in your hotel room.

waterslide at Timber Ridge

5. Methods of Payment

What Should Be on Your Packing List for a Waterpark?

A. Credit cards 

B. A small amount of cash

What Not to Pack

A. A lot of cash

tree waterslide at Timber Ridge Waterpark

6. Medications and First Aid

You need your medications, but you don’t need a three-month supply. Condense.

What to Take to a Waterpark

A. Thermometer

B. Any necessary medical equipment

C. Vitamins

D. Pain relievers – For both children and adults.


F. Antibacterial cream

G. Medications

What Not to Bring

A. Full bottles of anything

Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark Bucket

7. Miscellaneous Items

Things to Bring to a Waterpark

A. Hotel and airplane entertainment 

B. Snacks 

C. Gum 

D. Cell phones and chargers

E. Portable cell phone charger

F. Waterproof cell phone case – If you want to take pictures in the water.

What Not to Bring

A. Night light – Leave the bathroom light on and the door cracked.

B. Shoe organizer – You shouldn’t have enough shoes to require organization.

C. Hamper – An empty suitcase is a rolling laundry basket.

D. Cameras – Phones have cameras now.

E. Extra towels – Unless the waterpark you’re visiting doesn’t provide them to guests and you can’t sneak them out of the hotel.

F. Pool toys

G. Travel clothesline and clips – People bring these to hang their swimsuits. The shower curtain rod does the same job.

H. Expensive electronics

I. Selfie sticks and extension poles

water slides at Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark

8. Baby Items

What Do I Need to Bring to a Waterpark?

A. Stroller – Instead of or in addition to a baby sling.

B. Baby sling – Instead of or in addition to a stroller.

C. Formula and baby food

D. Sippy cups 

E. Bibs

F. Car seat – If your ground transportation provider doesn’t offer them.

G. Breast pump and accessories 

H. Bottles

I. Diapers – Both regular and swim.

J. Wipes

K. Pacifiers

L. Bottle cleaner

M. Dish soap to clean bottles

What Not to Bring

A. Baby monitor 

B. Pack and Play – Unless your hotel doesn’t provide them, which is highly unlikely.

C. High chair – This seems like a lot of work for not much payoff.

splash area in Great Wolf Lodge

9. Waterpark Packing List

Keep in mind that you will need to walk away from this bag to go on water slides.

What to Take to the Waterpark

A. Cell phone and portable cell phone charger

B. Sunscreen

C. Hats

D. Sunglasses

E. Hand Sanitizer

F. Tissue

G. Feminine hygiene products

H. Gum

I. Chapstick


K. Pain relievers

L. Waterproof cell phone case – If necessary.

M. Baby stuff you need on a typical day

water slides

Final Thoughts – What to Bring to a Waterpark Vacation

Deciding what to bring to a waterpark vacation can be challenging. Don’t overdo it. Less is more. You want to be able to enjoy the park with your kids without worrying about your stuff. In a pinch, you can always visit the gift shop.

what to bring to a waterpark pin

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