19 Things to Pack in your Checked Bag for your Next Vacation

My family will be traveling to the US this spring break. So many people are questioning why we’re going (our Canadian dollar isn’t worth much over there…) but I still think it’s worth going.

I don’t want our low dollar to keep us away from the beautiful beaches of California and Hawaii.

In preparation for our upcoming holiday, I decided to ask my friends what they always pack in their bags when traveling. Basically, I don’t want to forget anything. I don’t want to buy Tylenol or Band-Aids when I get to the US and have to pay in US dollars…

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Here are 19 great items to put in your checked bag:

1) Snacks: I leave with granola bars, soup mixes and tons of snacks. A friend mentioned she packs many Gluten-Free snacks for her child since those can be difficult to find sometimes.

2) Sunscreen and Aloe Vera: I’ve seen sunscreen for up to $25 in Mexico! I don’t want to pay that so I stock my luggage with sunscreen.

3) Bandages: These go in the carry on AND the checked bag. Another item I don’t want to buy when I’m away.

4) Medicine: Tylenol (kids and adult), Gravol, Ibuprofen etc…) I basically leave with a small pharmacy in my bag. TIP: Bring your prescription drugs with you in your carry-on bag!

5) Zippered baggies: Just pack these. You’ll need them for tons of stuff.

6) Reusable shopping bags: Some cities don’t give free plastic bags when shopping. Reusable bags are also great to carry things to the beach or during outings. I love this six-pack of bags from MAXGOODS.

7) Mini First Aid Kit: Better safe than sorry! Plus mini first aid kits have things you might not have thought of!

8) Earphones: Do you want to pay to buy these on the plane? Nope, you don’t.

9) Baby Wipes: even if you don’t have a baby! These are great for cleaning up a quick mess, wiping a dirty face and more. My go-to brand is The Honest Company Disposable wipes.

10) Snorkel and Mask and/or goggles: This is a must-have if you’re going to a tropical place.

11) Tweezers: These are an important tool to bring for so many reasons!

12) Flip flops: Whether you’re going to a hot destination or not, flip flops are a must when going to the pool or hot tub. They are also good to have in the hotel room, who wants to walk bare feet in the room?

13) A waterproof poncho: No one wishes for rain when on holidays but it’s best to be prepared if the weather isn’t perfect. Pick up a waterproof poncho from the dollar store before leaving on your trip just in case.

14) Bottle opener: Yes! Some hotels don’t provide bottle openers. I personally don’t want to buy a souvenir bottle opener.

15) Flashlight: Some hotel rooms have them but better safe than sorry!

16) Night Light: This is a must, especially if traveling with kids. Bring a night light for the bathroom instead of using the bright bathroom light. These Safety 1st nightlights are a great choice, they pack down small and has a long lasting LED light.

17) Clothes pins: Can be used for SO MUCH including closing the blinds in the room if they don’t close tight.

18) Puddle Jumpers/floaties for kids: If you’ve got a pool at a hotel bring these. They offer a bit of peace of mind and are expensive to purchase when you get to a vacation spot.

19) A good book: Self-explanatory.

Looking for more packing tips? Check out these posts:

.19 things to pack in your checked bag. #Travel

I’d love to know, do you have anything to add to this list?



  1. Great list… love the idea for antibacterial wipes that someone else also mentioned too. They say that the planes are pretty germy.

  2. Because I’m on a lot of meds, I like to pack one of those plastic holders that keep track. If there are time changes you can mark them accordingly.

  3. I pack a waterproof poncho from the dollar store for each member of the family. They are so easy to pack, and we have used them on every trip to the warmer climates. The weather can change so quickly, and at places like Disney – or any tourist spot they charge a small fortune.

  4. We always pack the kids goggles for the resort pools and also one bag that is the dedicated goes to the beach bag. So something we have at home that we can cram things in and not worry about getting sandy. I hate to be stuck with a Coach purse or something fancy at the beach. One time my tiny cross body Coach purse was destroyed by bug spray that exploded at the beach and I have now learned that lesson well.

  5. This is a great list to keep handy, it’s amazing on some of the stuff you should pack, I would never ever thought of!

  6. Individually wrapped antibacterial wet ones. Walmart has a 10 pack for $1.50. Great to wipe the airplane trays and buttons which can be so germy.

  7. Great tips! Soup mix is brilliant! I would never have thought of that – but perfect for a quick snack/meal on the plane!

    1. I usually bring Lipton soup or Mr Noodles type soups. My kids love them and it’s incredible how hungry they are when we get to our condo. We don’t usually shop until late on the first day so having soup on hand is a great quick snack.

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