What to pack in your bag for a day at a theme park

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We've just invested in Merlin Annual Passes and plan to really make the most of them so expect lots of theme park reviews and tips from us this year. Theme parks can be expensive places so I'm determined to get organised and plan everything in advance so we don't end up buying last minute drinks or overpriced sunscreen from the gift shops. Here's what I plan to pack in our theme park day trip bags this year - let me know if you have any suggestions too.

What to pack in your bag for a day at a theme park

Durable backpack 

What to pack in your bag for a day at a theme park  - Regatta Backpack

When it comes to choosing a bag that's going to see us through the season, I'm happy to spend a little more if the bag does everything I want it to. I really like this Survivor III 20 Litre Rucksack from Regatta. Functions include:
  • 2 side bottle holders (one for water and one for coffee)
  • Hardwearing 
  • Air mesh back to avoid sweaty backs
  • Internal key clip
  • Adjustable chest straps

Mobile power bank

I use my phone to take a lot of photos during days out and also use theme park apps to check maps and ride queues and of course use my phone to stay in touch with Steve or the kids if we split up to go on different rides. My current phone is two years old now and there's no way it would keep it's charge all day. I can't find the exact model of power bank we use but I paid around £40, it charges quickly and can charge more than one device multiple times throughout the day. This one from Amazon is very similar.  

Microfibre towel 

What to pack in your bag for a day at a theme park  - microfibre towel

I first discovered microfibre towels last year and they are an absolute game changer for me. They hardly take up any room and are super absorbent too. Ideal for a quick wipe down after the log flume! I like these ones which come in their very own carry case and hardly take up any room.

Pack-away waterproof jackets  

What to pack in your bag for a day at a theme park  - pack it jacket

Rather than having to buy over-priced rain ponchos like we did at LEGOLAND last year, I'm going to be prepared if the weather should take a turn for the worse this year. We'll all be taking pack-away waterproof jackets along with us this year. I have yet to make my final decisions but I really like the selection from Regatta online here. 

Insulated water bottle 

What to pack in your bag for a day at a theme park  - insulated water bottle

I think carrying 5 separate water bottles around is a bit OTT (and heavy) so I plan on just taking one insulated water bottle so our water is kept cool and dispensing this into cups for us to have a drink when needed at various points throughout the day. You can usually re-fill water bottles free of charge at attractions too. I really like these ones which are leak proof and insulated.

Hot dog flask 

What to pack in your bag for a day at a theme park  - hot dog flask

I read an ingenious tip in one of the Facebook groups I'm in recently. They advised to buy a food flask, warm up some hot dogs then pop them inside and top up with boiling water. Then pack a pack of pre-cut buns, a few sauce sachets and napkins and you have yourself a hotdog lunch. Hot dogs are around £5 in theme parks so this will save us loads of cash between us all and it's a pretty cheap lunch (plus yeah to no queuing). I've just ordered this flask so I'll let you know how I get on.

Baby wipes

This goes without saying. An essential to any day out I think!

Sunscreen & Sunglasses

We love using once a day sunscreen but that isn't always practical during days out. Our go-to sunscreen is from Aldi. It's super cheap and is 5* rated. You can't go wrong and we'll always have a bottle in our bag this summer. We also never leave home without a pair of sunglasses - you just never know what the weather is going to do in the UK and sunglasses are a must. Steve and I have treated ourselves to designer sunglasses from SmartBuyGlasses and they have lasted the test of time/are worth the investment. Steve has Ray Bans and I have Gucci - love them!

Plasters and painkillers

Nobody wants to deal with a blister whilst walking around their favourite theme park and as they're super noisy/can be an assault on the senses, headaches are not uncommon. Blister plasters, regular plasters, a few sachets and calpol and ibuprofen caplets are all part of my go-to kit.


My kids are always hungry and with a food kiosk on every corner, the temptation is always there. I like to pack a miz of healthy and not so healthy snacks including nuts, babybel, haribo, cereal bars, satsumas and frozen frubes. My plan is to pack all of the snacks together in an insulated lunch bag which will sit inside of the main backpack.

Q buster games 

What to pack in your bag for a day at a theme park  - difficult riddles for smart kids

Sometimes there is no escaping the queues at theme parks so it's always a good idea to have a few games up your sleeve. Card and trivia games can work really well in a moving queue. We like Shuffle Guess Who,  any kind of Top Trumps  and Difficult Riddles for Smart Kids.

Coffee flask 

Steve will usually make us up a flask of proper coffee for our trips out. It saves a fortune as a cup of coffee is usually £2.50+ these days. There are loads of flasks out there but you can't go wrong with a simple Thermos like this one. 

Stackable travel cups 

What to pack in your bag for a day at a theme park  - stackable travel cups
It took me a while to find these but I finally settled on these stacking cups. I like that there are 5 cups in the set and they all stack together so take up hardly any room, I like that they have lids which will hopefully keep bugs out of our drinks and I like that they are colour coordinated (so everyone will have their own mug) and have a silicon holder which will protect our hands from hot coffee.

What do you think of my essentials? I'd love to hear if you have any to add to my list.

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What to pack in your bag for a day at a theme park



  1. Brilliant ideas, especially the hair dog one as lunch can be a killer on the wallet. We have taken a flask of soup before too particularly when cold as it really warms you up.

    1. Flask a soup would be great. We tried the hotdog method at Alton Towers on Sat and it worked really well x

  2. Fab ideas!
    I saw your Hot dog flask on one of your Instagram stories and thought it was genius! It could save so much money! x

  3. I'd never seen those towels before. We're planning to go to a theme park soon so this is handy.


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