Travel tips: Don't forget the plastic snack bag

February 2, 2011, 1:17 PM · A simple plastic sandwich bag can be your best friend while on vacation.

Okay, it won't share a romantic meal with you at Epcot's Bistro de Paris, nor snap your photo in front of Hogwarts Castle. But it will make it possible for you to do those things.

How? By keeping your most essential travel tools safely dry.

Your plastic baggie, filled with travel essentials

I've become a big fan of using a money belt when I travel. Sure, it helps keep pickpockets' prying hands from my cash and credit cards. But I more prefer the money belt because it allows me to travel ultra-lightly. Sitting on a wallet's uncomfortable. There's no need to carry around everything in there on vacation, anyway. Do I need that yogurt store punchcard? A library card? All those grocery club cards?

All I really need is:

Those fit easily inside my money belt, though I usually keep the cell phone and a small amount of cash in my pocket for easy access.

So what's up with the plastic bag, you might ask?

Easy. That's for the, well, sweat.

Money belts can get hot and sweaty, worn under my shirt and around my waist. Putting stuff inside a plastic bag ensures that they stay safely dry throughout the day.

Even if you're not wearing a money belt on vacation, a zippered plastic bag remains essential for a theme park trip.

Planning on riding that water flume? Drop your cash and cell phone into the bag before you board. Theme parks provide multiple opportunities to get soaking wet, so you need a convenient place to keep your valuables so that they stay dry. Why hassle with a locker when a plastic bag can do the trick?

For the best protection, I use a one-quart plastic freezer bag, which holds all I need without too much extra space, and protects better against the watery onslaught of Splash Mountain than a simple sandwich bag does.

Just make triple-certain that the bag is zipped up and fully sealed before you ride.

More: Theme park travel tips from Theme Park Insider

Replies (10)

February 2, 2011 at 2:03 PM · I always bring a raincoat in my backpack and wrap my valuables in it before riding a water ride. This ensures my valuables are safe AND that I have proper rain gear for the inevitable Orlando afternoon showers; this way I avoid buying those goofy (not "Goofy", just goofy) ponchos.
February 2, 2011 at 2:05 PM · That reminds me of when I went on a field trip to IOA last year! My English teacher recommended that I bring a plastic sandwich bag for my money, so it doesn't get wet on the water rides, and guess what? It worked!!
February 2, 2011 at 9:37 PM · Personally, I've been using this tip for years. The only change I suggest? Double bagging. This might seem a bit unnecessary, but I've found that there is the rare occasion that you don't manage to zip up your first bag all the way, or during the rigors of travel and rollercoaster, it can be jostled open. I prefer to have a contingency plan. Better safe than sorry.

Besides, what's a few extra seconds to get your cash or cellphone out?

February 2, 2011 at 11:55 PM · In our family we use them too! The only difference is that I don't use it with a money belt I use a fanny pack. So over the shirt rather than under. I use a "surfer's" brand fanny pack witch I believed is waterproof, but just in case a freezer bag inside with the more valuable "sensitive" items. Like the cell phone or a camera.

The fanny pack is not much trouble on most rides cause I move it around trying to find a space between the restrains and myself in which those items won't get damaged. (Except roller coasters) It works really well in most rides. It also gives me a place to strap my cap, so I won't loose it.

~But some of those freezer bags after a while, not sure if after getting wet or some extended use, loose the brand lettering~
I tried to find them clear, without any "brand" stuff on them, but the last time I couldn't.


February 3, 2011 at 9:00 AM · Passport holders that hang from your neck are also great. I'm able to hold cash, credit cards, licenses, tickets, and a small cell phone. Walmart & Target carry them for $5-10.
February 3, 2011 at 9:06 PM · Yea the sandwich bag works wonders expecially in waterpark. Another thing to put in them are your electric door opener for your car we went to sesimi place years ago and it fell out of my dads pocket into the lazeyriver pool and it took days for it to work again. also if by the strange chance U have sneackers on that day for the riverrapids or any of those types of water rides bring to grocery store plastic bags and tie them to yourshoes so they protect against wet shoes just make sure U do this when U are seated and seattled in the ride so U do not trip and fall.
February 3, 2011 at 9:39 PM · We use plastic baggies for everything on a trip! In my family we have many people who not only have to carry money and such but also medical supplies (insulin, test kits, etc.) We place all of these along with our cameras and cell phones in their own plastic baggies before being placed in either a waist pack or backpack. Everything is kept in order along with staying dry. These are a must have for every trip.
February 4, 2011 at 8:39 AM · I'd have to agree about using the plastic snack bags! I put my ID, a credit card, and some cash in there. But I've learned the hard way that you should try not to get the store brand bags (like from Target or Wal-Mart) as sometimes the ends of the bags have a tendency to break even just a little bit. And if possible, the double seal bags tend to work better.

I don't even bother with a fanny pack or anything like that if I'm using the snack bag. I'm using it like a waterproof money clip. But I can see why some people would since it can hold medications and even snacks of course.

February 4, 2011 at 11:23 PM · For some bizarre reason, when I first read the headline on this post, my gray matter parsed it as "plastic snark bag."

You're welcome. ;-)

February 5, 2011 at 7:18 PM · I use bags like that for the exact same thing, but they also have another use. I use one of those on the TV remote control in the hotel room. Those things are never cleaned and have to be covered in germs from previous guests. Because the bag is clear, the remote works just fine and I don't have to worry about whatever is on that pesky remote.

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