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Sometimes someone recommends something to you and you wonder why you’ve never used it before. Just before we headed to Hawaii, a good friend of mine, who’s a pilot and a mom, said something about remembering to pack some wet bags for our trip. I’m not sure how I’ve been a mom for five years and have never heard of or used wet bags but a lightbulb went off and I realized that should have been using them years ago.

If you’re traveling with little ones, wet bags are an essential. But even if you’re not traveling with littles, they come in handy for a multitude of reasons. But first: what exactly is a wet bag, you ask? They’re waterproof bags that fold down to practically nothing for easy packing and can be used for anything you want, really. They’re mostly for wet clothes, sweaty gym clothes, dirty laundry or wet swimsuits. They’re especially handy if you take a dip before leaving your hotel and don’t have time for your swim things to dry. Or if you go to the gym and don’t want to pack your sweaty clothes as they are. Just throw them in a wet bag and throw it in your suitcase until you get home. The bags are washable too (by hand or machine) so if they start to smell, you can easily clean them (most of them should be hung to dry). These are the wet bags that I got (although you can also get them in black, as pictured above) and while they don’t look that big, each one can fit two kids’ swimsuits and my husband’s wet rash guard and still have some extra room left over.

I have been using wet bags almost every day since I got them, either at the pool or the beach, but I also keep one in my bag when I go out, just in case. You just never know when you’ll need it and it’s so tiny and lightweight that there’s no reason not to take it with me. If you’re traveling, you might find yourself looking for a bag for shoes, toiletries or even to help organize your electronics.

Of course, the best part of a wet bag is that it’s reusable and so much better than using and disposing of plastic bags to store your wet things. So, if you’re not packing wet bags when you travel, I can’t recommend them enough! Check out a variety of options of wet bags here.

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