alt=hands showing what's in a hospital go bag

What’s in My Pre-Packed Hospital "Go Bag"

When you are chronically ill, you’ll have seasons where you are constantly running around between different doctors appointments. At times, it even feels like trips to the ER aren’t that uncommon. I don't know about you, but I’ve been in the hospital more times than I can count in the last 8 years.

What I learned from my ER visits

In that time, I’ve learned a few things. Some of which I would like to pass on to you because we like to share helpful information around here. Possibly the most important thing I’ve learned is to always have a hospital bag packed and ready. Sadly, this bag is not near as fun to pack and have ready as the bag of an expectant mom.

Several years ago I was in and out of the hospital so many times that I gave upon having what I needed. My family was more than willing to help me, but it became difficult to tell them exactly where each item I needed was.

They always tried their best but would always end up grabbing things from years ago and clothing from many sizes ago. The longer I was there, the longer my list became of things I wish I had with me.

Staying prepared

Eventually, I made a master list of things that always live in my hospital bag. When I come home, they go straight in the washer and back in said bag. The goal of the bag is to ensure I have the things I need and to ensure my family doesn’t hate me by the end of my stay for asking for something else from home.

What's in my hospital "go bag"

Here is my master list. It’s important to remember that this is my list of things I want/need while I’m in the hospital and my list won’t work for everyone. I hope that it at at least gives you an idea of what you might want in your bag, but I sincerely hope you never need to have a hospital go bag prepped and ready to go.

One important thing to remember is that all hospital units/floors, even within the same hospital, often have different policies as to what clothing the patient can wear while in that unit.


  • At least 3 tank tops
  • 2-3 short-sleeved t-shirts
  • 1 long-sleeved t-shirt, pullover, or jacket
  • 2 light-weight, yoga-type pants
  • Shorts (for the warmer months)
  • Sweat pants (for cooler months)
  • Pj sets or separates (I prefer t-shirts and yoga pants but whatever works for you)
  • Underwear - I prefer to keep 2 pairs minimum per day I think I’ll be there. Always better to have more than to few.
  • 2-3 sports bras
  • 2-3 pairs of fuzzy socks
  •  Slippers- or something to wear on your feet around the room and in the hall
  • Flip flops- can be used to walk around the room/halls, but mostly for the shower. You do not want to walk on those floors or in the showers without shoes.


All the products I carry in my toiletry bag are travel size to take up less space.

  • Liquid body soap
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Hair brush
  • Detangler spray
  • Facial moisturizer (to combat the super dry air in the hospital)
  • Body lotion (same as above)
  • Extra hair ties
  • Dry shampoo
  • Toothpaste
  • Tooth brush
  • Tampons and/or pads. Just in case



  • 6-10 ft cellphone charger
  • External charging block for quick charges
  • Cell phone-for obvious reasons, as well as social media and all streaming services.
  • iPad
  • Ear buds or headphones (with the cord and proper adapter to connect phone to ear buds if not cordless) Noise cancelling is best if you have a roommate.
  • My kindle, e-reader, or a book- same books been in there a couple years I think.

Comfort items

These items will vastly differ from person to person, these are just my things. Also it’s okay if your pillow and blanket don’t fit, mine definitely doesn’t

  • Fuzzy/cozy Blanket
  • Pillow
  • Ear plugs
  • Sleep mask
  • Sound machine (only if I'm in a private room)

I will say I rarely take my bag into the ER. If I really think that I am getting admitted, I will take my bag but leave it in the car. If there’s only a small chance of admission, I will leave it by the door so if I need the bag it’s quick and easy for my family to get.

These are just the things that work for me. They won’t work for everyone, but take it from me who has learned the heard way- pack more than you think you will need, especially in the underwear department!

If I missed something please let me know and leave a comment so I can add it to my bag!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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