Aerial view of the skyline and bridge of Cincinnati, Ohio at dusk

Cincinnati Packing List (22 Things to Bring)

Based on my experience growing up in Cincinnati, I’ve put together this Cincinnati packing list to make your trip planning a little easier! 

I’ve jumped in puddles, sloshed through snow, and baked in Cincinnati’s summer heat. The Queen City is known for its four seasons, which can be quite extreme. With clothing and gear recommendations, this guide will prepare you for all types of potential weather.

I also suggest convenient products you might not think to bring, like a book light and portable power bank. Plus, at the end of this guide, you’ll find Cincinnati travel tips that will help you stay safe and make the most of your visit. 

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Cincinnati Packing Checklist

Water Bottle

Our Pick
H2 Hydrology Water Bottle

I found this water bottle to be superior to any other that I’ve tried. It keeps hot drinks warm and cold drinks cool, and it's completely leak-proof.

If you’re exploring the tourist attractions in Cincinnati, you’re going to want a reusable water bottle. Whether you’re browsing the museums or spending a day at the Cincinnati Zoo, you’ll need to hydrate, especially in warm weather.

The H2 Hydrology Water Bottle is an ideal water bottle to pack. It is great at keeping your water cold for the entire day, and it’s lightweight as well.

Hand Sanitizer

Our Pick
Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel

These are so convenient and will fit into any of your bags. Use them to combat infectious diseases while on your travels.

Take precautions against sickness by bringing hand sanitizer on your trip. Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel is a great option because it kills 99.99% of germs. The bottle cap snaps shut, so you don’t have to worry about it spilling inside your bag.


Our Pick
Repel Umbrella Windproof Travel Umbrella
This umbrella is so easy to use, and it fits into a suitcase with no problem at all!

If you’re planning a visit to Cincinnati, you definitely need to prepare for lots of rain. You really don’t want to get caught in the heavy rain (or heavy snow) without an umbrella. Sometimes a light jacket and rain boots just aren’t enough!

The Repel Umbrella Windproof Travel Umbrella is a great choice because it’s compact and user-friendly. It is also wind-resistant and durable.

Noise-Canceling Earbuds

Our Pick
Beats Studio Buds
These comfortable earbuds have great battery life. They also allow users to customize the sound so that it's either noise-canceling or transparent.

Noise-canceling earbuds can make a trip a lot more pleasant. Listening to your favorite music or show serves as a great distraction while on your flight and traveling around the city. 

Beats Studio Buds are compatible with both Apple and Android devices. They’re great because they allow you to control the sound, the power will last a long time, and they’re comfortable!

Book Light

Our Pick
Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light

This makes it so easy to read your favorite novel at night — without disturbing others in your hotel room.

If you’re an avid reader, pack a book light so that you can read without trouble at night. The Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light fits easily around your neck for maximal comfort. You can adjust the brightness, and it’s created to minimize eye strain.

Mini Flashlight

Our Pick
Eveready LED Flashlight

This flashlight is so compact and user-friendly, perfect for traveling!

It’s always good to have a flashlight around. The Eveready LED Flashlight is compact and will easily fit into a bag. It’s also very durable and effective with bright white LED. Before leaving your hotel, use it to make sure you didn’t leave anything under a table or couch!

Sleep Mask

Our Pick
MZOO Sleep Eye Mask
I love this sleep mask because it’s so comfortable and effective. It’s helped me sleep even during the daytime, great for those who may experience jet lag.

Sleep is very important, and studies have shown that we get better quality sleep when our eyes are not exposed to any light. The MZOO Sleep Eye Mask is extremely durable, comfortable, and effective at blocking out all the light. Plus, it still leaves room for you to blink while you’re counting sheep. 

Portable Power Bank

Our Pick
Anker Portable Charger, 313 Power Bank
This power bank can be extremely helpful if you constantly use your devices while on the go!

With so much to do in Cincinnati, you might find yourself out for several hours. After this long, your phone might die, which is why it’s a good idea to have a portable power bank.

The Anker Portable Charger, 313 Power Bank is a great choice. It’s extremely durable, and the bank will fully charge a device up to two times. 

Travel Laundry Bag

Our Pick
Miamica Travel Laundry Bag
This is essential for anyone who wants to do laundry on a trip, or simply keep dirty clothing separated. It takes up barely any space in a suitcase!

You can save some space and pack fewer clothes with a travel laundry bag. The Miamica Travel Laundry Bag is a great option because it is both durable and lightweight. It also has a very useful expandable design, meaning it doesn’t take much space when compressed, but it can hold a ton of clothing! 

Insect Repellent

Our Pick
OFF! Botanicals Insect Repellent
An easy way to keep the bugs away while hanging out outside.

If you’re visiting Ohio in the summer, chances are you’ll have to deal with a lot of mosquitoes. That’s why it’s a good idea to have some insect repellent on hand.

OFF! Botanicals Insect Repellent is a great option because it’s easy to use and won’t ruin clothes or other items. It effectively deters not only mosquitoes but also gnats and black flies. 


Our Pick
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant and Non-Greasy Sunscreen Lotion
This is very effective at preventing sunburn and doesn't have a greasy finish. It's also easy to pack!

If you’re going to be outside a lot in Cincinnati, it’s a good idea to have sunscreen. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant and Non-Greasy Sunscreen Lotion is a great choice. It comes in a small, portable tube. Also, it’s SPF 70, which provides you with maximal protection against UV rays.

Heating Pad

Our Pick
Sunbeam Heating Pad

This is such a great item to have for injuries or even just soreness. It can help with sleeping comfortably after an active day.

If you’re planning to walk from each tourist attraction in Cincinnati, you might end up sore at the end of the day. This is why it’s smart to have a heating pad handy.

The Sunbeam Heating Pad is a king-sized pad that can provide relief to your feet (with extra socks) and larger areas. You can customize the heat settings, and there is an auto shut-off feature.

Travel VPN

If you plan to get work done on your vacation, VPN is helpful to have. It gives you an encrypted tunnel that protects your data from others, including hackers. Express VPN has been endorsed by Travel Lemming for this purpose. It has servers all over the United States

First Aid Kit

Our Pick
Johnson & Johnson All-Purpose Portable Compact Emergency First Aid Kit

Have everything you could need for minor mishaps. This kit is compact and convenient, too!

No matter where you are, it’s a good idea to have one of these kits. The Johnson & Johnson All-Purpose Portable Compact Emergency First Aid Kit is a great option. 

It contains many essential first aid supplies, like antibiotic cream, anti-itch cream, bandages, gauze pads, and much more. It’s also compact and will fit right into your suitcase.

Other Cincinnati Essentials to Pack

  • Face masks
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Toothbrush
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Moisturizers/lotions
  • Daily vitamins and over-the-counter medications
  • Prescription medications
  • Glasses/contact lenses and case
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Laptop/tablet and charger
  • Cash
  • Driver’s license or other valid ID
  • Proof of vaccination
  • Proof of auto insurance (if you need to rent a car)

Clothing to Pack for Cincinnati

View of an icy Ohio River, Roebling Bridge, and Cincinnati's skyline during winter

As you pack your bag for Cincinnati, here’s the best piece of advice I can give you: prepare for every type of weather by dressing in layers. Also, so that you’re not weighed down by unnecessary stuff, only bring what you know you’re going to use.

So, what clothing should you pack for Cincinnati? Here is a quick clothing checklist for Cincinnati:

  • 1 pair of durable, comfortable sneakers
  • 1 pair of snow / rain boots
  • 1 pair of sandals or flip flops 
  • 6-7 pairs of socks
  • 7 pairs of underwear
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of rain pants
  • 1-2 pairs of sweatpants (or other casual, comfortable pants)
  • 1 pair of dress pants
  • 3-4 t-shirts
  • 1-3 nice shirts / blouses
  • 1 lighter jacket or windbreaker
  • 1 rain jacket
  • 1 winter jacket or parka
  • 1 scarf
  • 1 pair of gloves
  • 1 winter hat
  • 1 baseball cap
  • 1-2 swimsuits

Generally, this covers what clothing you’re going to need in Cincinnati. The following are some of our top recommendations in this category. 

Rain Jacket

Our Pick
Besshopie EVA Raincoat Waterproof Rain Poncho

This is a great choice because it's lightweight, looks good, and keeps your body dry! 

Rain can happen during any season in Cincinnati, sometimes in spite of a dry forecast. A regular jacket will often absorb heavy rain, which is why a rain jacket is a perfect solution.

The Besshopie EVA Raincoat Waterproof Rain Poncho is my preference here, as it won’t take up too much space in a bag or suitcase. Plus, it covers you down to your knees. 

Rain Boots

Our Pick
Tingley Unisex Rubber Workboot Rain Boot

These are my favorite rain boots since they keep my feet dry, even while wading through deep puddles.

Cincinnati can be extremely rainy. If it’s just drizzling, walking shoes should suffice. However, if it’s pouring, you will definitely be better off with a good pair of rain boots. 

The Tingley Unisex Rubber Workboot Rain Boot is a great choice. These rain boots are completely waterproof and designed for comfort while walking.

Rain Pants

Our Pick
Acme Projects Rain Pants

These rain pants breathe really well and are incredibly efficient at preventing water from getting in.

You get it by now: it’s rainy in Cincinnati. To stay comfortable for long periods of time, you’ll want to be waterproof from head to toe. Along with a raincoat and boots, rain pants provide protection from the elements. 

Acme Projects Rain Pants are my pick for rain pants. These pants are light and breathable, making them easy to pack. Also, the pants are great at sealing out water and keeping warmth in. 

Thermal Underwear

Our Pick
Sun Will Thermal Underwear

Planning to visit Cincinnati in the winter? This is definitely clothing that you need to pack for your trip.

Cincinnati’s weather can be extremely cold, especially during winter. Sometimes, simply wearing pants and long sleeves won’t cut it. A base thermal layer can provide you with an extra layer of protection.

Sun Will Thermal Underwear is a great choice to pack because they are electric. Rechargeable batteries power the base layer, keeping your entire body warm.


Our Pick
OZERO Insulated Work Gloves

These gloves are wonderful when trying to stay warm in the winter.

Gloves are very important to pack on any winter visit to Cincinnati, as you’ll want to protect your hands from freezing temperatures. OZERO Insulated Work Gloves are a great choice. They’re water resistant, keeping your hands warm and dry. There is silica on the palms to give you a good grip as well.

Light Jacket

Our Pick
Quikflip 2-in-1 Reversible Backpack Jacket

This is the best windbreaker I've ever owned. It's incredibly comfortable and keeps me warm — without being too warm.

A light jacket can be very useful to have any time in Cincinnati. Even in the summer, mornings can be chilly. For your own comfort, it’s a good idea to pack one of these in your bag.

The Quikflip 2-in-1 Reversible Backpack Jacket is a convenient option. Once you feel like taking it off, it converts into a backpack very easily.

Flip Flops

Our Pick
NewDenBer Rubber Flip Flops

These comfortable sandals help you stay cool in the summer, but come in handy during other seasons, too. 

When traveling, a basic pair of these is always useful. In the hot summer sun, they can help you stay cool. But no matter the season, flip-flops come in handy when you want to check out the hotel pool. 

NewDenBer Rubber Flip Flops are great to pack for your visit. They’re light and won’t take up much space in your bag, in addition to being comfortable.

Cincinnati Packing Tips

View of the golden Cincinnati skyline with rainbow during sunset
All our rain creates rainbows and beautiful green spaces!

Be Prepared for All Kinds of Weather

When packing your bags, make sure you have clothing that will be suitable for all possible types of weather. You should especially be prepared for rain, no matter when you’re visiting. 

If visiting in the wintertime, be prepared for the several inches of snow Cincinnati frequently gets. You may even have to dig your car out of the snow! 

Consider Doing Laundry

If there isn’t enough room in your bag, consider packing less clothing and doing laundry on your visit. Take this into account when deciding where to stay in Cincinnati. You may want to look specifically for a place close to a laundromat or that has laundry facilities on-site.

View of the Cincinnati Music Hall from the outside
Cincinnati Music Hall, one of the city’s key attractions (photo: Max Herman / Shutterstock)

Keep Your Itinerary in Mind

If you’re planning a low-key Cincinnati vacation and you’re not going to be very active, you may not need as many clothes. If you’re going to be extremely active or the weather will be warm, bring more. 

Also, keep your Ohio destinations in mind. Obviously, what you wear to the Cincinnati Music Hall will be vastly different than Coney Island Park! 

Pack Good Walking Shoes

The majority of tourist activities in Cincinnati involve a lot of walking. Make sure to have durable, comfortable shoes (and extra socks) in your bag for this purpose. This will grant you maximal enjoyment, and prevent you from becoming sore too easily.

🚗 Read Next: Best Cincinnati Day Trips

Stay Safe 

When planning your trip, have you asked yourself, “Is Cincinnati safe?” Compared to other nearby cities, Cincinnati’s crime rate is higher than average. However, incidents generally happen in specific neighborhoods. I recommend avoiding areas like English Woods, South Fairmount, Sedamsville, Over-the-Rhine, and West End. 

As far as health safety, note that most people in Cincinnati are no longer taking Covid-related precautions. When traveling, you may find it beneficial to wear a mask and bring sanitizing supplies.

👉 Read Next: 25 Interesting Facts About Cincinnati


Of course, you may need to pack other items that are unique to your situation. But I hope this packing list for Cincinnati has made your trip planning easier! Safe travels, and enjoy visiting The Queen City. 

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