When you're planning a trip to a water park, it's tempting to spend as much time as you can researching the park and picturing yourself zipping down a slide on a hot day and splashing into a pool of refreshing water. Take a moment to snap back to reality, and consider what clothing you'll need to pack for your park visit. Having the right attire can be the difference between a happy day and a forgettable one.

Bathing Suit

You'll spend much of your water park visit wearing a bathing suit, and for the sake of comfort, select a suit that fits correctly. For women, bikinis and one-piece bathing suits are typically acceptable at water parks -- but a two-piece may not be practical unless it's in a sports cut. For men, shorts-style and brief-style suits are acceptable. On high-speed water rides, you'll move quickly down the slide and hit the pool below with considerable force. Select a swimsuit that won't come off during the impact -- the last thing you want is an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction. To confirm your choice of bathing suit adheres to the water park's dress code, check the park's website before your visit.

General Park Attire

At some parks, guests are required to wear appropriate clothing when they leave the water park area and visit the general theme park. In this case, sandals or sneakers, denim shorts, and T-shirts or tank tops you are comfortable in are an acceptable change of clothes for your day trip. If the weather is cool, a sweatshirt or track pants are ideal to slip over your bathing suit. In parks where the entire amusement park is designed for water-based activities, you're typically permitted to remain in your bathing suit for the duration of your stay. Even in this case, it’s always a good idea to pack a loose-fitting cover up to keep warm and protect your skin from sunburns when you’re lounging out of the water in outdoor parks.

Other Items

Always consult the water park's website or call the park before your visit to determine which items are permitted. Some parks allow you to wear goggles on the slides and in the pools, while others do not. If you prefer to wear water shoes as you walk around the park, check to confirm whether they're permitted on the slides and in the pools. If not, check and see if lockers are available to stash a pair of flip flops to slide into when you want to switch from wave pools to roller coasters. Along with extra attire, make sure you are prepared for all-day sun protection in outdoor parks. The most important thing to pack is sunscreen with a high spf that you can reapply by the poolside, and don’t forget a water bottle to keep up hydration.

Prohibited Items

In most cases, water parks frown on guests wearing such items as wet suits, life jackets, flotation devices and swimwear with metal buckles, zippers or decorations. Many parks also prohibit you from wearing glasses or bulky jewelry while using the water slides or pools. If you discover you've visited the park with a prohibited item, consider renting a locker to store the item until the end of your visit.