Find travel essentials at Goodwill
by Temi |

Do you shop at Goodwill before going on a trip?  If the answer is no, you might want to rethink that.

Why go to Goodwill?

Local Goodwill storefront

I just want to state that I am not sponsored nor affiliated with Goodwill.  I am just a fan.  Goodwill is one of the ways to save for vacation.

Summer is coming up and we’re planning our first big international family trip with grandparents and cousins.  We’re going to be going to the beach and pool a ton on this trip. I noticed that last year’s swim gear no longer fit my 18 month old (6 months versus 18 months is a huge difference!).

First, I went to Target. There, swim bottoms cost about $10 and another $10 for tops. I didn’t want to spend $20 on a toddler swimsuit that would only last a summer.  Goodwill to the rescue.

I dashed over to a nearby Goodwill and I was in luck. Most kids items cost 99cents.  I got two swim tops, two swim trunks for $3.96. Now that’s more like it! Automatic savings. We’ll be able to use the swim items I got on vacation and during this summer’s swim class. Before you go out and buy something you think you need for a vacation, I strongly suggest you try your local Goodwill or second-hand store.

99 cents at Goodwill

Saving Money for Vacation

My friend JP earns a healthy side income selling items on eBay. Wait a minute, Temi, what does this have to do with Goodwill and vacation? With the money he’s earned from eBay he’s been able to pay for a trip to a pretty beach town in the Caribbean.

When I asked him how he does this, he let me in on a little secret: he finds inexpensive quality items from Goodwill and then sells them higher on eBay. He’s always on the lookout for quality items with brand names. He specializes in camping and backpacking gear.

You can pay for part or the entirety of your next vacation by finding a cheap item at your local Goodwill then that item higher elsewhere.

Get Designer Clothing at a Discount

Planning a trip to Iceland or somewhere cold? 100% wool sweaters cost the same as the cheap polyester stuff. Yesterday on my trip Goodwill I found a 100% merino Gap wool dress, two men’s 100% merino wool button downs (Banana Republic and Jos A. Banks), and 100% New hair Icelandic wool pullover, which normally retails for a $255 at IceWear  for $5.99 EACH.

100% wool, trusted name brands

Build a classic capsule wardrobe for your trip

Capsule wardrobes are very popular.  Did you know you can build a vacation capsule wardrobe for an upcoming trip? Goodwill is a great place to source capsule essentials or signature accessories.

Here are some of the items I look for Goodwill when building a vacation capsule:

Suits/blazers – A blazer is my signature item.  I use them as a statement piece when I travel. Blazers automatically dress up an outfit. I go to Goodwill and look for blazers in my size. I also sometimes look for a suit, but use the top for one set of outfits and the bottom for another piece.

Dresses – With dresses I can generally guess whether or not it will fit. You can find a lot of casual and versatile dresses at Goodwill

Purses – Goodwill excels at 100% leather bags. Whether you want a messenger bag,  satchel bag, or a leather tote Goodwill is a perfect place to find high quality leather goods to be your go-to travel bag.

Bonus item jewelry .  I have been moving away from costume jewelry. However, Goodwill is a good place to source inexpensive statement pieces to complement the other items you’re packing. For example, if you have a lot of high neckline items then you want to go to a Goodwill store and look for items with long chains. If you have something that’s going to be a round neck item like lots of T-shirts then you’ll be looking for long chain necklaces. Goodwill is also a great place to look for brooches.

Shop goodwill online today!

If there isn’t a Goodwill near you did you know that you can go to shopgoodwill online?  They have online auctions and 1cent shipping!

Beyond the Goodwill

Don’t want to shop at Goodwill?  Consider going to a wealthier neighborhood and look for a second hand stores. Wealthy areas tend not to broadcast their thrift store market look for “consignment shops” or boutiques that advertise selling “gently used” and  “well loved” items. I’ve found and purchased a Brooks Brothers shirts for $6.00 this way.

If you’re not into shopping at the Goodwill then there are other stores like eBay , Craigslist, neighborhood listservs that are all great places to source items for your next vacation.

Don’t forget to give back

Don’t forget to pay it forward for the next person. Consider donating your gently used items to your local thrift store.

Goodwill donation center

In summary

  1. Don’t waste money on new items for you next vacation
  2. Go to Goodwill for quality items or items that you know you’ll be using only a handful of times
  3. Look for items that you can turn around and resell
  4. Look for classic clothing items that complement clothes you already have in your closet
  5. Shop online if more convenient
  6. Donate!

Hope this post inspires you to consider going to the Goodwill for your travel items.


Sara Poyner

Thank you so much for this post. with two children, vacation clothes shopping can get pretty expensive. I will now take your advice and shop at my local thrift store. As they grow so fast, often vacation clothes are worn just for that time. What would be great would be to wear and then donate them back. Saving money and then truly paying it forward. I also loved the idea of the capsule wardrobe. I am terrible for buying and packing too much! Thanks for the tip.

Jun 09.2019 | 08:14 pm


Great tips! Goodwill has a lot of good stuff, clothes, toys. I like to shop at Goodwille, but don’t buy shoes. When my kids were little, I bought a lot of kids clothes. First, I can find good quality and famous brands of clothes at a much lower price. Second, kids grow to fast, and there no reason to spend a lot of money for one season.
I like your article; it is original and beneficial content for everyone.

Jun 09.2019 | 11:18 pm

Lyndal Jane

Thanks Temi, for writing this article!
I love thrift shops! There’s nothing like finding a bargain!! And I’ve donated stacks also.
Win-win! You can often find really unique pieces at thrift stores and be able to put together a creative outfit! I thought it was such a good idea to upsell on Ebay too.
Best wishes, Lyndal jane

Jun 10.2019 | 03:11 am

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