I love to pack for vacation! I am a total nerd, type-A personality and it just makes me happy to start gathering items for my Disney trips in a box weeks before I leave, or laying out outfits for each day to coordinate with the park we are touring. I realize I may take it ever so slightly over the top, but I do have 7 suggestions for packing to make your Disney vacation a little more perfect:
It is important to be able to find things and get ready quickly on your Disney vacation. You don’t want to spend an extra minute in the room looking for someone’s lost sock, or trying to find your shorts for that day. For me organization comes in several different levels. As I am packing my kids’ clothes I group the days outfit together—shorts, t-shirt, socks, shoes and underwear. Then it is tightly rolled and placed into a Ziploc freezer bag (with all of the air squeezed out). The bag is then labeled with that child’s name and the day it is for. This method saves room in my suitcase, and allows that kid to grab his bag of clothes as he goes in to shower in the morning and everything is there—saving a ton of time! Once we get to our resort room I use two of my other organization tips: the hanging closet organizer and the shoe holder. The hanging closet organizer like this one (http://www.amazon.com/Honey-Can-Do-SFT-01239-8-Shelf-Hanging-Organizer/dp/B001F51ADU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414175594&sr=8-1&keywords=hanging+closet+organizer) serves as extra clothes storage space when there never seem to be enough drawers for my family. It also facilitates getting ready for the kids because the top shelf is the first day, and so on. The shoe holder like this one (http://www.amazon.com/Whitmor-6351-1253-JAVA-Fashion-Organizer-Collection/dp/B000S6M4KA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414175646&sr=8-1&keywords=shoe+holder) organizes our toiletries, sunscreen, and other small items. Keeps things neat & we know where everything is.
6. Your Park Bag
Bringing a comfortable and correctly sized park bag is important. What is right for you is going to depend a lot on your family—the ages and number of your children in particular. In the past I’ve used Baggallini brand bags, Vera Bradley bags and even a full backpack. I try to minimize what I take into the parks as much as possible, but there are some essentials you have to fit in there. Some of my basics: hand sanitizer, travel size baby wipes (for cleaning tables), water, a couple of snacks, something to entertain the kids (could be a Hidden Mickey or Trivia book, a search and find book, an electronic device), a list of my dining reservations, band aids, a portable charger for my phone, a credit card, my photo ID, and an extra memory card for my camera. Sometimes I throw in a beach towel too (from home) to sit on while watching parades.
Not only do you need to remember to pack your phone and camera, you may have other electronics that you will utilize on your vacation—laptops, tablets, hand held games, etc. You will want to include the chargers for each of these devices as well. Since you will be spending most of your time away from the room I recommend a portable charger for your phone similar to this one. And since most devices have a USB connection for charging I like to bring this with since there are not as many electrical outlets in the rooms as I would like (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GTGETFG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Another solution is to bring a power strip for your devices. I also like to bring a backup battery and at least 1 extra memory card for my camera.
4. Never Know When You’ll Need It Items
These are the items that you know you can get at the resort shop, but they will cost you an arm and a leg plus the reason you would need it always seems to strike in the middle of the night when the shop is closed. Things like medications, band aids, a small sewing kit, stain remover, etc. I try to find travel sizes of these things so they don’t take up a lot of room when packing, but I have them when I need them.
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3. Coordinating Outfits
Here is where my nerdy-ness pops out again. Yes, my family has been known to wear matching tie dye Mickey shirts. And we were also selected as Family of the Day on two separate occasions to open both Magic Kingdom and Epcot wearing those shirts—so don’t knock it! Even if you can’t get your family to go for matchy-matchy shirts, coordinating colors is a nice idea. This way your photos will look better, and if you happen to be separated from someone in your group you should at least remember what color they are wearing.
2. Extra Clothes
I will also admit to being an over-packer, but there are some items you just need to have “just in case.” Extra socks in case it is a Florida downpour and yours get soaked (or you ride Kali River Rapids). An extra pair of shoes for the same reason—and to rotate in case you are getting blisters or your feet hurt from walking miles in the same shoes. A jacket—even in the summer those restaurants can be chilly with the a/c cranked down (and to me the hotel hallways are always like meat lockers). And don’t forget the ponchos or rain jackets!
1. Snacks and Water
Not only can you save a bit by having snacks, water and other drinks in your room during your break times, you can also take them into the parks. No need to hunt down a cart selling water for an exorbitant amount of money—you have your own right there with you when you need it. If you are driving from your home this is very easy to do. If you are flying you could ship some supplies to your resort.
What items are on your perfect packing list?