10 Tips for a Stress Free Vacation

by Brittany DiCologero

  1. Choose who you bring with you wisely

You know how they say you never truly know someone until you live with them? You could argue that you never really know someone until you vacation with them too. If you’re thinking of inviting a friend on your next Walt Disney World trip who can sometimes be a Debbie Downer, you may want to rethink that decision. Another less than enjoyable sort of vacation partner in Disney can be the “their way or no way” sort of people. There are a number of other factors to consider here as well—one major one being if you’re paying for the other person to come. Disney is expensive, and if you’re thinking about paying for your daughter’s friend to tag along, you’ll want to make sure you’re completely comfortable with this decision before you book the trip for him or her.


  1. Gives kids a limit on souvenir shopping

One thing that is sure to stress parents out is listening to kids whine because they want to buy everything, and of course almost anywhere you go at Walt Disney World is going to lead to a gift shop. You can help alleviate this stress by making sure your kids understand that they have x amount of money to spend on souvenirs while they’re in Disney. I would recommend letting them purchase whatever they want, as long as it remains in their budget. It might also be helpful to give each child a Disney gift card with a certain amount on it, so that they can easily refer to how much money they have left. And rather than not allowing your child to get something that would use most/all of their money, let him or her get it if it’s what they want, just remind them that, “You only have x dollars for shopping, are you sure you want to spend most of it on this?”


  1. Use the pool at your resort

Going for a swim, or just laying out in the sun can be a great way to relax after spending some time running around in the parks. Many guests overlook the pools in favor of rushing back to the parks, however if you’re starting to feel exhausted, visiting the pool can be a great way to unwind.


  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff

If something small, albeit annoying, happens to you during your Disney vacation, acknowledge that you disliked it and move on. Don’t spend your whole vacation dwelling on how crowded Main Street was during Wishes, or that family that cut you in line for Expedition Everest. It’s not worth letting something small ruin your entire trip. Unfortunately things happen that are out of Disney’s control—such as the weather. If you find that it rains every day of your trip, grab an umbrella and poncho and keep going.


  1. Allow your family to split up and reunite later

One of the most stressful things about traveling with a large group is when the group is told to stay together the entire time. If half of your family wants to ride Tower of Terror and Rock n’ Rollercoaster, and half does not, the solution is to split up, rather than have half of the group wait in the gift shop while the other half rides. Even splitting up for half the day, and meeting back up for dinner can take away a lot of the stress of trying to do everything that everyone in a large group wants to do.


  1. Understand that Disney is pricey

The reality of planning a trip to Walt Disney World is that it will be expensive. While there are numerous ways to save money, it is still going to be an expensive vacation. Make sure you understand this before you go, so you’re not stressed out by sticker shock.

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  1. Learn about the parks before your trip

Like any vacation, it’s going to be helpful for you to have some idea of what’s going on before you arrive. If you’re unfamiliar with the Disney parks, grab a guide book or head to the internet to read up on them before you arrival. Having virtually no idea of what the parks have to offer is going to make it difficult to decide what you want to do, and this scenario can end up being quite stressful.


  1. Stay hydrated

So many guests underestimate Florida heat and humidity. Any time of year, but particularly during the hot summer months, in Florida, it is extremely important to drink lots of water. You can get free cups of water from any quick service restaurant so there is no excuse not to stay hydrated during your next Disney trip.


  1. Avoid meltdowns by taking it slow, and taking breaks

Children can easily become more exhausted than adults while tackling the Disney parks, so it is important to keep this in mind while you’re going about your day. Take breaks in the afternoon, and don’t push the kids to their limits—this is how meltdowns happen. If you notice the kids getting really tired and crabby, take a break. Even if it means finding a bench and letting them nap for a little bit, it will save you a lot of stress in the long run.


  1. Don’t overwork yourself

Kids aren’t the only ones who can have meltdowns. Make sure the adults in your party are getting plenty of rest too. If it’s 4:00 PM and you’re exhausted head back to the hotel for a little bit, or stop by one of the beaches at a resort and relax. You’ll be more stressed out if you push yourself beyond your limit, than if you’d just take a quick break.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany DiCologero Bio Brittany is a graduate of St. Anselm College, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in History. She completed two Disney College Programs, one at Dinoland U.S.A., in Animal Kingdom, and one at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Hollywood Studios. She is the author of “Brittany Earns Her Ears,” a memoir about her experiences on the college program, and she currently resides in Massachusetts.