Welcome to Part 3 of our Disney Series-Packing for Disney! Now here is an idea of how long I have been wanting to write this series. I actually recorded packing to Disney when we went in 2013… I have included the video for those of you who would like to watch. Let’s get started!!!
There were supposed to be two videos, but only one will upload…so not much use. Plus, I was a serious newb recording stuff so..lol Might not be much help!
1. Get a Good List
You’ve already set up your reservations, bought your tickets, and planned your meals. Now it’s time to pack, and this is the very first step!
Now, if you have been on pinterest at all, I’m sure there are hundreds out there. My absolute favorite one is from WDW Prep School! It has everything you could possibly want, need, and may never even think about! You can print it out in PDF, Word, and even Excel format.
2. Purchase Items
Now that you know WHAT you need, let’s think about WHERE you can get these items.
Wal-Mart: Believe it or not, Wal-Mart is my first stop! Why? The Dollar Tree has almost every item you need from the list, however, they’re all $1. If you go to Wal-Mart and price out the items you would purchase at DT, you may be surprised that they’re less than $1. Things like travel soaps, wet wipes, etc.
You can get a lot of stuff on your list here, but as I said above, make sure you’re not overpaying for some of the travel essentials.
Amazon: Basically everything I couldn’t get from DT/Walmart, I got from Amazon! Why? I have free 2-day shipping and they generally have the best prices. Things I purchased from here: Autograph book, Stroller fan(this same one, Wal-mart now carries), Plastic place mats, flip cam, moleskin, and Disney lanyards/coin pouch.
Know your limits:
Car: Know how much your car can hold. In our Honda Odyssey (the one we totaled), we could hold several large suitcases, backpacks, and small tote bags in the back. Much more than someone in a smaller SUV. Take the bags/suitcases you plan to use and make sure they fit before you load them up with the stuff already in them.
Flying: Know how much your limit/prices on bags are when flying. When we flew with Airtran, we got 2 Checked bags (1 per-person), 1 Carry-On Per Person, and 1 Personal Bag per-person, and 1 Diaper Bag for flying with baby. The total cost was $80 for our bags. However; Southwest allows your bags to fly for free.
Be sure to visit TSA for rules on what’s allowed in your bag, as well as what each bag dimension is considered. I brought a large suitcase, a backpack as a carry-on, and a large purse as my personal item.
4. Keep a List in Your Bag
Ah yes, the queen of trip organization (you may know her..its me) left this tiny tidbit out on our 2013 trip. WHY is this important?
On our 2013 trip, we tried to utilize all the space we had. Our suitcase had a mesh storage compartment and that is where I put the 3 large containers of sunblock. Why is that bad? When we arrived, I searched high and low for that sunblock. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. This resulted in… $40-60 of sunblock at our resort hotel. It probably would have been cheaper to rent a taxi and go to Wal-mart, but the bottom line is, it could have been avoided! We obviously NEEDED sunblock in May in Florida with a 13-month-old. Guess what, I found it in the mesh compartment, on the last day. *Que crying and dollar bills being ripped to shreds*
If you write down which bag and compartment you have an item in when crossing it off your list, this can be avoided. It literally takes only a second, and I’m sure you will be glad you did to avoid my
minor major boo-boo.
5. Packing for Home
A lot of people suggest bringing an empty bag for your souvenirs. Luckily, one of our suitcases was mostly devoted to our breakfast/snack foods, so it was emptied after the trip. We also didn’t purchase large items. Think about how you’re going to get a souvenir home before purchasing it.
6. For the Parks
The list I mentioned has everything you’d need for a bag in the parks. We even purchased our draw-string bags from the Dollar Tree, fyi. Before we left, I divided things up and put them into a zip-lock bag: band-aids, gum, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, Pennies for Pressing, kleenex. Then I’d just throw a new zip-lock bag in the backpack everyday. I didn’t have to wake up early to do it or worry I forgot something! Some things we just kept in the bag everyday, so we didn’t have to remember: autograph book, towel, extra clothes (replaced if needed), bag for wet clothes, sunscreen. We were able to actually wear the bags on many rides, leave them in the stroller, or put them in a designated area. No hassle and it’s nice having them if you need them! DON’T FORGET EXTRA SNACKS OR TOYS IF YOU HAVE LITTLE ONES! =] You don’t want to leave those in the stroller while waiting in line!!
7. How to Pack
Maybe by now you’re all wondering if I have any tips for actually packing a bag. Honestly, I used lots of tutorials on youtube to stuff a lot of stuff in my carry on. One great tip if you have children is to put each outfit in a gallon size zip-lock.
You just include their shirt, pants, socks, diaper/underwear, and anything else they might wear (hear bows). Then, not only do you just grab it and go every morning, but you can throw one in the backpack in case they get wet on a ride, rain, or an accident.
8. Important Information
Don’t forget your information binder. This should include things like:
Theme Park Tickets
Rental car Reservations
Birth Certificates (If flying with small kids)
If you’re staying on-site, most of this will already be linked to your Magic Bands. It’s still nice to bring, just in case!
9. Quick Tip
When flying/traveling, never keep all your money in one place!! Don’t keep it all in one suitcase, it may be stolen or your bag may get lost. Don’t leave it all in your wallet, this may be stolen as well. The BEST thing to do it divide your cash/gift cards into several different bags. That way, if a bag is lost or stolen, you lose $50 instead of $300.
Be sure to come back for Part 4: Plan of Action at Disney!!!