We recently went to Disney and kept having moments of regret when we realized we totally undervalued the importance of smart packing.
Behold, the face of bad packers!
So don’t be like us. Be better. Much better. Consider these tips:
- Leave Space In Your Luggage: Whether it’s a pair of sequined mouse ears or a version of The Night Before Christmas where Olaf reads to you, I promise you that you will be coming home with more than you left. And if you’re already toeing the weight limit requirements of your checked luggage, it may be hard for you to bring back all of your new goodies. Don’t be me. Don’t wind up carrying multiple pairs of shoes in your purse so new things can fit in your luggage.
- Ziplock Bags: I see you making a puzzled face. Ziplocks? Why would I ever need ziplocks?? Well I’ll tell you why! Because you might be the kind of person who wants to save money by packing lunch to bring into the park. And let me tell you, no one wants to eat a loose PB&J that’s been rattling around in your bag. (For more info on money saving tips, see our other post). Plus, you might have bottles of liquid (lotions, shampoos, etc…) that you want to secure, to protect the rest of your luggage. I wished I had brought ziplock bags after my lotion exploded in my luggage…
- Sunblock: Bring it. I know, I know, you’re hoping to get a tan. Trust me when I say your skin will thank you (and so will future you, since you’ll be helping to prevent fine wrinkles). Oh, and p.s, you should consider using SPF 50 on your face, contrary to what you might have heard elsewhere. TRUST ME, future you will be thanking past you for doing this. Pro-tip: don’t forget to place sunblock on exposed scalp and on (and behind) your ears.
- Walking Shoes: One of my favorite things to do when we travel (and one of my greatest sources of frustration) is to compare steps between the Hubby and myself. Some days during our most recent Disney trip, we were getting 25,000 steps a day. We rarely fell below 20,000 steps. (Venting moment – we LITERALLY go everywhere together. HOW DOES HE ALWAYS HAVE MORE STEPS THAN ME?!). I saw multiple pairs of platformed sandals on our last trip and while they may look adorable your feet will be aching.
- Medical Supplies: This is absolutely an area of bias for us, but be smart and bring things in case you need them. Channel your inner Wilderness Explorer. Bring pain medication (Ibuprofen, Tylenol, etc..) to have on hand in case you get hurt or have a headache (and as always, be smart about what you take, and make sure the medications you bring with you are appropriate for you to use. If you’re unsure, ask your doctor). Bring bandaids. Bring antibacterial ointment (i.e Neosporin). Bring tissues. Bring aloe vera lotion. Bring your health insurance card. This is one area where it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Paper Plates: Especially if you plan to have some of your meals in your hotel room (again, see our prior post). You’ll be thankful you weren’t using shopping bags like we did. Because we fancy.
- Hand Wipes: Have you SEEN the movie Contagion? Do you know how many kids (i.e little vectors of disease) there are at the parks?! Bring them. Make sure they have disinfectant properties. Save yourselves!
- Containers: For bringing water into the parks, for bringing food into the parks (if you’re not a ziplock fan). For securing all the new pins that you’ll buy. It’ll come in handy, I promise!
- Collapsable Laundry Hampers: Hooooo boy. Listen to me and listen very closely. You want this. Nay, you NEED this. Otherwise you’ll wind up placing your dirty clothes back in your luggage and stinking everything up. Never underestimate the power of used socks.
- Phone Chargers: Your phone is a nice way to check in on wait times, make fast passes, make dinner reservations, and take photos of everything. Don’t let it die!
- Deodorant: I feel like I shouldn’t have to place this on a packing list, but after standing in close contact with people in lines at the parks, I feel it is my civic duty to remind everyone that we should all be decent human beings and wear deodorant in 80+ degree weather. Do it for the children, folks.
- (Not) Your Computer: Again I see you making that face. I’m going to suggest you consider not bringing your computer for several reasons. It will take up space, anything you absolutely need to look up you should, in theory, be able to do so on your phone, and most importantly it may detract you from vacation time and lead you to doing mindless browsing or checking up on work items. You are on vacation. You are with family (or going stag, no judgement here! Disney is for EVERYONE), so don’t take time away from them (or away from you doing you). Let yourself have fun!
- Hairbands: It’s hot. You’re going to want to pull back your hair. Make sure you pack sunblock, though, to protect your shoulders!
There are a few items that Hubby and I have gone back and forth about. For instance, shampoo and conditioner. Yes, they give you some in your hotel room. Yes, you will save space in your luggage by leaving yours behind. No, your hair will not be as silky and soft as it usually is at home.
Another item we’ve gone back and forth about is a backpack. The pros are that you can bring your lunches, water bottles, sunblock, deodorant (!!!), etc… into the parks with you. The downside is that you have to go through a bag check line, which is typically quite long. I think we are more into than against backpacks, ultimately.
As always, we hope you found this helpful! Reach out if you have any questions or tips on how you like to pack!