Getting Ready for the Big Trip

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There is always a lot to do in the week leading up to a trip to Disney World. There’s trying to finish up projects at the office, getting all of the travel sized bottles together, and checking to see just how hot it’s going to be in Florida. I don’t know about the male readers, but I’m sure all of the women will agree that packing can be a daunting task. My lists of stuff to pack starts to take shape a couple of weeks in advance, but I don’t start to throw anything in the suitcase until a few days before taking off. Last week, I got all of my toiletries together to see if there was anything I needed to pick up. Since I make multiple trips every year I keep all of my travel sized toiletries together in the linen closet to make for quicker packing. But that’s the only quick part about my packing! Everyone has there own list of must bring objects for their trip so I won’t tell you what you should take on your trip. I have no doubt I will wind up bringing too much, but I’ll feel prepared for just about anything.

But, packing isn’t the only thing on my to do list. I live alone so there is plenty to take care of around my condo before leaving it vacant for 10 days. For example, for such a long trip I want to stop mail delivery. The US Postal Service makes it pretty easy to put a hold your bills, magazines, and junk mail. Just log onto their website and you should be able to make the arrangements within a few minutes without having to stand in line at the post office. Also on the home front, I’ll have to clean out my fridge and make sure to take all of the garbage out. I don’t want to come back to a smelly apartment! I’ll also be sure to set my thermostat and turn off my water at the last second before I lock up the apartment for the big trip.

I also have to figure out how I’m getting to the airport. The cost of parking and Newark International is insane so I never drive myself. Fortunately, I live close to my parents and I work for my family business so my dad usually gets the job of dropping me off and picking me up (thanks, Dad!). But it’s not always so cut and dry. On my last trip I had to be at the airport at 5:30 a.m. and I just couldn’t ask him to get up so early. Like I said, parking is expensive and the airport’s website told me I would have to allow an extra 30-45 minutes to get from the economy lot to the terminal. At that hour an extra half hour feels like an extra two hours. I called a few car service companies, but they wanted a crazy amount of money too. We decided that I would drive myself then call the office and leave a message telling my dad where to find it. Later in the day the Helmstetter men retrieved it and brought it back to my condo.

All this to and I don’t even have any kids to prepare! It’s going to take me a month to get ready once I get to that phase of life. Just another reason to enjoy being a 20 something, childless traveler while I can!

Well, I’ve been talking about this big trip all month and it’s finally almost time to depart! During my trip I’ll try to blog a bit, but I’m not making promises of any sort regularity. You see, we are generally up at the crack of dawn and out until the wee hours so it doesn’t leave a lot of time for blogging. But, I’ll twitter, tweet, or whatever the right term during the trip to you can keep up on my whereabouts. I’ll be doing lots of “research” (if you can call drinking around the world research) so keep a lookout for fun topics in the coming months. Stay tuned from April 30- May 9th to see how my trip is going!

Kristen Helmstetter

Kristen Helmstetter is an Unofficial Guide researcher who will share her 20-something perspective of all things Walt Disney World with blog readers. Kristen’s email address is You can also follow her on Twitter: @khelmstetter.

11 thoughts on “Getting Ready for the Big Trip

  • April 27, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Kristen! Ha! “Drinking Around the World!” I think this calls for a new set of touring plans. Magic Kingdom Morning Extra Magic Hours One Day Plan for Those with Severe Hangovers……. This plan takes into account the acute nausea and headache that can occur after a night of character bar hopping…. it avoids any attractions that bounce, bump, or – God Forbid – SPIN! We tell you where all the restrooms are located, just in case you need to make a visit. This plan features lots of dimly lit, quiet shows (Hall of Presidents….. and ….. that’s about it.) Just stay with the pretend commanders in chief until you can walk around without crying…….

    • April 27, 2009 at 9:15 pm

      I’m replying to myself…. that last post was very not-in-the-spirit-of-Disney wholesomeness. Bless me Walt, for I have sinned. So sorry.

    • April 28, 2009 at 8:39 pm

      The Magic Kingdom Touring Plan for Adults with Hangovers!

      1. Exposition Hall Cinema on Main Street
      2. Tomorrowland Transit Authority
      3. Swiss Family Treehouse
      4. Exit the park.


      • April 28, 2009 at 10:04 pm

        TTA is closed though! Perhaps sit on bench and groan would be a good substitution?

  • April 27, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    I love it! We’re splitting World Showcase in half since let’s face it I’m not in college anymore. So maybe I’ll only have to avoid bumps and spins til about 11 and I’ll have to find a place to get some decent coffee instead of that Nescafe crap.

    As someone who also believes in the Gospel according to St. Walt I think you’re forgiven.

    • April 28, 2009 at 10:22 am

      Be sure to tell us your favorite drink(s)!

      • April 28, 2009 at 3:43 pm

        Oh I will!

  • April 28, 2009 at 2:50 am

    That’s a great tip about using the US Postal Service website to submit a hold mail request. I just finished setting ours up and it was super easy. Thanks!!

      • April 28, 2009 at 3:42 pm

        I had never done it before and went online to see what I’d have to do and I was pleasantly surprised that it could be done right there! Glad it helped you guys.

  • December 13, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    we leave on 22nd Dec i’m getting prepared but not quite sure what to take re weather? and any tips would be appreciated! thanks

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