If you are an avid reader of the TouringPlans.com Blog you may remember that I’m planning a a trip to Disney World with my family. While this sounds like the norm for most Disney fans, it is a rare and special occasion since most of them haven’t every been there and the ones who have haven’t been since 1987. We are just under the two week mark for our February 21 departure so they are starting to ask me questions about packing. Since many folks who haven’t been do Disney World probably have the same questions I thought I’d offer up some advice on how to pack in this week’s blog post!
We’ll be flying from Newark to Orlando with JetBlue so each of us will be able to check a bag for free. This perk makes packing so much easier when you know you can check a bag for free! As an added bonus, we even got a seat for my two year old nephew so we can check a bag for him. We’ll also be using Disney’s Magical Express so we can drop our bags off in Newark and not have to deal with them until they are delivered to our rooms at the Polynesian. With all that in mind I have suggested packing a checked bag full of snacks, diapers, and whatever other kid stuff they may need. Bringing snacks will be a great way to save time and money since the kids often want something to nibble on. We won’t have to find a place to get a snack, wait in line, and spend money to keep hungry kids happy. They can also use the suitcase after it is cleaned out of snack and diapers to bring souvenirs home.
My mom keeps asking me what she should wear and how many outfits she should bring on the trip. It’s hard to give her a straight answer since you never know what the weather will be like in February. While it will certainly be warmer than back home in New Jersey, there could be a cold snap during our trip. My solution is to check the weather forecasts as soon as they are available and to plan to dress in layers. I recommended a short sleeve shirt or tanktop and a long sleeve shirt for each day as well as a few sweaters or sweatshirts that could be worn with multiple outfits. I let her know she should bring one outfit per day since we won’t be doing anything fancy like eating at the California Grill. However, I always bring a couple of extras in case it rains or Splash Mountain is just out of control. I especially think some extra outfits should be packed for the kids. I’m sure one of them will spill ice cream down the front of themselves in the morning and need a change during our afternoon break at least once.
If you read my post about keeping your feet happy at Disney World, you’ll remember keeping your feet comfortable can make or break your trip. For this reason, I highly recommended everyone in the family wear a good pair of sneakers while we tour the parks. I also suggested bringing an extra pair in case one gets wet or wind up being uncomfortable. A pair or two of flip flops or sandals are also recommended for going to the pool and hanging around the resort. Likewise, socks are very important and it is always a good idea to pack more pairs than you think you’d need. Trust me on that one.
I have already started to get my toiletries together for the trip. I did it early so I could see if I needed to purchase any more supplies. Since I go to Disney World so often I keep all of my travel sized bottles together in my linen closet and just pull them out as needed which makes my life a lot easier. I’m always sure to pack these bottles in plastic bags in case one of them leaks. On my last trip my perfume bottle opened up, but it was in a plastic bag so I just had to rinse off the other things in the bag rather than dealing with drenched clothes. In addition to the usual shampoo and conditioner, I always make sure to pack a little first aid kit. My bag of goodies includes band-aids, Neosporin, Moleskin (with scissors to cut it), Advil, and Pepto Bismol. I’ll definitely make sure my brother and sister-in-law pack children’s medicines too just in case someone should wind up a little under the weather.
Now that we’ve covered our checked bags let’s move onto carry on luggage. I’m assuming everyone in my family will want to carry on a bag with their essentials. For me a shoulder bag and a large purse usually allows me to pack all I need for the airport, plane, and first few hours on the ground in Orlando. I’m always sure to have my phone charger, headphones, my camera, and some sort of in flight entertainment with me in my carry on. I keep all of my travel documents (flight info, room confirmation, etc.) organized in an accordion folder tucked into my purse. My quart sized bag usually contains a small bottle of sunscreen, contact solution and a case, and usually some makeup. I like to keep things as simple as possible, but I’m sure this time around we’ll have a lot more carry on stuff with kids and parents!
It has been a while since my parents flew so they have all kinds of questions about what they can and can’t take in their carry on bag. I’m pretty sure I’ve told them to pack their liquids in three ounce bottles that can all fit into a quart sized bag five times already. I know they will also have medications they will want to carry on with them in case their checked bag should get lost. I’m planning to make them a list of other carry on essentials to help make their trip as comfortable as possible.
While I’m concerned about keeping my parents comfortable on the plane, I’m more concerned about keeping three small kids entertained on the plane. Since this will be my first time flying with kids I’m a little worried about how they’ll do, but their parents and I will try to keep them happy. They each got a little rolling suitcase for Christmas so I’m sure they’ll fill them with toys, games, and snacks to make their journey a pleasant one. As I previously mentioned, we’ll be flying JetBlue so they will be able to watch TV during the flight as well. The airline is smart and makes sure to include kid-friendly channels. They also plan to bring their own portable DVD players in case the kids would like to watch something specific.
Since I am a veteran Disney World visitor all of this packing and preparation seems like old hat to me, but I know it will seem overwhelming to my family. I’m trying to help them as best I can so they will have everything they might want or need for the trip. Do you have any added suggestions? Let me here about your packing practices in the comments!