One thing I get asked a lot about or seems to be a big hit when I talk about it is…packing advice. I did a Facebook post last week about 3 things I was hesitant to pack, but so glad I did (check it out)…but for this blog post I thought I would list 10 things that perhaps most people wouldn’t think to pack…assuming you all remember to pack the basics…sunscreen, sunglasses, good walking shoes and of course a poncho (Florida rain). These are things outside of the typical list:
So in no particular order…10 things I always pack but not everyone thinks about…
Nightlight (comforts of home): This is great for families, people with little kids. Not only do I pack a nightlight for bathrooms trips in the dark…but I pack fun pillowcases, favorite stuffed toys, blankets, pillows…a few little things that my kids usually sleep with…it helps with the first night away and it helps make the resort room seem like home. The pillowcase is a great trick for those getting a non-cartoon themed resort, but want to “kid-up” the space.
Entertainment: So as most people might think to bring video games and up-load movies on their phone/tablet for kids…I am suggesting something non-media related. Although a movie in a LONG line is a major plus. For our last trip I packed my 5 year old a kid puzzle book…as it was mainly for the plane…but I also pack it in our backpack for the parks…and was so GLAD I did. During times when she was either a little bored (line), tired or too stimulated to even focus…she would do her puzzle book. It was a major life saver. And for the 2 year old…I packed him a toy Disney Camera that talks “Say Cheese”…this was a huge hit and when he was getting to little “special”…I just had him take pictures. Also…crayons, markers, stickers, paper, coloring book, comics, homework, lol.
Blister aids: I posted about this one on my facebook page…but it was too good of a thing to not post about again, lol. For all the years I have been going to Disney…I always come back with a few souvenirs I didn’t pay for; sunburn, worn/tired muscles and blisters. This time I was prepared to remember a blister solution. I ended up getting Band-Aid Blister bandages and used on my baby toe….before it was a major blister. The band-aid stayed on…through showers, long days and so on. And my toe was never a problem and it didn’t once hurt or give me a hard time walking – it was AWESOME.
Baggies/Containers: I also posted about this too. I got colored baggies, 4 colors for the 4 of us…and used for everything. But the best part was using for food, aka leftovers and snacks for the day. Now Disney isn’t a fan of people taking food from the restaurants…something about not wanting to be responsible for anyone getting sick from eating a hot old sandwich that sat in the stroller and thus turned. So beware of eating something that isn’t good anymore…but in general we ate ours within minutes of leaving the restaurant. Plus I pack ice packs. It was great for mickey waffles, fresh fruit, proteins, etc. I would cut up at the restaurant…and then serve to the kids when in line for a ride or sometimes directly after eating…character meals are often too exciting to meet and eat at the same time, lol. Also perfect when sharing a large tub of popcorn. The different colored bags represent each person, thus I always knew whose germy fingers were in which bag.
Wipes: So when I say wipes…I mean nice, germ dissolving wipes. I use wipes instead of sanitizer gel. I use on my kids hands, on the play areas, interactive ride queues, on all our tables/chairs at restaurants, in the airplane, resort room and so on. So by now…your thinking why is she such a germ freak…well I wasn’t always this way, but both my kids have severe allergies…so I NEED to wipe down every surface to protect them. Not to mention when you think about all the millions of people that go to Disney and how many of them might have something to spread. No-one wants to get sick on vacation and I don’t want my kids to go to the ER due to touching a surface that had cheesy fingers on it. Another tip…I get the car tub pack of “Wet Ones” and put in the mesh pocket area of my backpack, instead of a water bottle. Can you say..”Easy access”.
Bottle holder: Ok this was a life saver for us. First when I say bottle holder I mean for on your stroller. But they do make bottle holders for belts and keychain ones to hook on the loops on your pants…in case you are stroller free. We use 2 cheap umbrella strollers when we go to Disney…1 kid/stroller per parent. And between all 4 of us drinking water…a bottle holder was a NEED. I purchased 2, 1 per stroller. They were perfect for ANY bottle, a bag of snacks and even my phone. They still allowed our strollers to collapse with ease and they were used 24/7.
Portable Charger: Now I’m not talking about your cord charger…but pack that too. I’m talking about a 12+ hour backup battery charger that you plug into your device when it’s low…and it charges it up. See Picture. Now…I did pack this, as everyone said too, but I never used. I am just not someone who’s on my phone when on vacation. Well not a Disney vacation, lol. But this is perfect for people that use their devices to watch movies in line, take videos of the parades and basically FB, tweet and text during their vacation. Cell battery power drains super-fast, especially when you’re using the Disney apps or the line apps.
Chef cards (Allergy cards): I have been making Allergy cards for years…I use them all the time at home; kids backpacks, lunch boxes, when dining out, visiting, and I use on vacation. But at Disney…I have special “Chef” cards as Disney is the only time I allow other people (chefs) to cook for my kids…and for a week on end. I have made several through-out the years and have finally developed a great one for Disney. Every time I need to order a meal…I present my card. It clearly lists all allergies and it gives the chefs something visual to look at as you discuss your food needs. These are perfect for people with multiple allergies and is something I am now offering for my clients. I will design a card for anyone who books with me and needs one. I also have one for families with more than one person with allergies. Also great for vegans, clearing listing what you DON’T eat.
Address Labels: I love labels…the more the better. And my favorite is using the free address ones you get in the mail from certain non-profits. I use them for our luggage tags, to label our character books…I put them on everything. Label your camera, phone, tablet, and stroller. I grab extra of those FREE airline tags, slap on an address label…and boom I can attach to backpacks, camera bags, anything. Disney has a great lost and found…but it’s easier when your stuff is labeled.
Cash/change: Ok so this might seem obvious…but you would be surprised how many people forget. Magicbands and credit cards has made life so easy for making purchases…but something’s you just need cash for. Tips? I personally like to tip with cash. I pay for my dining with my magicband, using dining plan credits, and then tip the waitress with cash. I also tip the Mouse-keepers (housekeepers), bell hops, bus driver, etc with cash. I also pack LOTS of pennies and quarters for “smashed penny” machines. Kids love those, I love those. Plus…every kid wants to throw coins in a fountain…and there are plenty of those at Disney too.
I hope you found this list to be helpful. Disney is often a week long adventure and it’s helpful to have everything you need at your fingertips. Visiting Disney the “Smart and Prepared Way” and book/plan your trip with me. Remember I am FREE and have lots of wonderful travel tested advice to share. Nina@goTMCtravel.com or 734-890-2350