I hate packing. I do, I hate it. I hate packing for overnight trips, I hate packing for long trips, I hate packing to move. I. Hate. Packing. That said, it is a necessity, and it is especially important for Disney vacations. Walt Disney World, especially, is a MASSIVE place. You will be far from home and far from many things, like cheap groceries and clothes that don’t cost the same as a mortgage payment. Of course, now you can order things, which makes things a little easier, but if you’re like me, you’d rather just do it right the first time.
So here is a list of 20 things that you simply MUST pack, but it goes beyond underwear and t-shirts!
- Lysol I know, I know, you’re probably thinking “well we’re in a pandemic, DUH!” but no, that’s not why this is on my list. How to say this….many of your hotel situations will involve just one bathroom. And in close quarters. Disney generally involves a lot of eating. And….. so anyway, I’ve always brought a travel can of Lysol to store in the bathroom. Everybody does it….
- Reusable Straws So Disney is trying to do the right thing and reduce their carbon footprint. YAY DISNEY! Unfortunately, this means paper straws. I don’t know about you, but paper straws just don’t cut it for my super thick milkshake. So bring some reusable straws! There are tons of them: metal, silicone, bendable, straight, bamboo, whatever you fancy. Get them in many colors and each family member can easily keep track of which one is theirs. You can also get a cleaning brush and wash them in the sink in your room each night.
- Reusable Silverware Along those same lines, if you, personally, try to reduce your carbon footprint, instead of using plastic, bring your own!
- Gold Bond Powder or Spray/Body Glide So this one, you may be saying “what in the world?” But listen, not all of us have been blessed with a thigh gap. And some of us just don’t enjoy the boob sweat and boob chafe. Body glide is GREAT to keep the thighs from starting a friction fire and Gold Bond keeps certain areas cool and dry (your unmentionables). The Gold Bond powder also provides cool relief at the end of a day of walking and sweating. Trust me, you’re going to need it.
- Multi-plug Outlet Your entire family has a phone/iPad/tablet/laptop/computer. As much as Disney has refurbished their hotel rooms, there is not always enough places to plug all your stuff in at the end of the day. Bonus tip: get one with USB ports AND regular plugs to maximize outlets.
- Reusable Water Bottle Save OODLES of money by not buying drinks. If you bring your own water bottle (I personally like the Brita bottles because Florida water gives me the bubble guts), you can fill up at the filling stations OR get FREE WATER at any Quick Service Restaurant (or table service before you leave the restaurant) and keep your bottle full. You can also fill up at the refill stations in every hotel (which are now REOPENED!!), but only water, unless you buy a drink. Anything other than water is gonna cost you!
- Hand Sanitizer Again, in COVID times, this is a big DUH, but honestly, if you weren’t already using this in the parks…..EW! Have you ever thought about what you’re touching?!?!?!?
- Extra Travel Deodorant or Deodorant Wipes I like to throw this in my bag and take it into the park with me. Sometimes, you smell people. I like to make sure that I never walk by someone and become the topic of their conversation (well, because of my scent, at least).
- Travel Face Wipes Along those lines, I also like to put these in my bag. Washing my face throughout the day makes me feel SO much better as I continue to sweat.
- Light, Small Umbrella/Cheap Ponchos So many thoughts. First of all, they DO sell ponchos in the parks. But for the price of one pretty poncho with Mickey Mouse, you can get a 20-pack on Amazon. It pretty much is guaranteed to rain at least once on your vacation, especially in summer (it will literally rain every single day in the summer) but it usually (NOT ALWAYS) passes by quickly. When you get yourself a 20-pack, you can use it, take it off when the rain passes, and just throw it away. NO CARRYING WET PONCHOS. Me, personally, I hate ponchos. So I stick an umbrella in my bag. If it is raining REALLY hard, I will pull out a cheap poncho, but not usually.
- Chilly Pad/Frog Toggs/Cooling Towels The summer in Florida is the surface of the sun. I know this because we usually go in July or August. Teenagers can’t miss school as easily as younger kids, so there ya have it. Anyway, so you get these cooling towels, get em wet, ring em out, and VOILA! You have a cooling device! The towels we currently use can double as a headwrap/bandana, which is really nice because keeping your head cool helps the rest of you out. BONUS TIP: a cheap personal fan also is nice to have.
- Portable Rechargeable Cellphone Battery Charger You’re gonna use your phone. You’re gonna take photos and videos, you’re going to post to social media, you’re going to buy things, you’re going to use My Disney Experience. Your battery will last about 15 minutes. Get a charger. You won’t regret it!
- Sunglasses and Sunscreen The Sunshine State, y’all. It’s not ironic. The sun is bright, the sun is hot, and there is really not that much shade at Hollywood Studios or World Showcase. You need Sunglasses. And probably extra sunglasses. I left my prescription sunglasses in the hotel one morning and ended up dropping $25 on Mickey Mouse sunglasses. My mom’s sunglasses grew legs and walked away one morning, so she, too, had to get some Mickey sunglasses. And you should wear sunscreen anyway. Cancer is bad.
- Disposable Masks In addition to your super cute masks that perfectly match each and every outfit you packed, bring some disposables. Splash Mountain, Kali River Rapids, rain….these are all scenarios that will likely result in wet masks. Why not put a disposable on so that pretty mask doesn’t get soaked? Also, pack EXTRA super cute masks because going to Disney is not like a jaunt through Trader Joe’s!
- Extra Plastic Storage Bags, Assorted Sizes Stick some baggies in your park bag to keep electronics dry on water rides (or through heavy rains, RIP Halloween candy), stick wet bathing suits in a baggie to get them home without them getting everything else wet, pack your toiletries in giant baggies so your conditioner doesn’t get all over your favorite tank top you JUST got from Etsy.
- Tylenol/Advil/Aleve Etc Yes, this is all free at First Aid Stations (HIGHLY endorse them, they were incredibly helpful during someone’s unexpected lady days), but what about when you have aches and pains in your hotel room at 3am? Having these in your room will be a life saver, especially when you see that 20 pack of Advil in the hotel gift shop for $57.99.
- Moleskin/Bandaids (and Medical Scissors to cut it) You’re going to walk. A LOT. Most people are genuinely surprised when their feet hurt. Moleskin can make it incredibly more comfortable to walk the next day, too. And it can make kids whine less about their feet hurting.
- Epsom Salts Sometimes you might swell up from dehydration and the heat (don’t drink Dasani, they add salt to the water which then dehydrates you faster. Oh and Disney sells Dasani). A nice soak in some Epsom Salt can make feet go back to normal size and also feels really good!
- Extra Shoes/Flip Flops/Sandals Like I said, it’s going to rain. The last time I went to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, a tropical storm rolled through and those shoes were soaking wet for a week. Thankfully, I had two more pairs of shoes and a pair of sandals in my suitcase.
- Light Jacket/Sweat Shirt/Hoodie While it is 300 Kelvin outside, some of the restaurants and shows are -400F. Initially this can feel really good. Then, once your sweat freezes to your skin, you’re shivering and miserable and you cannot enjoy your $59 steak at Le Cellier. Stick a hoodie in your bag and you’ll always be fine!
So there you have it. My tried and true “don’t leave the house for Disney without em” list!
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