15 October 2012

31 Days:: Packing List

{Booking Series}
Welcome to today's topic: Packing List! Today's post I'll just be sharing a few tips about things that I've found most useful to pack when heading to Disney as well as sharing my free Disney-themed Packing List printable! So let's start off with that printable!

{free printable here}

You can print out one packing list per person, one for you and DH and one for the kids, or whatever your heart desires!! If you'd like me to make a customized list for ya, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email ;) So, I'll explain how I like to use my printable to help keep me organized...
  • Need- So first I sit down and guesstimate how many of each item I need
  • Packed- When I actually go to pack my bag, in this column, I tally up everything as I pack it
  • Re-packed- When we are leaving the hotel to head home again, I again tally up everything as I pack it back into our suitcases
  • Unpacked- I tally everything as I unpack it (I swear I've lost things in transit before...) I'll be honest though, I don't always do this step... and when I don't, those are the times that I forget to unzip every suitcase pocket, then when our next trip rolls around, I find the forgotten items that I thought we had lost! hehe

Also, here are a few additional items that could be useful to pack when headed to Disney!
  • Poncho (or umbrella)- late afternoon thunderstorms are common in Florida, especially in the summer and hurricane seasons. Packing your own weather gear can save you time and money! They sell ponchos in the parks (they cost roughly an arm and a leg and your right kidney...) and the lines can get long to purchase one! A poncho will likely be lighter to carry around the parks and can also be put down on top of a wet park bench if you want to watch a show!
  • Waterproof footwear- this is, again, especially useful in the summer and hurricane seasons. The saying goes in Florida, if you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes! But instead of heading home or hiding in the shops at the sight of rain, having waterproof shoes (ie. flip flops, crocs, etc) can have you enjoying the parks (and lighter crowds since everyone else is hiding from the rain!) These could also be useful to wear in the pool and water parks.
  • Extra sneakers, socks, undies- if you don't own/want to use waterproof footwear, you may then want to bring extra sneakers so you don't have to wear damp ones the next day! And if you get caught in a downpour, it's nice to have dry undies and socks with you at the parks to change into later in the day, especially when it can get cool at night!
  • Antibacterial hand gel- this can be useful if you don't want to have to find a bathroom to wash your hands before each meal or snack, especially useful for snacking, many food establishments do have a bathroom nearby (granted the lines to get into said bathroom may be long!)
  • Battery operated personal fan- we never brought one in the past, but there were plenty of times I wish we had had one! Perfect for fanning yourself while watching the parades or shows. The ones with spray bottles attached can be great too- if we visit with small kids or babies during the hotter months, this will be a must have! Can't have the wee ones getting over heated! You can purchase these at some of the shops around the parks, but of course, they'll cost ya a lot more than if you bring your own.
  • Non-glass water bottle- this is a MUST have!! The water fountains around the parks are decent water to refill your bottle, and much cheaper than buying water throughout each day at the parks! Disney does not allow glass bottles though.
  • Cooler- if you're bringing your own snacks or drinks, a soft-sided collapsable cooler would be a great thing to bring to keep everything cold!
  • Ear plugs- if you or the kiddos are sensitive to loud noises, and you're planning to see some of the shows or fireworks, these can be very useful! We'll be bringing ear protection for the baby on this trip.
  • Small empty suitcase or duffle- unless your suitcase had plenty of extra room in it on your trip down to Disney (or you brought your own food that will have been eaten during the trip!) you might want to bring an extra bag to bring back all of your souvenirs!! We actually had to buy an entire full-size suitcase during our honeymoon, just to bring back everything, hehe. A suitcase is a useful souvenir to have bought, but definitely would have saved us money if we'd thought ahead and brought our own down with us ;) Factor into your budget in any additional baggage fees for checked bags.
  • Hat, sunglasses, etc- even during the winter months, the Florida sun is strong! Make sure you bring sun protection, especially for the wee ones' sensitive skin :)
  • Laundry detergent & quarters- if you're planning on doing laundry (or even if you're not, but you have wee ones that might go through all their clothes quickly!), you can either bring some baggies from home with laundry detergent (in your checked bag!) or in travel size bottles, or buy pre-packaged travel sized ones before you leave for Disney. Much cheaper than buying detergent there!! And don't forget your quarters if your resort/hotel does not have complementary laundry!
  • Night light- if the wee ones are used to sleeping with a night light, this could be useful to make them more comfortable while sleeping away from their own bed :)
  • Proof of auto insurance- if your auto insurance covers rental car accidents, this would be useful to have so you can waive the damage collision fee (and in the off chance you'll need to use your insurance!)
  • Proof of health insurance- again, in the off chance that you'll need to use your health insurance
  • Waterproof tote bag (or Ziploc bag)- this can serve a few purposes... keeping your stuff dry on Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom, keeping your phone and camera dry during a rain storm, and keeping all of your other stuff dry from your wet poncho post-storm or from soiled clothes from the wee ones!
  • Zinc- we like to bolster our immune systems with some zinc, echinacea, and/or vitamin C before, during, and after our trips. Figure it certainly can't hurt knowing we'll be in contact with so many other guests throughout our trip and some may be sick! I'm a bit of a germaphobe too...
  • Glow sticks and necklaces- during many of the evening entertainments, the glowing carts go up and down the street selling nicknacks. If you bring your own for the kids, they'll still get to have fun, but at a fraction of the cost for mom and dad's wallet!

Here's a bonus printable that I just made up for our wee one (she needed extra categories! hehe)...

Now I know some of those items seem like common sense, but they're things that I know I've forgotten myself sometimes! Oh! Oh! And I just recently found these two AMAZING tutorials via Pinterest on how to pack a week or more's worth of clothing in your carry on- check them out {NY Times slideshow here} and {The Feminist Breeder article here}. Check back here tomorrow when I'll be talking about the pros and cons and tips and tricks for getting to the World!

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