To my fellow OCD planners, some of my strange packing seems completely logical. However, most of my newbie travel companions or even a few seasoned clients utter “I never would’ve thought of that!” when I rattle off my little list of packing essentials. Are they necessary? Maybe not, but I never head to Disney without them.
Here are my top five weird things to take on a Disney vacation that will make your trip better:
1. Zip-top Bags in All Shapes and Sizes
I grew up with this one. When I was a kid, I remember my gramma always had a box of gallon-sized Ziplocs in her travel bag. And she still does! These serve so many purposes at Walt Disney World. Throw electronics in them before hitting Kali River Rapids (or during those summer afternoon showers). Stash your leftover lunch for later (unless it’s something that needs to be refrigerated—then just let it go, man). Keep the kids’ autograph books and markers together. Store wet clothes in them after a run through the spraygrounds. I’ve even turned one into a make-shift camera cover when I just had to get my little guy’s pic with Gaston in a December downpour.
Get Park (well, Packing) Wise: Use bags to pack the kiddos’ outfits for your trip. I pack the entire day’s outfit in a Ziploc and smush out the air (technical term). This saves lots of space in the suitcases. I can pack both kids’ stuff in one. When it’s time to get ready in the morning, all they have to do is grab a bag.
2. Address Labels
Being a donor to a children’s charity has apparently gotten me on the list to receive thousands of personalized address labels. Since there is no way I’ll write that many letters in my lifetime, I use them to mark my things. I’ve got one on my camera, my folder (more on that later), my phone charger—pretty much anything they will stick to and I’d want back if I lost it. I made the kids their own labels with their names, my cell phone number and a cute picture of them with Mickey Mouse. They stick these on their autograph books, Sharpie packs, Epcot passports, etc.
Get Park Wise: We also bring a supply of labels with us to attach to anything we may buy while on vacation. My little guy has a compulsive need to buy stuffed animals at Disney, and his labels fit perfectly on the tags.
3. Accordion Folder
There’s a strong probability that our entire trip would fall apart if I lost this thing (hence the address label marking it). Mine has 12 pockets and I can easily store boarding passes, Disney’s Magical Express vouchers, confirmations sheets, etc. in an organized and contained spot. Once we’ve arrived, I use it to protect restaurant photo packages from being bent, keep receipts together and corral any papers we end up with during the week. Oh, and this is where our address labels are, too.
4. Filtered Water Bottle
Orlando water is gross. It just is. So is the water in my hometown, so I already had these bottles. If you don’t, consider grabbing one before you head to Florida. They make a world of difference. Although counter service restaurants will slide you a free ice water if you ask nicely, sometimes you’re closer to a faucet or water fountain. Take a deep breath and go ahead and fill the bottle. Once the water makes its way through the filter, it’s perfectly fit for human consumption. Or, at the very least, it tastes better. I also use the water bottle to filter my water when I brush my teeth back in the hotel room. But I’m weird.
It’s a non-aerosol you spray in the water before you do your business. It works. Those hotel rooms can be small. Enough said.
What weird things do you take on your Disney vacation?