With our next trip fast approaching, it’s time to think about packing. It’s not time to pack, mind you, just time to strategize. With three boys, I have a lot to think about before I can actually put stuff in bags. I have to make sure that everyone’s favorite clothing items are clean and ready to pack, which means taking those items out of rotation a few days ahead of time. I have to be certain that all toiletries are sufficient. (They tend to wait until they’re actually out of deodorant or toothpaste or whatever before telling me they need more. A simple “I’m getting low on <insert toiletry here>” would be most helpful.) And this year, I have to make sure our costumes for the Villains Unleashed event are good to go. There’s no way I can wing it. I need a list.
There are tons of printable packing lists out there. I read through lots of them, gave a significant amount of thought as to how to pack as little as possible and still take everything we need, and came up with my own list. Let me repeat: I try to pack as little as possible. I don’t like to lug tons of stuff around “just in case.” I’d rather pick up a random item at an exorbitant Disney price than pack everything we might need under every possible permutation of what could possibly occur while we’re there. All that to say…here’s my list:
Suitcases (I pack these for the whole fam):
- outfits for # of days you will be there (Note: with kids who are old enough to pick their own clothes, you must stress, “bring me (x number of) outfits INCLUDING socks and underwear”).
- pajamas (Note: with kids who are old enough to pick out the pj’s they want to bring, you must stress, “bring me CLEAN pajamas”).
- flip flops
- breakfast food (We eat a light breakfast in the room while simultaneously getting ready to hit the parks.)
- cups for holding toothbrushes (Disney’s Value resorts don’t give you actual glass drinking glasses, and the plastic cups are too flimsy to make adequate toothbrush holders.)
- waist bag (In case the boys want to go off on their own for a while, this gives them a way to hold a cell phone, hand sanitizer, etc.)
- Mousekeeping envelopes (For more info, see this post.)
Carry-on (this is for me; everyone else does what they want):
- light jacket (I get cold on planes.)
- shorts (If I’m traveling to FL when it’s warm there and cold here in NY).
- twizzlers (Our ear-popping treatment of choice.)
- 3 each: gallon bags, quart bags, sandwich bags, snack bags (These just always seem to come in handy.)
- Kindle (Loaded with something awesome.)
- quart bag with travel size: sunscreen, hand sanitizer, hand lotion
- quart bag with any necessary meds
- Disney packet (You know, that booklet they send you with your Magical Express vouchers, etc.)
- Boarding passes
- Disney purse: phone & charger, sunglasses, band-aids, Tums, Dramamine, ID, credit card, cash for tipping, chapstick, hair scrunchie, oil absorbing sheets. And, of course, my tiara.
This year, we’re adding a brand new, hard-sided suitcase that we bought specifically to transport our Villains Unleashed costumes. Normally, however, we can get by with three or four suitcases for the five of us.
So, what do you pack? Are you an over-packer or a lean, mean packing machine? And how far ahead to you do it?