Disney 2009 – Packing

October 8, 2009

We’re back from another glorious Disney World vacation and it’s time to recap what worked and didn’t this go around.  Each trip we learn a bit more about how we can make things go well and I like to record it all while it’s fresh in my mind.

Packing

It had been 2 years since our last trip so when I went to print off the packing list I’ve been using for the last 7 or so… I discovered it needed a major overhaul.  No more babies, diapers, bottles, blankies…  What a relief! 

Clothing was pretty easy to do.  The best part about going to Florida from NY this time of year is that I can start to pack away the summer clothing ahead of time since the weather here is cooler.  I use the opportunity to make sure everyone has enough basics like socks and underwear as well—packing the new stuff away in it’s original packaging. 

Packing the clothing bundled in outfits makes it easy for even the youngest  kids to grab their own clothes to get dressed while ensuring that tops and bottoms will not clash.  The larger sized plastic baggies they sell these days are great for keeping everyone’s clothing separate and easy to find.  They also keep everything tidy and dry should inspectors or rain try to make their way into the depths of your luggage en route.

In years past, we had enough room in the cabin to put the kids clothing in the drawers available in our Ft. Wilderness cabin.  This year only the youngest child’s clothes fit.  So the labeled baggies became an important way of keeping everything neat and easy to find for the older kids who had to keep their clothing in the suitcase.

After many disasters with leaking liquids, especially the sunblock, I’ve found that baby wipe boxes and sturdy shoeboxes are the best place to hide away things that could suffer from getting squished.  They worked well for the fragile spraybottle fans and cart decorations too. 

Since we make a run to the grocery store upon arrival anyhow, I’ve found it works better to simply buy some of the toiletries rather than try to bring them.  While there we went through an entire ‘normal’ size bottle of shampoo and conditioner and a full 4 pack of bar soap. 

I’m a little weird about toothbrushes.  The thought of packing a used toothbrush just doesn’t sit well with me.  Nor do I like leaving them on the counter in the hotel.  Instead I pack new toothbrushes for everyone, either cheap ones I buy or freebies from the dentist, and we toss them instead of bringing them home.  This year I finally solved the problem of having toothbrushes laying around (and the unpleasant thought of having the maid touching them all up every time she cleans) by bring along a foam koozie I bought at the craft store for a buck.

Another thing I’ve added to the new packing list this year are the foam earplugs.  I bought these originally for my youngest who is a bit sensitive to the sound.  But when the girls complained about having to share a bedroom with snoring big brother, they turned out to be a best buy indeed.

The 5 large LL Bean rolling duffles were perfect this time around.  Enough room for everything without making the bags overstuffed or too heavy for the kids to roll. 

We got away with only 2 carry-ons this trip but they were a bit heavy.  Not sure that can be avoided as I refuse to pack any electronic equipment in the checked bags.  The trip to Florida we nested the kids activities bag inside another one.  The idea was to remove it to make room for the wheelchair arms and legs.  But on the way home we had so many souvenirs that I ended up leaving the arms and legs on and instead used the extra bag to carry those. 

 It all worked out pretty well.

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