This Neurotic Disney Family is currently 10 days away from their much awaited vacation to Walt Disney World. The kids and I are completely brimming with excitement and yesterday the husband even quipped, “We’re 11 days away. I’m actually pretty excited.” Swoon! What music to a Neurotic Disney Mom’s ears! I have reached the end of my months of planning the annual journey to my homeland, and I am currently in the final stage. Packing. This is the 4th time I as an adult have packed for a weeklong vacation to Walt Disney World. The first time it was just me and my husband on our honeymoon. The last two times it was for my family of 4. The new addition of our little princess came in January so this is the first time I will be packing for a family of five, including three children under the age of 5, two of whom are still in diapers, and one on a baby food diet. This can be quite an overwhelming task unless you attack it with complete organization and the realization that you might not sleep much the night before you leave. This doesn’t bother me much as I know I can catch a nap while sitting in The Hall of Presidents. So here are a couple tricks of the trade I have picked up over the years that help packing go a bit smoother!
First of all, the minute after I book our vacation to Walt Disney World, sometimes up to a year in advance, I set up a couple of bins in the garage and start collecting things I know I’m going to use on vacation. Things we already have that we will use again go in immediately such as ear hats, pin necklaces, ponchos, and the like. Then, all year long, as I am shopping for every day things, I will double up on things that I am already buying. For instance, if the kids run out of baby wash, instead of just buying one bottle, I’ll buy two and throw one in the bin. If we need band-aids, I’ll buy two boxes, and stash one of those as well. Even better if you can find Mickey band-aids like we did this year! If I find small Disney themed toys that are inexpensive and have potential to entertain the kids on the plane or in the hotel room, I’ll pop those in as well. When we are about 2 weeks away from our departure day I bring the bins upstairs, and go through them to find that I don’t even have any last minute shopping to do. It’s great!
If you ask me, the only way to pack for small children, is to put each day’s clothing in a large zip lock bag and label it with the child’s name and the date you want them to wear the clothes. This is great if Dad is getting them dressed and has the tendency to think an outfit matches just because the top and the bottom are both blue. You can also correspond your child’s outfit to what park you are going to that day. My boys will both wear pirate shirts the first day since we are doing the Pirate’s League,\ and going on the Pirate and Pals Fireworks Cruise! I make my own labels for the bags, and if you are so neurotic that even your packing has to be Disney themed, you have permission to use them! Just print them out on Avery mailing address labels, and personalize them with your own dates and children’s names! Disney Bag Tags
When I was an amateur packer, packing my own bags as a teenager vacationing with my parents, I used to just throw toiletries such as shampoo into my bag on top of my favorite shirts. So smart right? I have now invested in a fabulous bag created just for toting things like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, make up. Anything you need to freshen up and look alive! I found this bag at L.L. Bean and I would never embark on a vacation with out it! They call it a Personal Organizer, and it comes in small, medium, large, and we have the family size.
I hope that these tips will help you on your next packing endeavor, because as every true Neurotic Disney Mom knows, packing the correct items can make or break a vacation! What are some unique ways that you make packing easier for your family?