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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Evaluating Vacation Options - Packing

Disney Luggage from American Tourister
We're getting down to the wire, so it's time to talk about the final part of any vacation planning, packing! I actually started this step this past weekend, with stuff that we know we'll need but won't be using until the trip, like bathing suits and beach towels.

I know what you're thinking, and you're right. Most people do know what to take on vacation. However, there are some tips that I can give you for traveling to Orlando. These are things that most people wouldn't think to pack, but really help in my experience.

1. Water Bottles - As long as they aren't glass, you're allowed to bring refillable water bottles into the parks. This is great, both for the Florida heat and for saving money. There are plenty of water fountains around to refill your bottles, so you'll always have a drink when you need it.

1a. Water Additive - I like the Mio brand of water flavoring, but anything will do. Sometimes drinking plain water can get a little boring, so having these small bottles around to add flavor really helps.

2. Ponchos - Florida is wet, especially in the warmer months, and afternoon storms are the norm. While you can buy ponchos at the parks, they aren't cheap. I'd recommend buying about two per member of the traveling party at your local dollar store and bringing them with you.

3. Zip-Closing Bags - Along with the rain, there are water rides. If you don't want your phone/watch/wallet/etc to get wet, have several Ziplok or Glad bags ready to seal these items away from getting soaked.

4. Snacks - You are able to bring small snacks in with you, much like the water bottles. This isn't a picnic lunch, but something to take the edge off before your lunch/dinner reservations is a good idea. I prefer packs of cracker sandwiches and cookies.

5. Hand Sanitizer - A little bottle of this can go a long way. Disney and Universal keep what they can clean, but they can't control everything. Having this with you can help out if you just need a quick clean.

6. A Backpack - Part of my job at the parks is playing "pack mule". I carry all the stuff above plus anything else we might need. A backpack is pretty much a must, but make sure it's not too big. The one I took last time sometimes had trouble fitting in the ride vehicles with us.

7. Cell Phone Charging Case - Something I noticed last time was that my cell phone ran out of juice about half way through the day. Since we were using the My Disney Experience App, this was a bit of a problem. This time, though, both Michelle and I have cases for our phones that act as secondary batteries, which means that we should be good to go.

EDIT: Mike Zummo (of the Man of Screen Podcast) suggested making sure that your cell phone is on Energy Saver mode, to ensure that you get every second possible out of the battery.

I'm always looking for other tips, so if you have any, please let me know.

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