Packing Tips & Tricks by Angela Warren

June 20, 2014 ,


I’d like to take a few minutes of your time today to talk about planning. Almost everyone that has been to the house of mouse understands that if you want your trip to go as smoothly as possible, you need to do some planning. What comes to my mind first when someone asks me about my planning? What discounts are available, which resort to stay at, ADR’s, and now FP+. All of those things are valid planning issues to ponder. However, I’d like to talk you about packing. Yes, I said packing.

Most people I know don’t really give this issue much thought. After all, how difficult can it be? You toss some clothes and personal items in a suitcase and off you go, right? Well, that is one way to do it. However, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll end up forgetting something you’ll really need while you’re away. That can cause unnecessary headaches, not to mention wasted time and money to buy that desperately needed cell phone charger or extra memory card. And anyone that has forgotten an important item like that can tell you it’s NOT cheap to purchase them while on vacation. This is especially true when staying on property!

With just a little bit of forethought and a little effort, the possibility of ending up in this situation can be greatly reduced. I’m the C.O.O (Chief Operations Officer) for our family and I like to plan ahead to be as prepared as possible in daily life. But when you’re going on vacation, it’s a MUST! So here are my packing tips & tricks to avoid forgetting that must have item(s), in packing for your vacation AND packing to come back home. I’ve included sample screenshots of the lists I use for my family. Hopefully, these tips will help make your trips a little more stress free.

1. Create a “master packing list” for all the items that your family considers essential. Once you have your list made, type it up and save it on file. (It will always be ready whenever you need to pack for any trip.) I break it down into categories to help me remember everything I might need.

2. I created lists for clothing for each member of the family. This is not as difficult as it may sound. I sat down with my daughters for a few minutes and asked them to choose outfits for the number of days we would be on vacation. (My children were pre-teen & teenagers when we started going to WDW, and as a result they were more than capable of choosing their clothing for the week.) Once they had decided on their clothing choices, I typed up the list and saved it. I always do this a month before the trip, but do what works best for you/your family.

3. I also created a list for everyone’s carry-on bags. You want to make sure the items most important to each person are on his/her respective list. All prescription medication should be packed in a carry-on bag to avoid losing it if checked baggage gets lost. Then there are the usual items such as ID, travel documents, electronics, charging cables & plugs, a change of clothing, etc.

4. When you actually start packing, put clothing outfits together and ROLL them instead of folding them. Rolling items will save space. It saved us so much space that we were able to go from four checked bags to three. This still gave us enough extra room to pack a few souvenirs we buy on each trip.

Once you have the above lists compiled and saved on file, you’ll want to print TWO of each list for each person. Use one list for packing to go on vacation. Put the second copy in the suitcase/carry-on, to be used when packing to come back home. This should minimize the possibility of forgetting those often expensive to replace, but very necessary items like chargers and other electronic gadgets. This system has served us well since 2007; we’ve never forgot or left items behind… yet.



About Angela:
Hello everyone, my name is Angela Warren and I’m happily married to my DH of almost 19 years and a stay at home mom of two girls. Our first trip to Disney was in 2007 and we’ve been every year since… Except 2012, we thought we should try a different place that year. Needless to say, we regretted that choice and went right back to Disney in 2013.

sample Packing Checklist Part 2Sample Packing Checklist Part 1Sample Carry On Packing ListSample Clothing Check List


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One thought on “Packing Tips & Tricks by Angela Warren”
  1. Great article and lists. For me the carryon list is the most beneficial.

    For packed items all I need is number of days +2 for t-shirts, socks and underpants.
    2 pairs of shorts, one long pants,
    toiletry case that is always ready with travel size items
    one running outfit including socks and shoes
    zoris (flip-flops)
    Costume if it will be a MNSSHP trip

    Somethings don’t need to be on the list because I keep it in my checked bags all the time.

    Your list shows me how easy I have it being a guy.

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