If you're going away for more than a few days, you want to think about doing laundry while you're there. If you do, this immediately reduces the amount of clothes you'll need to take with you. We usually plan on doing some washing at least once a week while we're away, so we never need more than a week's supply with us.
Another important thing to do is to look carefully at the weather forecast for your trip. Don't just consider the daytime highs, but think about how cold it may get at night. Florida in the winter can be unforgiving. We've seen nights in the high 20s and low 30s on most of our December visits, which means valuable space in the suitcase taken up with layers, including sweatshirts, coats, gloves, and hats. It's also worth looking in your PassPorter (because you do have one, don't you?!) for the average temperatures during your visit, to give you an idea. You can also ask on the PassPorter message boards if you're not sure about the usual weather during the time of your next trip as well.
Something else that's worth thinking about when you're packing is whether you're going to need any fancy clothes. For example, are you cruising with Disney and will you want formalwear, or are you going to one of Walt Disney World's Signature restaurants? In which case, you may want a nice set of clothes for those experiences. Whatever you do, don't forget about the footwear to go with those outfits. I've made that mistake, taking, for example, a lovely pair of white shoes that went very nicely with my dresses, but they looked slightly out of place with a pair of black pants!
Moving away from clothes, don't forget electrical items. Cameras are obvious, but without the battery, charger, and memory sticks to go with them, they won't be much use on their own! If you're taking a few electrical items with you (and it's easily done these days with phones, mobile devices such as laptops, and tablets), you might want to consider taking a power strip.
If you're an over-packer, like me, then first you need to realize that, and then you can tackle the problem. Knowing that's a problem of mine, I tend to use the principle of putting to one side everything that I think I'm going to need, then I have another look through it quite carefully, and decide what I can do without. If there are say, six different tops, do I need all of them, or can I make do with five? If you go through this process with almost every item you pack, then you'll find that there are a fair few items you can live without while you're gone.
If things really won't fit in, then it may be time to consider an extra piece of luggage, or can some items perhaps go into your carry-ons? And don't forget the return journey either! With all those tempting souvenirs, you may want to save some space or perhaps even take an extra suitcase with you, maybe one inside another one, just in case'.
One final word of comfort for anyone concerned that perhaps they haven't got everything with them. I always say when we leave home that so long as you've got your passports or photo ID, prescription medication, credit and ATM cards, and some money, then you can buy anything else. It's a flippant comment, but it's also true. Packing shouldn't be a nightmare, and hopefully these tips will help, but the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Hey, now there's a reason to plan another Disney trip?
Animal Kingdom - Harambe
Luggage awaiting collection at Harambe station. - photo by chezp
About the Author: Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!
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