You’ve done it — booked that once in a lifetime holiday to Orlando to visit Potter and the Mouse — but then the thoughts start to sink in.
- What am I going to wear?
- What do I need to take?
- Will my partner pack the Kitchen Sink?
Well relax, pull up chair and a cuppa as I guide you through it all…
Guide to packing for Orlando – first things first
Firstly check with your Airline / Shipping Company. No point taking the world to the airport only to be told that your going to have put most of it in a locker or worse leave it completely behind.
How much can you take?
This depends very much on Airline to Airline, and if you are flying from the mainland United States or from Europe expect for it to be around 20 – 23 kg (45 – 50 lbs) depending upon the type of carrier, although the low cost airlines tend to have more restrictive limits. Also bear in mind that children sometimes do or do not qualify for additional baggage.
What size does it have to be?
The International Civil Aviation Authority has limits as to how large passage luggage can be. They have a limit of 158 cm (62 in) adding the dimensions: height + width + length. Most Airports also have a maximum limit of 32 kg per bag (50 lbs). This is in order to stop aircraft baggage handlers from damaging their backs lifting your case.
How do I secure it closed
For those of you who may not have flown before the Transport security authority may open your luggage, if you have a lock with a safer skies logo on it, then the TSA can open it and relocked once they are happy. Otherwise they will just break open you bag which may just damage the lock or ruin your suitcase. Personally I don’t bother with a lock and use a cable tie instead because that way you know if it’s been opened!
What If I have to take something unusual? (Golf Clubs , Musical Instruments, medical devices)
Most airlines will carry additional items such as Golf Clubs for a fee. Make sure you pack items like this in a secure fashion. However if you have medical items such as a wheelchair then airlines normally carry it for free but require advanced notice.
Guide to packing for Orlando – getting packed
Florida’s climate is tropical and almost as exciting as the theme parks. During the summer expect high temperatures and high humidity with consistent tropical style downpours. Although it may seem to be a bit strange considering the temperature, I’d recommend packing a number of long sleeved tops and t-shirts because, despite the high humidity, you will end up being sun burned at one point. And don’t forget a hat! (See Orlando’s average temps by month.)
Another point which is related to this: Don’t pack the world’s supply of cosmetics into your suitcase. Suncream is available very cheaply in Orlando along with all your other cosmetics. I tend to buy everything once I’ve arrived apart from aftershave and a toothbrush. (There are lots of Walmarts and Targets around town.)
My best advice would be is to think layers. T-shirts or dresses, a few pair of Jeans, a few jumpers (it does get cold here on occasion!), then add in a smart shirt, trousers and shoes in case you go for a night out clubbing.
Make sure you bring a strong waterproof jacket. Florida rain is like nothing else and a tiny little poncho you see people wearing at the parks doesn’t really cut it!
Make sure you bring a comfortable pair of shoes, as you’ll soon rack up the miles wandering around WWOHP and the other parks. (Subscribers, see our forum discussion on this topic.) I once wore a pedometer one day in Universal and was shocked to find that I’d walked 10 miles without even noticing.
Remember, don’t pack clothes for every day. Sometimes it’s good just take a couple of hours out one day and relax by doing the washing or the drying while the kids play by the pool or take a nap. Also, don’t pack your case full because everybody brings back souvenirs from Orlando!
I tend to take as little as possible so that I can bring back as much stuff as I can.
Guide to packing for Orlando – hand luggage
Simple, EVERYTIME I have travelled to Florida my bag has always been a day behind me. I’m the ultimate cursed traveller. So I’ve worked out a fine list of what to keep in my hand luggage to ensure I’m comfortable until my bag makes it back by my side.
- 2 sets of Underwear (As my mother used to say always wear clean underwear in case your hit by a bus)
- 2 Sets of Socks – Nothing beats clean socks!
- A spare shirt and Jeans (smart ones)
- My Passport and travel documents/Theme park tickets/Medication along with my driving licence and a copy of my hotel and flight booking paperwork. (Sounds simple but I know a few people who have placed park tickets in their luggage and had that horrible feeling when the luggage doesn’t come out at the other end)
- My Laptop and a charger along with a couple of US based plug adapters (For My cell phone/ IPod etc). I also pack a multi plug adapter into my hold luggage and you never have enough slots to charge stuff at the hotel room!
- My Digital Camera (I have a DSLR which I cherish more than anything, if the hotel catches fire the camera is leaving first!)
- Tea and Coffee sachets, make sure you’ve always got the ability to put the tea on without having to go to the shop first!
- A toothbrush and toothpaste (Below 100ml so I can keep them in my hand luggage)
- A couple of pictures of home, yep soppy I know but it also means if people ask where I’m from I can show them.
- A good book. My current one is titled The Second Book of General Ignorance – Everything you think you know is still wrong. A Pretty good book.
Question, comments, suggestions? Leave them below!
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