Besides making all of your travel plans, you’ll need to decide what you want to bring along with you. Changes of clothing of course, but what else? Here are some tips and suggestions on what to bring to make your vacation even better.
The first thing you should do is make a list before you start packing. Decide what you need for your particular circumstances and the length of your stay. If you do it far enough in advance, you can pick up the extra clothing or other items you may need as you go along instead of making the mad dash to several stores the day before you leave.
If traveling by air, take some time to visit the Transportation Safety Administration’s website, where you will find all of the up-to-date information on what you can and can’t bring with you. Knowing what is allowed in your checked luggage and carry-on bags before you get to the airport can save you time and money, not to mention the hassle of extra screening. Before you start packing is also a good time to look into your airline’s website for size and weight restrictions on your bags, along with how much they will cost to bring along.
What you pack clothing-wise is going to be a matter of your own specific habits. Keep in mind the likely weather conditions when your trip is scheduled. The summer months are generally very hot and humid, so pack lightweight breathable fabrics. During the winter months, the days can be mild, with evenings and the occasional cold snap making pants and light jackets necessary. Fall and spring months are usually warm during the day, but can be cool enough at night to warrant a sweatshirt. You’ll probably want to bring at least one extra change of clothes in case of a spill or stain, and you might want to bring extra undergarments and socks, especially during the hotter months when you’ll be sweating a little extra.
For a little more weather info, check out the Orlando average monthly temperatures page in the OI Universal Center.
Along with any essential items, such as medications, travel itineraries, personal identification, phone and camera chargers, etc., below is a list of things you should strongly consider taking with you:
Sunscreen – A must for your Florida vacation, since you will most likely be spending a good deal of time outdoors. Be sure to choose one with the right amount of UV protection, and consider a water resistant variety if you plan on spending time swimming or going to the beach.
Ponchos – When it isn’t sunny in Central Florida, it’s raining cats and dogs. During the summer months, a passing afternoon thunder shower is likely. Rather than spending up to $10 dollars on rain gear at the theme parks, consider grabbing emergency ponchos from your local store, where you should be able to find them for around a dollar.
First aid kit – All of the parks have first aid stations, but that might require a lot of extra walking. Consider keeping a small emergency first aid kit with you, with items like adhesive bandages, antacids, pain relief pills, antibiotic cream, hand sanitizer, and moleskin for blisters and hot spots on your feet.
Snacks – Bringing some of your own snacks from home to have with you in your resort room or for taking along to the parks can save you some serious cash. Consider easy to eat items that don’t require cooling or heating like granola bars, trail mixes, etc. (For more ideas on saving money on dining, be sure to check out my last article.)
Souvenirs – You read it right, consider buying souvenirs at home where the cost is lower, and then giving them to your child during your vacation. It might not stop every impulse purchase in the parks, but for younger children especially, they won’t know where you bought it from.
Proof of insurance – If you are renting a car, be sure to bring along a copy of your coverage, specifically the part that details if a rental car is covered under your own insurance. Also check with your credit card company, as most will provide additional coverage, meaning you don’t need to buy the car rental company’s overpriced coverage. By having the proof up front that you don’t need it, you can avoid a high pressure sales pitch and wasted time.
Other handy items you might want to take include clothes pins for hanging up wet bathing suits, assorted sizes of plastic re-closeable bags, scissors, nail clippers, tweezers, and a notebook or journal and pens/pencils to write down your experiences or things to remember for your next trip.
What do have to have when you travel? Leave a comment below and let us know your own packing tip!
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