Wednesday, January 1, 2014

How to Avoid Over Packing on a Disney Vacation

I confess. I'm an over packer.

There are several reasons for this.

For one, we go to the parks early, and then return to the room for a nap or a swim. I don't want to wear the same sweaty shirt and such that I wore that morning. So, that's 2 shirts and extra underthings per day.

What if it rains? I need to bring a couple of extra pairs of socks and a couple more shirts, and yes, extra underthings, just in case.

I wear night clothes. Nothing outrageous, lounge pants, and a t-shirt. And, while I do re-wear the night pants, I often get up earlier than my wife (because I'm too excited to sleep!) and take a walk, which means I'm sweating up that shirt, and that means I'll need a new one for that evening.

What if I get a stain on my pants or shorts? Gotta bring at least a couple of extra pair of pants!

Then there are dress clothes. Do we have any fancy dinners planned? How many? Gotta have nice button down shirts for those. Maybe even a suit!

And I can't wear the same thing twice because I am going to have my picture posted on Instagram and scattered across several blogs and Facebook pages!

Then there's packing for cooler months!  Bulky clothes take up a lot of space in your suitcase.

Okay, let's see what I can do to cut back on some of this.
  • Washing clothes is an obvious option. This would eliminate about 1/2 of the shirts, socks, and underclothing I usually bring.
  • Stain stick would eliminate the need for extra shorts and pants due to spills.
  • If I have multiple meals at fancy restaurants planned, one pair of dress pants would be sufficient.
  • Have one or 2 shirts tops for exercise. I'm going to walk, get sweaty, and shower. I could just re-wear that exercise shirt the next day, since I'm going to shower anyway. Then I could re-wear the shirt that I used to sleep in.
  • Re-wear jeans or shorts. 
  • I'll pack closer to the time we depart. This is tough, I pack early, like a week prior to leaving. But that leads to over-packing in the cooler months. But if I watch the weather channel before  packing, I'll avoid packing unnecessary bulky clothes. 
  • In those cooler months, a lot of sweaters and sweatshirts can be replaced by one jacket.
  • I'm not on prescription medication, but do bring cold medicine, just in case, as well as aspirin, Airborne, and various other pharmaceuticals. I will take only a few of each, and put them in a plastic baggie, rather than have my bag look like an apothecary.
I hope some of these packing tips help you (and me!) on your future Disney Vacations.

Portions of this article were originally posted on the Tips From the Disney Divas and Devos Blog Where Nick is a contributing writer.

Stop back tomorrow to see an article by Gaylin, who REALLY knows how to NOT overpack!


  1. Your post has been excellent and nice. Your topic is useful for all. I come back in your site when you will provide new post. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for the tips! I'll admit to having a problem with over-packing a time or two. I really had to pay overweight baggage fees at the airport.

  3. Great tips! I have to say that I pack for 6 of us (4 kids....and this will be my first time WITHOUT diapers!) and I can do it in 2 suitcases!! I am extra efficient and plan to do laundry. The more you travel, the better you will get at it!

  4. I have a tendency to try to underpack! I always do a load of laundry while I am on vacation, it forces me to stay at the resort one evening and slow down!
    I do have to take meds and supplements with me, instead of having my bag look like a pharmacy, I bought tiny ziploc bags from the craft store and sort and separate all the things I need to take by time of day and meals (yes, I take that much). It takes a lot less space than bottles of pills.
    I also bring a small bottle of liquid soap and will handwash something if I need to. Since I rarely eat at high-end restaurants, I don't bring dressier things at or the shoes to go with dressing up, thereby saving more space!

    Great post by the way, always helpful to hear someone else's take on how to pack!

  5. We spent a week on our trip to Disney World and stayed in a hotel in Downtown Disney. We took advantage of the washers and dryers and this enabled us to pack less. I worked well.

  6. I have no problem with over packing, but my wife is another story. She might need this and she might need that :) Oh well, luckily we are close enough to drive to Disney World so it's not much of an issue. Our trip to Disneyland and Aulani last year, she had to scale back some.


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