Thursday, August 21, 2014

What to Bring? My Packing List

When it comes to traveling I'm neither a minimalist nor a packrat. I'm not saying I've found the ideal choices of what to bring when away from home, but I have found a balance that works for me between having what I need while on the road and being able to carry those items around. Traveling to Disney World can be a little different for those who use Disney's Magical Express transportation, because you can check your luggage all the way to your hotel, meaning you don't have to carry your bags through the airport in Orlando or even to your hotel room. For some, this could be a license to over-pack. Others prefer to bring only the essentials for their vacation, buying extra items along the way as needed.  For me, the time and money spent on buying items I can easily transport is not worthwhile, but I usually rent a car (no Magical Express), so I have to be able to easily carry everything that I bring. It should be noted that I generally fly on Southwest Airlines, which does not currently charge for checked luggage.

Below is my standard packing list. Clothing will vary slightly depending on the weather for the upcoming trip, but most items stay the same from trip to trip. I carry three different bags, including a backpack for most of my photography gear, a 20" duffle bag for the plane, and a 22" rolling suitcase that I check. I'll save the photography discussion for later, since only applies to a small subset of readers, but will list what I bring in the other bags now.

Suitcase (22")

  • portable sunshade
  • poncho
  • sunscreen
  • shoes (1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair of waterproof sneakers)
  • plastic bags (for storing leftover food, laundry, wet bathing suits)
  • extra tripod
  • food (oatmeal raisin bars and cereal bars, often replaced by souvenirs on the way home)
  • charging stations (there are never enough power outlets in hotel rooms)
  • packing cubes
  • underwear (fast drying to deal with the Orlando heat and thunderstorms)
  • socks
  • polo shirts
  • soccer jerseys
  • t-shirts
  • belts
  • long pants
  • shorts
  • bathing suits
  • sweatpants
  • shaver
  • toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo, comb, Swiss army knife, nail clippers, floss, Airborne, ibuprofen, Visine, Neosporin, Band-Aids, Q-tips, melatonin, lip balm)

Carry on (20")

  • packing list
  • printed reservation confirmations
  • loose change
  • Tide pen
  • pens, pencils
  • lip balm
  • USB flash drive
  • maps
  • glasses case
  • comb
  • gum
  • Disney cards (MagicBands, Annual Pass Discount Card, Tables in Wonderland)
  • notebook
  • watch
  • headphones
  • books
  • deck of cards
  • camera chargers
  • camera connecting cables
  • cell phone charger
  • cell phone car charger
  • portable cell phone charger
  • laptop
  • laptop charger
  • water bottle (empty until through security)
  • sandwich (frozen the night before) + snacks
  • apple
  • jacket
  • Disney DVDs
  • stuffed monkey