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I am an over packer....need packing tips

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Sorry folks, another thread started by me....but I need more help.


In case you haven't read any of the other threads....


we (my husband, myself and 3 kids (ages 12, 10 and 8)) are headed to WDW at the end of October for a week. We are traveling by plane.


We are thinking of trying to pack so we don't have any checked bags. each one of us will have a small rolling suitcase.


Is this possible? can it be done?


I ALWAYS overpack when I go places....so help me...give me your best packing tips for us.


My in-laws will be meeting us there so they can pick up some thing like laundry detergent and sunscreen...etc.


How many sets of clothes, what type for time of year etc.



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If you plan to do laundry there, you can pack less. I aim for one outfit/change of underwear&socks a day, etc. If I do laundry, 3 or 4 outfits and changes for a week is okay. But, who wants to do much laundry while they are at Disney, KWIM?

End of October in Florida is still warm (sometimes very warm). Summer clothes are fine, maybe a jacket for rain/slightly cooler night. Casual clothes that hold up to lots of walking and then maybe a nice outfit for a night out or something.

Look up rolling clothes for packing on the internet. It does help. Thin fabrics also pack the best too and you can take more. Men's clothes actually take up the most space. Jeans/extra shoes are bulky too and suck up space quickly.

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One small tip I have is to consider packing clothing that can handle a bit of dirt and spills without looking totally grungy so you can wear them longer. For example, don't pack light colored shorts. Darker jean shorts are better. Same with shirts. KWIM?


excellent tip...thanks.

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Okay - I just looked it up. It looks like average high in October is around 85. Average low 65. So, you won't need as much bulky stuff. This makes it easier!!!


I would pack:

4 pr. shorts each

6 shirts each (all mix and match)

8 pr underwear

2 pr pajamas

1 pr pants (just in case)

1 jacket (maybe tie this around your waist if you don't have room in bag)

Extra pr. shoes/socks (if needed)


Swimsuit/swim toys

Any medications

If going to the Halloween party- costumes


In backpack to carry at parks:

cheapo rain ponchos

1 pr mittens each (cheapo, small ones) 65 degrees in your shorts at night can be chilly!


Small fanny pack for each person



Extra chargers/batteries

Extra outlet strip (KWIM? I find Disney rooms lacking in outlets for charging devices and these help(



Ear plugs (sometimes Disney shows are too loud for my ears)

Trip insurance information

Emergency numbers at home


Extras my kids take to Disney:

Trading pins

Autograph book


Really, everything at Disney is informal. You will fit in eating at any restaurant in shorts and a ss shirt. They expect you to have been at the parks all day!! So, unless you have a day planned where you are eating at the really formal place (the name escapes me right now), skip dressy.

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My best piece of advice is to choose a color pallette so you can mix and match. We did ten days in Italy, and I carried on. My color pallette was black, white, and pink. Also, denim jeans, of course. You would want to adjust items because you will have warmer temps. I took three pairs of black pants and two pairs of jeans. In your case you will probably want shorts and capris. I took one black skirt. I took several sweater twin sets. Again, you won't need nearly as much. I use dry cleaning bags to keep clothes from wrinkling. Friction is what wrinkles clothing. I would lay out a bag and put the cardigan out flat, lay another bag on top and put the shell on top of the second gab. Fold everything in half, and then roll it up like a sausage. I just pulled out one "sausage" per day. I roll panties, too. I took two pairs of jammies. I wore my all-purpose, black, light-weight jacket on the plane. I also threw in about three scarves in my color pallette to mix in. I had a different top for every day, but wore each of the bottoms two days. I took two pairs of shoes - one for walking and one nicer pair.


Good luck and have fun!

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Here's how you can get away with packing much less :)




You can get all of your toiletries, sunblock, and snacks this way. Or you could ship a box to your hotel in advance - they'll hold it.


Adults - on pair of pj's, swimsuit, coverup, three pairs of shorts, one pair of lightweight pants, a short for every day (all clothes darker and neutral), socks and underwear.

Kids - same - but add pants based on age....

Might want to pack a pair of cheap flip flops to walk to and from the pool with.

You won't need pool towels. If you want cheap pool toys, buy the cheap inflatable ones at WalMart.


Laundry - if you have access to laundry facilities, bring the Purex 3-in-1 sheets - no problems getting those through airline security.


Other than that - cameras and chargers :)


Try to make one of the carry-ons a smallish backpack that can be used as the daily pack for the parks.


Have fun!

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The way I always packed was to start with the socks. Those go in the bottom between the metal bars for the handle. Stick the socks in so they make a nice, flat surface. Underwear goes next, unfolded so it's flat. Then pants go in. Shirts go in next. If you don't have enough room, roll the shirts up and stick them around the edges of the bag. Toiletries in the outside pocket.


I forgot to look at the number and ages of your children. You should have as big a purse as you can manage. If you have any teenage daughters, they should have one too, in case your family is separated on the plane. Pack it with snacks and activities to keep people happy. Pack empty water bottles that you can fill after you get through security. My mom always kept a stash of hard candy for us to suck on during take off and landing.


My dad is a pilot and we spent A LOT of time flying space A. Since it was never a guarantee we'd get anywhere, we only used carry on bags. That was the best method I found for packing. When my choir went to WDW in high school, I was the only one who brought a carry on, everyone else checked bags and I still had to help several people pack so that all their things and their souvenirs would fit.

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Think layers.


Shorts or skirts and a T for days in the park. A thin long-sleeved layer to go on top for evenings. For girls, a pair of leggings to go under the skirt; for boys, perhaps a pair of sweats, or maybe use those pants with zip-off legs. (I love those, but they aren't as fashionable as they once were, and now are found mainly in hiking/sports stores.)


A bag/pack of some sort to carry the evening layers, as well as rain gear, a water bottle and a few snacks to eat in the park. Having water and snacks is key to keeping everyone happy despite heat and lines. A drawstring backpack will do the trick and is very easy to pack.


One pair of good quality walking sandals each.

One rain poncho each.

One bathing suit each.


Cell phones/chargers.


You really don't need much else.

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I am the packing tyrant. Just ask my kids.


Ds and I went to Scandinavia for 10 days this summer and took 2 carry-ons that were barely half full and my purse. This included formal concert attire.


Here are the basics of what we each packed (not including what we were both wearing including a light jacket on the plane):


2 pairs pants (too cold for shorts)

3 short sleeved shirts

1 long sleeved shirt

formal slacks

formal s.s. blouse

formal l.s. shirt

dress shoes

3 pairs underwear

4 pairs socks


toiletries (make-up, hair supplies, etc.)

laundry supplies (small laundry det., drying line)

iPad, cameras, electronic converters, book, travel documents, umbrella, etc.


With summer clothes, this amount will take up very little space. If it hadn't been for ds's huge dress shoes, we could have easily packed everything in one carry-on. We washed underclothes a couple times in the bathroom sink, but most American hotels will have washers and dryers available.


I would plan to wear each shirt and pair of pants 2-3 times. Kids may need an extra shirt, but if you can do laundry once, that's only 2-3 outfits per person. Almost any shirt will coordinate with a pair of blue/jean, brown, black, or tan shorts. Don't pack white shirts or shorts. Don't overpack on "boredom busters" - electronics, books, activities, etc. Your kids are old enough that they won't need a huge toddler-sized supply of misc. items to keep them entertained for an hour or two.


As a pp suggested, bring a large (diaper-bag sized?) "purse"/day pack to bring along during the day to hold supplies, snacks, umbrella, handwipes, camera, water, etc.


It will not be cold enough for mittens, trust me. Not in Orlando - unless your body is accustomed to living in the tropics. Might want a light jacket. Check the weather report, but Orlando doesn't get much rain in October, so you can leave the rain gear home. It's not likely you'll ever be stranded anywhere that you couldn't get out of the rain for a few mintues. A couple small umbrellas should be plenty.


Plan on packing everything in 3 carry-ons and your day-bag(s). After you have packed everything that you absolutely MUST have, go through and take out 1/3 of it and that will be more than enough. Anything else that you really need can be purchased in Orlando.


Have fun! :)

Edited by Susan in TN
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these look interesting. It seems like they would take up more room than add room. So tell me how you use them...what saize suitcase do they go in?


I have these, and used them on the above mentioned trip. They were great! Even for a packing tyrant, they just helped keep items organized, neat, and easy to find.


Measure your carry-ons and check against the size of the packing cubes. In our carry-ons (Rick Steve's Convertable/backpack), 2 mediums fit perfectly in one layer and we could fit 2 layers easily in each bag. I think we each brought 2 mediums and 2 or 3 "slim" (different from "small"). The "slims" were perfect for socks, underwear, pjs, and electronics. Mediums were perfect for folded shirts and pants.

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I totally agree w/ Susan in TN.


Another tip -- wear your bulkiest shoes on the plane (if you take more than one pair), rather than carrying them. So, if you're taking walking shoes & a pair of flip-flops, wear the walking shoes & pack the flip-flops.


Advice my uncle gave me many, many years ago: Pack everything you think you need. Have everyone take whatever bags they have/will be in charge of & then go run around the outside of your house 10 times. (You never know when you'll have to hoof it through an airport, etc....) If you get too tired or your things are too bulky, come in & unpack about half. Do the run around the house test again. Come in & reduce by half again. At that point, you probably have the correct amount of stuff. :lol: Sounds goofy, but if you really do it, I can guarantee you'll find stuff to remove from your bags to make them less bulky & lighter.


Also, don't forget that you may end up purchasing something like t-shirts as souvenirs. If you plan to do that, pack one less shirt since you'll be buying one there you can add to your outfits. Always leave some empty space in your bags to accomodate stuff you may buy while on your trip.


Cheapie rain ponchos may be the way to go if you insist on rain gear of any sort. You can use them while there (if needed) & ditch them before you return home.

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I'm in a hurry, but since Disney is our second home, ;) I had to add a quick comment or two...


For us, the weather is warm enough that we perspire and don't want to re-wear our clothes. Personal preference.


Bring a light jacket for everyone that is also rain-resistant. I remember one particular fall trip that was wet. Usually, that time of year is dry. Our trip overlaps yours this year.:)


Look up the packing cubes that someone linked. We've used those for years. Everyone here has there own color, which helps a ton with organization once everything gets pulled out of suitcases, etc. Roll your things within the cubes. The cubes zip, which helps to compress everything within the suitcase, giving you more room and complete organization. You could also do that with large Ziplocs, or something else. I've done that, too, before the cubes. I wrote the kids' names on them with Sharpies. Each day had a bag. I did that for a Disney Cruise combined with DisneyWorld. That was a very organized trip.



Edited by Sugarfoot
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We all go carry on frequently. The lists have been great. I would wear the trousers (jeans). We lived in Orlando, October is warm and jeans can be worn multiple times if needed. Dd almost had heat stroke at the halloween party as a ballerina. You will need the rain ponchos.


When we pack I put what everyone needs for bedtime in one bag -- Pajamas, socks, underwear, toothbrushes. Another bag for shirts and shorts. The last bag is electronics and snacks. Dh always takes work so that is our fourth bag.:lol:

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Absolute must is a second pair of shoes. You never know when you'll be in *that* seat on Kali River Rapids. I was in *that* seat with my DS one trip. We were both soaked. And I mean everywhere soaked. I could not have gotten wetter if I'd stepped into the shower fully dressed.

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They are made to pack into a carry on (22x14x9) and they take up less room because you can tightly pack each one, squishing into a smaller space. A full bag squished down is harder to squish than a small space.


I put all pants in largest one, Shirts in next size down, undies and bras in the smaller size, swimsuit in the long skinny ones and any dresses/skirts in another. Some get the shoe ones but I don't bother packing shoes in them.


these look interesting. It seems like they would take up more room than add room. So tell me how you use them...what saize suitcase do they go in?
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I can't imagine going to Disney without extra clothing, unless you are willing to send out your laundry. I would pack enough clothes for fresh ones everyday and a couple of extra shirts. (I don't like to give up a couple of hours for laundry, though!) I don't even think you will need a jacket for your kids, just a couple of long sleeve tees to thrown on after 8pm.


85 degrees + 7 hours walking = sweat and smelliness!


For my kids, I would pack- (Sunday-Sat)

6 shorts, 9 tees, 1 long sleeve tee, 2 pjs, 8 undies, 2 bathing suits

(they would probably wear crocs or Keens) - wear a long sleeve tee/ long pants on plane


That would all fit on carry-on, plus a couple of my things that won't fit in mine!!

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Also- throw a few gallon ziplocks in your suitcase, too. Put a fresh tee for each child in it and throw it in your backpack for the park. Many of those Mickey head ice creams melt way too fast, and splash mountain really does get you soaked! At the end of your trip, just throw the still wet bathing suits back in them to travel.

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