As we plan and get excited for our Disney vacations we focus so much on the park days and wardrobe and so often forget that though we don’t spend a ton of time in our resort room…we are there for hours at a time. Whether it be to sleep, freshen up or just decompress before getting to our next Fast Pass +, there are some really easy items we can pack from home that can save you time, money and make your stay really comfortable. The Disney Resorts have many wonderful items available for purchase at their resort stores but the fact of the matter is that the prices exceed what we would pay for certain items at home. Here are 10 items to bring from home to make your stay a happy and comfy one!
Pop up laundry basket
Money well spent at any local dollar store. I got mine for my last trip at another discount store for around $5 and it packed neatly into my luggage and expanded once we arrived. This allowed me to keep our soiled laundry out-of-the-way and together and made the room feel much less cluttered. We tucked it underneath the table in our room by the window and it was a great hiding place!
This one seems obvious but it’s so easy to forget. Rather than having to purchase or use a snack credit (if you’re on one of the Dining Plans) it’s going to save you a lot of money and waiting in lines to have some granola bars, crackers and simple beverages in your room. If you are flying you can have these items shipped or delivered right to your room. If you’re driving you can pack as much as you like! A case of bottled water and juice boxes could be just the trick to keep your family hydrated and happy! Snacks are also a great way to keep your little ones busy no long waits throughout the day.
I try my best not to think about other people who have been in the room I stay in at any hotel. I don’t consider myself “germaphobic” by any stretch but on my most recent visit I was traveling as a wife and mom…not just myself with friends! It was a bit of a game changer for me. I packed a small packet of Lysol wipes to clean off surfaces my little one may touch, eat off of or put her mouth on. I wiped down door knobs, phones and surfaces and it really brought me peace of mind. If the last family to stay had a toddler with a cold or runny nose than mine wasn’t going to be privy to that as well! The wonderful Mousekeeping staff does so well to keep the rooms tidy- but they don’t know all the details of every surface!
Pain reliever/fever reducer
Even the most magical place on earth isn’t immune to injury and illness. If you have a headache, cough or your child is running a fever it would be much easier for you to reach into your suitcase and pull out the medicine you need to make yourself or loved one well again. No one wants to get sick on vacation but it does happen. Go prepared! Bring bandages and moleskin for your aching feet and aloe for your sunburns! I remember waking up with a cough on my honeymoon cruise and it plagued me. I don’t even want to say how much I spent on cough medicine on board. Let’s just say I never traveled again without a small armory of medicines.
Think these are just for kids? Try getting up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night in a foreign bedroom and locating your bureau with your toe! Grab one from home or buy one for cheap at a local pharmacy or department store and bring it along. Your feet with thank you! So will your roommates who won’t be awakened by your thudding!
For kids- Favorite sleep accessories and bedding
This one definitely can’t be purchased! If you have a child young enough for a Pack-n-play they may go down for the night easier if the bedding is from home and familiar. Disney provides sheets, but I like to bring mine from home. They smell like our detergent, they are familiar appearance and texture and I think they reassured my little one that she can sleep cozy away from home. Older kids may have a stuffed animal or favorite pillow case which I would encourage you to bring along. A pillow case from home could mean the difference in a good night’s sleep for a fussy sleeper and everyone being kept awake. If your kids sleep with a noise machine at home, consider bringing it. There are worse sounds to fall asleep to than the crashing ocean, right? (haha)
Power Strip/surge protector
Not totally necessary but I am the child of two photographers. My camera, digital camcorder and cell phone will literally never die in Disney because I am so diligent in charging and reloading batteries at night! I like to bring a power strip so we could plug-in our phones, cameras, my daughter’s noise machine and all our memory recording devices!
Dish Soap and a sponge
Pick up a small dish soap bottle and a sponge in a baggie and pack it in our bag! This will come in handy many times that you wouldn’t even plan for. Especially when traveling with kids this is a must because of all the sippy cups and pacifiers and other items they come with. As an adult they are handy to have for those Disney refillable resort mugs too!
There are times when you want to unwind and maybe don’t want the tv on. Some quiet down time away from the bustle of the parks is a must do every trip so why not entertain yourself? Card games, books (with book light in case it’s at night and other are sleeping), magazines, anything to keep your family and friends feeling relaxed and in the vacation mind-set. These may also come in handy for long waits in lines, restaurants and buses for kids! Pack a deck of flashcards or a travel sized game like mini Connect Four.
Ear Plugs/sleep masks
Not everyone is as picky a sleeper as I am. But I have trouble getting to sleep in a place that isn’t home, usually. You or your kids may too! Ear plugs are great for someone traveling with people who snore, have kids or end up next door to a louder group. Maybe you want to sleep in and your wife wants to wake with the sun, a sleep mask allows you to stay asleep and your wife to enjoy the natural light with open curtains.
The bottom line is that as much fun a Walt Disney World vacation can be, we all also want to be comfortable and feel at home. These few things can make your trip flow easier and feel more relaxing. What do you always bring from home to your Disney resort?