“Should I Drive or Fly to Walt Disney World?” is a question a lot of us probably ponder when we book a trip to Disney – as there are many pros and cons to both modes of transportation. Many of you with multiple children or who need to bring along a lot of gear may opt to make the drive instead of boarding a plane, and it’s a great choice for a lot of reasons – chief among them being it can be a HUGE money saver (flying isn’t cheap!). My family drove all the way from Upstate NY to Disney World for many trips – and it was a LONGGGG ride, so take my advice and make sure you’re prepared by making your very own “Disney Road Trip Kit!”. What should be in this kit, you ask? Well, here are some must haves:
Electronic Entertainment: Keeping the kids (and yourself!) entertained while in the car can be tricky – but luckily there are some amazing electronics out there that can help make this easy. Bring along your ipad or kindle or portable DVD player – and make sure you pre-load it with books/movies/games/music so that you’re good to go when it comes time for the trip
*Also, don’t forget to make sure the battery has a full charge –and remember the charger, and extra batteries too if needed. Headphones will come in handy too – make sure to bring enough pairs for everyone
NEW Stuff: A few months before your trip, start picking up new cheap toys at places like the dollar store or Target – stuff like coloring books (Disney ones if you can find them!), activity books, stickers, small toys, a book of road trip games (you can buy them on Amazon), crossword/word search books, etc – and set them aside (aka hide them!) so that when you pull them out in the car it’s a BRAND NEW activity for the kids to do. Don’t forget the crayons/pens/pencils too (I skip the markers as they tend to get everywhere…). This doesn’t have to be a huge expense, even just a few small things will go over really well when everyone is bored in the car (as they are NEW and therefore exciting to play with!)
Car Comfort Items: It is not easy to get comfortable for a nap in the car – and eventually we all get that desperate need to stretch our legs and walk around, but in the meantime – make sure you are as comfortable as possible during those long stretches of driving. Pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, an eye mask or sunglasses to block out the sun – all of these are imperative for getting as much comfort out of the car ride as possible!
BOOKS: I am a huge fan of reading in the car – I love to buy a few new novels before each trip, and they really help pass the time. Aside from novels, you could buy a Disney guide book to help you learn more about your vacation spot (helps you get excited about the destination too!), and for little kids you can get some Disney picture books, or you could bring along old photo albums or scrapbooks from previous Disney trips (or ones from when YOU were a kid!) and point out all the fun memories and things you can do once you arrive. I already mentioned coloring books and crayons, and along those same lines – a few pads of blank paper and some colored pencils would be a great thing to bring too – drawing is a great way to pass the time and helps stretch the imagination too!
Trivia: Check out this compilation of, and then pick and choose some questions for a road trip trivia contest! Disney movies, Park trivia, Character knowledge – it’s all fair game, and you could even have a prize for the winner! Of course, it doesn’t HAVE to be Disney trivia – anything of interest will do, but it will certainly help pass some time and turning it into a contest is fun for the whole car!
Snacks and Drinks: One of the most important things to pack for a road trip is snacks! Driving (or riding shotgun) always seems to make me hungry – so I like to pack some easy to eat snacks – individual packages of trail mix, pretzels, fruit snacks, hard candies – these are all great for the car. I try to avoid anything that can easily melt (like chocolate!), and I like to pack a cooler of drinks too, and I make sure I put it somewhere in the car that is easily accessible (aka not under a bunch of suitcases…learned that one the hard way!). I also make sure I have plenty of bags on hand for garbage (it builds up quickly…) and that I make sure to empty it every time we stop
Keeping It Clean: Aside from garbage bags, I like to make sure I have plenty of Wet wipes/baby wipes (for those sticky hand situations), a tide stick or shout wipes (for fast food spills), clorox wipes (never know when or what you might need to disinfect), and Kleenex and paper towels too (just in case!). You might need some, all, or none of these – but if you DO need them, you’ll certainly be glad you had them on hand!
Deciding to drive to Walt Disney World can save you a lot of money in the long run, and while it may be a long ride, if you use the above tips to create your own Disney Road Trip Kit, you will make the trip easier on everyone and you may even have fun in the process!
I would love to hear from the Road Trip Veterans out there – what do YOU do to help make the drive more fun for everyone?
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