It is important for me to make a list of everything I want or need to bring on every vacation several weeks in advance so I can try to avoid forgetting anything! Being organized is my specialty so I figure that if I allow enough time, my mind may spontaneously remember an important item to add to the list while I'm not thinking about it or during the night. The brain can be so weird like that. We're only human and we are not perfect, which allows me to give you the top 10 items we often forget to pack.
10. Bathing Suit--We tend to focus our pre-planning on dining reservations, fastpasses and our days at the parks, that we forget about the time we MIGHT spend at the resort pools. While you may plan on NOT going to a water park or going in the resort pool, plans change. People get tired, parks may get too crowded or the heat may be too much resulting in everyone wanting to go back to the resort to rest poolside and/or swim to cool off. You could wait in line at a water ride, but so are a few hundred people. Plus, there is no guarantee you will get wet! Bathing suits do not add much room to your suitcase. It is better to have them and not need them than to not have them and wish you did.
9. Sweatshirt/jacket--Yes, I know, it is Florida, but depending on the time of year, you may need a jacket or a sweatshirt. They are mostly needed at night, but there have been times where the day time temps will be cooler than expected in November through March. Plus, the air conditioning is running so high in the restaurants in the summer that it may be too cool for a few of you while you eat. Temporary AC blasts in stores and hallways are no big deal, because you can control how long you stay there, but dining is a different story. Mornings can start out very cool, also, depending on the season. Check the weather channel for a local forecast a couple days before you go to Disney World.
8. Credit cards--I know you are wondering how I came up with this one, but it is actually the strategy of how you carry credit cards versus forgetting them altogether. Most couples carry joint credit cards all the time, but if someone's wallet is lost or stolen, both cards are closed. So, what do you have left to use if all of your joint cards are closed? Either have one of you carry their own personal cards or have each one of you carry different joint cards. Example: My husband and I carry our joint Disney Chase cards, but his other two back-up cards are US Bank and BOA. My back-up cards are Citibank and Barclays Bank. If my purse is stolen, we still have US Bank and BOA to use without any problems.
7. Extra clothes--Most first time visitors think they will wear one outfit per day, but 9 times out of 10, you change. You want fresh clothes after you go swimming, fresh clothes after playing in a hot theme park all day, fresh (better smelling) clothing for the dining reservations you made 180 days ago, etc. At a minimum, extra socks and underwear are highly recommended.
6. Cash--If you like getting Disney dollars, like me, or points/dollars on whatever card you use, we use the credit card for as much as possible, but there are times when cash is needed. Because we use our Disney card so much, I can only think of a couple times I needed cash and that is for tips and coins for the pressed penny machines. If you think of the tips you would need as soon as you step out of your house to leave for Walt Disney World, you will come up with several instances where cash for tips is needed. To name a few: Car service to airport, Shuttle drivers for luggage, Special airport assistance, Airport curbside check-in, Valet, Airport vending machines, Flight attendant tip for alcohol drinks, Concierge, Bellhop, Disney Coach personnel.
5. Sunscreen--Nothing worse than not having sunscreen and spend your vacation like a cooked lobster or you can pay an astronomical amount of money on a bottle when you get there. I do not like either of those options. Be sure to pack enough for the whole family to apply at least twice per day.
4. Extra camera memory--Oh, dear!! I can tell you, through experience, how awful it is to see your camera tell you that you do not have enough memory to take anymore pictures. My camera takes video, also. Video takes up so much more memory, too. Once again, are you going to pay the astronomical prices for another SD card or prepare in advance before you leave by buying an extra card or a much larger card to install into your camera before you leave?
3. Ponchos or Rain Jackets--Central Florida is prone to rain showers. Especially in the summer. While you can purchase very cheap ponchos at a local store at home and they can be thrown away, the Disney ponchos are a higher quality and can be reused. You could bring ponchos or rain jackets with you, but I opted to buy Disney ponchos the first time we needed them and keep them for future trips. You will pay a premium price, but if you do not already own ponchos, think about waiting until you need them at the park, buy them there and save them to bring on all future trips. You will have the classic Disney characters on them and a nice keepsake for all ages to be used many times over the years. (Except, the little kids will need an upgrade as they grow out of their poncho.) If you plan on going to Disney more than once, in the long run, buying the Disney poncho is more cost effective. Out of a dozen times I have been to Disney, I needed a poncho once for one day.
2. Extra batteries/charging cord for camera--Camera---CHECK! But, what about a charging cord or extra batteries? If you want to save yourself some money at Disney World, be sure to bring extra batteries or your charging cord. No matter where you go in the US, the price of charging your phone at your vacation location will be very expensive. You know why? Because they can charge those insane prices! They know you will not put the camera away and not take pictures, because you forgot extra batteries or charging cord. It is not like you forgot a bathing suit and will just skip swimming. Your camera is the most important item next to your flight ticket, credit card, driver's license/passport and MagicBands.
1. Patience--It is so important to remember you are going on vacation. There is so much to do and so much you want to cover in a short period of time that the stress of it all can take over. You say now "It is ok. That is not me. We will be fine." But, trust me, when the crowds are high, the weather temps/humidity are taking a toll on you, all of that walking is just exhausting and the long lines at every attraction are wearing on your nerves, you need to remember to breathe, have patience and remember that it is supposed to be a vacation.