Take or leave our suggestions of things to pack. I really like lists. They help me a lot. Otherwise I almost always forget to pack a toothbrush, or something else equally important.
Click here for a printable PDF. Red indicates items that should go with you into the park.
For the Car or Airplane:
Our family rule is before lunch no electronics… they can work on homework, color, look out the window, request a book on tape for the whole car to listen to.
- Journalling book (the teachers like this cause they write everyday and then can share what they did)
- Coloring Books and crayons (no-mess coloring books are great for littles)
- Homework books and pencils, erasers and sharpeners
- Non spill water bottle (not too many liquids if you are driving far)
- Snacks (more about that below)
- Books and magazines
- Travel binder, pages laminated and dry erase pens or crayons (see picture below)
- DVD player and charger *pro tip: we like to go to the library and take out 10 free dvds (20 if you and your significant other both have cards) even if they are ones we already have, and put them in a cd wallet
- Ipad (you can load from netflix or digital copies for movies, and then games that are favorites. Some of our family favorite free apps are palace pets, shopkins, lol surprise) and charger
- Leappad or DS and charger
- Magazines (I like the texture app a LOT, it lets me preload as many magazines as I want, including years of back issues)
- CDS, books on tape, music preloaded on an ipod We took the plunge to download Apple Music just this week and I love the options! A lot of the Park Music is available there. So fun! (I love Spotify Premium. Similar to Apple play, but the playlists are better. Check me out as @elisiapreston for my Disney playlist).
- Light sweater
- light lap blanket
- Camera, video camera (we are super old school… we like to video the whole trip and then watch it back over and over again when we are home… the kids ask to do this all the time).
- small pillow and stuffie (if room)
- PASSPORT!!! If you are Canadian, and have bought the Canadian discount tickets (or if you are planning on buying an alcoholic beverage in the parks), you need your passport to enter the parks. A Drivers License has gotten us in the park, but not a drink, and we have heard stories of people being turned away at the gates to go get their passports. Aka Me and my husband last time we went. We had to walk all the way back to our hotel to get our passports which cut into valuable Disney time!
For travel days our mom was always awesome about giving us a “travel gift”.
On driving days we would get a new coloring book, or movie, or skipping rope. Often it was something that could be used in the car. My personal favorite was the Archie comics. When we went to Disneyworld we made a little package for them. For any type of transportation, this makes it really special!
Snacks for travelling and parks
- fish crackers
- popcorn We bring popcorn bags and heat up in microwave at hotels… I have been offered $20 on the spot in Disneyland because someone saw us bring it)
- dry cereal This is an opportunity to give them cereal they might not get all the time, Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms. Snacking on cereal both passes the time and prolongs the “I’m huuuuuuuungry” for at least another half hour.
- Treats (fruit by the foot, travel size chocolate bars <in summer keep in coolers>)
- Corn Nuts
- Apple Sauces (like these)
- Crystal Lights This makes the water more exciting to drink… a few of us are very sensitive to the chlorine in the water in California so we either bring a Brita travel bottle and filter it or buy bottled water.
- Kettle (For brewing the coffee or making oatmeal for the mornings if your room does not have breakfast)
- French press travel mugs for coffee (click here) OR a regular size french press and two reusable cups from Starbucks
- Coffee (preground of course)
- Measuring Spoon (for said coffee)
- Wine gums or fave candy And by wine gums, Erica clearly meant sour candies.
- Beef Jerky or pepperoni sticks
- peanut butter (great on toast or even a spoon for emergencies)
- Dried Coconut
- Mickey Munch (m and ms that are yellow, black and red and white, pretzels, raisins, pretzels)
- Fresh fruit (buy after over Canadian border… note that you can’t bring citrus over the California border) Funny story. Despite the number of times that we have driven, our mother often buys oranges at the Costco in Medford, Oregon, the last major stop before you cross the California border. It would usually dawn on her about five minutes before crossing over. Cue everyone eating oranges as quickly as possible. So we usually roll up to the Fruit check booth, and a cloud of citrus puffs in to their face as they ask us if there is any citrus in the car…
- ProTip: keep an ice cream scoop and cones in your car. Stop for ice cream and buy a pint at the store and dish out.
- Snack bin: Keep a smaller bin of snacks that you can refill each day if you are driving. You want it within reach so you can pass snacks back to the kids
- Iced Coffee (my fav is JJ Bean cold brew)
- yogurt tubes (can freeze them)
- ice packs (freeze them each night in the fridge your room hopefully has)
- fruits and veg
- pita and hummus
- muffins (banana smoothie muffins recipe)
- Energy balls (Check out this recipe here)
- Juice Boxes (If you freeze these they double as an ice pack for the cooler, and once they thaw enough to drink they are so refreshing).
- contact solution and holder
- Glasses and glasses case, Glasses strap (if you’re planning on wearing glasses or sunglasses on rides)
- Pads and tampons
- Condoms or birth control
- nail clippers
- make up
- make up remover
- night creams/day cream
- dishcloth and dishsoap
- fold up picnic blanket for rest stops or beach
- baby wipes (even if you don’t have a baby: you’re welcome. Any spills that occur, or stickiness after a treat, grab a wipe.)
- hair dryer
- hair ties
- hair bands
- hair mousse, hair spray
- shampoo and conditioner
- bobby pins
- sunscreen (I like to double up on my face sunscreen by using a moisturizer with SPF and a BB cream that also has SPF)
- anti itch lotion (we like aveeno)
- essential oils and carrier oils (lavender, peppermint, thieves)
- Tylenol (we find at night after dinner a tylenol and ibuprofen goes a LONG way to helping get that second wind!)
- bug spray
- sunscreen (kids and adults)
- allergy medication (Claritin)
- Aloe Vera
- bandaids (disney print of course, and blister)
- Moleskin (for your shoes, this can be a lifesaver)
- hand sanitizer
- laundry soap (I like the pods that are sealed and pre-portioned. I pop them in to a hard container so they don’t burst while travelling)
- socks (if planning on wearing running shoes)
- shoes (good walking shoes… our fave for kids are natives or crocs. For adults we like Birkenstocks and Reef flip flops. We like to switch out for running shoes in the evening)
- tank tops/shirts
- light sweater
- poncho (get one at the dollar store if you don’t want to get wet)
- light pants (I live in jeans, so I always pack them)
- bras/bralettes I currently live in bralettes. Breastfeeding I find them really easy (no clasp to fiddle with), and they are incredibly comfy. They’re great for under tank tops. Check out my fave here.
- shorts for under skirts and dresses Bicycle shorts are best. You want something that can’t be seen. Also, you want ones that don’t ride up. I have yet to find this magical combination, so you will rarely see me in a dress on a disney day. Chub rub. The struggle is real.
- bathing suits
- flip flops
- Princess Dress/Character Costume
- ziplocks (all sizes)
- Containers for snacks in car and park
- mickey ears
- Autograph Book
- floaties for pool
- Cooler (small enough to put in a locker or stroller)
- Towels (if going to beach)
- Glowsticks (just at the dollar store, super useful for in the park after dark to see your kids and they will be less likely to bug you for the glow in the dark items that are being sold)
If travelling with 3 and under:
- stroller and mommy hook. check out this adorable mickey shaped one here
- playpen: Check if the hotel has a crib, may need to pack a playpen
- Toys: pick things that they can play with while contained. Our two year old loved colouring with mess free colouring, cars, and snacking. Lots of snacking.
- Music: pre-download playlist your kid enjoys. Our three year old really enjoyed the Wiggles and a Disneyland/Disney playlist. We use Spotify, and download the playlists while at home so that we have lots of options on the road.
- iPad: we bought a tablet mount that attached to the back of our seat head rests. I really did not want to hand over the iPad to a two year old. It was great because it was the perfect height, so he didn’t strain his neck looking down, and I was able to control what he watched.
- Diaper bag: diapers, wipes, bibs, soother, soother holder, bottles, bottle cleaner, washcloth, baby shampoo, food pouches, baby sunscreen, hat, pool holder, diaper cream
Happy packing, and have a magical day!
Erica, Elisia, Heidi and Danielle