We Travelers Three Ultimate Packing List

By:  Kelly Driver

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Let’s admit it.  Nobody likes to pack.  Even if you are taking a once in a lifetime trip to some exotic land or if you are going on a magical vacation to Disney World.  Packing is the worst part of any trip.  Somehow we always get to our destination and realize we’ve forgotten something, from toothbrushes to swimming suits.  Click the link below for the packing list that we use or bookmark this page so you’ll know where to find it.

WT3 UltimatePackingList

If there is anything I’ve forgotten or anything that you have found is a must-take that isn’t on this list, leave a comment and I’ll add it.

5 Tips for Getting Ready for Family Vacations

By: Kelly Driver

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We are two weeks away from our Orlando vacation and I am starting to think about our packing list and what needs to be done before we board our flight. This is a stressful time for any traveler but I think there is an added level of stress when you are traveling with kids.

This will be our 5th trip to Orlando Theme Parks as a family and I think that I may finally have a good system in place. Follow these tips and you will be on your way.

1. Make three lists. The first list is your packing list. The second list is things to do to prepare your home or office before you leave. The third list is a family effort and is for all the “must-do” things each of you want to experience while on vacation.

2. Plan your route or departure. If you are driving it is a good idea to get your route and maps ready a couple of weeks in advance. If you are a AAA member head to your nearest office and have a TripTik made. A TripTik is a great way to get construction information as well as maps and tour books.

If you are flying with little ones make sure you figure out how to get meals into your plan. For example: we are taking an afternoon flight that leave at 12:20pm. We can have a leisurely breakfast at home and be at the airport by 10:30am. Once we check in, go through security and get to our gate we have about 30-45 min before we start the boarding process. This time is pretty easy to kill with little ones. They are so excited and just want to look at the planes. About 10-15 minutes before boarding, one of us goes to a restaurant (usually fast food) and gets us lunch. By the time we have everything it is time to board. We get into our seats, get settled and wait to start taxiing down the runway. When we are able to use our tray tables we get out our lunch. By the time we are done eating the pilot is telling us it is okay to turn on electronic devices. We set up the DVD player or iPad, start a movie for Sydney and enjoy the flight. Since it is only a 2 hour flight to Orlando it works out perfectly. Just as the movie is ending the flight attendants tell us to turn off electronic devices and we start descending. Easy peasy! It is a must to plan out meals while flying. Traveling with a hungry kid (or husband) can be a nightmare.

3. Make packing easy. I have found that the easiest way to pack is to coordinate wardrobes. I’m not talking about completely matching outfits (although matching t-shirts could be fun) but more along the lines of picking a color scheme for each day at a theme park. Yellow for Magic Kingdom, blue for Hollywood Studios, purple for Epcot and green for Animal Kingdom, off days are open for anything. This not only makes for easy packing but it also makes for great photos.

4. Take advantage of technology. Almost every theme park and our tourist destination has an app that can be used with most smart phones and tablets. These apps can give you maps, park hours, wait times and the ability to make dining reservations.

5. Write down emergency information. Leave the name of your resort and your phone numbers for family or a main point of contact, also be sure to put a hold on your newspaper and mail through the post office at www.usps.com.