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Do you need 12 pairs of undies for a 5-day trip?

The age-old question - how much should I pack?

It's something people who like

organization struggle with before a trip, and something those who throw clothes into a bag don't think about as much. Add in packing for other family members, like children, and it can be a downright nightmare if you aren't prepared.

So how do you get organized and know what to pack? First, think about the location you are traveling to. I recommend looking up the weather for your trip and keeping track of it up until you depart. This way, if you need to throw in a rain jacket at the last minute, you can.

I learned this the hard way for a spring trip we took to Disneyland a few years ago. It was early March and it's California, so we thought shorts and t-shirts would be fine. We were so wrong. We scoured Target and Downtown Disney for rain gear, pants, and sweatshirts. It was insanely cold and rainy throughout our trip. And the lack of planning cost us much more money than we wanted to spend on the trip.

Another tip I like to give clients traveling for the first time with family or children is to keep track of what you use on a daily basis for a few days. How many pairs of clothes does your little one go through in a day? How about yourself, if you're clumsy like me, and spill something on yourself at least once a day?

Also, think about things that would be helpful in case of an emergency. Tide pens or shout wipes are always handy and take up very little room. Having a small poncho that folds up and can be at the bottom of your bag could be a lifesaver if you are traveling to Florida during the rainy season.

If you are taking a longer trip, ask your Travel Advisor about laundry facilities on site. Many Universal and Disney resorts have onsite laundry so you can do a couple of quick loads instead of packing an outfit every day for that 8-day vacation.

And remember that Target or Walmart pickup is a god-send to travelers. Plan ahead what you want for snacks, water, or even something like sunscreen if you want a big bottle, add it to your pickup list. Place the order when you land at the airport, and then you can pick it up on your way to the hotel. (This tip works best if you take a rideshare or have a rental car.) If you are onsite at Walt Disney World, know that most resorts will accept Amazon, Target, and Grocery Delivery services for you. Ask your Travel Advisor if the location you are staying at will do that too.

We now travel multiple times a year, whether that's a trip by plane or by car, our family decided a few years ago to prioritize travel over things like expensive birthday parties or extravagant presents. (And the kids decided this on their own!)

I started with a very basic packing list, and it has evolved as we travel. We take things off, like strollers, and add things like Shout Sheets and Dryer Sheets when we have longer trips. You'll see in the picture I write in things as well - like Epsom salt which works miracles on everyone's feet at the end of that 20,000+ step day. And it went from having the basics to everyone having their own column of items they want to make sure they have.

To get you started on loving a packing list, you can find a basic one below for your ease of download. And if you have any other questions on what to pack for the location, time of the season, or potential weather, we can answer those questions for you as we discuss your next getaway!

Minimalist Packing Checklist
Download PDF • 489KB

Happy Travels,

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