Discussion in 'Disney World Tips' started by Emme, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. Emme

    Emme DIS Veteran

    Jan 19, 2001
    I ALWAYS pack too much. Too many clothes, shoes, snacks...My hubby always says pack light and I always say I will and I just don't!! Guess I really don't know how to pack light:confused3...LOL~

    Please those of you who are minimalist packers share your tips and strategies. We are traveling by car so I always think "ahhh, I'll throw in the extra pair of brown pumps, I might need them"...WHAT???

    Please share what you bring and how you keep the packing light! Thanks!!!:flower3:
  2. onelilspark

    onelilspark DIS Veteran

    Oct 23, 2008
    I'm not really a light packer, more practical. I always have enough clothes and I've never gone over the weight limit at the airport. This is what I do...I take a sheet of paper and write out all the days we'll be on vacation with space in between for notes. Then I'll go to and write down the weather for each day of the trip. I then take my paper and pencil into my bedroom where I start lying things out for each day. I make sure that I have one outfit per day and write down what I'll be wearing. If there are special events, then I'll write down that outfit too. If I'm not ready to pack yet, I'll put everything away (or to the side) and when it comes time to pack, I pull out my list and only pack what is on my list (oh, and when you lie things out, be sure to include underwear and socks!) Once everything is in the suitcase, I'll grab one more pair of bottoms, one more top, and one more pair of underwear. For all my Disney trips I bring 1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair of flip flops, and then if we're doing any nice restaurants, I'll bring 1 pair of shoes that goes with all my nicer stuff. (I did this on a cruise and it worked fantastic! I brought a pair of silver heels that looked nice with all my outfits.) For a beach trip, I do add one more pair of flip flops that I don't mind if they get sandy.

    So I don't exactly pack "light," but without fail I have everything I need and give myself some options. On the cruise I mentioned, my boyfriend didn't lie things out...he thought I was being OCD...sure enough, he didn't have enough tee-shirts OR underwear because he miscounted. I like my method, it works & I'm sticking to it :)
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  4. perfectparanoia

    perfectparanoia Mouseketeer

    Aug 24, 2007
    I am not a light packer per se but I don't pack things I will not use.

    I make a detailed list of what I am bringing and only pack that. The list is the key for me. It's like going grocery shopping. If you have a list you won't forget anything and you will be inclined to not add things.

    Though I do pack those extra pairs of shoes (inside DH's) for Disney specifically.
  5. Practically_Perfect

    Practically_Perfect Mouseketeer

    Aug 7, 2009
    This is very similar to the method I use. It's when I don't plan my day to day outfits, and go "I think I want to bring these capris, and ooh, that top's fun to wear, and I forgot about that skirt - packing it!" that I wind up bringing WAY too much stuff...

    One thing I also try to do, which I know some will think is gross, is to find some "mix and match" outfits. By this I mean some pants (usually jeans or denim material) that I'm comfortable with wearing more than once, that look good with different tops, since tops take up less space in the suitcase.

    Another trick is to take the size of suitcase you would normally bring, then actually use one that is one size SMALLER than your usual. You will be more selective in what you plan to bring.

    Yet another trick is to use all the allowable space in your suitcase that you can. Roll your clothes (this also helps to reduce wrinkles), stuff socks or underwear in your shoes that you're packing, etc.

    Lastly, the heaviest items in a suitcase are your toiletries and your shoes. LIMIT the number of shoes you bring! Also, try to bring only travel sized toiletries with you - you can get travel sized containers at the dollar store, wal-mart, drugstores, etc. Also - cut down on the amount of make-up you bring. You won't need all the colour choices you typically have at home - put together a neutral palette of eyeshadows, one blush and a lipgloss and you should be fine!

    Good luck!! :thumbsup2
  6. SiAmCrAzY

    SiAmCrAzY Mouseketeer

    Sep 4, 2009
    I am packing right now so this is something I have been obsessing over. I also tend to overpack. I did just get a smaller suitcase so maybe that will help.
    I just read a great tip on another thread. Put each outfit in a 2 gal ziplock and smush out all of the air. I am heading out to buy bags right now, so I can see if this makes a differance for me. If nothing else I will be organized for once :)
    I am only taking trial/ travelsize toiletries, and I am packing a tiny bottle of laundry soap to do one or two loads mid trip. I really hope that all of this combined will curb my urge to pack the kitchen sink.:lmao:
  7. mebbradley

    mebbradley Patiently waiting for the next trip to Disney!

    Nov 2, 2009
    Something that I did to learn to pack smarter was to make a list of outfits for each day.

    Plus the one thing that helped me learn to pack less was the fact that my mom, for Christmas vacation last winter, declared that each person could use ONE duffel/small suitcase for the vacation. If you over packed and packed a bigger bag, you sat with the suitcase on your lap. I managed it but....our two exchange students sat for 4 hours with a huge suitcase on their laps. bahahaha :) :)
  8. persimmondeb

    persimmondeb DIS Veteran

    Oct 18, 2009
    I don't pack light, but I do pack tight. I am in favor of laying it all out so you know that you have what you need, and don't have a lot of excess. Then...roll, roll, roll your clothes! They won't get wrinkly, and you'd be amazed how much less space they take up! I try to lean towards less bulky items too.

    Shoes are little cargo carriers. Pack them like tiny suitcases with small items like scarves, socks, tights, jewelry, etc. in them. Putting underwear in them skeeves me out, but it would fit. This method does make the bag heavy, though.
  9. wvnative

    wvnative DIS Veteran

    Oct 24, 2006
    You pack like my kid. She is apparently incapable of packing light and always has a suitcase twice the size of mine. lol She has a different pair of shoes for each outfit, 5 jackets, several belts all of her primping stuff... It's kind of scary and funny at the same time.

    Let's see. The nightlight and power strip stay in my suitcase at all times. It's next to impossible to travel with two laptops (although next time I think we'll just take one as she never even opened hers) and two cellphones, that all need charging, without a power strip. Anyway, I have a list in excel on my laptop. I pack for one more day than we'll be there just in case we get soaked or something. I always wear my jeans twice between washes. I tend to do the same with pajamas seeing as I shower before bed. Oh, and I should mention that we've not made the trip across the country to WDW yet but have done cruises and visited family back home on several occassions. There's not been a need for real dress clothes except for the cruise and the funerals.

    Anyway, my packing list for a 4 day trip to DLR looks something like this.

    5 tops (that look ok with jeans and white sneakers)
    1 jacket
    1 fleece
    5 socks
    5 undies
    3 bras
    3 jeans
    1 pair of sneakers (we travel in the off season) the other pair gets worn on the travel day
    2 sets of PJ's
    my drawstring backpack (sunblock, tide2go pen, tickets, tissues, clorox wipes)
    the nightlight and power strip of course
    cell phone charger
    cloth laundry bag
    and the travel sized toiletries, hair clips/ponytail holders and hairbrush
    Oh, and one curling iron for the days when my hair absolutely won't behave

    I know it sounds like a lot but it all goes in my 22" bag without issue.

    If we're driving, I also include my pillow.

    One thing I've learned from living in the desert, besides you always carry water with, is to dress in light layers. A t-shirt or light knit will take up less space in a suitcase and are fine for the sunny and 70's weather we usually encounter at DLR. My fleece and DLR jackets take up less room than my other jackets and are warmer.
  10. Emme

    Emme DIS Veteran

    Jan 19, 2001
    YES! I knew there were people out there that had a clue~:hug:

    Some really great ideas! Love the idea of planning all your outfits daily and then packing. Also, the switching and mix matching of several tops with a few bottoms~ Hmmm, I have to try and pare down the shoes and necklaces to mix and match as well...keep those ideas coming and THANK YOU:flower3:
  11. TinkerBellSam

    TinkerBellSam Mouseketeer

    Mar 16, 2010
    My sister always says, "half as many clothes and twice as much money!" Ususally the best advice. Have a great time!
  12. disneyag

    disneyag DIS Veteran

    Apr 29, 2001
  13. PrincessPiperMommy

    PrincessPiperMommy Mouseketeer

    Aug 24, 2009
    Wow this is a great site!!! :goodvibes Thank you for sharing.
  14. DisGirl23

    DisGirl23 Is it time to go to Disney World yet?!

    Oct 26, 2009
    I pick out a color palette and go with that. If I have browns in my choices then there's no blacks. I should be able to wear any 2 tops with one pair of shorts. Hope that made sense... basically, I should be able to create 7 different looks with 3 or 4 tops and shorts. Yes, I'm always tempted to toss in all those other tops that want to come with too but, I practice restraint.
    I always do a load of laundry halfway through the trip. Usually while we're hanging by the pool. I buy the Dropps laundry pacs. Looks like a dishwasher tab but for your laundry. Pack a couple of those, a few dryer sheets, and a roll of quarters.
    I pack dressy flip flops instead of more elaborate shoes. They take up practically no room in your suitcase.
    I purchase travel size toiletries and toss most of them before we leave. An empty toiletry bag is a great way to pack all those little trinkets you purchased during your visit.
    I only ever take 1 22" suitcase for my 8 day trips.
  15. stego

    stego Mouseketeer

    Jan 26, 2001
    I must have started the word document the moment we got back in '07. It's been revised over 100 times...and that is a very low ball.

    I started with days/dates. Then each day/what park. Each shirt is themed to each park. Each day off from the park is themed to our resort.

    I've matched my 2 shirts to 1 pair shorts; following the PP's suggestion. Mid-trip I am doing a load to specifically slow me down. 2 hours committed to relaxing at our resort is NOT a bad thing.

    My experience is that the latest my clothes are on for the day is at 7am and the earliest I change out of them into sleep wear is 10pm at night. Considering the likelihood of warmer temp's in June; yeah, that outfit is done until it's cleaned...

    I've packed 1 pair of walking sandals/1 pair of recovery slides. My experience in the parks is to swap out 1 pair each day...kinda of giving that pair of sandals a day of rest.

    Since I've gone over my list 1000 times; it's down to an exact science. Everything I pack has a purpose. Think of a triathlete: the top guns are minimilasts through seasoned all of us DIS'ers are from our many trips to the world.
  16. ginnymack

    ginnymack Mouseketeer

    Oct 11, 2009
    It is an obvious choice, but hasn't been mentioned yet...plan a laundry day. I hate the idea of doing laundry, but for a week long trip for 4 and paying to check bags at the airport, I think I might have to consider it.

    If you are going during a really warm time of year doing laundry may really be worth it- nothing like having a fresh clean outfit after an afternoon break! If I had to pack for that, I would have to shave a day off the trip to pay for the extra luggage! ;)
  17. musclemouse

    musclemouse DIS Veteran

    May 7, 2008
    I don't know how we did it on our last trip to Disney (Dec 08). DH, DS, DS and I each carried our own suit case (1 each). Thinking about what we came home with un-used leads me to think of packing less this time. Boys to share a case and DH and I to share a case. Also each of us to bring a carry on. We are really quite simple. No dressing up. Just going to have fun exploring the parks. If need be, I will do some wash. All the make up I need fits in my purse. Hair dries naturally with just curling iron to touch it up. No large bottles of shampoo, soap, conditioner, etc. :thumbsup2
  18. LuvMyEAR

    LuvMyEAR Mouseketeer

    Sep 23, 2009
    Since we travel south in the cooler months, I tend to store my basic summer clothes in my suitcase. As we get closer to our departure, I start taking things OUT. My goal is take as little as possible, maximum 3 of anything. One to wear, one to change into, and one that is rinsed out and hung to dry. I'd rather have space in my suitcase to take MORE home with me!
  19. MAYNARDS99

    MAYNARDS99 DIS Veteran

    Aug 27, 2005
    I do this for just about every Disney trip.

    Plan a clothes list for each day, put the list aside for a week, then review and modify as necessary. Then remove one complete days worth of clothes. Yes, don't even bring enough for the whole trip. Therefore you MUST buy something new.

    ALL casual clothes, such as T-shirts, socks, underwear, and shorts should be ready to be thrown out or given to Goodwill. You know what I mean, the little holes in socks, and stretched out underwear, that ugly shirt from Six Flags, etc. Heck, I've even tossed out sneakers that were just not nice at the end of a week.

    Enjoy your vacation while keeping an eye out for some new clothes. Just about all of my ties come from my vacation trips.
  20. jamstew

    jamstew DIS Veteran

    May 3, 2005
    Mix & match, and a very basic color pallate for 1 week:

    (1) four bottoms (1 or 2 white, 1 or 2 khaki & maybe a plaid thrown in), (2) two tops for each bottom (combination of tees, tanks & a couple of 3/4- sleeve shirts to layer over the tanks), (3)
    1 extra pair of shoes, (4) underwear & PJ's. If I have laundry available, I'd only pack half that.

    My cosmetics & toiletries are in my Owners Locker, but I could still pack in a 22" suitcase even if they weren't.

    Carry-on: Laptop, camera/charger, phone/charger, medications & a book in a small nylon backpack.

    I helped my BDF (best DISer friend) pack for three weeks in India, cutting her down from three suitcases, a rollaboard & a backpack to two suitcases & a rollaboard, and she still had stuff she didn't wear.
  21. minijenny

    minijenny always dreaming

    Jan 15, 2007
    I thought I was a light packer until I met DH. I swear the man could pack for a yearlong excursion in a single carryon. The most important thing he taught me was that just because I use it/wear it on vacation doesn't mean I need to pack it. So that means, fewer clothes (and yes, we will do laundry on our 6 day trip), fewer books, and fewer shoes. I only take a pair of Crocs to walk around the parks in and go to the pool, and a nice pair of sandals for evening meals. Since I have to wear something traveling to and from WDW, this means packing only 1 pair of footwear. Of course it helps that I have tiny feet :).

    We fly, so I like to wear my heavy stuff and pack my lighter things. This also means I only bring along 1 pair of pants. As others have said, stick to clothes that mix-and-match such as neutral or solid colors. One tip that I found helps is to bring one nice outfit and a scarf or two. I have a dress that looks totally different and cool by just adding a scarf. Two outfits in one! The scarf takes up almost no space especially compared to a second dress or skirt/top combo.

    To lighten my load even further, I don't bring any toiletries except contact solution and toothpaste/toothbrush. I can live a week with Disney care products.

    Finally, keep in mind what can easily be shared by a family vs. what each individual should bring himself. For instance, we only pack 1 camera, 1 laptop, 1 phone charger, 1 tube of toothpaste, and 2 books that we share.

    My goal is for my bag (carryon size) to be no more than 1/2 to 2/3 full when I pack it because I always find something to take home with me. And I'm the one carrying it through the airport, so I have no one to blame but myself if I've packed too much.

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