Surprise trip for Wife and Kids. Need help packing

LBHouse

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
I am working on a surprise trip for my wife and kids. First a little background:

Kids are DD 4, DD 2, DS 1 as well as my beautiful wife...

The family is not expecting to go to disney this winter or spring, I am heading to Miami for work in February and was able to score an AKL room for Feb 25-March 4.

Driving down from Michigan. Plan is to get everything packed and pick my wife up from work, with kids ready on Monday Feb 23. Drive to Atlanta the first day, Georgia Aquarium, etc on Tuesday and drive to Gainseville on Tuesday night. This gives us an early arrival to AKL to start our trip well.

Normally I do all the trip planning and driving, but my wife does all (and I mean ALL) of the packing. That's what I am really running into an issue with. I have no idea what to pack...back in my single days this was easy...Flip flops, swimsuit, tshirt, and a suit for work in Miami...easy as can be.

Now with kids I haven't got a clue. I really want it to be a full surprise. Want to show up at her work and send the kids in with flowers and balloons and magic bands ready to go...

We dont mind using the laundry machines at AKL, and the entire trip is paid by my company, so I dont mind spending a bit of money to replace anything I forgot. However, if I mess up too badly she wont be able to relax, and we all know that's no fun.

Any ideas or suggestions would be great.

ALSO, my wife does a great job with kids activities and things for the road so any ideas there would be excellent as well.
 

Dolphindee

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
First, so fun! Have the most amazing trip!

Here is another thread with a great list... http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1634425

I know when I pack for my children, I create an outfit for each day, (shirt, shorts and underwear) and roll them together. That way when we get to the hotel I can easily take each "roll" out and place in the dresser. It really helps with getting ready in the morning because they can just pick (or you for the younger ones) and dress.

Then, you need diapers, swim diapers, sunscreen, any meds that may be useful (our first trip with the kids my son got Croup on the first day....we paid an arm and a leg for meds, so now we add a few of the meds just in case), towel for the pool, swim suits, jacket and a few pairs of pants for chilly nights, rain ponchos, etc.

As for the car, definitely create a box of fun coloring books, activity books, crayons, car bingo, snacks, drinks etc. You can find awesome ideas on Pinterest if you just put in Kids Car Activities.

Good luck!
 

AirGoofy

DIS Dad#341
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
That could be quite a challenge. My dds are now teen and tween, and along with DW, they each have their own shampoo. I know yours aren't that old, but don't forget about favorite stuffed animals, pillows, blankets, etc that have to travel with them as well. Good luck and have a great trip.
 

tikkipoo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Buddy... you are awesome. :thumbsup2

I always do a packing list - with columns in an excel spreadsheet.

DD- 7 short, 7 shirts, 9 underwear, 9 socks....and so on for everyone.

Then a list of items like shampoo, hairbush, razor (don't forget some feminine products for DW if necessary)

That helps me to not forget anything.
 

LBHouse

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
OK, thanks guys lots of great ideas already.

So a bit more background because I dont like to sound like the helpless worthless Homer Simpson type of dad...

I work 6 days a week, 14 hour shifts. I stay home with the kids one morning a week and my wife gets out of the house and works that morning. Otherwise she is stay at home mom extraordinaire. I mean I am talking amazing.

She home schools, so schools wont be a problem. Her morning work is for my company, already have time off for both of us.

Yesterday morning I attempted to dig around the kids dressers a bit, but all of the summer clothes are gone, I am assuming packed away. Now I need to find the clothes and steal them from the boxes without being caught. Today I realized I only have 3 more mornings to get things done at home, since she is with the kids at home any time I am there. Might have to find a distraction for her on Sunday

I am going to stop at the pharmacy tonight and pick up some toiletry things:

Toothpaste and brushes for everyone
kids and toddler tylenol
some alka seltzer
deodorant
soap/shampoo/conditioner

The kids each have a blanket and a few special toys, they can most likely pack that for themselves.

Magic Bands are due to arrive TODAY, so I have to sneak home and grab the mail in a few minutes.

Also just ordered 3 tickets to the parks. 2 day after 2pm passes.
 

tikkipoo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Well, to further complicate things...

You might want to be sure of the kid's clothing sizes before you pack. If your kids are 4 and 2, most likely the clothes that are packed from last year are not going fit anymore. Unless she is also a super shopper (and it sounds like it quite possible) and stocks up the year before from clearance and garage sales.

If you have to buy some new ones - Garanimals at Walmart are nice, cheap and easy to pack.
 

wishing4PA

Wants to be in Pennsylvania or WDW or PA or WDW or
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
My random additions:
- a washcloth or two (not white) for boogers at the pool
- yep, as the PP alluded, don't forget DW's favorite shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, makeup if you remember after she's left for the day?, deodorant, personal hygiene items, meds, birth control if applicable
- pool coverup if she has one, water shoes for those who have them
- socks for all, bandaids (waterproof & otherwise)
- I can't think of what they are called, but some disposable or not bedliners in case a kiddo "leaks"
- a kid-safe camera for the kid(s) who can manage one (our DD4 made the cutest little movies on the way to and from WDW, and enjoyed using it there some, too)
- books
- use a window crayon to write "we're going to Disney World" or something like it on your side car windows (extra points for drawing Mickey)
- some envelopes for the mousekeeper tips and crayons, you can write mousekeeper on the envelopes, but the DD4 and maybe DD2 can decorate them on the way

Your wife and kids are so lucky! Need any more? I could round up some volunteers to join your family.
 

LBHouse

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Your wife and kids are so lucky! Need any more? I could round up some volunteers to join your family.

I dont think she would approve of adding another wife (or kids) to the family ;)

Thanks for the advice on everything, especially for my wife. I had been really stressing about packing the kids, but I am realizing her stuff is going to be the hardest for me. I am thinking about doing my best, and maybe slip a $75 walgreens gift card in her bag for anything I forgot...

Luckily she is hyper organized, so I should be able to go into her bathroom after she leaves for the morning and find everything in 1-2 drawers.
 

LBHouse

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
I have been really thinking this over. A big part of me wants to tell her the day before so she has a chance to pack. However I know she would love the surprise and all the effort that went into it. That's why as of right now I am attempting to make it a true surprise.

Another idea would be to stop at home after we pick her up at work, and give a chance to grab any extras.
 

Kae

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 21, 2002
You can do this. First check weather before. Are you going to have access to washer & dryer? you know your DW so try to pay a little more attention to what she uses in her daily routine so you know what to grab. Does your DW have a bestie that could help you pack?

Kae
 

cnavarrete

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 11, 2014
I have been really thinking this over. A big part of me wants to tell her the day before so she has a chance to pack. However I know she would love the surprise and all the effort that went into it. That's why as of right now I am attempting to make it a true surprise.

Another idea would be to stop at home after we pick her up at work, and give a chance to grab any extras.

If I was your wife and had kids of those ages I would love it if you did all the planning work and told me the day before so I could help pack. Your wife probably knows details that you would not even imagine would be important. Something like, DS has to have X kind of sock to go with Y kind of shoes but he can wear any kind of sock with Z shoes.

Then there's her stuff - she probably has certain undergarments to wear under certain clothing items, etc.

I know I would be over the moon if my DH surprised me with a WDW trip and let me help with the packing.

Great job and good luck!:thumbsup2
 

LBHouse

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Your wife probably knows details that you would not even imagine would be important. Something like, DS has to have X kind of sock to go with Y kind of shoes but he can wear any kind of sock with Z shoes.

Then there's her stuff - she probably has certain undergarments to wear under certain clothing items, etc.

That makes my head want to explode...

I just set it up to be home with the kids until 4:00pm this Saturday. I think I will grab everything i can pack and get it done.

We are at AKL so we have washer/dryer available so that should help alot.

Just found out another great surprise detail, my parents will be in Orlando for 2 days...BABYSITTERS!!!!
 

Cadets74

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Personally I would tell my wife before hand... I would forget too much stuff and it would cost me a fortune to buy all the stuff I forgot... But I have 7 kids so that would be crazy... Another reason I would tell her is my wife's favorite part of our trip was surprising the kids and getting them all matching disney outfits and picking our dining experiences... But on the other hand I just asked my wife and she said she would love if I surprised he the day of but is laughing at the idea of me packing for everyone...
 

LBHouse

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
This morning I was able to get clothes packed for the girls. That was easy, everything was sorted into totes labeled with season and size. only thing to ad is underwear/socks/etc...

Seem like everything for he boy is way to small though. No-body around here has lightweight summer clothes available. Can any on make a recommendation for a decent place to order some boys close for a 1 year old? He is actually closer to 2 (May2).

If I can't order some clothing for him, he can make do for two days, and we could stop at a Once upon a Child or similar in Florida…assuming they would have shorts/t-shirts available.

Being from Michigan, anything above 60 degrees is shorts weather for us.
 

LBHouse

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
You can do this. First check weather before. Are you going to have access to washer & dryer? you know your DW so try to pay a little more attention to what she uses in her daily routine so you know what to grab. Does your DW have a bestie that could help you pack?

Kae

I made a mental list this morning while I watched her get ready for work. Should be pretty easy. one make-up bag, stuff from shower organizer, brush, toothbrush/paste, deodorant.

I have it set up for her sister to come over the week before we leave and stay for two days. so she is on board to help.
 

Cadets74

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
This morning I was able to get clothes packed for the girls. That was easy, everything was sorted into totes labeled with season and size. only thing to ad is underwear/socks/etc... Seem like everything for he boy is way to small though. No-body around here has lightweight summer clothes available. Can any on make a recommendation for a decent place to order some boys close for a 1 year old? He is actually closer to 2 (May2). If I can't order some clothing for him, he can make do for two days, and we could stop at a Once upon a Child or similar in Florida…assuming they would have shorts/t-shirts available. Being from Michigan, anything above 60 degrees is shorts weather for us.

My best suggestion is to find a children's consignment store... Before our trip we went and found a bunch of disney themed clothes for all our kids and cost a fraction of the price...
 

DanieD0909

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
THIS IS SO AWESOME!!! Your wife sounds a lot like me a stay at home mom and I try to be super mom too - all organized and stuff! I would definitely recommend NOT telling her one day before - that would be so much stress...I would be freaking out in not a good way...lol!
Picking her up from work and having everything packed is awesome! If you forget anything - that is what target is for!!
I always tell my hubby - do you at least have your electronics/phone, wallet, glasses and swimsuit? If so we are good - anything else can be purchased there. I always find swimsuits the hardest to replace. Good luck and definitely come back here and tell us how it goes!!!!
 

DanieD0909

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Oh and by the way AKL is awesome!!! Lol :) it's our favorite! We even had our wedding dinner at Sanaa!
 

LBHouse

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
My best suggestion is to find a children's consignment store... Before our trip we went and found a bunch of disney themed clothes for all our kids and cost a fraction of the price...

Thank you for this idea.

One of my tenants is a womens and childrens consigment store. I stopped in and she dug up a HUGE box of clothes for me. Lots of boy swimsuits and shorts and t's. Its all out of season for her so I got it all for $20.
 

LBHouse

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Oh and by the way AKL is awesome!!! Lol :) it's our favorite! We even had our wedding dinner at Sanaa!

AKL is amazing. It's by far our favorite DVC resort. We never miss Sanaa on a Disney trip. It seems to always be excellent. It's our #2 favorite restaurant.

#1 is Ama Ama at Aulani. We had our honeymoon there, that meal will forever stand out as amazing.
 








Top