By Shannon Stuemke
By Shannon Stuemke with Ears of Experience
My family is 11 days out from our upcoming Walt Disney World trip. My girls are counting down the days on our home made count down calendar. Last week I dug out out my most favorite carry on to start putting things in it that I did not want to forget. It helps me to start putting things in a pile a few weeks before I travel. I feel like it keeps me from forgetting the things I really want to bring. If I wait until last minute, I feel very rushed so this method keeps me a little more organized, and a little more sane!
In this blog post, I want to talk about a few items that I see as must haves for our family vacations. Some of them are things that I find we specifically need for a Disney Vacation and others are just items that I really love to travel with. A few of these items are brand new to my traveling stock pile, and I think they are going to be great additions! I am not an endorser for any of these products. These are simply things that I find to make traveling more convenient for my family and I hope you do too!
First things first! I love this little carry on bag! I found it on Amazon a couple of years ago. This one actually works as a "personal item" on board most airlines (always check your specific airlines baggage dimension policy). It fits nicely under the seat in front of you. It has a ton of pockets and the clear compartments make it great in case you have to open up your bag at the airport. I can get a ton of stuff in here, and I feel like it keeps us very organized while traveling. It also has rollers on the bottom which is great because I shove a lot of stuff in here, and it tends to get a little heavy!
Next up, is The Mommy Hook. This and other carabiner hooks are must haves in my book. The Mommy Hook is great for making extra space on your stroller ,and to me, is a great way to help identify your stroller at Walt Disney World. We found multiple items to hang from our hooks but the item we hung the most from these were our Rapid Refill Resort Mugs. We always had our mugs with us even though they can't be refilled in the parks. We would fill them up at our resort and then head out to the parks with the mugs in tow. They tend to take up a lot of space in a bag, and there are never enough cup holders to put them all in, on your stroller. We would rinse our mugs out and then simply hang them from the hook. When we wanted a free glass of ice water, we would fill them up again. Do be careful what you hang from your stroller's handle bar. This is especially true for rented strollers which actually say on them "do not hang anything on the handle bar." You don't want to be charged a damage fee for your rental stroller so only hang light items on the hooks.
We also used the smaller hooks on our back packs. My husband would hook items on them that we frequently needed. For example, an umbrella (for those afternoon downpours) or our mini cooling fans which brings me to my next must have items.
If you are traveling in the summer months to Walt Disney World, it gets very, very, very hot! We try to make the best of it as the sweat pours off of us. The little purple misting fans from O2Cool are a great way to keep cool! They have a battery in them and the fan runs while you use the trigger to mist yourself. They do serve their purpose of making you feel a little less sticky while waiting in line. My girls loved using them, and I'm sure they will again this time around. The small black fan above is a new item I found on Amazon. It had really good reviews and when it arrived I was really impressed with the amount of air it moves. They run on a rechargeable, lithium battery. You can see it has a USB adapter that can be plugged into a fueling rod to recharge. They provide a very nice breeze, and while I bought these to hook onto my girls' strollers, I think I might have to rethink that and use it for myself. I think these will be a nice addition to my must have Disney World travel items.
This last product is one I recently came across when I was trying to figure out how my family of four could Uber to the airport. I knew I did not want to just put my girls in a seat belt and head out to the airport. I wanted to be safe and legal. I also really did not want to lug around a bulky booster seat that we would likely only need for the trip to and from the airport. I was browsing on Amazon one day and low and behold the Bubble Bum booster seat jumps out at me. I read the reviews and checked out safety information on these seats. (If you are considering these seats, you should do your own research on the safety of this product and follow the safety instructions carefully.) They had very high satisfaction ratings and met or exceeded safety regulations. I was not sure what to expect out of a booster seat that you blow up with air from your own mouth, but so far, I am really impressed with them. They inflate to the height of regular booster seat and have straps to run the seat belt through. They also have a shoulder strap adjuster with them as well. It took me about 10 seconds to blow this baby up and 10 seconds to let out the air. When not in use, the seat folds up easily into a pouch. I was worried about how much it would weigh once in the pouch, but it barely weights anything. I'm also excited about these because they provide another transportation option for us while at Walt Disney World. If we happen to be running late and don't want to mess with taking a bus to a park, we can just hop in an Uber. I would not have felt comfortable doing this without the booster seats, and these are compact enough that we can just take them with us and then toss them in the stroller once we get to the parks. I can't wait to see if these actually work as well for us as I think they are going to!
There you have it, folks! These are just a few of the items that I feel make our Disney vacation a little more comfortable and a little more convenient. What are some of your must haves or favorite items to travel with on a Disney Vacation? Leave your comments below!
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