There’s an art to packing for vacation. Your go-to list for family travels and weekend getaways with friends surely covers the adventures you plan for, but what about the unexpected moments?
If there’s one thing we can learn from Mr. MacGyver, it’s how to be resourceful. These are 6 items you will thank yourself for having brought along with you the next time a vacation surprise catches you off guard.
#1. Zip lock bags
Visiting Florida during hurricane season? Spending your vacation near the water? Come prepared for rain, water rides, and spontaneous water sport excursions with zip lock bags! Zip lock bags make marvelous, cheap waterproofing material that is perfect for travelers who plan to spend their vacation outdoors. Put in your electronics and other small items you want to protect from water damage on the go.
In addition to keeping water out, you can use zip lock bags to contain messes when there is no place to wash or throw them away. This is an especially helpful use for parents who want to be prepared for dirty diapers, ice cream spills, spontaneous sport activity, and other unplanned events that might lead to dirty clothes. This makes zip lock bags an especially helpful item for theme park vacations.
Packing tip: Need to keep a formal outfit wrinkle-free? Use a large ziplock bag.
#2. A clear shower curtain
Here’s a DIY rainy day solution for vacationers who have or plan to use a stroller and need an all-weather cover on the fly. Buy a cheap, clear shower curtain from your local dollar store and throw it over your stroller when it’s raining.
Unlike a poncho or other form of plastic sheet, shower curtains have weights in the bottom. These weights will help hold the curtain down against the rain. Secure your DIY stroller cover with heavy clips, small velcro strips, or use another item on this list: duct tape.
When you return to your resort room at night, your shower curtain stroller cover can double as a mess-free area for vacation crafts and DIY projects after a day of inspiration and adventure.
#3. A pop up hamper for dirty clothes
Being able to clean dirty clothes as they need to be washed is a comfort of home that you’ll really appreciate by Day 3 or 4 of your trip. If you are vacationing with a group of friends or family, you’ll wish you had brought something with you to help keep laundry organized.
If you’ve booked one of our Exploria Resorts Villas at Summer Bay Orlando or Town Square Gatlinburg**, you will have your own in-suite washer and dryer to use at your leisure. (This is well worth planning for if you are traveling with teenagers or plan to vacation for more than a few days.)
If your accommodations don’t afford you that luxury, a pop up hamper will help you keep dirty clothes separate from clean ones. Having a clean and organized environment while you’re away on vacation will make the rest of the experience more enjoyable. This will help you navigate the “who?” “what?” “when?” and “where?” of your morning routine by making it easier for everyone to get themselves ready for the day.
#4. Duct Tape
On vacation, the last thing you want to spend your time doing is fixing and finding replacements for things. Duct tape is a favorite “just in case” item among travelers who enjoy traversing the outdoors. Some vacationers use duct tape as a quick fix for broken backpacks, leaky suntan bottles, poncho rips, broken tent zippers, and more. To save space in your luggage, purchase small rolls like this one on Amazon.
If you manage to get through your vacation activities without needing duct tape to fix or repair anything, this item can solve other challenges that make it a good choice to bring along with you. Want to childproof your hotel room or resort rental? Place duct tape on the electrical sockets to keep explorative little hands safe. Need a lint roller? Duct tape.
Chewing gum is a long standing trick for ‘popping’ ears when they start feeling clogged from the flight’s air pressure. (Note: if you experience this problem and don’t have gum with you, try yawning. The yawning movement can stretch your head muscles enough to make your ears pop). There are a few other reasons, however, that gum is on this list.
If your energy levels struggle to keep up with long flights or lengthy transits, chewing gum can help you stay awake and alert. Studies have shown that chewing gum can increase alertness by stimulating your nerves. No sugary energy drinks needed. Mint-flavored gum can be especially useful.
Planning a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida? You will need to bring your own gum with you. Because the sticky substance can get messy when park guests become creative with their disposal techniques, Walt Disney World, and some airports, have stopped selling gum in their stores. Gum is, however, allowed in all Disney theme parks. You’ll just need to bring your own.
Packing smart, and for the destination you are traveling to, will make your vacation more enjoyable and help you avoid unnecessary disappointment, delays, or frustration. We hope this list helps you prepare!
** included in select villas. Please contact us to confirm the details of your accommodation.