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Planning for Orlando - clothes to bring and what to buy?

(17 Posts)
BiddyPop Wed 12-Jun-13 11:22:30

We are going to Orlando in 3 weeks. I know it will be hot and humid. I am planning on bringing a minimum as I hope to do some buying while there and we have a washing machine.

Would 3 pairs of shorts be ok for 10 days, along with a couple of pairs of linen trousers, or will I need fresh things twice a day (so need a few more pairs)?

Will regular t-shirts (as in, nylon) be alright or get very hot and sticky? I have a couple of linen or cotton tops too. And would I be scalded wearing tank tops or strappy vest-style t-shirts, or should I keep my shoulders covered?

Are flip flops (not plastic) ok for "streetwear" there? Would my feet melt in runners for walking in parks in daytime? (I don't think I could do full days in FF, more afternoons at pool/shopping or evenings).

Will it get chilly in the evenings? I am wondering whether to bring a light throw or a decent cardigan/hoodie.

And in terms of buying, I am reasonably ok about what American brands suit me clotheswise (Gap, American Eagle, Anne Taylor etc). But what is worth buying in terms of cosmetics etc and where should I look for those? I am moving towards MAC makeup for basic foundation etc and eyeshadow (among the clutter of No7 basics, and all sorts for eyeshadows/nails/lips), and tend to use Sanctuary for body (mostly as presents or on offer).

Is it worth getting craft stuff there (I think there's a Hobby Lobby near where we're staying - should I look out for other stores too)? I do some card making, knitting and sewing, and DD loves all sorts of crafts.

Thanks in advance for the collective wisdom of Orlando veterans or any US experts generally.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 12-Jun-13 15:16:42

Put the clothes on your bed then return say an hour later. The rule I use here is take half the clothes and twice the money!. You can easily buy items out there. Don't load the case with a mountain of clothes.

Would not bother with linen trousers as you may feel uncomfortable in them. Also such items crease like mad.

I would keep shoulders covered; they can very easily become sunburnt and you may not realise till later. It'll probably feel too warm in the evening to wear a cardigan or jacket outside although the air con in restaurants and malls may make you feel a bit chilly.

I usually wear cotton t-shirts on holiday and a pair of shorts or 3/4 length trousers. I have seen many people walk around in flip flops but they are not really suitable for a lot of walking in the theme parks and you can easily cover miles in a day. A lot of people do wear flip flops at the mall. Would suggest you wear trainers instead for theme parks.

Florida Mall is good as is the Mall at Millenia.

kaumana Wed 12-Jun-13 15:28:43

It will be very hot and humid so expect to change twice a day. I wouldn't take anything nylon as you will melt.

Flipflops not suitable for a day at the parks especially on some of the rollercoasters grin.

I tend to wear tank tops and shorts with plenty of sunscreen, no need to take anything to cover up at night as it still will be hot but yes you do feel cool in the restaurants. Blessed relief!

SorrelForbes Wed 12-Jun-13 15:43:12

If you've got access to a washing machine then I'd say that three or four pairs of shorts is plenty. TBH, I find linen trousers too hot for Florida this time of year. Loose sundresses are better. A couple of thing cardigans/hoody are ideal for evenings at restaturants.

BiddyPop Wed 12-Jun-13 16:57:33

Thanks all - gulp!! I don't do heat very often, we don't tend to do hot holidays much and we so rarely get that nice heat here.

OK, need to re-think plans a little. So trainers WILL be ok for parks -phew. Have ankle socks (and DH can forget about nicking them - I bought them and I will wear them - they keep disappearing from my drawer since our last US visit!!). Sundress - I think I may have 1 of those at the back of the wardrobe, and a long flowing cotton skirt. I know I have a loose cotton shirt I wear over a vest top, and another cotton cardi thing. I have a single pair of denim capri pants - but I'd normally deal with the heat better in my linen trews than those TBH. I have 2 nice pairs of shorts and another 2 usable pairs, may need to hit the mall early on arrival. It's more a tops problem than legs though - perhaps H&M will be useful.

My plan is definitely to have a spare bag rolled up in suitcase - we can take 3 home but plan on getting there with only 2 (and I might leave beach towels behind if necessary).

And we're big fans of factor 50 here, so will be packing that too. Must remember to throw cotton top into bag daily if wearing skimpy things.

BiddyPop Wed 12-Jun-13 16:59:34

Actually, does anyone know how US washing machines work? (I know, really stupid Q, but on US tv programmes I always see top-loading ones and I have no idea if they are worked the same, and use the same powder, as here).

Any other trips, we've been in hotels. And as I don't want to buy a massive box of detergent, knowing if the tablets we use here are ok would help (I'd just bring 3 packs - that's 6 washes in our house so LOADS).

SorrelForbes Wed 12-Jun-13 17:05:18

US washing machines are usually the top-loader kind and are really easy to use. You can use powder, liquid or tablets.

If you're staying in a villa, check to see if they provide beach towels.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 12-Jun-13 17:58:17

BTW who are you flying with?. Do check both hand baggage and hold allowances for luggage carefully.

Like Sorrel has stated, US washing machines are mainly top loading (although you can buy UK style front loading washing machines now) and can be used with the same sort of washing powder or liquid as here. They usually have a cold, warm or hot setting. Tumble dryers are separate appliances.

Would buy the washing powder in the US. Would not take beach towels due to their overall weight (and 23kg does sound a lot but it really is not).

Another tip for you re suitcases; put a piece of paper on top of each suitcase once packed detailing your name, flight number and accommodation address. This is useful in the unlikely (but it has happened to us) event that one of your suitcases decides to take a little holiday of its own and not turn up at the destination airport.

mrsmortis Wed 12-Jun-13 20:44:16

I've not been to Florida but I've been to Disneyland (LA) so I understand theme parks and Calcutta in the summer so I understand stupid heat and humidity...

I burn really easily (in the UK in March on the morning school run on more than one occasion) and I have found that the best thing to wear in the heat is a mans long sleeve white shirt (one that is several sizes too big so it is loose and cool). I steal my husband's. Again because I burn I prefer to wear trousers but I have wide legged light weight ones. For footwear in the parks I have a pair of good quality walking sandals which are designed for hiking (a brand from Oz I think) which are brilliant.

If you are buying casual clothes once you are there I can recommend Old Navy. It's normally my first stop once I get to the US as I love their jeans.

Fairygen Wed 12-Jun-13 20:59:22

Will you have a tumble drier? I know it sounds ridiculous but, we went to Florida in sept and it was so humid the washed clothes started to smell a bit dodgy by the time they dried.

I made the mistake of taking far to much. Loose fitting, cool clothes, flat shoes for the parks are a must. We bought a fan attached to a water bottle that sprayed a cool mist, which was a godsend.

kaumana Wed 12-Jun-13 23:43:14

Oh yeah, a MUST buy is the water/ spray/ mister.

I would not spend too much on tops as they will get ruined with sunscreen and deoderant.

I personally would wear as little as possible, humidity is a bitch so let your skin breathe/sweat it out. Just make sure you are wearing a high factor.

BiddyPop Thu 13-Jun-13 11:35:56

Attila - buy washing powder there? We'll only be there for 10 days and I just don't see us needing a whole box, that's why I was thinking about bringing 3 individual packs of tablets (so 6 tablets in all) from home - not 3 large boxes - rather than leaving most of a box behind as waste. Definitely not bringing home washing powder.

It's apartments in a hotel, so no beach towels. But we'll have 3 cases coming home, and I am happy enough to leave towels behind if necessary (most were bought on hols in the past). I was reckoning on taking about 30-35kg out between the 2 hold bags (carry ons will be wheelie, DD's booster seat backpack, and a shoulder bag of in-flight entertainment and food essentials). I'm going to bring enough toiletries for while we're there, with the intention of most bottles being empty coming home (suncream, shampoo, shower gel etc).

Loose clothes - and a large cover-up shirt. Gotcha.

Suncream stains - good point. (Hmm, older tank tops could be "retired" on departuregrin - more space for new clothes gringrin).

Thanks all, I am starting to panic less and think a bit more clearly about this.

And thanks Sorrel for the tip about the accom address - I have lost luggage in transit before (hence my carry-on wheelie is essential, change for all is included) but I hadn't thought of including US address.

Oh, just remembered, I think I need to update the ESTAs - if I remember right, they need the address for 1st night on each arrival. Ok, off to check that now and then get back to paid work.....

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 13-Jun-13 12:36:29

On a previous visit to FL I bought a couple of tiny boxes of washing powder (these have enough for one load) in Walgreens; they sell all sorts of stuff together with all manner of toiletries. The washing tabs you quote sound like a good idea; do ensure though that these do not leak (you may want to put them in a Tupperware box in your suitcase).

ESTAs will require passport number, airline name, flight number and your accommodation address amongst other details for the first night of arrival.

You may want to look in Sephora as well as this is also a make up chain in the US.

You won't see a sign saying toilets; they are called "Restrooms".

Drink plenty of water during the day, its very easy to get dehydrated in heat and humidity.

Hope you have a lovely holiday!

Groovee Thu 13-Jun-13 18:29:25

I have 4 pairs of shorts, 4 tops, 2 dresses, and will be wearing trainers in the parks or crocs, then underwear and PJ's, swim wear and flip flops!

I'm taking my own washing tablets and we all have the same amount of clothes.

15 sleeps now!

Sunshineandflowers Thu 13-Jun-13 18:33:34

We never take any toiletries, just buy everything there. That cuts down on weight!

If you wear trainers in the parks take a pair of spare socks with you to change socks during the day - stops feet getting too hot and sweaty.

I'd take a light cardigan, I ended up buying a jumper out there in August because the air conditioning in our villa was so cold! Also restaurants often are too.

We take the absolute minimum and buy out there!

SorrelForbes Fri 14-Jun-13 13:54:12

We took slightly older teens as found that wearing shorts with a lot of pockets meant we could carry money, keys, phones etc and not bother with bags. Saves a lot of time at the gates.

cathers Sat 15-Jun-13 19:35:23

I found taking a little zip bag with little towel, change of clothes and a pac-a-mac really useful too after being caught by heavy downfalls ( but short!), or water rides!

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