Packing for Florida.... Need advice please 😀(40 Posts)
Off to Florida in June for 2 weeks, me dh, ds14, dd8&dd9.
We have 2 large IT suitcases and a medium It suitcase, I'm aware these are not expandable so I'm worried these won't be enough.
From going abroad in the past 10days in Europe, I always take far too many clothes and shoes for the dcs.
Really need to cut back and take only the essentials,
So what's the staples for us?
Also really not sure on spending money, we are in a villa and have tickets for parks already. Obviously it's a big holiday and we may never go again, so don't want to scrimp on anything when we are there.
How much spending money ?
Any advise greatly appreciated: 🇺🇸✈️🇺🇸
I was in Florida late June/early July last summer and it was crazy hot!! If you are planning to do all the parks I would say the best thing to pack is really comfortable footwear!
I was there with my 15yr old and we had one large suitcase each on the way out and added a small suitcase and a hold-all on the way back!!
Dh and I have discussed this, being Disney veterans of 10+ trips.
Basically, all you need is COMFORTABLE SHOES and some money. (And some clothes on top, obviously!) If you've paid for villa and park tickets, then you'll need money for food (Disney and nicer restaurants are expensive; you can eat cheaply outside the parks but frankly some of them are horrid and overrun with gruesome Brits...). Food in the parks can be very nice - particularly in Epcot. Don't believe it when people say it's all burgers, fries etc. Absolutely not true. You'll also need to pay for parking at the parks - I think it's about $20 a day now.
I'll come back to the shoes. You need everyone in your party to be wearing the most broken-in, super-comfortable shoes they own. No flip-flops. Nothing can ruin a holiday like a blister - and if you are doing theme parks you will be walking miles .
Otherwise just shorts, t-shirts (and you can buy extra stuff if needed there in Target - perfectly nice clothes) and perhaps a packaway cagoule if it rains. Most dining is casual in Florida so you won't need anything approaching smart.
Villas come equipped with wonderful American washers and dryers so you can turn around your clothes in half an hour.
Concentrate on the shoes - you will be doing lots of walking (no flip flops or sandals for the parks). Personally I would just pack one outfit for each day, you can get anything you need easily over there.
Money wise eating out is cheaper but you will be tipping 15/20% , snacks and ice creams are the same as our prices, though drinks are often refillable. I would budget $120 ish a day for food (2 meals plus snacks) plus more for shopping/petrol and other extras
If you are going for 2 weeks I'd only pack for one week and do some laundry every day. Its what I do.
Just realised you also have an older ds so essentially another adult. Make that $150 a day for food - 2 meals/snacks
Agree about the shoes but I wore fit flops and was fine
Yes, comfortable shoes need to be top of the list. There's a LOT of walking.
My standard holiday packing (we always have villa/washing facilities) is: wear one, pack 4, so essentially 5 outfits. And then do a wash every couple of days. It's not much of a hardship to stick a wash on, and much easier than faffing around with lots of bags or massive heavy suitcases at the airport (especially at MCO - nightmare luggage retrieval system!)
The weather will be hot but don't forget to pack a jumper/hoodie as the air conditioning in the restaurants is usually set very cool - a relief from the heat when you first walk in but you can get a bit chilly while you are eating.
My suggestion - pack for 1 week. Bring comfortable shoes esp if you will be doing the theme parks as there will be a lot of walking involved.
While you're there visit the outlet malls or Walmart or similar (outlets are at either end of I-Drive) and you'll pick up bits & pieces to wear if you run low on clothes. You will be relieved to have packed lightly on the way out as you will fill the cases on the way home.
When we were there (can't remember the exact dates) the outlet malls were doing a back to school promotion which meant that there were even greater discounts on footwear and clothes (as many US schools don 't use uniforms) so what would be kids casual wear here is what they wear to school. I got four pairs of branded trainers for under $100 as a result of this additional discount.
Don't be afraid of using coupons if you get them (or better still print them off before you leave):
It will be quite hot in June, AC can be cold, and there will be lots of biting insects. I would say layerable clothes and plenty of repellant.
Yes! to the washing machine and driers. Everything gets washed and dried so quickly. You really don't need that many clothes. I'd take 3 outfits each. Sounds so little but if you washed the clothes every 1-2 days then it's just on constant rotation. Easy peasy, and you have room for a jacket, great walking shoes and space to bring back holiday bought items. It'll be so much fun.
"Agree about the shoes but I wore fit flops and was fine"
You might risk losing these on some of the rides. I would wear shoes that you know will stay on your feet.
Basically what everyone else has said. You will need a change of clothes every day because you will get hot and sweaty. Don't bother with anything smart, no-one dresses up. Be prepared for the tax that gets added on at the till with every purchase.
I found a cross body bag better to carry around than a rucksack. It is far too hot to carry a bag on your back. Or better still have everyone carry a bumbag. We needed to take our passports with us to our first Disney park to validate our tickets, but after that they can be slung in the safe. Parking was $20 a day at the parks last July.
I didn't lose a fit flop it didn't occur to me! What rides do your shoes fall off on?! 😂
We take 4 suitcases for 4 of us, but underpack so we can do tons of shopping. You will only need light summer clothes. We also get a villa, car etc and never cook, eat out or takeaways everyday (occasional breakfast at home if early start to beach or similar trip). Like you say, it's a big trip and you need to make the most of it. We take £4K for 3 weeks (lots of shopping!). Enjoy!
Save space in your cases for shopping. The malls and outlets there are great!
Light t shirts and shorts, not many as you can wash & dry them quickly as everyone else has said.
Really really comfy shoes.
Also a good backpack each for out and about at the parks.
Top tip..buy loads of bottles of water from Wal-Mart, small bottles. Pile them into the freezer in the villa. Take them out frozen in your backpacks with you. They are Devine just melting through day while out as it is really really hot there.
We got d&v from the water fountains there so stick to bottled.
Be prepared for the tax that gets added on at the till with every purchase.
That's Florida sales tax, the state's main source of revenue. Florida is one of the few states that does not have a personal state income tax. Food purchased in grocery stores is not taxed, by the way. There are a few other exemptions as well.
Thanks for all advice, what do you ladies carry your personal items around in, friends have suggested a bumbag but I'm not keen, apparently they are big in USA 😕😕😕
A mini rucksack has been my favourite bag to carry in the past. Remember hats/baseball caps.
In terms of budgeting for eating we usually have a "proper" breakfast (lots of buffets offering huge range of cooked and continental items) then a proper evening meal; we often don't want food in the middle of the day when it's at the hottest temperatures.
Not to mention concerns that lunch would be thrown up during a ride...
We used a small backpack (15l) for most bits, and I had a cross-over handbag for my own small bits and bobs. It meant I could carry the backpack on occasion, and it's my travel handbag anyway - small but held phone, wallet, passport and travel docs, my inhaler, boiled sweets, pack tissues, and a small amount of other "handbag" stuff - could hang a water bottle off it when I needed to.
Small backpack was big enough for water bottles, a few picnic bits, mac-in-a-sac type jackets the days we needed those, camera, DD autograph book and any souvenir shopping etc that we did. We generally kept a change of clothes (spare tshirt, socks etc) in the car in case of emergencies.
Sorry, I meant that by using a cross-body handbag as my own bag, I was easily able to carry both that and the family backpack when needed. But I still carried my own bits mostly.
Sorry OP, forgot to add that 2 months after I got home from Florida last year my credit card was defrauded of almost 9 thousands pounds in the space of about 2 minutes on a number of transactions occurring every 20 seconds or so. I was alerted by my bank of the first one and whilst I was going through the phone procedure to get to a customer service agent I was aware of other transactions coming in thick and fast. I'm very careful with my credit card and during my 3 weeks away that also involved a Caribbean Cruise I used cash and kept my card in a safe - until I was in Orlando and used it a few times in Walmart and Nordstrom. I can only assume it was cloned. The purchases on my card were made in a Target Store based in California and the terminal they used was based in a Starbucks in the same mall. I did get all of my money back but just be careful - and if you have a PACSAFE cross over bag like I do, don't forget you have it and take an ordinary one instead
Clothes - comfortable shoes as you walk miles in the parks, shorts and t shirts. That time of year you won't need much more. It will be very warm. the parks are not places you dress up to go to. Villas almost always have a washer dryer and they are really fast over there - so you can always freshen up items if you need to.
Bags - we take a small backpack (think the smallest ones from Decathlon) for sunglasses cases, my camera, phones. In height of summer I sometimes put a thin cardi in as it can be cold in the air con for meals! We don't take food or drinks in. DH tends to have his wallet in his front pocket.
We have Magicbands at Disney so no tickets to hold/carry in purse/bag, and have a lanyard for Universal ticket and Express passes.
DD puts a spare tiny top in the bag (and wears small swim type shorts) on Universal days as the water rides there really do get you soaked!
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