I decided that it was time to get back to our vacation planning. Last time I left you with ‘the great wait‘…I hope you’ve filled your time wisely because we now have only two months before our trip!
It’s around this time that I like to triple check my passport to make sure it’s in date, double-check my travel insurance has been booked for the right dates and re-visit that ESTA website to check that I’m allowed into the USA!
And now….it’s time to start thinking about packing!!!! Yes, yes, I know that you think that I’m a little bit loopy but I like to occupy my time with these things and I can assure you that this is a tried and tested practice….go with me here…..
Your luggage restrictions will be dependent on your airline; you may be allowed one or two suitcases per passenger, hand luggage allowances vary but nearly all airlines these days are strict on weight limits for bags.
Now if you are a crazy Disney shopper like me you may have experienced that sinking feeling on the last day of your vacation; looking at everything in your hotel room that needs to go back in that suitcase which was perfectly suitable for the job on the way over to Florida but now you’re hoping that somehow when you zip up that case the items will weigh half as much as when you squeezed them in.
Combine that with the fact that I never travel light when it comes to make up, hair products, medicines etc. I can guarantee that at the beginning of the trip those toiletries were taking up as much room in my suitcase as my clothes for the two weeks!! And you know those cute little travel sized bottles you can get, there’s never enough in those for two weeks!
And so, over the last few years I have come up with a two-fold fail safe packing method! Firstly I have my digital luggage scale. How did I ever travel without this amazing gadget?! Simply hook it onto your suitcase, get someone strong enough to lift the handle plus suitcase, wait for the beep and then pray that the digital screen is showing less than your airline’s weight limit
The other part of the packing method comes into play about two months before my trip. When I’m out doing my regular shopping I’ll start picking up the toiletries which I need for my trip; just the everyday stuff like shampoo, conditioner etc. But instead of buying just the one I buy two of each item….that’s why it’s good to start a while before your trip, you can spread the cost out that way.
So let’s use shampoo for this example. I will have already worked out approximately how much shampoo I use in two weeks….I know it’s more than can ever be contained in a cute travel bottle!! I will start to use one of the bottles of shampoo at home and once I have roughly that amount left in my bottle it goes into the ‘vacation’ storage. I then start to use the other unopened bottle at home as normal. I then repeat this process for all the toiletries I need to take on my vacation, bearing in mind that this only works for things that will not perish in the time between opening and vacation.
When you are ready to pack for your vacation your toiletry items will weigh less than full bottles and can be thrown out when you pack for your return journey home, as the product should just about be finished and you know that you have another bottle waiting at home which you can continue to use until your next post-vacation trip to the shops. Therefore creating more space and less weight in your luggage for all those Disney goodies….and you’re not throwing away unused product in the desperate hope of meeting your weight limit!!
Okay, so I’ve shared my bizarre packing routine….what do you do to make sure all that Disney shopping comes home with YOU???