I’ll admit it, before I started traveling as often as I do now (and dating Chaz) I was a complete over-packer. I would NEVER travel anywhere, even an overnight roadtrip with a small, carry-on sized suitcase, and I was always the person bringing along multiple pairs of shoes and clothes for un-seasonal weather “just in case.”Over the past couple of years, I’ve come to pack much less… so much less that you may even say I pack “light.” Packing for one or two adults though does not need to be overwhelming and stressful. Read on to see some of my best tips for packing light and comfortably for your next Disney vacation, and scroll to the bottom of this post to download my free printable packing list!
Only pack for unseasonably warm/cold weather within reason
The first time I visited Walt Disney World in August I brought two pairs of full-length jeans and a pair of capris. If you are visiting Orlando in the summer, and you’re considering bringing a pair of jeans “just in case,” DON’T. You will not wear them, and they will take up unnecessary space in your suitcase. If you’re that worried, throw in a pair of capris, leggings, or other long pants that are made of a lighter material, like linen.
The major exception to this rule is if your trip falls in the winter months. Many guests do not realize that Orlando can get “cold.” I say “cold” because coming from New England winter in Orlando isn’t quite what I’d call cold, but it’s definitely cooler than you may expect even getting down to to 40s at night. Winter in Orlando is much less predictable than summer, and you may want to bring more of a variety of shorts and pants, or layers that you can easily add or take off if it gets warmer or cooler.
Go easy on the makeup and shoes
I don’t even want to think about how many shoes I carried back and forth on previous Disney trips that almost always went unworn. I bring two or three pairs of shoes with me now, and I really think that’s all you need. My park shoes fluctuate between my running sneakers and Sanuk sandals, and I bring a pair of flip flops for the pool and to wear around the hotel room.
As for makeup, I bring one small makeup bag’s worth of products that could fit in my purse if I wanted it to. I cover the basics without bringing anything extra that I really don’t need. I do the same basic makeup style for the entire vacation, perhaps with the exception of a night out dancing or at a fancier restaurant, but in this case I’d be able to just up the makeup game with whatever I bring.
I LOVE my Naked palette, but realistically I know I don’t need to bring the whole thing when I travel, so I use the more compact version instead. I also bring liquid foundation, two powder foundations (which I manage to use as a contour/highlighter) eyeliner, mascara, eyelid primer, eyebrow pencil, and one or maybe two lipsticks. I also bring only a minimal amount of brushes and a very small bottle of brush cleaner and a travel pack of makeup remover wipes. This may sound like a lot, but considering how small each of these products is you can see how they would easily fit in a pretty compact makeup bag.
Pack light colors and light materials
There are two reasons why this is important for efficient packing. Light colors go with more pieces to create various outfits. For instance, plain t-shirts or tank tops that are white, or light pink, blue, beige, etc… will easily go with anything you decide to wear on the bottom, any pair of shoes, and any accessories. This means you can wear whatever Minnie ears you want without worrying that they’ll clash with your outfit.
Light materials make it easy to layer, which is what you want to do regardless of the season you visit the parks. If you want to use a raincoat in the summer, you don’t want to be putting it over an outfit that will make you overheat. And in the winter you may want to wear cooler clothes during the day, and bundle up at night, and lighter materials will make it easier to layer up or down throughout the day. And of course, lighter materials means more space saved in your suitcase. I also suggest dresses for this reason, as a dress is one entire outfit that you don’t really have to think about or devote a lot of suitcase space to.
Don’t overdo the toiletries
Another downfall of mine during my overpacking days was that I would go nuts with toiletries. I somehow thought I was going to be doing my nails, using lotion, facial masks, and all kinds of other things I could realistically go a week without doing. Now I bring a travel sized container of lotion, and a couple of little things like tweezers, a nail file, and a razor, deodorant, toothpaste/toothbrush/floss, and conditioner.
I don’t bring shampoo or shower gel because I feel comfortable enough using the sample-sized ones provided at the resort. I can’t skimp on conditioner though with my hair, so I am always sure to pack this and some other hair products. One thing I do make sure I bring though is hand soap. I’m just really not a fan of using bar soap to wash your hands (which is usually what hotels give you), so I always bring my own liquid hand soap from home.
Of course this post didn’t cover all the bases, but I wanted to share with you all where I’ve made mistakes in the past. I’ve never overdone it with phone chargers or medications, and I always remember to bring an ID and cash, but clothes and shoes really used to be huge downfalls for me. I hope this post helped you curve your packing process to make things a bit easier for your next trip.