Me and my Smart Alec went to Walt Disney World
Just went to Orlando this past weekend on a quick extended weekend trip with friends (it was mostly "work" for MousePlanet). I considered taking my Western Flyer, but chose my Smart Alec instead this time. I was flying by myself and thought it might be fun to be nice and mobile.
It was just for 4 days but I'm doing a half-marathon in 2 weeks (the Monterey Bay Half-Marathon) so I needed to be able to do a long run over the weekend (in this case, 9 miles) so I had to take some running gear with me. Still, everything packed up just fine. I took:
- A pair of Orthaheel slippers (this sounds terrible but I don't like walking indoors barefoot because it makes my heels tired)
- Running shirt, an extra T-shirt, and the shirt I wore on the trip
- A pair of jeans, a pair of comfy stretch pants for the flight, and a pair of zip-off travel pants
- A pair of running socks, a pair of socks, a pair of compression socks for the flight, and a pair of compression sleeves for after the long run
- Pajama shorts because I was rooming with 6 other people and I don't think they would've appreciated my walking around in undies
- Pashmina-type scarf for cooler evenings and for in-flight chilliness
- Long-sleeve training jacket (outerwear)
- Packable windbreaker
- Running shoes (which I wound up wearing everywhere, including my long run)
- iPad, iPhone
- Misc, including toiletries in a 3-1-1 kit, chargers, makeup, etc.
Got all my clothes into a TB packing cube organizer, which I could just drop right into the Smart Alec. Of all the various packing tricks, I think packing cubes are the easiest and smartest way to go--makes packing so much easier. I also took a TB Travel Tray. I kept a lot of the misc stuff in there while I traveled, and then just left it on the bathroom counter during my stay, and it kept everything in place and easy to get to.
On a side note, if you stay on Disney property, they offer a free bus shuttle from and to Orlando International Airport. This saves a ton of money, but it's a bit inconvenient because they give you a set time to ride a specific bus based on your returning flight that's 3 hours before your flight. I took this shuttle and while I was waiting for it to arrive, I was waiting with a bunch of people... and I *KNOW* most travelers pack way too much, but it was still jawdroppingly astounding exactly how much people pack!
Most families had enough luggage that it completely filled up one of those full-sized bellhop carts (not an airport luggage cart, but the BIG ones with big brass handles). Even young kids looked like they had behemoth suitcases!
Seeing all that always makes me wonder, do people really have to take that many possessions with them when they travel?
Lani Teshima: A Dyneema diva with a closetful of Tom Bihn products!
Publisher, The Travelite FAQ: Don't get saddled with baggage—free yourself & your mind by packing lightly!
Editor, MousePlanet: Detailed park guides, daily news & stories from all over the Disney kingdom | Technical writer | Marathoner
I have an interesting but long(ish) story to share about packing luggage for Disney and how a smart packer is a lucky one...
My Dad, a 1948 refugee that forcibly walked to a refugee camp and lost his mother on the journey, always likes to remind me that our family is at the core, a people without a home- even though we have lived in the US since 1990 and he has been in the States since the 1960s. As a result he says, in all seriousness, “We invest in good luggage so that we can easily carry our home on our bodies.” I always used to tag along with my Dad when he would go to a luggage store and test out all the bags. He would tell me to sit on the suitcases and tug on zippers to test their durability.
In August 1990, while on summer vacation with my family in Disney World (it was my first time and I was very happy to be there) we learned that Iraq had invaded Kuwait. Our home was in Kuwait! My parents lived there for 14 years. I lived there for all 7 years of my life. When we returned to the Polynesian Resort after learning the grim news, I surveyed my stuff. I had exactly one backpack filled with toys and a small bag filled with clothing. We were a carryon only family even then. I was glad that I had my favorite stuffed animal (Pound Puppy) in my bag and my lockable pink diary with scented paper.
My Dad announced the the following (verbatim) once back in the hotel room, “We are refugees again but don’t worry because we have nice luggage (he proudly pointed to the suitcases) and we packed our bags well. We have everything we need.” He then reminded us that in 1948 he had the clothes on his back and carried his little brother. He had no backpack. We were a lucky family in 1990! My older brothers and Mom seemed less convinced than me but I figured my Dad was right. We spent a whole weekend picking out the bags and we spent a long time packing them. As absurd as it sounds that my Dad pointed to luggage, I knew he was right. We had everything we needed and we could go forward. Incidentally, we never recovered our possessions from Kuwait but our Disney World carry on bags served us for quite a while until we relocated permanently to the US (unfortunately not Disney world, I begged my parents to let us live there instead of Kuwait, but it was not up for negotiation).
That was slightly off topic but I agree with Lani that a carry on bag like the Smart Alec is more than enough for a Disney Trip!
You never know, though - maybe for them Disney is just a stop on a much longer trip. (Though admittedly, not for all of them!) On my next trip, I will take one very large checked suitcase, one smaller checked case, *plus* a carryon - I will be moving back to the US, and this will be most of what I have (barring some old clothes I kept there) until our container arrives 5 or 6 weeks later. Even just on long business trips, I generally need work clothing, casual clothing, workout gear, plus a computer - and I've had those trips last up to nine weeks. I think I could abandon my stuff and live with what I could carry, like nsh's family - but why do that if I don't have to?
Originally Posted by Lani
I probably would use just a backpack for a casual weekend trip, as you describe. But lots of trips are longer or more complicated.
I think that this is an important point: there are exceptional occasions when you may need to bring a LOT of stuff with you. I think international moves or 2+ month business trips count as exceptional. And while I'm sometimes alarmed by the amount of luggage I see people dragging about, I do think it's important to keep in mind that we don't have people's itineraries in hand.
Originally Posted by dichroic
I've started composing the packing list for my next trip (which is not for a month, but I, um, like to plan), and I've got what seems like a million shirts. But I'm not sending shirts to the cleaners, and I'll be getting up to activities—like going to hookah bars—that will require me to change clothes. Plus, it's cold in the Midwest, and we believe in the power of layering. I hope this doesn't sound defensive; I'm just agreeing with dichroic that sometimes, minimalist one-bagging doesn't make sense, although it is really freeing when you can pull it off.
Last edited by Badger; 11-14-2012 at 09:20 PM.
Reason: prepositional wonkiness