School is out and it’s finally time to take the family to Central Florida for a fun-filled summer vacation. To help you pack for your upcoming trip, here is a roundup of some of our favorite summer travel gear.
The best gear for a day at the parks is gear that you won’t be asked to leave behind. For this reason, it’s important to be up to date with the policies and procedures of the park you plan to visit. The Disney parks offer detailed guidance on what is acceptable through their gates here. Namely, you’re allowed to bring backpacks, fanny packs, purses, and tote bags as long as they are 24” long by 15” wide by 18” high or less. Food, water bottles, and ice packs (not loose ice) are also allowed. We suggest going hands-free with a great waist pack, crossbody, or tote bag. Another handy and oft-forgotten piece of gear is a lightweight poncho. And a collapsible water bottle may just save the day when temperatures start to soar.
About an hour away from the theme parks, you’ll find Cocoa Beach is a convenient escape for a quick break from the parks. To pack for a day at the beach, consider your skin and pack rashguards, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Find a solid bag that can do double-duty and be used as an airplane carry-on and a sand-resistant beach bag. A wet care bag is also a must-have to separate your day-end beach gear from your dry clothes and electronics, and it also comes in handy when packing at the hotel for your travels home. Any gear you forget to pack will almost certainly be found in the famous Ron Jon surf shop. It’s close to the beach and has more than 52,000 square feet of retail space.
If your vacation involves little ones, it will inevitably involve lots of snacks. An excellent bento box is crucial for packing plenty of munchies to keep your little ones satisfied throughout the day and while waiting to be served at restaurants. Keeping little ones entertained is also important, and if you’re committed to avoiding screens, consider packing an alternative like a travel activity binder or a busy baby silicone mat.
While staying at a great hotel will have your basics well-covered, there are a few pieces of gear that you can pack to help enhance your experience. A great hanging toiletry bag helps keep the clutter off countertops and your toiletries organized and dry. Even a simple blackout sleep mask can improve your stay without adding bulk to your luggage by ensuring you are rested and ready for your next day of Central Florida adventure.
Make sure your lodging plans are as buttoned-up as the gear you’ve packed by booking a reliable area resort hotel well in advance of your stay. Close to the theme parks, you’ll find the Crowne Plaza Lake Buena Vista and the Fairfield Inn Orlando Lake Buena Vista are both top choices. Near shopping and dining on International Drive, stay at the Aloft Orlando International Drive, Comfort Inn International, Element Orlando International Drive, or Best Western International Drive. Other excellent area digs include the Wyndham Orlando Resort & Conference Center/Celebration, Staybridge Suites Orlando Royale Parc, and Fairfield Inn Orlando Airport.