Orlando Travel Tips - What to Pack and what to Leave Behind

Virgin Atlantic Orlando International Airport

So, you’ve booked your flights, car hire and Orlando villa, your next dilemma is what to pack!

My biggest tip for packing is to take the largest bag you have and leave plenty of SPACE! After all I’m sure you will be hitting the shops at some point during your stay in Orlando.

The most often asked question is “do we need to pack towels”, the answer is NO! The villa will be stocked with all the towels / linens needed for your stay. Plus they also have washers and dryers for you to use, I’m sure that doing your laundry on your holiday wasn’t top of your list of things to do in Orlando, but it will save you loads of space when packing.

Next on the list of questions is “do we need to pack a hairdryer”, again the answer is NO! Your villa will have one, some even have one in each bathroom, but this is a luxury. Again a great space saver, but on another note, if you have ever plugged a UK hairdryer into a US 110 volt plug, you’d wished you hadn’t bothered! You will have more success drying your hair, running around outside!

Depending on the time of year, you might want to leave your hair straighteners behind too, if you go in the summer months the humidity will put you back to frizzle tips inside of 5 minutes. Relax you’re on holiday!

Orlando is a very relaxed place to holiday, unless you are planning to go to one of Disney’s ‘posh’ restaurants you shouldn’t need to take anything smarter than jeans, T-Shirt and trainers. Check ahead for any dress code that you think a restaurant may have.

So that’s a list on things not to take, but what should we pack, I hear you cry…

Comfortable Shoes – if you are planning on doing the parks, you will walk miles without knowing it, that is unless you are wearing heals! It’s best to be comfortable and not bang on trend when it comes to the parks, after all you can just cut your feet out of the photos!

Cotton clothing - the humidity can be very high in Orlando, so if you suffer from prickle heat, pack lightweight breathable clothes that will let the heat escape.

Lightweight Jacket – if you have been before, you will know what a Disney poncho looks like! Again it’s not a fashion statement, but they do allow you to have fun on the water rides without getting too drenched. Plus you are highly likely to get caught in a ‘shower’, which can be likened to a monsoon at any time of year, but especially in the summer. So either pack a jacket, or head to the dollar store before going to the parks, the poncho’s cost a lot more in the parks…. At the point that you NEED it!

Hat – even if it’s just a cap or peak, anything to give you some shade will be most welcome.

One-piece Swimsuit – essential if you are going to the water parks – trust me you don’t want to flash anyone as you head uncontrollably down a water slide!

Jumper – yes, I know you are going to the Sunshine State, but this you will need for two reasons! If you go in winter, it can get very cold in the morning / evening. If you are going out for dinner, the air con in the restaurants can be set very low, so again you will need a jumper!

Sunscreen – this is essential, and if you have a preferred brand, it might be cheaper to buy it in the UK if it’s on an offer. You can buy it whilst on holiday, but for brands you’ve heard of they are often pricey!

GPS - if you have a portable GPS, download the USA maps before you arrive and you'll be set, it's much easier than trying to keep an eye on the road signs with a toddler screaming in the back of the car. You can rent them from your car hire company, but this would still be dearer than downloading the maps before you go.

Lastly, remember I mentioned the washing machine, don't pack 14 different outfits, you won't wear them! If the airline put heavy stickers on your luggage on the way out, you've got it all wrong!

Have a great time, be comfortable and enjoy yourselves!

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