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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tip Tuesday: Directing your Disney Domicile

Memories are flooding back to a Disney vacation that took place about ten years ago.  We were traveling with not only my immediate family, but with my sister’s as well.  Let’s just say there were a bunch of wee little children.  Did I mention we were all in one villa?  From the moment we unlocked that door into our suite, chaos ensued!  Now, I enjoy being a free-spirit as much as the next person (ok…almost as much) but I knew this was just not going to work.  We needed a system and we needed it now.

With a plan in place for where things should be stored within a hotel room, the rest of your vacation can be simplified.  A few minutes of planning and explanation to said “wee little children” will you save you countless moments before heading out each day.

Tip #1:
You can start this process before you ever leave home.  Careful packing can be a good start to a smooth trip.  When my children were very small, I used to pack each complete outfit in a large Ziploc bag with their name on it.  After a trip, I kept these bags in the suitcase and reused them next time.  This kept everything orderly and helped the kids get ready on their own.  Now that they are older, they each get their own suitcase.  I relinquished a little control and let them match their own outfits {patting myself on the back}.  I also keep a pop-up hamper wherever we go and put it in the bathroom.  This cuts down on mess and keeps the dirty clothes separate.  The hamper takes up minimal space in its compressed form.  Toys are becoming less and less seen on our vacations, but the pop-up bins are great for those as well.

Tip #2:
Unpack.  Yes, those drawers and hangers are there to make it easier and homier for you.  When everyone has their own space they are less likely to encroach on the shared areas of the room.

Tip #3:
Another big nuisance for me is shoes.  They end up everywhere!  When you are leaving the room there is always one that’s gone renegade!  I make a deliberate spot for shoe placement near the door.  It helps if you place a folded towel on the spot you wish shoes to go.  This gives the kids a visual reference. 

Tip #4:
Little things add up.  Keep some baggies in a drawer for loose change, receipts and other small items that you don’t wish to loose.   I also like larger baggies, or small bins for each person to place their own things, like souvenirs and such. 

Tip #5:
The park bag is an essential tool.  Before leaving home for our vacation I pack first aid items, hand sanitizer, bubbles for entertainment, important planning information, sunblock, individual drink mixes, cash, chapstick and plastic ponchos.  This way I am ready for whatever the day brings.

Final tips:
A few of my camper friends offered some advice on organizing your camper or tent:

Allison D. suggests using packing cubes to organize various essential items.  They come in all different sizes and can be used for whatever you need them for.  She also suggests preparing and freezing premeasured ingredients ahead of time for easy food preparation once you’re camping.

Christy S. loves Rubbermaid containers for organizing and packing!

Thanks, ladies, for your tips!

With a little planning and a few moments of work at the start of the vacation you can have smooth sailing from then on!  It works like magic!

XO, Ami