Have I mentioned that my family and I are theme park junkies??? Well, we are! We love them ALL! I have been addicted to adrenaline since I was old enough to ride the Ninja at Six flags. I just genuinely love theme parks. I love theme park rides, music, food, and the smell of black top in 100 degree weather. (yes I know that last bit might be strange but my Dad did own an asphalt paving business for a long time so that could have something to do with it, we will save that for another blog 😉 )
I remember taking Katie Beth to Universal when she was cutting teeth and that was one time I was not in love with being at a theme park. It was about a million degrees and Katie was miserable and in need of some children’s Tylenol, and wouldn’t you know I didn’t have ANY! We searched the park high and low and finally found some children’s fever reducer and paid $13 for 3 doses of medicine and I vowed from that day forward that this park- loving- mama would NEVER be caught off guard at a theme park again!
Since then I have carried my faithful Theme Park backpack. It has traveled all over the world with us LITERALLY! It’s been to Disney World more times than I can count, Dollywood, Six Flags, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Cruises, Mexico, Yucatan, El Salvador, and so many other places in between. This bag has saved me hundreds of dollars over the years. I thought I would share with you what I pack in my Parks and Adventure bag!
1.First Aid kit
My backpack is ALWAYS equipped with a first aid kit. Now this doesn’t have to be a portable ER by any means, just make sure it has your basics. Band-aids are always needed because you never know if those new tennis shoes are going to rub your feet raw, or if you may cut your finger or scrape your knee. I also suggest some antibiotic ointment as well. Tylenol or Ibuprofen, as well as some Benadryl in appropriate doses for your family is always great to have on hand. Long days at the park can sometime cause sore feet or headaches and you never know if your allergies are going to act up in a foreign environment. Follow the Link to see one of my favorite first aid kits.
I never leave sunscreen out of my Adventure and Parks Bag. It is a must. Even on an overcast/cloudy day you can get very sunburned. We suggest applying every 2 hours to ensure that you have maximum coverage that there are no sunburns ruining a family vacation. Our favorite kind of sunscreen is the Spray-on kind it is easy to apply and not very messy. If you forget this it CAN be purchased at most parks but it will be a PREMIUM price. Follow this link to see our favorite.
The germaphobe in me comes out in FULL FORCE at theme parks! One thing we ALWAYS have in our bag is hand sanitizer. We always wash our hands in the restroom, but meal times aren’t always near the restroom, so hand sanitzer works great for those times you need to wash away the germs when you aren’t near a sink. We also sanitze our hands after waiting in line for a ride, those lines are filled with germs and a quick way to rid yourself of the thousands of germs you come into contact with is with hand sanitizer. We always pick up a few from the Dollar Tree and throw them in our bag before any trip.
4. Wet Wipes
Again, the germ freak in me comes out, but I can’t tell you how many times wet wipes have come in handy at theme park dining halls! There is nothing worse than searching for an open table in a busy dining room only to find it dirty, filthy, sticky, covered with the last 3 parties food. Wet Wipes are great for cleaning up messes and giving you a clean surface to eat a meal off of. We also use wet wipes to wipe off high chairs, seats, and any other surface that is not “Mama Approved”. Our favorite Wet Wipes can be found HERE.
5. Disposable Table Mats
If you have a little one who is still learning to eat off of his or her own plate or use a fork and spoon properly this is a MUST for you! At home we let ours learn by eating off of their high chair tray or table but that’s just GROSS at a theme park or Foreign country so we have found that when out we like to use disposable table mats. They fold flat, don’t take up hardly any room at all, and cover up those nasty surfaces and still allow our little ones to have an easy time eating! Find our favorite Disposable Table Mats HERE!
6. Rain Panchos
I can promise you, if you are headed south you will experience rain one day of your trip at least. If you purchase a pancho from Disney you are going to be out at least $20 per pancho, the same goes for Universal. THEY ARE NOT CHEAP. Do yourself a favor and buy ahead you will save yourself so much money in the longrun. We use our panchos every trip. We use them not just for rain though, we use them on water rides too! Check out a GREAT DEAL HERE!
7. Chap stick
There is something about being in new climates that will CHAP your lips like nobodies business!!!! If I do not have chap stick I will leave vacation looking like I traded my lips with a baboons behind!!! I try and make sure I always have chap stick that has a built in SPF to protect my lips against sunburn too. TRUST ME on this one, don’t get caught with out chap stick in your travel bag! Get my personal favorite HERE.
When Theme Parks and Venues will allow we always like to bring in a bottled water! Drinks in theme Parks can be VERY PRICEY (3.50 for a small fountain drink at DISNEY PARKS) One of the main reasons guests are treated at hospitals while on vacation is due to dehydration so we do our best to stay hydrated by bringing our own water in the parks.
9. Water Enhancers
I always like to bring water Enhancers with me to parks and vacations in general. Many parks including Disney World offer FREE iced Waters at any of their Quick Service and Snack cart stands. Water enhancers are a great way to trick your kids into thinking they are getting something other than water and just a great way to get some extra flavor to your drink. Another reason I personally like to bring water enhancers with me is because let’s face it-I’m southern I like my drinks like my tea SWEET and not everywhere you go offers sweet tea and I just don’t want sweet and low in my tea, so a splash of enhancer in my tea and it’s like I have INSTANT flavored tea! 😉 I love Pink Lemonade enhancer! You can find it HERE!
10. Compact umbrella
I use my little umbrella every trip. I don’t always use it for rain, sometimes my true southern girl comes out and it’s used more as a parasol to keep the sun off of myself or the kids. It has come in handy tons of times when those afternoon storms sneak up on us though. I think an umbrella is a must for ANY travelers bag! Rain or Shine, you will be happy you have it! HERE is my Favorite!
11. Battery Bank
This little device is my FAVE!!!! We are picture people! We are constantly snapping pics on our phones or canon and there is nothing worse than being in a Theme Park or a Foreign City and not being anywhere near a charge port. We learned the perfect solution to the problem is to ALWAYS carry a Battery Bank. We NEVER travel without a battery bank. You can pretty much charge ANYTHING that has a micro USB. We won’t be caught with out one EVER again! Our favorite is made by Anker and can be found HERE.
GUM???? Yes, we always pack gum. Many theme parks (Disney included) and most cruise ships do not sell chewing gum. I’m not a huge fan of gum, but I do like to have it when I travel. I have found that if I am in a foreign altitude my ears do better with gum as well as it helps to settle my tummy to chew gum. Also, lets just be real, if your breath STANKS you need some gum sometimes…….. so that being said bring some gum. 🙂
If we are traveling outside of the United States we always travel with at least 2 forms of VALID identification. We always have a valid drivers licence because we always have that anyway. We also make sure that when we are out and about we have a COPY of our passport. We leave the real Passport locked in a safe at our hotel or on board our cruise ship. We also make sure to have copies of any other travel documents that we think we may need while we are out. (excursions, hotel confirmations, reservations, etc.)
Of course every family is different and will add and take away things to make their travel bags work for their families needs. The main thing is that you don’t have to stop and purchase things that you already have at home or that will cost you an arm and a leg while you are on vacation. Have fun on your next vacation! Live life to the fullest and Happy Travels!
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