We took the kids on a quickie trip to Disney World over the Memorial Day weekend, and even before we left the house Michael and I had multiple fights. (Not a surprise to regular readers!) I’m not sure if we fight because we have different traveling styles or if it’s just a man/woman thing. Here are the top travel dilemmas we fight about:
1. How many suitcases does a family of five need for a three-day trip to Disney?
My husband insisted we should only take 1! (I’ll wait quietly while you think about that – one suitcase for five people — including a baby. Babies need a lot of extra stuff.)
We had a fight about it of course. I twittered the question later that night and got a reassuring reply that he was wrong.
So how many bags does a family of five need? I would say two bags for clothes, one for shoes, and one for toiletries. As I finally shoved all our clothes into one bag, Michael walks in with a second suitcase from the basement. Too late, my clothes were already smashed in and wrinkled so we only took one suitcase. We did take a shoe/pool bag and toiletry bag. (Michael is now commenting that I shouldn’t have needed a shoe bag.)
2. Do you pack you own beach towels to use at the hotel pool?
No matter where are going, Michael always insists that we shouldn’t pack our own beach towels. They take up too much space, he argues. Just use the ones they provide in the room. Well first off bath towels are smaller than beach towels. Second off, they don’t necessarily want them taken out of the room. Sometimes the hotels have towels by the pool but not every time and not often with condos. I’d rather just take my own! I didn’t take any this trip mainly because I knew we would spend most our time in Disney, not by the pool.
3. How many different types of medicine do you take just in case?
I like to be prepared so I usually take several medicines along on any trip. You never know what a kid will come down with during the night. I pack a little fever reducer, antihistamine, cough medicine, cough drops, thermometer, Walsh’s inhaler and chamber, anti-itch medicine, bandages and antibiotic cream. And Rose actually needed late one night some of the anti-itch cream and every day they took the allergy meds. (In my defense I never bring a hair dryer or any type of curling iron.) Michael thinks you can buy anything you need there.
4. How many diapers do you need for one baby for four days on the road?
I asked Michael to pull out some swim diapers and put them in with the Pull-Ups for Lilina. He also pulled out about five diapers and decided that was enough diapers for the trip. I didn’t even bother fighting with him about it. I just hid a big bag of diapers in the Stow-and-Go space in the van. I felt safer, and he didn’t have to know.
5. How much food do you take on a car trip for a family of five?
I will admit that I pack way too much snack food in the car. I like to eat the entire time we’re driving. I like to have something sweet, something salty, some fruit and some protein like cheese sticks. I also bring my own water and sodas. I hate paying for those on the road and in the hotel room. (I will not buy soda from a hotel vending machine.)
6. How do you distribute food to the kids in the car without making a mess?
I have developed the patented (pending) plastic-container method. I bring each kid a plastic container in which little cookies, chips, fruit or sandwiches can be placed. If I lean way back I can pass them off to the big kids in the back seat. They can also use these little containers for cereal in the room, when Michael lets me bring it.
7. How many miles do you drive before you let the kids run around?
When everyone is happy and no one is asking to go to the bathroom, Michael just keeps driving. I swear he made it more than 250 miles before we took our first break and let the kids out the car. (Maybe we took them to the bathroom one time before that but we didn’t let them walk about – just pee!) When they got to the rest area they went crazy and played freeze tag on the lawn.
8. Do you bring breakfast and eat in your hotel room to save money/time?
We had another huge fight about whether to feed the kids in the room for breakfast. I hate to pay for breakfast, especially when it’s so easy to feed kids cereal and fruit in the room. (I am happy to pay for a little refrigerator and often they are complimentary.) I’ve gotten it down to a science – a few plastic spoons, the plastic travel bowls, cereal, milk and some fruit. Done. You rinse the bowl out in the bathroom sink. Or I am happy to give them yogurt and a bagel. Michael totally freaked out. First he said it was messy. Then he said just give a granola bar. (He doesn’t eat breakfast so he doesn’t think anyone else needs anything substantial, but they do.) But I think I figured out the root of his complaint. I think he is embarrassed to be seen bringing all the food supplies into a nice hotel. We settled for the new Quaker oatmeal bars and the granola bars with yogurt in the middle. I also brought apples and bananas and little apple juice boxes. I put it all in a big black bag so no one would know they were groceries. (Michael is commenting while I’m writing this. He says he’s not embarrassed. He says it’s gross to bring milk into a hotel room and breakfast is easily accomplished outside the room.)
Bonus question: How much hand sanitizer do you need to go to Disney World? A very large bottle that I used each night to refill my little bottles that I hook to my diaper bag and keep in my pocket.
Weigh in on these travel dilemmas and tell me about your own! What do you and your spouse fight about before trips and while traveling? Who usually makes the final call? What are your work-arounds or compromises?
Coming next week, top strategies to make the most out of your Disney Trip. Plus the sights and sounds of the Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
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