Are there challenges to taking the kids to Disney World as a single parent? You bet! But there are also huge rewards. This packing list is designed to give you a break and assure you don’t forget the unique items you’ll need as a sole-parent traveler.

Pack the clothes you need – then take half out!

One of the biggest mistakes single parents make is to over pack. You do want to make sure that you have the right clothes for the season, which in many cases means preparing for any weather! But you don’t need a dozen pairs of pants. Remember that resort hotels and vacation homes will have laundry facilities. Trust us – it’s better to pack light and take an hour out of your day to do laundry than to lug numerous heavy suitcases to and from the airport.

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Consider your pool options

No matter the time of year you plan to visit Orlando, bathing suits are a must! It’s true that it can be cool in the winter months, but the vast majority of pools are heated. However, your swimming packing list shouldn’t begin and end with swimsuits. If you’re driving, consider loading up your minivan with pool noodles, floats, and others. If you’re not, figure out which supercenter is closed to your resort or vacation home and plan to get some awesome pool toys. These will help create a perfect afternoon off as you lounge by the pool while the kids play.

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Bring snacks, treats, and souvenirs

orlando-vacation-souvenierBringing your own snacks, treats, and souvenirs solves two problems. First, it helps to keep your costs down. Second, it helps prevent meltdowns. Even the most well behaved kids can become overwhelmed and overstimulated by the excitement at Disney World. They may see snack after snack or cool new toy after cool new toy and think they need it all! Your options at that point are limited to either giving in or dealing with a temper tantrum. Unless of course you bring snacks, treats, and toys from home and can easily distract them with their own special things.

Ask your kids what they need

Is this obvious advice? You may think so – but you’d be wrong! Too often parents take the reins on the entire trip planning and packing process. This may seem like a great idea that lets you keep an eye on everything and ensure your kids can just sit back and relax. However, your child may assume you’ll remember their favorite stuffed animal and it may not even cross your mind. Sit down with your kids and ask them to write down the top 5 things they want to bring with them. You may have to narrow the list down but it’ll give you a great starting point to ensure you don’t forget anything they consider essential.