Family travel tips
What I Learned About My Family Disney Vacation
In the summer of 2018, my wife and I were asked to join her daughter’s clan to go to Walt Disney World® in Orlando, Florida. And I am glad she did because we had a fabulous time! And we were able to spend some quality time with the family.
My Family Disney Vacation
As with all things there are some things that I could have done differently. This is my family Disney vacation story to give you some tips of what I learned along the way.
It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
~~ Ernest Hemingway
Let me begin my story with a bit about our road trip which I thought would be better with one big rented vehicle. I was out voted, though, so we took 2 vehicles.
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Road Trip with Two Vehicles
So we took 2 vehicles for our road trip from Houston to Orlando. Now, if you have done any traveling with 2 vehicles then you will know that it can be stressful. Every person has his or her own driving style. Some like to drive the speed limit, some prefer to go 10 mph over. Then of course there is the fun part of trying to stay behind someone on freeway where cars and trucks are zipping in and out causing your passenger seat driver looking frantically trying to find the other vehicle. You see where I am going with this … very stressful. At one point, I was behind them then the main freeway went to the right and so did I. Big mistake as that is when I was supposed to go straight. Needless to say, the sky fell.
So you are probably thinking the lesson learned is not to take two vehicles. Nope that is not it. After we were there, each family could do things without the other like stay at the beach all day or not head back early from the theme park. Nope. The lesson learned was that my wife brought some audio books on CD such as the classic Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. It was huge a stress reliever as now everyone in the car was listening intently. Of course, if the classics do not appeal to all the kids then Boss Baby on a iPad surely will.
Vacation Home Rental
Once we arrived at the VillaDirect vacation home at the Tarragon Resort, the rooms were assigned. Now this story is as old as time. When you are young you can sleep anywhere and when you wake up nothing hurts. But when you get older that no longer applies. When you get into your forties and later, you miss your bed because your body is just not able to adjust. We are not as pliable as when we were younger. Over the years I have learned my lesson. So I thought I would share a couple of things that will help you get a restful sleep.
- Small fan. One that you do not necessarily need to keep you cool but to circulate the air as well as create white noise. When you are sharing a house with another family and you are ready for bed or even a nap, then you will be very ecstatic to drown out the rest of the house while you get your beauty sleep.
- Memory foam topper. A must. And remember it is the density of the foam that makes the difference so I recommend at least a 4lb density of the foam. Make sure you know what size bed you are sleeping on to get the right size. But honestly if you threw your King size topper over a Queen size bed I promise you will not be disappointed you brought it as it literally can save your body and especially your back. Do not forget theme parks do not cart you around, you are walking all day. NOTE: Another option that is lot less expensive is to use an air mattress in place of the mattress.
- Private Pool. A must. After a hot day, there is nothing better than jumping into a nice cool pool. Of course, if you do not go in July then I suggest you get a heated pool.
Quarters for the Toll
In Florida, they have toll roads. Now toll roads are not a bad thing, but in Florida it can be real tricky figuring out if you’re on a toll road or not until usually it is too late. For example, we are leaving Disney World around 11pm after being there since 8am (we got there an hour early!). When you are this tired you tell the GPS I want the fastest way home.
And as I was exiting I began to see that things are so not warm and fuzzy as I realize up ahead is a toll stand. A booth would have a person so you could pay with cash. But a stand just has that plastic basket that requires coins only. So here we are searching frantically under the seats, in the side compartments, in the glove box for a lousy 75 cents after spending all that money at the theme park. And you know that if you do not pay they will fine you at least 20 dollars for a 75 cents toll. Talk about ruining your lovely day at the theme park. Needless to say we came up 10 cents short … lesson learned. Always keep a roll of quarters somewhere in your car as you never know when you will need them.
Relax Your On Vacation
And finally, the last lesson learned is that you are on a family Disney vacation. Of course, you are going to run into snafus, but do not lose sight of what is really important. Spending time with your family and sharing memories that will last forever.