As soon as we ditched the stroller for our Parks visits as the kids got older, I started worrying about where I was going to put all of the stuff we take in with us. I’m a big proponent of bringing anything we can get outside of the Parks in with us, including some snacks, drinks, and especially water. Heck, when we went to Disneyland recently, we even brought in our own popcorn!
Say “Goodbye” To the Stroller
The very last time we used a stroller on a trip was at Disneyland in January, 2015, when the kids were 6 and 4. Later that year, we went in September without the stroller. I hadn’t gotten the idea to have the kids pack their own things in a backpack. Yet.
Fanny Packs as Sling Bags
In 2016, we became seasoned travelers, and by then, I KNEW that the kids needed a way to carry their own stuff. At first, they had fanny packs that they wore like sling bags. That worked well to carry a water bottle and some snacks, but Carter became infamous for putting the water bottle lid on askew, and his snacks and everything else in the bag would get soaked. There was no way to separate the water from the other stuff in the fanny pack, even if it was roomy enough to hold both.
Backpacks for Disney World
For our next trip, Disney World, I bought actual sling bags and ultra lightweight backpacks. The regular sling bags rarely got used. They were heavier and didn’t hold as much as either the fanny packs or the backpacks. The kids love to bring their own stuff into the parks. Carter likes to have toys (especially army men), and Maggie packs extra ears, snacks, and either a jacket or misting fan, depending on the weather. Having snacks at hand for lines and breaks is a life-saving way to stave off hangry moods!
I insist they each have a water bottle, too, of course. I don’t like the taste of tap water, so I always bring in my own bottled water. It is heavy to carry around, I do admit, but your bag miraculously becomes lighter as you drink it! The kids are smarter than me. They bring in their refillable water bottles and insist that they prefer the water in the drinking fountains for fillups.
Yes, we have misplaced bags a few times, but I can be counted in that tally. Other than that, having your kids share the load by wearing their own backpack is invaluable, and will save your back, and your wallet!