Packing Your Toiletries Bag For A Healthy Vacation

September is preparedness month, so we're resharing some of our best articles for staying safe and healthy during a Walt Disney World vacation. Taking just a little time to get prepared before you leave can make a world of difference in how you feel if things go, well, south.

You never know when you're going to come down with a minor illness even on vacation. If you're at Walt Disney Disney and you come down with something, it can really mess with the quality of your trip, but there are a few things that you can plan for ahead of time in order to make the most of it. With illnesses such as a cold, the only thing that you can really do is to treat the symptoms and try to stay comfortable. After many trips where illness has taken its toll, I now plan ahead and pack hearty first aid.

Supplies that you might want to have on hand:

  • Handful of disposable thermometers to monitor fevers, should they crop up.

  • Combo pack of NyQuil/DayQuil can make things bearable.

  • Extra acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) on hand to keep the fever, aches, and pains away. Alternating between the two kinds of drugs can help spread the effects out better as well as minimizing the risk of overdose.

  • Cough Drops for sore throats, ones with menthol will help numb the soreness, while ones with pectin will help keep things moisturized.

  • For digestive issues, TUMS or Pepto Bismol chewables and Imodium pills can take care of most complaints. If you want to take a more natural approach ginger and candies with real peppermint can ease an upset stomach, motion sickness and nausea.

  • Benadryl can serve double- or triple-duty by being a sleeping aid, an allergy pill, and a nausea/motion sickness pill. However, it can cause drowsiness, so be aware of that.

With any and all medication, make sure to read the directions before taking anything. Just because they sell it over the counter doesn't mean that it's "safe" for everyone. Overdosing on some of the stuff I mentioned above can be life threatening, if you are unsure about anything, don't hesitate to call on your doctor or pharmacist... They are specially trained and want to help people get and stay well, as well as prevent someone causing themselves harm by accident.

Disney Beds Are Comfy But Not The Place To Spend Your Whole VacationDisney Beds Are Comfy But Not The Place To Spend Your Whole Vacation

Use a small notebook or notepad to track of when you take a does of medication and when it's needed again. It's easy to loose track of time while touring and having a written action plan to keep you moving means more time feeling better and enjoying yourself. It's no fun spending the day sick in your room when the rest of the family is out having an adventure.

Nobody wants to be sick while on vacation at the Happiest Place on Earth, but sometimes things happen. In this day and age, with the medications that we have available, you can even travel with a small pharmacy and not be bothered by TSA by choosing pills and capsules over liquids. Some medications are available at resort gift shops, but they are for sale at significantly more expensive rates for fewer doses. It can pay to bring your own.

With a little planning ahead, you can still enjoy your vacation, even if it's not as great as you would want. For more great tips on an ounce of prevention, check out our article on Staying Healthy While Traveling!

Thanks so much to Geordon V. for this informative guest post. If you would like to learn more about packing your travel bags to be prepared visit his blog Hurricane Dad for a more details.

Jennifer wrote on Wed, 01/29/2014 - 15:21:

Jennifer's picture

I usually take bandages, and my RX for migraines or any chronic ailments.

Susanna wrote on Wed, 01/29/2014 - 15:34:

Susanna's picture

Great for any trip!

Jill wrote on Wed, 01/29/2014 - 19:50:

Jill's picture

I have paced all of the above plus an Ace Bandage, knee brace, bandaids, extra inhalers just in case the air there doesnt agree with my husbands asthma and zquil (nyquil without the cold meds, a sleep aid) in case im too excited to sleep. Proper rest is essitial at WDW

lmr wrote on Thu, 01/30/2014 - 03:11:

lmr's picture

We have annual passes and keep a backpack ready to grab and go. We always have tylenol, mole skin (for blisters from shoes), lip gloss, sunscreen, band-aids, protein snacks, tissues, and anti-bacteria hand gel.

Tracey Anderson wrote on Thu, 01/30/2014 - 04:51:

Tracey Anderson's picture

It's important too if you're travelling from another country, even Canada, to bring your own medications from home. Brand names are sometimes not the same, and can seem really foreign, especially when you're having to shop when ill. It's good to have with you, especially in the middle of the night when all the shops are closed! (Been there...done that!)

Kristen K. wrote on Thu, 01/30/2014 - 13:33:

Kristen K.'s picture

We had one trip in 2010 where all four of us traveling came down with bronchitis. We had no car, and were stuck just buying what meds they had in the gift shop at the super high prices. The boxes that they sell there only contain a couple of doses and with all of us sick I had to buy 4 boxes to get us through the end of the trip. The guy in the gift shop said that a lot of people from the North end up having issues with the climate change and come down with cold/allergy symptoms. From that point on we always started bringing "the pharmacy" along with us.

Monica wrote on Fri, 01/31/2014 - 23:56:

Monica's picture

There are also first aid stations at wdw resorts that offer medicine. I came down with what felt like the flu & while at Epcot I went to the 1st aide station & got meds there.

KrisCynical wrote on Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:23:

KrisCynical's picture

For the last two years our annual January trip has been marred by illness, bronchitis for my mother and I last year and the flu for me this year. By "packing healthy" in both our toiletries and our Owner's Lockers (we're DVC), our trip was saved this year and I was only down for one day. My mother and I were both prescribed inhalers the last time we got bronchitis at home and both of us brought them with us, so I started using mine as soon as a cough set in. Once I felt myself careening downhill with fatigue in the parks one day I knew SOMETHING was wrong. This is where my main point comes into play:


I usually don't caps lock, but that clinic has saved us TWICE now! If you exit Disney property via Hotel Plaza Blvd (past Downtown Disney where it leads directly into Crossroads across the street), turn left at the light. I believe it's only two lights down the road and the Walgreens will be on the left. You'll see the sign alongside the road, and it's right at a light so it's easy to get in and out of. They take just about every insurance on the planet.

When I went down there this year (thinking I had bronchitis but I wanted to be sure it WASN'T flu), they gave me a flu test and surprise, surprise, I tested positive. I came in within a few hours of feeling bad, though, so I was able to get Tamiflu... and that in combination with having that inhaler with me kept the flu from taking over my lungs so I was only cooped up for one day, all the while taking the Advil we brought with us, taking my temp every couple hours with the thermometer we keep in our Locker, and keeping track of everything on a notepad app on my phone (with alarms set for med doses).

Long story long, I can't stress enough how vital it is to pack the way this article talks about. In combination with seeing a CNP at the clinic can be a real life saver.

LB wrote on Wed, 07/17/2019 - 23:38:

LB's picture

The additional comment about Walgreens is really helpful. Sometimes it is worth it to take an Uber/Lyft if you don’t have a car.

Kristen K. wrote on Tue, 07/23/2019 - 13:31:

Kristen K.'s picture

I completely agree!

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