I’ve heard the stories, and probably, so have you of illnesses and injuries while on vacation. Taking a Disney vacation is no exception even though safety is an operating pillar for Disney. And, while we have been pretty fortunate so far—other than a the boy scraping off part of his eyebrow in a fall, there are some things we do to help keep us safe and well during a Disney vacation.
As a mom, I want to keep my family healthy at home and while traveling. Our daily regimen consists of a balanced diet, plenty of sleep, and an odorless garlic tab for each of us to support immune health. Regular hand washing and cleaning of common surfaces minimize germ spread.
That same daily routine goes with us on the road. I also keep wipes in any bag or backpack we are carrying. So, as soon as we get on an airplane, the surfaces get wiped down and the air blower above our head gets turned off. The wipes come out again at our resort or in our stateroom to wipe down TV remotes, telephones, door and sink handles, etc. A can of Lysol works, too, but due to TSA regulations, it would have to be packed in our checked luggage, but if you are traveling by car you are all set.
Wipes work great to clean hands before eating and on the Disney ships, wipes are provided to guests prior to entering the dining rooms.
Like most of you, I too want to get the most out of every moment of our Disney vacations, yet getting enough sleep each night will actually help me do that in the long run. I can’t say we get 8 hours each night, but other than the last night which typically requires an early morning for Magical Express pick-up, we get enough sleep to keep us healthy. Besides, the boy and I turn into pumpkins around 10:00 pm anyway, so it is best to just get us to bed.
Be Prepared is the Boy Scout motto and I agree. We have a bag-o-supplies that goes with us in our luggage that contains various medicines—antacids, antidiarrhea medication, pain reliever/fever reducer, motion sickness, antibiotic ointment, first aid kit, etc. When the boy was younger, we packed children’s versions, too, but he can now swallow a pill so the regular strength pain reliever/fever reducer can be used by all of us if needed.
I remember when the boy fell and scraped his eyebrow on the cruise ship, I whipped out a first aid kit from the bag I was taking on our shore excursion and fixed him right up. Our tablemates, who happened to be going on the same shore excursion, were impressed with our preparedness. The first aid kit travels with us into the parks, too.
Another way to ward off potential illness while traveling is to make sure you are eating and drinking enough and the right things while away from home. It is easy to order soda with every meal and fries instead of veggies or fruit. We make a conscious effort to order water with our other drinks and milk, especially for the boy. Disney makes it easy to add great fruit and veggies to your meals. One of our tips was to order the adult counter service meal with a side of apple slices (they didn’t come with the kids meal) and the kids meal with a side of fries and them swap and share so that everyone got some of both.
Speaking of vegetables, on one of our cruises, the husband made mention that he very much appreciated asparagus, as it was a side for a dish in one of the restaurants on the ship. Our tablemates decided to share their asparagus with him and seeing that, our server brought him a whole plate of asparagus. On another cruise, the boy wanted some steamed broccoli to eat with his pizza one day by the pool. A Cast Member heard this and brought him a plate full of broccoli. Yummy vegetables!
Packing for the weather and elements is another preventative strategy. We were at an amusement park just yesterday and I overheard a lady talking on the phone saying that when she had left her home in the morning it was chilly and overcast. The sun was out and it was hot and she was dressed in jeans and had even brought a sweater. She was not prepared. On our first trip to Walt Disney World, the weather in November we experienced an unusual cold snap that we weren’t prepared for, so the boy wore the same long sleeve t-shirt under his other clothes for a few days in a row and I bought Mickey Mouse gloves that I still use. Now, jackets are on our packing list and there are gloves in the pockets of the jackets we pack. Packing the appropriate gear can also be helpful in case someone does get sick—having enough clean clothes in case of an accident or spill, or even having laundry supplies just in case. Prior to the convenience of Purex laundry sheets and now the laundry “pods”, I would pack a baby food jar with powder dish soap that could be used for cleaning mugs or doing laundry and because it was powder, it could go in our carry-on luggage.
Staying safe is also part of staying aware—of surroundings, etc. We have witnessed the unsuspecting guest take a misstep or two or the child that accidentally gets separated from their family. We make labels with our name and cell phone number and put them inside the back of the boy’s shirt—under the tag—daily. He knows to show it to a Cast Member if he ever gets separated from us. We also take a picture of him each morning and usually, he is wearing the same thing we are! Another benefit of wearing matching shirts!
We do the same thing with our luggage tags, as I don’t want our home address on display on our luggage while we are traveling. So, instead, our luggage tags have our last name and cell phone number, since we have our cell phones with us while we travel.
Staying safe and well adds to the enjoyment of any vacation, but especially a Disney vacation!