If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you will know that we spent our summer holiday in Disneyland Paris last year, below is a link to all my previous posts should you want to check out Disneyland Paris Trip Report 2019. Originally, I had this idea of just doing a general packing post. However, I decided it made more sense to split it into different posts as there was far too much to cover in one post. This post is all about what I packed in my disabled son’s hand luggage and perhaps offering some ideas of what sort of things to buy and where.
Now in all way of disclosure -I am not sponsored, being paid nor have I been gifted anything I mention in this post. I purchased it all with my own money!
First Trip Aboard in Four Years
We embarked on our first trip aboard in four years! We decided to visit Disneyland Paris for three nights and four days! (I was a tad excited). We booked our hotel, tickets, photo pass and luggage with Magic Breaks and it couldn’t have been easier. They were so helpful and I never struggled to get hold of them. We decided to book our transport separately and booked directly with Eurostar. On the way out we go via Lille Europe and changed trains (dreaded change) but the way back, we had a direct train back from Disneyland Paris to Ashford. It saved us a fair few pounds (hundreds in fact)!
The last time we ventured out the UK, was in fact for our last Disneyland Paris trip in 2015. It was all sorts of crazy with getting forced onto the wrong compartment of the train, and when approaching a staff member, had a whistle blown in my face. This time I am super organised (not that I wasn’t then). I got thinking about hand luggage and what Thomas would need close by.
Thomas is nine years old has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and learning difficulties including autistic traits, erratic behaviour, outbursts and a lack of understanding to add to the mix. He’s a complex kid but we love him. He loves his routine and this is way out of his comfort zone plus an enclosed space with people and it’s a Thomas shouting fest! When packing for travel we have to consider that his ipad will only occupy him for a few minutes. Despite being nine he has a learning age of closer to two or three so the bag will reflect that.
What’s in the bag
I saw an article on ‘Flying with a Baby’ and so much of it rang true. It’s all in the preparation. I read an article about wrapping little presents and placing them inside a child’s hand luggage and opening them every hour of a flight. Thomas has an attention span of about 10 minutes but I’m giving it a go for the train. With that in mind, I thought I would share with you what I took and where I bought them.
It looks like a lot but this is outbound, return and during, I had to cover all angles. I have allocated each item a number and will write about it below including where I got it from and how much if I can remember! I will try and leave links where I can.
1.Spiderman four-wheeled rolling luggage – ShopDisney.co.uk (£40.00) Sadly, it was in the sale and they don’t sell this one anymore but they do have other versions.
2.Disney Store Disney Pixar ToyBox Action Figure – ShopDisney.co.uk (Between £4 – £10). At the time I didn’t really understand what these figures were, they were in the sale last summer so I bought five. Thomas loves figures so I bought them so it would be new and exciting. They sell them in Disneyland Paris, but they are cheaper in the UK.
3.Toy Story 4 Busy Book – Asda (£8.00). I originally bought it from Asda, however, they do have them on Amazon for £7.00 and they contain a board book and mini characters that you can use to follow the story.
4.Toy Story 4 Pencil Case – Asda (£4.00). I saw this extra cute pencil case in Asda and thought it would come in handy for my Thomas’ extra bits like his cutlery, bibs etc.
5.Toy Story 4 Money Wallet – This was actually given to Thomas as a gift.
6.Disney Anniversary Huggies Baby Wipes: Poundland (£1.00). Every time I shopped in Poundland I picked up the Disney themed wipes for our trip.
7.Toy Story 4 Activity Tub: Asda (£6.00). My son isn’t very able in this department but I thought it was something we could attempt together if we should get delayed etc.
8.Toy Story 4 Mess Free: Amazon (£9.95). This was bought from Amazon as some mess free fun for the train journey home.
9.Buzz Lightyear Board Book: Amazon (£3.99) It has increased in price a little since last year, but it’s still available on Amazon. It’s a simple boardbook about Buzz and his adventures.
10.Cbeebies Board Puzzles: The Works: (£4.00 each) We really liked the transport puzzle and the beach themed puzzle. They have different versions including farm animals and chuncky transport puzzles. They are extremely cute and just another way to change the activity.
11.Toy Story 4 Bubble Wand: Aldi (£4.00 approx) Probably one of the best finds in Aldi. Couldn’t use it on the train, but thought it might come in handy waiting for parades.
12.Spiderman Torch: Poundland (£1.00) This was just something cute I picked up in Poundland that Thomas could interact with on the train by changing the little discs to a different shapes on the floor.
13.Peppa Pig Travel Mess Free Mat: Amazon (£16.99) I purchased this in December 2018, it was one of the first things I bought after booking our trip as Thomas loves Peppa and I thought it might come in handy on the train.
14.Selection of Books: The Works (3 for £5 offer) Purchased a selection of storybooks for bedtime, not Disney themed but Thomas’ favourite characters from Cbeebies, one about swimming and a random one about a snowy day. They have changed the offer, it is now 10 books for £10! I’m not sure if that’s a current thing or will be permanent.
His Little Bag
Thomas loved having his own little case to carry as hand luggage that he could wheel around, although he didn’t want to let it go, which caused for a mini-meltdown at security actually he handled it very well. It actually held all those treats, a change of clothes and a jumper, so very worth the money.
Not Just for Special Needs
If you have a young child, toddler or an older child who just gets bored then this could be the answer, I also included snacks, drinks, emergency essentials in case we needed a change of clothes, shoes, sweatshirt and a first aid kit in our hand luggage.
Did it Work?
He actually did extremely well with his Amazon Fire Kids and Disney Life (as it was then) the way back was a little stressful as it was a packed train with non-existent WIFI and the Amazon Fire Kids wouldn’t load downloads properly and no amount of treats was going to please him and no food (my stupidity, I left the snacks in the main suitcase) and Eurostar had sold out.
But all things considered we suffered and it was an amazing trip, probably our best one yet.
Are you like me, are you super organised and plan all this in advance? Or are you more of throwing it all together at the last minute and hope for the best? Have you ever tried this method or do you have your own method? Please let me know in the comments below?