I just went through an unexpected breakup. It was completely out of the blue, not something I saw coming at all. I really thought it was going to be forever. We were very happy together and then one day-poof!! After many happy years together, on my last trip, I officially said goodbye to the Park bag.
I was traveling solo with my toddler and quickly decided simplicity was the name if the game. Traveling light was imperative. How though? Toddlers need stuff! Right? Our Park bag was packed to the brim with juice boxes, snacks, band-aids, an entire change of clothes, toys to entertain in line, 2 sippy cups (just in case one falls), every type of medication I could possibly imagine him needing, some of my makeup for touch-ups during the day and jackets for us both…. just in case.
I honestly couldn’t see how I could ever do without any of that. It was all vital in my mind. However, after one day trying to manage everything without my husbands extra set of hands I said something had to give. That something was the Park bag. The next day I decided to go completely cold turkey and left the Park bag in the hotel completely.
I LOVED IT! The Parks were crazy crowded the week we were there (I wanted in line for the People Mover if that tells you anything) but security was a breeze. Since we got to skip the bag check line, I timed it. From approaching security to walking into the Park took just a tick over 4 minutes. On a high crowd day! So far so good. As the rest of the day went on I quickly realized all of that stuff was extraneous and just adding frustration. We didn’t miss any of it. You know what else I didn’t miss? The hassle! I didn’t miss Juggling it on rides, an aching back/ shoulders from carrying it around all day, having to pull everything out when I wanted something (because inevitably the thing I need is at the bottom of the bag). It was liberating.
So what about all that “stuff”? We utilized free cups of water when he was thirsty (better for him than juice anyway), we had a dining plan so when he needed a snack we used one of our two snack credits per day, I knew if we had a medical issue we could go to the first aid center in the park, we talked and played games like “I Spy” in lines (as an added bonus I didn’t have the “no, not that toy, it makes noise/blows bubbles/has parts that may hit someone” struggle in line), I threw a pair of pants in the basket of the stroller just in case of a potty accident and I brought a shout pen in case of food spills. My Magic Band eliminated the need to have any purse type items, my keys, tickets and wallet were right there on my wrist. A good makeup setting spray ( I like Urban Decay All-nighter) eliminated the need to have supplies to touch up my make up. I had any souvenirs I bought sent directly to our resort hotel. I honestly just didn’t need anything! The world didn’t end and chaos did not ensue without a bag stuffed to the brim.
And so ended my love affair with my Park bag. My “must have” for a day in the Park turned out to be nothing but dead weight. I was happier, more carefree and had a better time without it! I will never go back to carrying. Park bag again…even after we say goodbye to the stroller (THAT relationship, however, is still going strong)! How about you? Is a bag a must for you in the Parks or do you go without one as well? Let us know in the comments!
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