On the one hand, amazing!!! No stroller! Big kids! Yay!
On the other, our pack mule is officially retired. So sad. I have really struggled on local outings since our youngest graduated from the stroller. Mainly in terms of toting around water. Earlier this month in DL we just bought a bunch of bottled water in the parks which is fine but not ideal. Just wondering if anyone has discovered a favorite strategy for carrying in their own water that isn’t just everyone lugging around their own GX, Hydroflask, Yeti, etc. We guzzle water (I drink 80+ oz on a normal day. Up that by a lot in WDW in August) so one shared bottle really isn’t a viable option. I do have a gallon sized water bottle that I’ve attempted to bring along to the zoo once before but it got cumbersome pretty quickly.
The kids all have 2 L Camelbak backpacks that I’m almost tempted to bring to free up hands…
The adjustment to no stroller is harder on the parents than the kids. I know others bring collapsible water bottles where each person has their own color. We share germs, so we bring regular camelbak water bottles. We filter water to put in them overnight to have them ready to go and then refill in the park. Extra bottles in the fridge to switch out at breaks at the room. Basically there is no perfect solution.
So true. Almost a decade with a stroller it definitely became a crutch without me realizing it!
We made our kids carry a small backpack. They also carried their neck fans in it.
I’m a little worried about this stage, as much as I’m looking forward to it! We probably have up to 2 more years. We’ll see.
With my two oldest, on our last trip we had each of them bring a small backpack (Loungefly size, not Loungefly priced! ) and they carried their water thermos, jacket, poncho, and snacks. Worked really well. When my older two are out of the stroller we will have them carry their own bags and we should be set.
The big thing we missed out on is a place to stash our stuff while we rode roller coasters or whatnot. But at least at Disney that’s not usually an issue except for Tron, where you can use a free locker.
I am somewhat dreading the no stroller phase too because it’s such a great catch-all spot for all the things, especially things you gain as you go along. On our spring break trip with DSIL & DBIL & their kids who were out of stroller age, we ended up lending our stroller space to them a LOT when they had started collecting more things than they wanted to carry.
Like @Jeff_AZ our older kids carry their own for now though & I expect the younger ones will too. They do have Loungefly bags (spoiled, I know ) and in it they have their own water bottle, snacks, a neck fan & any other odd things they want to carry (DD10 usually carries extra jewelry & hair ties, DS12 always ends up with maps galore).
I have a water bottle that has a built-in carabineer hook that I wind through a strap in my backpack if I need to tote it along if we’re parking the stroller & I just dont want to hold it (it does swing by my side so it’s not ideal for very long).
DH brings water bottles in his large backpack and he drinks out of those & we refill water bottles from his stash first. If not wanting to do bottles, you could do a backpack with everyone’s refillable water bottle & take turns having people be the pack mules for it.
You could also rent a locker for the day to stow water that you bring and only take with you what you’re willing to carry. Also, I have a friend at home who is a giant Disney fan like us her youngest is the same as my oldest. She said even once her kids were well out of strollers, especially for the first year or so they took a simple one JUST to have a space to dump things & just parked it centrally. It carried their back-up water, sweatshirts & the like. So you could always do that.
We’ve been out of strollers for years, but by the end of an eight day stint, DS6 demanded a stroller and refused to walk anymore.
We always bring a small packable backpack as our park bag, which houses a 40oz thermoflask. We fill it with bottled water or at the resort food court before heading out in the morning, and refill with ice water cups from quick service throughout the day.
We have done a variety of things for water. I am huge fan of reusable water bottles verses buying plastic bottles of water so my kids are used to carrying them.
One trip we did camel backs, the kids were younger, things gave free hands and water bottles didn’t get set down or lost, Downsides to this, everyone had a backpack so security took longer and refilling them was sometimes a pain when not at the hotel. We refilled with the sink at the hotel.
I have carried a backpack with 2 water bottles (in outside pockets) that we have shared and refilled as needed, sometimes really often. This trip was in winter so worked well since it wasn’t as hot. It was great that we only had 1 bag to keep track of on rides.
Last trip we just brought a water bottle for everyone. My DH had a small crossbody water bottle bag that also had a phone pocket. DD9 had a cross body bottle holder, very basic, only held water bottle. DS14 carried a cross body backpack that he wanted to bring, i know he had his water bottle but I don’t know what else he carried every day (I didn’t ask, he was big enough to haul what ever he thought he needed). My DD16 alternated between a Fanny pack with her water bottle clipped on, a Loungefly backpack or when she really was going hands free, gave me her water bottle, she found she wanted to carry less and less each day. I have a small crossbody backpack I use as my everyday purse that has 2 water bottle pockets so I carried mine in one pocket and could carry someone else’s if needed in the other (normally DD16’s). We rarely got stopped at security since we just held our metal water bottles out in front of us. DD9 didn’t even take hers out of her bag since it was obvious nothing else could fit in her little water bottle bag.
We made sure everyone had a full water bottle in the morning and then refilled through the day at the parks at water fountains, bathrooms and occasionally QS.
Good luck finding the right solution for your family! Having no stroller is so amazing.
We have two of these bags and love them. For being so small and light, they hold a ton.
I love this about Disney. I hate dealing with lockers at Universal.
I do have quite the Loungefly collection so I could always do that….in my head I am always wanting to consolidate what we have to keep up with but the kids are all very capable of carrying their own bag (they always do when we fly) and mostly capable of keeping up with their stuff (DD7….not so much. It’s hard to be motivated to be responsible when you’re the baby ).
I’m wondering how to work ours with Loungeflys. Don’t know if it’s doable….or maybe if I can rely on them not to leak inside the bag. Our kids have all outgrown the smaller camelbak style water bottles and all carry 24 oz ones - taller style like GX or Owala bottles…
HA. I kind of love this. I’d have to rent one tho so prob not something I’d consider. All of ours at home have been lovingly donated to other families.
I do have two spots for water bottles on my backpack but I really think we’d have to refill too often for that to be a practical option. I don’t know….maybe 80 oz….that’s 16 oz for each of us to would hold up for a bit….DS hates drinking after anyone else tho so I do have that desire not to share germs to consider with him.
That’s too bad – my kids are fine with these 14 oz ones. We usually only have to refill them like once a day, in addition to whatever they drink at meals. It makes it a lot easier if they have a smaller water bottle.
That said, I strap my bigger water bottle to the outside of my sling bag. I wonder if that could work for you.
I have considered that this might be a pain in the parks.
I love all of your cross body water holders for the kids. For sure a simple solution! You can’t put it down so hopefully you can’t lose it!
Oh yeah those are super cute! We’ve had lots like those in the past.
Do you secure it with a carabiner? Does it not bounce and hit you while you walk?
Also……this discussion is making me think of some reel I’ve seen on social about how concerned we are as parents today with our kids’ hydration versus how UNconcerned our parents were with ours back in the 80s and 90s.
I improvised by using this carrier and then wrapping the strap around my bag and then tying a knot in it to shorten the length so it fit snugly without wobbling too much. It’s not perfect and I wish it attached at multiple points, but it works. I was wondering if there is like a mesh net or something that might work better.
RICHEN Neoprene Water Bottle… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y2SS138?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share
The crossbody bag was great for DD9. I wish I had more of them just like hers or could link one similar for you to buy. Unfortunately my DD16 picked it up on a Mission trip to Guatemala and it was hand made by a local. It fits just a water bottle and nothing else, so not heavy. DD9 let it on all day, the strap was long enough for her to drink out of, swing it to the front on rides and she never lost it. Only took it off to refill her water bottle.
It would have preferred another for DD16 so I didn’t have to carry her water bottle when she went bagless!
Oh yea, I definitely wouldn’t rent one for this. And I probably wouldn’t want to cart one with me for a flight. But if it were a road trip and I could secure a used/cheap one that I could throw in the van? I’d highly consider that.
Oh dang. Our kids had 14oz for a couple of years but we just got them all new ones. They were from shopDisney and are 16oz but much taller (and more slender) than their 14oz ones. We only buy ones that won’t leak when shut & if they start to malfunction and leak we buy new ones. So that they don’t have to worry about things in their bags.
I’m pretty sure 24 oz would prob be too big for most Loungefly bags. They could try zipping up the Loungefly as far as they can & have the top sticking out. And if it can stay zipped around the water bottle that might work. But I think the caribbeaner hook is also a great option to try.