Packing: what to check, what to bring on board, and what to leave home
We already discussed the great car seat debate here. Below you will find some helpful packing tips.
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what to check:
Jess says: When traveling as a family of 4 (2 adults, 1 child, and 1 lap infant), we generally check 1 suitcase for the adults to share, 1 suitcase for the children to share, 2 car seats in these bags, and 1 pack & play in this bag with its own sheet and egg crate cut to fit the bottom (if there is no crib at our destination). The p & p counts as the 3rd checked bag, so no extra fees (depending upon the airline).
We always pack blackout curtains and a white noise machine, or make sure we have a white noise app on a device, for each child's room (sleep is super important for our vaca's!)
Have siblings that are sharing a suitcase, or just want to keep diapers separate from clothes? Check out these handy bags.
JoDee Says: On long-haul international flights, babies generally are allowed:
1. A checked bag weighing 10kg
2. A checked bag for a stroller
3. A checked car seat.
We like to use a Samsonite ultra-lite spinner or a Lipault super light suitcase for baby stuff. For the stroller, it is worth investing in a travel bag. Most expats in Singapore have a Bugaboo travel bag, a Stokke or a Phil and Ted. It really depends on how much you travel and what kind of stroller you have. We are flying to Cambodia in October on Silk Air. Using our infant travel bag allowance, we will be able to check a Phil & Ted stroller bag which will contain: mountain buggy nano, Bjorn travel cot, a baby go-pod, a Phil & Ted travel high chair, and swim floats. The Combi Cocorro will be in a Childress padded bag from Amazon, and will contain soft items like blankets in addition to the car seat. The Samsonite spinner will have all of her bottles, formula, her clothes, white noise and a Sleepyhead. We like the Sleepyhead because no matter where you go or what the facilities are like, your child will have a familiar place to sleep. Yes they are pricey, but they hold resale value really well and the Sleepyhead Grande can be used up to 36 months. They just recently launched in the USA under the name: DockATot. Otherwise you can order from Amazon UK. More on the Sleepyhead here: http://dockatot.myshopify.com/
what to carry on:
Jess says: Bring a carryon bag and then gate check your stroller. I put baby in the Ergo while I put bags in the stroller. ***Make sure you are familiar with how to fold up your stroller before you go through security. Rookie mistake, circa 2011: I had no clue how to fold up a new umbrella stroller and held up the security line. Embarrassing.***
In my carryon? Snacks and stickers. Always.
Read more in my "What's in my Carry-on?" blog post, coming soon!
1. Snacks, snacks, snacks! Read my blog for my specific favorites.
2. Your own kids cups. Otherwise, your kids will be drinking out of either the plastic or glass glasses and that's headed towards disaster.
3. Speaking of, pack an extra supply of wipes. Spills happen.
4. Clorox wipes and a bottle of lavender water for disinfecting.
5. iPad with children's games, books, and TV shows. That is how I survive travel. I just google the best apps that have come out this year and then press the magic button to entertainment town.
Steph says: Oatmeal packets! You can get hot water from a flight attendant and easily make a nutritious, filling meal for even the pickiest eater (and it takes up hardly any room to pack!).
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JoDee says: For our last long-haul trip, we had one wheeled carry-on duffel that was our "master bag." It contained diapers, bottles, formula, outfits, etc. We then had an "access" bag that was easier to move from the overhead. Inside that was our Skiphop changing station, which we removed during the flight and kept next to our armrest. We also had a wheeled carry-on that contained extra clothes for me and my husband. If you are flying to Asia or doing any combination of long flight + long flight, you will want to change clothes. We also carried our Philips Avent bottle warmer in the "access" bag, as well as snacks, breastmilk cooler bag, wipes and tissue. Also, bring a long scarf in case you need to make shade for the baby or even tie the baby to you in case you doze off. Something is better than nothing.
what to leave home:
Some things just take up too much room.
Toys and books are a huge space-waster. Cally says: Don't get sucked into bringing everything! You'll regret the clutter and chances are your kids will not be interested in toys when they have a whole new world to explore.
Kelly agrees, especially for young babies. On their first trip to Ireland, her 6-month old spent most of the time sleeping in her car seat since they were on the go so much.
Jess says: Depending upon how long we will be there and how much room we have in our bags, I either pack a packet of diapers or just have them Amazon-ed straight to our destination.
McKinley has fantastic advice:
DO NOT pack a magazine or book for yourself. in your carry-on Remember, you must manage your expectations for the flight, and if you expect to read a book/mag, you will only be let down.
JoDee says: I cant believe I'm saying this, but put your cosmetics in your checked luggage. You wont have time or the wherewithall to primp, if you're on a long-haul flight with a baby.
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