On the one hand, it is a pleasant process to gather things for the next trip, because you are slowly getting into the travel mood. On the other hand, it is also a hassle. The truth is that, since we pack quite often, this process makes me really bored lately. Imagine that last summer, when we moved from Thessaloniki to Crete, we lived (and wandered) on the island for two months without having our own home. I can not count how many hotels, apartments, friends’ houses, etc we changed … And this necessarily meant putting clothes out of suitcases, bags, car. And all this included a baby! 🙂
However, we went through this, and just improved our packing skills. Generally speaking, I think that traveling with a baby does not change anything in terms of luggage. Or rather, if you do not manage to have minimum luggage on your own, then there is no chance you will do it with the child. If you can leave with a handbag for summer destinations, you can do it with the baby as well.
Luggage and traveling with a baby
When Ektoras was an infant, things were easier. His clothes were so microscopic and fitted in a tiny bag, he did not eat food, no bottles (breastfeeding) and all that. But he is growing up, and things change … Still, there are some rules we try to stick to, in order to have less baggage with us.
We never carry with us:
- Baby diapers, except those needed for the route up to our destination. Then we buy from the supermarket (unless you go to an African desert or an Amazon forest).
- We never carry towels/bed sheets for the child (nor for us unless we go camping). As long as he was a baby, I used to take a couple of cotton swaddle sheets and changing pads with us, so that to cover the bed. If I know towels will not be available, I used swaddle sheets. They get dry faster and need much less space.
- Drugs. When Ektoras was a newborn, I did not get anything. Now, depending on the trip, I can take antiseptic, patches, kind of first aid kit, but that’s it. In case there is something serious, anyway, we need to visit a doctor and get a prescription if not, Paracetamol syrup can be found everywhere.
- Toys. Apart from a few toys for the road (depending on how many hours we have to drive/fly), we do not carry anything. Usually, we have 1-2 new toys and 1-2 favorite toys or books for the journey itself. Beyond that, in new places Ektoras always finds so much to explore and play, we do not need anything else. Kids can be entertained with anything you can imagine. For example, during our trip to Germany, his favorite toy was the smoothie cap, which he was throwing and hunting in the trains, hiding at the apartments, just keeping in hand while being in the stroller. When he got bored with it, we just threw it away and no regrets.
- Too many clothes. I take clothes for about 4-5 days only. When we travel longer, I either arrange to find a washing machine or wash something by hand, or you can use laundry service at your hotel (we haven’t tried it yet).
- We never carry a lot of toiletries. We usually have only a baby soap and 2-3 samples of some diaper change cream or moisturizing cream just-in-case. Now I also take a baby-shampoo, but I put it in a small bottle.
What we always get:
- We always take a device for nose cleaning (I think it is called nasal aspirator), especially if are traveling by airplane (runny nose + airplane = problems). Until now we did not need it on any trip, but we used it at home a couple of times and it really saved us. It is really small and I think it is a “must have” along with the next one.
- Physiological serum. It is comfortable on the road, in case of runny nose, to clean his eyes, or whatever.
- Ektoras medical history and travel insurance.
- Bib, many-many bibs. Since being a baby, producing saliva, throwing up milk and so on, until now, when being a toddler and a messy eater, bibs help me having much less laundry.
- Sunscreen (in summer). If it’s for a few days, again, we put it in a small jar.
- Baby carrier. Well, there are strollers, backpacks for carrying children, baby bicycles, and all that, but if suddenly he has his … teeth – nerves – whatever and it happens when you are on vacation, there is no better solution than to calm him down in your hug, let him sleep safely on you as you continue your day comfortably.
On our next trip to Bali, we are going to have only two backpacks, and for the first time, no stroller for the little one. We’ll see how we can do it! 😉