We are getting out of this frigid, arctic air for some reprieve. And it can’t come any sooner.
Traveling with a growing toddler has been an exercise in organization, patience, efficiency, and did I say organization? In the past two years that we started traveling with a child, we have gone from being able to travel with just a carry-on to being full-fledged sherpas with the crap that a baby needs. I guess we could rent the cribs and other accoutrements, but I’m a bit wary about the safety of these rentals so we choose to bring our own. The good thing is that we are slowly getting lighter by the trip as she grows.
I always scour the internet for packing/traveling tips, and today, I’m going to test one organization tip and share some that I’ve improvised for our family.
I saw this video packing tip, using a hanging closet organizer and tried to utilize it. The problem I found is that unless you are only a) packing for yourself and b) only bringing one or two shirts, the closet organizer doesn’t fold down enough to fit in the luggage.
So, I left it on its back, so the whole length of the organizer fits the luggage. I packed my stuff with my daughter’s, naturally, and this system works for my clothing items still separated and organized from hers.
(My clothes fit in one and a half shelves because I rolled them all like I normally do.)
For my husband’s luggage, we put half of the diapers with his stuff because I’m always paranoid that one luggage will go missing. If that happens, we will still have baby necessities in a pinch. (If both luggages go missing… then that’s when anti-anxiety meds come in.)
This trip, we are also packing a lunch bag for some of the baby’s food. With her egg allergy and eczema, I try to give her food that I’ve made or already tested that wouldn’t give her any reaction. Previously, it’s been easier because all we had to worry about was storing milk and the baby food jars that we can buy at the destination. This time it’s a bit of a pain to bring cooked food, but it’s so much better to know that she will have food that she already likes at her disposal. I put her soup and ragu in large mason jars and pack them frozen so it will be thawing enroute to our destination. We’ve been booking hotels that are suites with a little kitchen in the past, but this time, we will be renting a microwave by the day because the hotel suite we’ve booked is only equipped with a small fridge.
I’ve packed some toys for her – ones that she plays with regularly to give her a sense of normalcy. I used an empty baby wipes container to house her toys and another toy bag that is zippered to keep the toys in place.
I buy new activity and colouring books so that my daughter will be surprised with them. I bought the mess free books and markers which only work when used together – saves me the stress of worrying about her colouring all over the plane or the hotel. As you can see, she’s a bit obsessed with Bubble Guppies (along with Dora and Elmo) so those are the books of choice. These are available at Target/Walmart and I think I even saw some of them at Staples.
I also bought her a cheap and cheerful little backpack so she can put some of her stuff in it and can be readily available to her on the plane. I am putting more of the surprises for her with the little Elmo lovey, Elmo book and colouring book. I don’t show her all of her activities until we are at the airport and I stretch giving the toys/books out to her during the trip for the novelty factor.
I’ll also pack a blanket and a couple of diapers in her bag for back-up. I try to keep it light so she won’t have any problems carrying the bag herself. Otherwise, the whole idea is moot and my poor husband will be traipsing around the airport with a pink and purple Bubble Guppie backpack (which is likely inevitable anyway).
So there you have it. I will report back how the packing fared when we get back.
Meanwhile, here’s my little cutie practicing carrying her backpack. I’m already having agida picturing her with her school backpack soon. But that will be another post…