Just getting back from a holiday, I began wondering why I had forgotten half the things I was required to take along. While catering to the needs of my ten month old son, I had forgotten to pack items like my sunglasses, umbrella, camera and a party dress. I had never been this confused before, so, for the benefit of parents like me, I decided to make a list of things that we are required to take on a trip. It includes stuff for kids too.
- CLOTHES: Like duh! But when I say ‘clothes’, you have to make sure you pack things like socks/stockings, underwear/lingerie, diapers, sanitary napkins, tops, pants, a couple of party wear (just in case), a pair of jeans to go with every top you’ve packed, hats/caps. If you are going for seven days, multiply the kids’ clothes by three for non-messy kids and five for the messy ones. A pair of swim wear can be packed even if you don’t plan to visit the pool. We have tub baths with our little ones. An efficient way to pack your clothes is to roll them up and stuff them in every corner comfortably. By the way, don’t forget your footwear. A comfortable pair, a party pair and slippers are the basic carry-alongs. Similar for the kids.
- ACCESSORIES: I’m not sure how many of these you will be able to wear but it’s good to be ready. A couple of necklaces, bracelets, rings, anklets and pairs of earrings should suffice. A couple of hairbands and a few clips each should be sufficient for your daughters and yourself.
- COVERS: Unless you’re going to your mother’s house, you are unaware of the hygiene of the blankets available for your little ones. Carry a couple of blankets and covers so they are not cold. If you are particular about using your own, carry one for yourself too.
- TOILETRIES: Toothbrush, a tiny toothpaste tube, miniature shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, baby wash, lotion, baby powder and Vaseline is something I carry even if I’m staying at a 5-star hotel. It comes handy if we suddenly plan to do a short trip within our holiday. If you want, you can carry your massage oil for your baby and you too. Make sure you keep all the above in a toiletries pouch and not scatter them over your clothes. But, make sure you DO NOT keep these in your handbag or they will be confiscated by the airport authorities.
- FOOD & MEDICAL: I normally carry a tube each of rash cream and mosquito repellent. Some of my friends carry these medicines wherever they go: fever, cough, ear pain, motion sickness and gas. A pouch for your medicines is a must so that your socks don’t smell of cough syrup. Dry foodstuff like infant formula, apples, bananas, biscuits and energy bars keep your kids from getting cranky due to hunger pangs. Sometimes, you can make use of it too instead of munching on junk to keep going.
- STROLLER: This has proved to be a blessing in disguise especially when you are staying at a huge resort spread over many acres. It was also a boon in Singapore and Europe, where they have well-built footpaths with slopes at every end. It saves your back from aching all day. But, if you are going to stay at the beach or at a house with only stairways, leave your stroller at home. Otherwise, you are allowed to take the stroller until the door of the airplane, so relax and push.
- MAKEUP: Of course, carry a lipstick, some foundation if necessary, eye-liner/kajal and blush if you are required to look pretty. Your make up can probably go into your toiletries pouch if you don’t already have a dedicated pouch for makeup. Carry some moisturizer and a cologne too.
- DEVICES: Never forget your camera because if you are like me, you will want to store those memories. Also, do not forget to take the memory card, charging cable and extra battery if necessary. A travel iron is helpful if you plan to do it yourself to avoid delays. Your mobiles and their chargers are a must too now-a-days. Till now, I have avoided taking a tablet or any electronic device for my toddler so she enjoys the real world. Let’s see how long I can do this.
And you thought it was going to be only EIGHT items? Looking up at the list, it was no wonder why I could have forgotten a few things now that I’m a mother of two. Our brain is like a computer, but with kids you need a few Excel sheets, too. If I’ve missed out on something, do let me know so I can add it up here for myself and other parents. Bon voyage!