THE REBEL MAMA’S GUIDE TO VACATION PACKING

Well, we’ve already gotten Mexico’d and we haven’t even left Toronto yet.  But trust me when I tell you that as I sit here typing this, it’s with a smile on my face and an eerie calm in my body.

I’m starting to believe that a partial reason for my family’s 15-year-long (turbulent) love affair with the country is the comedy of errors that is almost guaranteed to unfold from the moment we confirm our travel plans.

Last time we went, our pack’N’play didn’t make it onto our flight, setting into motion a series of events that felt more like an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm than real life. It included our transportation “forgetting” to collect us from the airport and then hours later, me, running around a gated community, trying to coerce a huge dog back to the house I had accidentally helped him escape from while borrowing a travel crib from a family friend. Good times.

We are currently holding out hope that our impending travel day will give me absolutely zero writing material… however, I did wake up this morning to a notification that our 2pm flight this afternoon had, in fact, been CANCELLED, so I’m not entirely convinced.

But the silver linings are 2-fold: (1) luckily we are heading south for long enough that losing a day off the trip isn’t going to make or break us and (2) now I have time to type up my packing list for my Rebels before I take off in the morning!

Keep in mind here that this is my list for my 2.5-year-old toddler as well as my 8-month-old baby for a 3-week-long vacation. Also keep in mind that we’re staying at my parents’ home while we’re away, not a resort that is fully equipped with baby crap, so we’re basically bringing the whole damn kit and kaboodle. Still, it’s a great starting point for anyone who is freaking out over what to pack for a vacation avec les bébés. 

GEAR

  • Travel Cribs (2)
  • Car Seats (2)
  • Travel High Chair
  • Umbrella Stroller (check at the gate!)
  • Manual Breast pump
  • Noise Machine
  • Monitor

STUFF

  • Crib Sheets
  • Big Brim Sun Hats (1 per baby)
  • Bathing Suits
  • Swim Diapers (although depending on your destination, you can probably buy upon arrival)
  • Squeezie Food Packs(I like the Love Child ones… planned for 1 or 2 per day)
  • Mum-Mums (for baby)
  • Toodle O’s (for baby)
  • Bottles (1 per kid)
  • Sippy Cups (1 per kid)
  • Diapers (I’m only bringing enough to get me through the travel day and then purchasing a box there)
  • Favourite toy or 2 (for my son this is mini hockey sticks, 2 balls, 1 stuffy and a motorbike & Sophie the Giraffe for the baby of course)
  • Lightweight sleep sacks (1 or 2 per kid)
  • Muslin blankets (so multi-functional! I’m bringing 4)
  • Infant wash cloths (a handful)

BABY PRODUCTS

  • Baby/Kid Sunscreen (check expiry date on what you used last summer)
  • Soap/Shampoo (2 in 1 is ideal!)
  • Benadryl
  • Infant/Kid Tylenol
  • Toddler Toothbrush/Toothpaste
  • Wipes
  • Breast pads

CLOTHING

*Do not go crazy – They will often be naked or in their water gear*

  • Onesies (for the baby)
  • Shorts
  • T-shirts/Golf shirts (the latter I consider to be “fancy” toddler clothes for dinners out)
  • 2 pairs long pants per kid
  • 2 long sleeve shirts per kid
  • 1 hoodie per kid (wear on flight)
  • 1 wind breaker for toddler (wear on flight)
  • 2 pairs of sandals (only if they’re walking – babies, don’t bother)
  • 1 pair of runners (wear on flight)
  • a couple pairs of socks

CARRY-ON BAGS

#1 INFANT DIAPER BAG

*Don’t stress about liquids. Babies get special privileges at security so feel free to bring their water/formula/milk in a cooler bag as well if you need

  • Skip Hop Diaper Change Pad (fill with diapers & wipes for easy airport/airplane access)
  • 1 diaper per hour of travel
  • Light blanket
  • 1 change of clothes for baby (make sure there’s a short sleeve onesie in there for arrival)
  • 1 change of shirt for mom (because someone is likely going to puke on you or get food on you or pee on you or poo on you)
  • 2 squeeze food packs + spoon
  • Spare soother
  • Ring sling (great for in-flight napping/nursing & maneuvering airports if baby wants to be held)
  • 1 or 2 baby wash cloths
  • My sunglasses (’cause I’ll need them when I get off the plane)

#2 TODDLER CARRY-ON

  • Sticker book
  • Play Doh starter set (4 small things of Play Doh and a few “tools”)
  • Diapers or spare undies
  • Snacks (banana, squeeze pack, goldfish etc)
  • Water bottle + Milk Bottle (sucking and swallowing during ascent/descent will help their ears)
  • Leap Frog Learning Computer (optional, of course)
  • Change of clothes (consider throwing a pair of shorts in too for arrival)

#3 YOUR CARRY-ON

  • Lap Top or Tablet with your kid’s favourite show downloaded on it (make sure you don’t need Wifi to access downloads!)
  • PASSPORTS (yes, even infants need one)
  • Letter of Consent (if you’re travelling solo with your kids)
  • Chap Stick
  • Hair Elastics
  • Sandals for arrival
  • Pen 😉

I know it sounds like a lot, but we managed to squeeze all our crap into 2 regular sized suitcases. Remember that travel cribs have a shit-ton of space where you can shove things like food, crib sheets, etc. If you’re staying at a resort, you can arrange for a cot to be set up in your room for you and if you’re taking arranged transportation to a hotel, it’s up to you whether or not you want to bring your car seats. We’re going for at least 3 weeks and we’re always whipping up and down in our rental car, so for us, it was a no brainer to bring them.

So that’s it! Happy Trails!

xx

N.

 

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