Is it holiday time, yet? :D. I won’t leave for our family vacation until June 27 but you know what, I have packed the kids clothes and almost ready to go (I write this on June 13 :D). When it comes to packing, I really try to only bring the essentials. I don’t bring things just because it might come in handy. I don’t think I have ever packed, part of it is because I know we’ll be buying some clothes when we get to our destination anyway..hehehe. I guess we just have to be creative to get the most of what we bring. We’re still far from being a globe trotter but we have visited a few places with the kids, so there’s some ground to my packing resume.
Traveling is what most people like obviously, but when they have become parents, some are reluctant to continue traveling for fear of being ‘ribet’ with the kids. I’ve promised myself not to ever use the kids as an excuse to not go or do anything. Imagine their disappointment if they know that they have become somewhat an obstacle for something that we enjoy doing.
So here’s what I usually bring:
1. What to bring on the flight
This was what I brought in the plane to Singapore last December. 1 diaper, 1 change for Jehan and a cardigan (didn’t bring change for Jibran), minyak telon, a bottle of water, her binky, my cardigan and my perfume plus sunglasses that actually were not so essential :D. Everything fit in my bag so I didn’t bring diaper bag. As simple as it can get since it was only an hour and a half flight. For my next trip (12 hours flight), I will bring two changes for Jehan, four diapers and one change for Jibran. Of course, food and fever/pain reliever medicine will be packed along.
2. What to wear on the flight
Thin long sleeve shirt for the top is a must, or at least bring a cardigan for layering. Tights are a good choice too as you can use them for layering and jeans are always a save bet. I especially like windbreaker athletic pants for kids as they are easy to wipe if they spill something on it, but I haven’t found one in here. If you’re traveling on long haul, it’s good to bring pajamas for the kids so they can be more comfortable in getting their good night sleep. And don’t forget the socks.
It doesn’t matter where your holiday destination is a cardigan needs to accompany you. Night time can be chilly and the air conditioning in the car or inside a building can make you shivering too so it’s always best to bring one. Try to get the one that you can zip or button and a hoodie will be a plus too as it would be beneficial when it rains. Btw, I got these two sweat shirt at Matahari recently for Rp 79,900 with an additional 20% discount (Love shopping for the kids in Matahari :D)
4. Fold up Pants
These kind of pants are great to bring to vacation too as you can wear them as short or as long pants, depending on the look you want to achieve. They also serve for all purpose weather, wear them as short when the weather gets hot or wear them as long pants when it turns windy.
5. Three to One rule
The bottom part of our outfit doesn’t usually get dirty easily, it’s the top that absorbs more sweats and attracts stain. So to keep the suitcase as light as possible, I only bring one bottom for every three tops. Just make sure the bottom match with the tops and leave the lighter color pants/skirt at home.
6. Something Indonesian
When traveling overseas, I like to bring something that shows my identity. Like a varsity tee or favorite team tee or batik. It’s always nice when stranger (in a strange land) notices what you wear and then approaches you about what you wear. They really are conversation starters. Besides, it’s also a nice way to teach the kids to always be proud of their own heritage. Wouldn’t it be cool for Jibran to wear his Gatotkaca t-shirt with Eiffel tower as background?
9. Comfortable shoes.
I forgot to take pictures but shoes should be without lace for our own peace of mind. You would want to bring the plain colored ones too so they go with everything your kids wear. I would bring sandals too.
10. Underwear & socks.
I published the picture just for the heck of it :D Look, I have Barbie and Snow White VS Superman & Spiderman..hehehehe. We will be going for two weeks and I only bring four underwears for each kids (and the adults too). No, we won’t wear them side A side B, we’re just going to wash them every other day and hang them on the balcony or in the bathroom. (note to self: bring small detergent in small sachet).
For the Mom:
1. Wear something with busy prints, so when your kids spill ketchup on your clothes, the stain won’t be too noticeable.
2. Sunglasses. Not only they protect our face from the sun but they also make us look ten times better, especially in the picture. No matter how messy you look, a pair of sunglasses always seem to polish it up. And throw in some statement earrings or statement necklace where you’re at it.
4. Messenger bag. Or anything you can slung across your shoulder so you can have both hands free. Pick the one with dark color so it doesn’t get dirty. It’s also best to bring the one made out of nylon as it is easy to clean and light to carry.
More Tips for traveling light:
- I always stay away with anything 100% cotton as they get wrinkled easily and hard to dry.
- If you plan to wash your clothes in the hotel’s bathroom, jeans can be hard to dry and sometimes become stiff when they are dry. But if they don’t get dirty, you can wear them for two weeks straight.
- Synthetic material dries faster, so it’s something to consider.
- Buy reversible clothes. This is kind of hard to find, but I recently found one a nice reversible (one side batik and the other side stripes) from Geulis. That top will definitely be in my suitcase.
- Stick with two or three color groups so you can mix and match your clothes easily.
- Roll up the clothes to save space in your suitcase as well as to prevent wrinkles.
So who’s leaving the town? Hope you have a nice vacation with your family and if you do have more tips on traveling light, please do share them with us :).