I know I already wrote about traveling with a baby, and I recommend it for anyone who can. With summer upon us, and family vacations on the horizon, I figured now would be as good a time as any to talk about packing for your littlest family member. I'm splitting this post into several parts because it makes sense to me to do so, that way you aren't overloaded with information. Just lookin' out.
I'm a list maker. I make lists for to-do's, for groceries, for events, and more than anything, for packing. Before I was married, I used to go on trips with my girlfriends, and all of our significant others made fun of us because we prepared "trip folders" with lists, schedules, itineraries, and printouts of anything and everything we thought we would need. And at the front of every folder I've ever made for myself? You guessed it. Packing lists.
Lists just make me feel like I'm in control of a situation, when honestly, for the most part, I'm not. I find, especially for longer trips, that lists made well in advance of my trip make for a much smoother experience.
For our big Paris trip, I had a stack of lists (pictured above). It helped me insanely to divide my lists into specific bags: diaper bag, carry-on, checked luggage. Within the list there were additional lists: toiletry bag, accessories, medications, etc.
I do have a few items that are always packed and ready for a trip. When we return from any vacation, I replace whatever was used and leave it ready to go for the next one. It makes it much easier to just grab that and toss it in the bag, especially since packing medications can be so tedious. The biggest thing for me to have packed always is a medicine bag, especially when you are traveling to remote areas or foreign countries. For travel within the US, I don't usually stress about having every little thing, because most places will have some variation of what I need. I don't usually carry an entire packet of the medication, but I do make sure to have enough on hand where if we need it, we have it. I don't keep prescriptions in there for obvious reasons, but that is something I usually throw in my purse or carry-on to make sure it's on hand at all times.
In our medicine bag we keep the following (I use individually wrapped as much as possible - if they come in blister packs I just slip one sleeve into my medicine bag):
For Mom & Dad:
I find that these can kind of get us through most ailments, at least until we have time to be seen or get to a pharmacy. I am also a user of essential oils, and I usually carry those with me as well, so they do not stay in my pre-packed bag.
Another thing that I keep ready to go, also because it can be tedious work to pack, is a toiletry bag. This one is pretty simple, and the older Caleb gets, the less I feel like I need to take, but it's still easier to have it ready to grab than it is to repack everything each time we go somewhere.
Each time I come back from a trip, I refill whatever needs to be refilled, replace what needs replacing, and leave it ready to go for the next one. It really makes life easier.
So there is the first part of my advice on packing for a trip with a little one! I hope it is helpful to you in preparing for your own travels!