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What to Take?
What to take and how much of everything do you pack? I personally hate the washing aspect of being on the road for a number of weeks, so I tend to take quite a lot of clothes for everyone to limit the number of times we need to think about doing laundry. In saying that, we still try to travel as light as possible which is getting harder as the kids get older and their shoes and clothes are getting larger. We typically travel with one large suitcase that has clothes for all four of us in it (a quarter each), a mid-size suitcase for shoes, jackets, raincoats and swimwear if required and the last couple of trips, we have had to bring a third, small carry on size for excess items, predominantly medical kits and toiletries on trips to less developed countries.
As well as the check-in luggage, we all have a day pack for the flight. When we are out exploring once at our destination, we take one day pack that we can all take a turn carrying for the day with all our supplies in. It is much easier to only have to keep an eye on the one bag when out exploring, especially if in areas where security is of concern.
Here is the list of what we typically take on any length of trip, you really don’t need any more than a week’s worth of clothes, even if you are on the road for a number of weeks or even months.
- Two shampoo and conditioners (in small, refillable travel bottles)
- Toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss
- Moisturiser (small refillable travel bottle)
- Hairbrush, comb, hair bands
- Sanitary items – (panty liners are great for the hot, sticky climates)
- Contact lenses (daily disposables)
- Travel clothesline and some laundry powdered detergent in a ziplock bag.
We use the hotel toiletries whenever they are provided but it is good to have your own for when there are none or they are not replenished on occasions during your stay.
With longer trips, we buy more supplies at supermarkets as required and fill our travel bottles from hotel toiletries if supplied.
- Insect repellent (Rid) a 50% Deet product is best for areas with malaria concerns, although if you have sensitive skin you may want to use a more natural product
- Charcoal tablets (we take these as a precaution to help stop getting travellers diarrhoea when travelling in less developed countries where local food and water can cause problems)
- Plasters and antiseptic cream
- Panadol (Paracetamol or Aspirin for adults and kids)
- Cough and cold preparation (Demazin for kids, Sudafed for adults are our preferences)
- Antibacterial hand gel such as Pay Paw cream (this helps stop bites itching, heals cuts/grazes and keeps the germs away)
- Nail clippers
- Alcohol wipes
- Rehydration sachets especially if travelling with young children in case of vomiting or diarrhoea
- Wet wipes
- Small scissors
- Sewing kit
- Anti-fungal cream
- Anti-diarrhoea medication(Imodium is our preferred choice)
- Motion sickness medication(Travacalm or Kwells work for us). Ginger tablets are an effective, more natural alternative
- Malaria tablets for any affected areas if required.
N.B. We are not medical professionals and the items listed are what we take on our trips that work for our family. Please do your own research, speak with your trusted medical professionals to find the best medication options for you and your family when travelling.
In-flight entertainment is so good for entertaining kids even from quite a young age. But, for younger children having some items packed for long-haul flights to keep them occupied is always a great idea to help keep you all sane.
The age of your children will vary what items will work best to keep them occupied when on transport as part of your journey.
We would usually bring:
- Books (a few lightweight ones)
- Sticker Books
- Magnetic drawing board
- Pens, pencils, crayons
- A travel journal or scrapbook
- Glue stick (for sticking in entrance tickets)
- Electronic devices or phone for older children
Day Pack (Backpack)
I like to take a backpack that has several zippered sections and a drink holder on each side, as I find this makes packing and searching for things so much easier. If you have some smaller sections then you can easily find everything you are looking for, you know exactly which pocket contains that particular item. It saves having to fish around in one large main section where everything falls to the bottom and you have to struggle every time you need something.
This is what we take:
Tissues, wet wipes, lip balm, sunglasses, insect repellent, sunscreen (roll-on), purse/wallet, sunglasses, guidebook, lightweight jackets, snacks, sweets/gum to chew or suck on to help with younger children’s ears on flights.
With younger children, we also pack a couple of small, lightweight flannelette blankets which fold up to almost nothing, and are perfect when on transport and it gets a little cool as a light blanket or they roll up to make a great pillow.
We take as few shoes as possible to save on space. We all wear our trainers on the plane for all flights as they are the bulkiest and weigh the most. Then we pack the following:
- 1 pair of sandals each (good, comfortable walking sandals)
- 1 pair of runners/trainers
- Rubber thongs (for showers),
- 1 pair of shoes each for us to wear out at night if required.
This is typically what we pack for each person:
- T-Shirts x 7
- Shorts x 4
- Long or 3/4 Pants x 2
- Jacket (Fleece) x 1
- Jacket (Light Weight) x 2
- Dresses x 1
- Swimwear x 1
- Underwear x 10
- Bras x 4
- Beach Towel x 1
- Socks x 4
- Pyjamas x 2
- Malaria Areas: Lightweight, long sleeve shirt and long pants
- Winter Travel: Long sleeve T-Shirts x3, Thermals, Gloves, Hats, Scarves (important to have layers)