Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Traveling with kids: packing

One of my childhood friends is visiting (hooray!). She is the first of my friends that has ever come to visit me and I am thrilled about not only getting to show her where I live, but traveling with her and my little munchkins.

Our original plans were to travel from Quito to Cotopaxi, then to Baños de Ambato, Aluasí, Cuenca. However, the Tungurahua Volcano erupted this past weekend making travel to Baños and Alausí completely out of the question.

See... Would you travel there with two kids?
Picture taken by Photo Ecuador

Enter a change of plans and the ever useful flexibility I have developed whilst living here.

We will now be doing Quito to Cotopaxi (unaffected by the blast), Cotopaxi to Mindo then to Papallacta and fly back to Cuenca (from Quito). This means we will be in cold climates, tropical climates, and temperate climates all within 5 days.

We leave tomorrow, so commence the packing!

It's hard enough to pack for yourself, let alone for yourself and two small people, and let alone for 3 separate climates in a very short period of time. *facepalm* But I do have to say I'm pretty much a pro at this by now, so I thought it would be a good idea to share my packing lists with those of you who travel with kids, or are looking to travel with kids.

For the Baby (Kalah May 8.5 months old)
  • 1 towel
  • 2 swimsuits (I'm not sure which one will fit her)
  • 1 fleece jacket
  • 1 fleece vest
  • 3 long sleeved onesies
  • 3 short sleeved onesies
  • 2 pairs of warm pants
  • 4 pairs of lighter pants
  • 1 pair of SuperSoft BabyLegs (they're made of a fleece-like material and are very warm)
  • 1 pair of normal BabyLegs
  • 3 pairs of normal socks
  • 1 pair of fleece baby booties with a wide elastic band top (I would tell you what they are called and where to purchase them, but a good friend of mine bought them at a street fair and I have yet to figure out how to get another pair. They are the best booties I have ever received. They are the red sock-like item in the picture)
  • 1 pair of fleece pajamas
  • 2 pairs of light pajamas
  • 3 bibs
  • 2 washcloths
  • 20 diapers (we can buy more on the road)
  • 3 swim diapers
  • 1 large pack of wipes
  • 1 light receiving blanket
  • 1 heavy blanket
  • The Ergo Carrier
  • A few toys

For the Preschooler (Kesha Lee 3.5 years old)
  • 1 towel
  • 2 swimsuits (she will be in the water a lot)
  • 2 sweaters (1 heavier fleece and 1 lighter)
  • 1 turtleneck 
  • 3 short sleeved t-shirts
  • 4 long sleeved t-shirts
  • 2 undershirts
  • 2 dresses (because Kesha=dresses)
  • 1 pair of heavy pajamas
  • 1 pair of light pajamas
  • 1 fleece night gown 
  • 10 pairs of panties (2 for each day, cause ya just never know)
  • 6 pairs of socks (1 for each day plus one extra)
  • One pair of fleece socks for walking around the hostels (these are the ones we have)
  • 1 pair of SuperSoft BabyLegs 
  • 1 pair of normal BabyLegs
  • 2 hats (one fleece lined, one normal knit)
  • 1 pair of mittens (we will use socks on Kalah's hands)
  • 1 scarf
  • 3 pairs of leggings
  • 1 pair of sweatpants
  • 1 pair of waterproof pants
  • 1 down vest with a hood
  • 1 light receiving blanket
  • 1 heavy blanket
  • 1 pair of tennis shoes
  • 1 pair crocs
  • 1 rain jacket
  • The hiking backpack for Antesa to carry her
  • Her school bag packed with items to play with. This time I put in:
    • Crayons
    • Stapled index cards to make little "books"
    • A sketching pad
    • A small tupperware with pre-peeled stickers (You take off the outside part of the sheet so just the sticker remains. This will save you lots of frustration and tears over ripped stickers)
    • Her all plastic baby doll with changes of clothes, including a swimsuit 

For the Mama (ME! 31 years old)
  • Clothes
    • 2 pairs of leggings (1 long, 1 knee-length)
    • 1 pair of long, thermal leggings
    • 1 pair of jeans
    • 2 swimsuits (bikini and one piece)
    • 1 towel
    • 2 scarves
    • 1 hat
    • 1 pair of gloves
    • 3 long sleeved shirts
    • 4 short sleeved shirts
    • 4 tank tops
    • 2 sweaters
    • 6 pairs of underwear
    • 2 sports bras
    • 1 normal bra
    • 5 pairs of normal socks
    • 2 pairs of heavy socks
    • My Suunto Quest watch and heart rate monitor (to track our hikes!)
    • 1 pair of flip-flops
    • 1 pair of tennis shoes
    • A rain jacket

  • Other bits and pieces
    • An umbrella
    • A pair of dress-up heels for Kesha at her insistence (after I tried removing them several times)
  • The "Details"
    • National ID card for each traveler
    • Debit card
    • Credit card
    • Cash (most of my money will be in cash due to the remote areas we will be visiting)
    • Cell phone (and charger)
    • iPad (and charger)
    • Camera (and charger)
  • Toiletries Bag
    • 1 toothbrush for Kesh
    • 1 tube of toothpaste for Kesh
    • 1 toothbrush for me
    • 1 tube of toothpaste for me
    • Floss
    • A handful of small rubber bands or Kesha's hair
    • A few hair clips for Kesha
    • A comb for Kesha's hair (I will use the same one since I have short hair)
    • Deodorant
    • Travel shampoo (I just bring kids shampoo)
    • Travel conditioner
    • Travel lotion for Kalah (she has sensitive skin)
    • A large bottle of sun block
    • Contacts case and solution
    • Glasses
    • Child-friendly bug repellant (DEET free)

  • A messenger bag that will serve as a purse/diaper bag and is wearable with the Ergo. In this bag I packed the following (taken from the above list, not in addition)
    • 4 diapers
    • The pack of wipes
    • A full change of clothes for Kesha and me
    • 2 full changes of clothes for Kalah (she spits up a lot)
    • A sweater for Kesha
    • A sweater for me
    • All of the items from the "Details" list (minus the chargers, which I packed in our big bag)
    • A cup with a lid for Kesha (empty)
    • A bottle for Kalah (empty)
    • A book for me (if I ever get to read haha)
    • Snacks - I opted for the following:
      • Fruit leathers
      • Root vegetable chips
      • Candy-covered peanuts
      • Granola bars
      • A Kinder Egg for possible moments of bribery

And we are packed and ready to go! Or at least I think we are... Under 20 kilos in one suitcase for 3 people. I know it's only 5 days, but the different environments don't lend well to light packing.

Check back for stories from our adventures in Northern Ecuador!

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