This is Part 2 of my travel series. You may read Part 1 here – Survival Guide: Flying With A Toddler
When my husband and I decided to book a trip to Sydney and Auckland for 21 days, one of the most daunting tasks at hand was to make a checklist of what to pack for our baby. October was the start of springtime there, so the weather was definitely colder than what we are used to in Manila, and so we had to pack clothes that will keep Kobe warm. What if my baby gets sick? Should I bring medicine? His nebulizer? Should I bring his stroller or will it be hassle to lug around? I had so many questions, and so to organize my thoughts, I started making my checklist as early as a month before our departure. I wanna share with you here the list of what we actually packed for the trip:
- 2 jackets with hood and 2 sweaters, we borrowed a couple from our friends
- 5 pairs of pants (pang-alis), mostly denim, one khaki, and a couple of porma jogging pants
- 6 long-sleeved pullovers (thicker material), these are the ones that Kobe has never worn here in Manila, due to our warm and humid weather
- 10 T-shirts (pang-alis)
- 4 shorts (pang-alis)
- Sleepwear: 3 frog suits, 4 white jogging pants, 4 white shirts, 4 white sando
- 8 pairs of socks
- 2 pairs of shoes, 1 pair of pambahay shoes or slippers (we brought his squeaky sandals)
- 1 beanie, 1 cap
NOTE: We forgot to bring thermal innerwear for Kobe so we had to buy in Sydney. Good thing there were still some in Uniqlo, their heat-tech line, and they were on sale since it’s already springtime. Most of his “panlamig” clothes were gifts from friends on his birthday, that we haven’t been able to use yet coz it’s so hot here in Manila, hehe. I didn’t buy any new clothes for Kobe for this trip. As you can see, I only packed maybe a week’s worth of clothes. Since we stayed with relatives both in Sydney and Auckland, I did our laundry there several times.
Toiletries and Other Grooming Essentials:
- 1 bath towel, 10 pcs small face towel or bimpo
- Baby wash, baby oil, baby powder (I brought the small travel-sized ones)
- Tooth brush and toothpaste
- Diaper cream
- Cotton buds (small pack only)
- Nail cutter
- Insect repellent
- Alcohol (travel-size)
- Diapers and wipes – I only brought one pack of Huggies Dry Pants in the checked in luggage, and several travel packs of Huggies Baby Wipes (not any of the big, bulky packs)
- 6 pcs of lampin
- 1 baby blanket
- 2 extra pairs of suck pads (Kobe likes munching on his stroller straps and the Tula straps, so I use washable suck pads for both)
NOTE: It is best to buy travel-sized versions of your baby’s toiletries. For this trip, I brought travel-size Cetaphil Baby Wash and Shampoo, Human Nature Baby Wonder Oil, Tiny Buds Rice Powder (and powder case), Hapee Infant Tooth Gel, Cycles Sensitive Protective Diaper Cream and Cycles Sensitive Non-DEET Insect Repellent. The day after we arrived in Sydney, we went to the grocery (Woolworth’s) to buy diapers, fruits and veggies for Kobe, and other things we needed.
Medicine and Food Essentials:
- Paracetamol, allergy medicine, colds medicine, cough medicine
- Thermometer (I forgot to pack ours! So we had to buy one in Sydney.)
- Nuby Insulated Sippy Cup (water bottle with straw)
- Nuby Feeding Bowl with cover and spoon
- Sponge and straw brush (I wanted to use a separate sponge and straw cleaner for Kobe’s water bottle and food bowl)
- Nature to Nurture Baby Bottle and Dish Wash (I refilled a small bottle)
- 1 canister of Kobe’s baby cereal (Happy Bellies in Oatmeal)
- 1 big pack of Marie biscuits (pabaon ni Mommy Lola)
- 1 box of Organice Brown Rice Rings from The Parenting Emporium
- 2 bottles of Earth’s Best Organic Baby Food
NOTE: Kobe had to be nebulized twice already (once when he was 6 months old, and once just this year), and so I asked my husband (who is a pedia pulmo) if we should bring his nebulizer. He said we didn’t have to, but we brought an “optichamber” instead, the one you use for babies who can’t use an asthma inhaler on their own yet. This was just in case he gets a bout of asthma while we were abroad. Kobe already eats table food, but I brought some store-bought baby food just in case we didn’t have other options on the plane or while traveling.
Our Luggage, Bags, Etc:
- 1 small (10-kilo) check-in luggage containing all of Kobe’s things
- 1 large (22-kilo) check-in luggage for me, which contained my personal things and also some of Kobe’s things, and some pasalubong
- 1 medium (18-kilo) check-in luggage for my husband, which contained his personal things, and some pasalubong
- 1 baby bag for Kobe – we brought his Fluffy Pwets Bagets Zachary backpack in Vito print, which contained a few nappies, 2 travel packs of baby wipes, one lampin, 2 bimpo, his water bottle, a bottle of baby food, a small zip lock containing biscuits, a change of clothes, diaper cream, insect repellent
- 1 small hand-carry suitcase – contained other essentials for Kobe, like extra change of clothes, his Tula Blanket from CEO Emporium, extra lampin and bimpo, extra diapers and wipes, extra food and snacks, a couple of baby books, and his Mickey Mouse stuffed toy
- 1 backpack for my husband – contained his personal effects that he needed on the plane
- 1 bag for me – my trusty printed Longchamp Le Pliage Neo (medium size, with short top handles, and long shoulder strap) that I usually wear across my body. This was my hubby’s gift to me a couple of years ago, and it is my favorite bag to bring while traveling because it is lightweight, roomy, and super tibay. I have smaller pouches inside this bag to organize my stuff, which I prefer over the usual bag organizer which I find too bulky.
- 1 lightweight umbrella stroller – we specifically bought another stroller for this trip. I found one at Rustan’s in Makati, which I got for 2,499. I used two P1,000.00 Rustan’s GCs that Kobe got as gifts on his birthday so I only paid 500 for it. The brand of the stroller we got is Ashworthy, and it is very lightweight, only 3 kilos and it is very easy to open and fold, I can do it with one hand. The stroller was very useful, especially in Sydney where we mostly went around using public transport.
- 1 baby carrier – it was a good thing we decided to bring our Tula Baby Carrier. We used it at the airport terminals when we had to check-in the stroller. And when we were out and Kobe got cranky or sleepy, or just wanted out of the stoller, we (either my husband or I) carried him in the Tula. I breastfed Kobe in the Tula on several occasions on this trip.
In this day and age, where a lot of us eagerly await seat sales and frequent travel fairs, smart travelers know that every kilo counts. Most budget airlines’ promo fares do not even have baggage allowance, and you have to buy it at an extra cost. We booked our roundtrip Manila-Sydney tickets on Cebu Pacific’s seat sale last February, and our roundtrip Sydney-Auckland tickets on Jetstar (also on a seat sale around August if I remember correctly). For all our tickets, I bought prepaid baggage allowance (20 kilos per passenger on Cebu Pac and 15 kilos per passenger on Jetstar). Kobe has an infant ticket, meaning he didn’t have his own seat and just sat on my lap, so he didn’t have baggage allowance. Here are a few tips on booking flights and baggage allowance:
- Finish packing at least one day before your departure, and weigh all your bags! My luggage scale was busted, so I borrowed our friend’s digital luggage scale last minute (thanks, Cate!). I bought a new one just last week during the Lazada Online Revolution.
- Buy prepaid baggage allowance! After I weighed all our bags, I realized we needed extra kilos. So I bought extra 10 kilos for myself (so total of 30 kilos) for our Manila to Sydney flight on Cebu Pacific. You can buy prepaid baggage for up to 40 kilos on Cebu Pac online, as late as 4 hours before departure. This will save you a lot of money, ‘coz excess baggage when paid at the airport is very expensive! Usually around P1000+ per kilo, as compared to around P800 for an additional 10 kilos if you buy it prepaid and online. I also bought extra baggage allowance for our Auckland flight and our flight back to Manila. Before I bought online, I weighed all our bags the day before departure so I know exactly how much extra I need. Another tip: always round up to the next kilo (ex: if the scale reads 11.2 kilos, count it as 12) to be on the safe side.
- Don’t pack prohibited materials in your hand carry bags! Most airport terminals have the same guidelines – no liquids more than 100ml, no metal objects, no sharp objects, etc. If you have a baby, you are allowed to bring water onboard, but it has to be in the baby’s bottle. You are also allowed to bring food for your baby. I bought a piece of banana for Kobe (his favorite fruit, and his favorite word!) on at least 2 of our flights.
Before I finish this long post, please note that Kobe was 16 months old when we traveled, so technically he is already a toddler. For infants and smaller babies, you might have to add a few more items to this list. Example: a rubber mat for bath time, bibs, mittens and bonnets, sleepsacks or swaddle blankets. It really depends on what your child needs, and who knows this better than you, Mommy! So please trust your instincts, ask your mommy friends, research on the web. Make sure you bring the things you’ll need that can’t be bought or found in your destination. Be smart and practical. Remember, you’ll need extra luggage space for some shopping and pasalubong!
If you have tips of your own that you want to share, or if you have questions, please comment below. Or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org