Okay my world travelers! As I am getting ready for my big trip to Vietnam and Laos in a few weeks I am going through my mental checklist of what I need to start preparing, packing and setting aside. I started to think about how I prepare for a trip, how I have honed my travel plans since I first started traveling internationally and now, and it got me thinking about how everyone prepares for a trip differently.
For example, my husband doesn’t pack for a big trip till like two days before we leave. Whereas I pack about a month a head of time, the more I am excited about a trip the sooner I start packing. However, now all of that is different. I might be able to pack for myself a month early but now that I have my daughter my entire method of traveling has changed. I can’t start packing for her until about a week prior and a lot of stuff is thrown in last minute! Even thinking about waiting that long to pack stresses me out, I like to have everything prepared waaaay a head of time to ensure that I have thought about everything I will need and won’t forget anything that I will need like a charger, adapters, visas, passports, informing my bank that I am traveling…you know the SUPER important things.
So how do you pack for a big trip? Do you pack differently for a trip you know is more of a vacation, with lots of sitting on a beach and luxurious amenities verses a trip where you will be traveling around a lot and you will be “roughing” it. Since I have had my daughter I have noticed on how I end up packing more crap for her than I do for myself! She gets the big bag and I get the little one, how backwards is that?!
This trip I am learning a whole new way to travel. Even though I have been traveling with a baby since she was five weeks old I have yet to do an international trip, which might be why I am so stressed about this particular trip. I have thought about nearly every angle to make this as easy on her and I as possible but I am still weary that something will go terribly wrong and it will become a “stress-fest”.
So how do you pack for a big international trip? What tips would you share with a fellow traveler? My tips would be;
- Plan a head – like with my travel visas, they told me that I could get them once in country but why deal with the extra stress and headache doing it once you get there and then dealing with a foreign language when you can do it early.
- Pack early – you never want to forget anything – buying replacement items at a short notice or in the airport can nearly triple the cost of the original item so save yourself some money and frustration and just pack early.
- Money – I have learned what it is like to not be able to use your card while overseas and no one needs that headache. So what I do is order the currency of the country I am visiting while also taking USD money with me to ensure that I have a backup plan, then of course I notify my bank that I am traveling. But it is always good to have a backup plan just in case.
- Pack light! – With this trip I am thinking about every way to pack as light as possible. Knowing that I will be carrying my baby on my chest and everything else with me I have to be conscious of what I bring and how heavy everything is, not only for the airline but for my own muscle’s sake. I also want to plan for room for my souvenirs! You can’t go on a “once in a lifetime” trip and not bring home presents and mementos from your trip! Plus I am getting home about Christmas time so….there is that also!
- MOST IMPORTANT – HAVE FUN!!!!