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Feb 22, 2016

Family Trip to DR - What To Pack

Family Trip to DR - What To Pack
A post contributed by my wife who does all of the packings for our trips ;)

We recently came back from our 2nd international beach trip with our toddler. A friend is now going with her 2-year-old and as I started putting the list together for her of things to take along, I thought I’d share it with other parents who are probably scratching their heads at the multitude of options available and which ones to really splurge on. So, here goes. I’ve only included items we TRULY used on the trip.

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For the plane:
with toddler on airplane

TIP: Some folks say to wrap little gifts. Keeping in mind all security regulations, we decided to put all her travel gear, in her own little tiny backpack!

Can’t say enough about it, it works as a little leash and as a backpack. We fit so much in it, I was amazed it didn’t pop!
Melissa and Doug on the Go Magicolor -
These markers are awesome because they only draw on paper, unlike crayons that were ALL over us :)
Vinyl Light Up Spike Balls -
They have spikes and don’t roll too far but are perfect for wearing her out before the flight
Let's go Play Set – Phone and Car Keys
Kept her occupied for hours – beware the car keys are LOUD, don’t bring it on the plane
Disney Sofia Play Camera
There are little photos that pop up and a flash goes off – worked well to distract her during the decent
KidsGear Wired Headphones
These are great when they have their cartoons dosage (aka when nothing else is distracting them)
Mophie Pack
Can’t forget this in case the phone dies!
Dum Dums Lolipops
If your kiddo doesn’t want to drink water, have these handy for take off and landing – safe for kids, lots of flavors – we tried a bunch and landed on…POPCORN of all things – the one she loved best
Also good to have on hand in case of ear issues like swimmers ear
Fisher Price Doodle Pro Trip
Great for the artist and NO mess – HINT, if you take magnets, it will stick and make designs on the board

At The Beach:

Kid’s Sunscreen
we love:
Sunshade – it’s a must – under 2 lb and becomes huge. Like a little playhouse that’s protected from harmful rays, harsh sun and has ventilation:
Rashguards: - cute and comfy – guarantee the baby won’t burn the shoulders and back which are most sensitive to exposed sun – we didn’t bring any traditional swimsuits – they either do not cover or are impossible to take off if your little one is not potty trained
Swim diapers: Save on space and get swim diapers instead of disposable. Not recommended if your child tends to go #2 in diapers
Swim hat with TIES: - after our trip to Aruba, we learned that cute frilly hats with no ties, tend to fly away quite quickly. From now on, only these and only with ties. Max sun protection on the ears, nose and neck and still look cute
Puddle Jumper: Yes, floaties by themselves are cute, but this keeps the child above the water at all times and gives them mobility and freedom to swin on their own – she wore it every day to the ocean
Swim shoes: - little feet are very sensitive and even the softest sand may have a sharp seashell, we don’t take chances. Get those with a strap, the pull ones are too hard to put on
Baby Powder: You will thank me later! It takes off all the wet sand so you can reapply sunscreen without issue!
Toys, toys and more toys! and aka FREE BABYSITTER - bring tons of shapes, shovels, and buckets – guaranteed 30 min of peace ;)
Towel holders: We discovered this on the windy beaches of Aruba and have been using them ever since
Sunglasses: In the water, on the way to lunch, she always wore shades. Go for something lightweight and comfortable

On the go:

: - this one is a good size, has a handle and keeps her water cold. There are also not too many pieces to clean and I haven’t seen it mold, even after 4 months of use
Stroller: - before purchasing this travel stroller, I compared models of Mclaren and Uppababy. Construction wise, sunshade and reclining features were all the same. The price difference was HUGE. This one is only $79!
5 Reasons to Love Travel with a Stroller

TIP: Use a large garbage bag and top it off with a bright laundry bag to pack it up at gate check! Works like a charm ;)

Stroller Sun Shade: - universal and provides a lot more shade. There are also two pockets, maximizing space for everything you need
Space Bags: People always ask me how I can pack so much in so little space. I use the vacuum bags, for EVERYTHING! I don’t like rolling clothes, I fold everything and then place them in space bags of different sizes, then work my way through the bag like a jigsaw puzzle
Best on the go beach bag/diaper bag:
This bag has a separate compartment for a cooler which has helped us organize and ensure everything is temperature regulated (formula, milk, snacks, even meds). It also comes in handy when TSA looks through it. The top part has a mesh lining so you can see everything. Beach towels, blankets, toys have all resided there within easy reach. No need to rummage through the whole bag. There are two exterior pockets which I've used for sanitizer, tissues, and pacifiers.
I LOVE this bag. It is the only diaper bag we used.

For the mom and dad:

My husband and I have been traveling for 12 years together and I have traveled a lot of Europe before that. We’ve picked up a few items that we never leave home without. We’ve added to our arsenal over the years, below are the top 5 that are musts:
Scarf with Pocket: - its really great especially if you don’t have pockets! Held my phone, lollipops, gum, even passports! Love it
Travel Pillow Hoodie: - my husband loves his pillow and he hates touching the headrests. This is the perfect solution for him
Belt with hidden pocket: - this is perfect for some emergency cash and it’s a nice looking belt as well
Socks with hidden pockets: – I have been traveling with socks like these since my college days. They are so comfy and have pockets.

TIP: Plan how much money you will be taking and then divide amongst different places. Never put all of your money into one place (like a wallet)

Tech Glimpse:

Camera Bag: - I absolutely LOVE this bag. We have a ton of travel gadgets that we take with us, this bag can fit everything and then expand to take on even more.
Water Camera: Great investment, a piece of mind. We’ve used it in hot tubs in freezing temps, scorching hot beaches and even in the tub to take videos of our kiddo splashing around
GoPro: Our newer addition (post baby) and it is amazing. The quality is great and it is very easy to use
Joby: - It’s better than a selfie stick, it's sturdy, can stand on many surfaces and wrap around poles and rails
Belkin Surge Protector - we were able to charge multiple gadgets via one and only easily accessible outlet in the room
Kindle - we both had our Kindles with us and we actually were able to read them at the beach while the kiddo played in the sand

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