Finished packing for the US portion of our trip (8/9/2011 in Brooklyn)

We are hitting the extremes: from the beaches of Thailand, to Iceland in January, from hiking in the mountains, to nice evenings out.  Layering and having low-maintenance, versatile clothing are essential.  We wanted to keep packing light so we kept in mind the advice relayed to us by several friends who have taken long trips around the world in the past: You can always buy more on the go!

I roll (rather than fold) our clothes so we can fit more, and evenly distribute our clothing between the suitcases so if one is lost in transit, everyone still has some clothing.

When we rent an apartment, we always make sure there is laundry available.

Here is what we took with us:

Equipment
-Very lightweight laptop with camera for Skype
-Small camera
Flexible tripod
-Android for Patrick and iPhone for Bliss (canceling service so we’ll only have WiFi once we leave the US)
Kindle with as many guidebooks as possible loaded & important guidebooks not on Kindle
-Headlamp
-Duct tape & bungee cord
-Medications from the doctor & some over the counter basics (Pepto, powdered Pedialyte, Dramamine, Benadryl)
-Bug repellant & sunblock
-Six months of contact lenses & glasses
-Maps for all the states we’ll drive through
-Electric convertors for various countries
Single cup coffee filter/brewer
-Two water bottles
-Passports, visas & extra passport pictures
International driving permit

Special Jude “Equipment”
-Jude’s tent bed for sleeping – we wanted him to have the same bed each night so it is familiar each place we go & small fitted sheet
-Books for Jude*
-Stuffed animals (Big Bird, Elmo, baby Elmo, monkey named “Woof Woof”) & three small vehicles (two fire trucks, one bus)
-Coloring book and crayons
-Diaper bag & changing pad
Travel potty
Car seat
Stroller – we considered buying a lighter stroller, but decided to bring our trusty old one because it drops back which makes it easier for Jude to nap in the stroller on the go
Sturdy backpack to carry Jude for the US portion only, for long hikes
Very lightweight carrier for post-US portion of trip
Muslin blankets – we use these for picnics, draping over Jude’s stroller for sun and light protection when he’s sleeping, for Jude to sleep with at night…
-Ginger tea – we cold-brew it overnight for Jude to drink on car trips (based on the recommendation of our pediatrician because Jude sometimes gets car sick)
-“I am allergic to all nuts” written in various languages

*A note on books for Jude: We brought Busy Day Busy People, Patrick’s favorite childhood book, because there is a lot going on in the illustrations – you don’t have to read the text to talk at length about each page, and there is a  lot to learn from each page.  We also brought Harry the Dirty Dog and a potty book which Jude particularly enjoys (and hopefully will learn something from).  We read to Jude every day, so we’ll definitely pick up more books as we go along – we’ve already picked up two new ones.

Patrick
-Sneakers, flip flops, boat shoes
-Two swimsuits
-Long underwear
-Three button-up shirts
-About ten t-shirts, athletic shirts & polo shirts
-Two sweaters (purple cotton & gray cashmere)
-Four pairs of pants (khakis & jeans)
-Three pairs of casual shorts & three pairs of athletic shorts
-Wind-proof fleece & light synthetic zip-up top for running
-Lightweight windbreaker

Bliss
-Sneakers, flip flops, slip-on shoes, rain shoes & hiking boots for US portion only
-Two swimsuits
-Long underwear
-Two no wrinkle button-up shirts (one short sleeve and one long sleeve to protect from the sun)
-About five t-shirts, two long sleeve shorts & two athletic tops for US portion only
-Three cardigans which can be layered in neutral colors (gray, brown, cream)
-Three pairs of pants (one black, one pair of jeans & jeggings)
-Two knee-length cotton shorts (one no wrinkle) & one athletic pair of shorts for US portion only
-Three dresses (short-sleeve cotton black dress, ¾ sleeve cotton dress, no-wrinkle sleeveless dress)
-Two skirts (one no wrinkle black skirt & one skort-style for US portion only for hiking)
-Lightweight coat which is warmer than a fleece but folds up very small into its own pocket
-Lightweight windbreaker

Jude
-Sneakers & crocs
-Two swim suits
-Long underwear
-About eight t-shirts, athletic shirts & polo shirts
-Zip-up hoodie (sweatshirt)
-Four pairs of pants (corduroys, khakis, light-weight pants and jeans)
-Three pairs of nice shorts & two athletic pairs
-Four pairs of PJs (of different weights)
-Fleece coat
-Lightweight windbreaker

We will send some things home to lighten our load before we leave the US (see lists above).  Back in April, Patrick brought our winter coats to London where they’ll be waiting for us in December.  This means we don’t have to carry heavy, bulky coats for months.  We may need our brother-in-law to meet us at the airport with them!

MORE LIKE THIS: Pre-Around-the-World Trip Air Travel Advice & How to Organize a Trip Around the World with a Two-Year-Old

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Bliss

  2 Responses to “How to Pack for a Five-Month Trip with a Two-Year-Old”

  1. This is so funny! I meant to ask you guys to write a post about your packing methodologies, but totally forgot. Little did I know that at that very moment, you were writing just such a post. I swear I am a bit psychic.

  2. […] Bliss and Patrick, the authors of Around the World with a Two Year Old, also write about really helpful things like tips for air travel with a baby or toddler, sugesstions for hiking with a toddler, and offer the always useful packing post. […]

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