Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Packing for a Holiday and Other Tips for Travelling with Tots

When we were preparing for our trip, the biggest headache was in packing for Kenan. It being our first family holiday, I decided to ask friends who had travelled to Hong Kong with their young children for some tips. Here's sharing with you the tips I've picked up, as well as what we learnt from our trip.

Packing for the little one

Besides bringing along the essential items like clothes, diapers and formula milk, we brought along the following:

Part 1 Items

  • Medicine – for fever, cough, running nose and diarrhoea (happened to be at the PD a few weeks before our trip and I asked her for the medicine. Otherwise, I'm sure you could also go to a GP and ask to buy the medicine, explaining that it's for a holiday) 
  • Syringe/measuring cup for the medicine
  • Thermometer
  • Nail clipper
  • Face and bath towel for the little boy
  • Detergent and sponge for cleaning cutlery and milk bottle

Part 2 Items
  • Spoon and fork with a small scissors for cutting food – I don't bring scissors out when in Singapore as I’ll use fork and knife to slowly cut the food into smaller pieces. But when we were on holiday, I rather use scissors to speed things up. Didn’t bring bowl or plate; fed Kenan food direct from whatever utensil I was using.

Bought the cutlery set and a pair of small scissors from Daiso. I took out the pair of chopsticks and managed to put the scissors in, so everything was stored neatly and easy for travel.

  • Bottle of drinking water from Singapore - no problem with the customs at all! Just say it’s for the child. We mixed that with the water in Hong Kong for Kenan on the first day, in case of "水土不服" (we rather trust the old folks' belief than have him fall ill while overseas!).
  • Box of plasters
  • Antiseptic cream that works for both insect bites and cuts (bought from pharmacy, just ask pharmacist which can be used for toddlers)
  • Biscuits and raisins - for the plane rides and when we are out and about (sometimes meals get delayed and he can snack)
  • Some small toys – for the plane rides and for entertaining him at restaurants
  • Pigeon’s antibacterial wet wipes (“formulated with 100 per cent food grade ingredients”)  - which can be used to clean feeding utensils, pacifiers and teethers. I used it to clean the utensils before use, since I'm feeding my boy from it
  • Antibacterial wet tissue and disinfecting hand gel
  • Hot water flask (for making formula milk) - in the end, like what fellow mom blogger PC did, we ended up asking for hot water from restaurants (I asked her for some tips as she went HK recently, which she did generously. Read her posts on her HK trip here, here and here) .
  • Plastic bags - in case of soiled diapers and clothes etc.
  • Water bottle (Kenan's)
  • Milk bottle
  • Foldable umbrella
  • Small container for milk powder
  • Baby carrier

All the Part 2 items were what we took with us everyday, all squeezed into a single haversack. The hot water flask was the only thing that we left in the hotel after the first day.

Other tips we learnt:

When we were travelling without our little boy, we didn't notice if the roads were stroller-friendly or if restaurants have highchairs. But things are different when you travel with a tot. Since we never noticed these details in our previous travelling, we decided to ask friends.

The first thing I asked was if it was a good idea to bring along an umbrella stroller to HK and most of the answers I got were negative. So in the end, we brought along our Ergo baby carrier (I also bought a new haversack that was big enough to put in the baby carrier - which has a thick waist band that makes it a bit bulky even after folding).

We also chose flight timings which coincided with our boy's nap hours. True enough, shortly after he boarded the plane, he slept. It happened both times. So we didn't worry about the possible discomfort in his ears due to air pressure changes when the plane took off. 

For Hong Kong hotels, we picked those that were near MTR stations and the city area. This worked really well because on some days we were so tired that we actually returned to the hotel to rest and gave Kenan his afternoon milk before we ventured out again.

When eating at restaurants, we tried to go a bit earlier/later to avoid the peak-hour crowd. The staff were usually more attentive/helpful. And in case my boy throws a fuss, we won't cause too much of an irk to too many diners!

I hope you find these tips useful. If you have other great tips for travelling with young children, please do share, thanks!


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