Packing, this has to be one of the most challenging parts of preparing for trip. We’ve had the whole backpack vs suitcase debate, argued about how many toys the girls need and tried to figure out the liquid requirements for flying (believe me this should be simple but having not flown for 10 years it has been a minefield!).
Everyone we talk to has asked us how we have managed to pack for 3 months so here is a summary of what we have packed, the fantastic things we have purchased to help us with organising ourselves (we don’t use affiliate links) and the decisions we’ve had to make.
After weighing up the pros and cons we opted for two large wheeled suitcases and small backpacks for everyone.
If you know anything about little girls, you will know that they are obsessed with Smiggle, so after spending a small fortune we settled on Smiggle backpacks for the girls – we may find we have chosen style over substance but they are pretty, have plenty of space and even come with chest straps so we are hoping these will be comfortable and durable for the girls to carry around.
For Sarah, we needed a backpack that she could also carry her laptop in for work, so we opted for a simple Amazon Basics Laptop Backpack, again this has lots of space, plenty of compartments and a padded laptop section. In order to provide extra protection for the laptop we have also purchased a laptop sleeve.
Dave on the other-hand has opted to take one of our old backpacks that is very comfortable and well loved!
Our two suitcases we purchased from Antler so that we could have something hardwearing with build in locks. These will contain the bulk of our luggage so needed to be on wheels so that we didn’t have to carry them.
We have also purchased a fantastic folding duffle bag as some of our flights may need us to split our luggage up in order to stay within weight limits. This folds to the size of an ipad but opens out into a 60L bag!
In order to keep everything organised we are using packing cubes. Having never used these before we are amazing at how much space they save and now we are 95% packed we actually have space in our cases!
What have we packed?
This was the hard part, what do you pack for a 3 month trip, across 5 countries and 3 seasons? We have had to make some tough choices and have gone for layers so that we can ensure we will be warm enough in the Tasmanian winter but cool enough in the heat of Thailand. Here is a summary of what we packed for the girls and adults, we hope this will help anyone planning a similar trip and we’ll update you on whether we have taken things we didn’t need in the end:
- Waterproof jackets & trousers
- Sandals and trainers
- 2 hoodies – one is a thick fleece for the colder climates
- 2 pairs of leggings
- 2 dresses
- 2 skirts
- 2 shorts – one paid are zip off trousers!
- 2 swimsuits
- 2 long sleeved tshirts
- 4 short sleeved tshirts
- 6 sets of underwear
- 6 pairs of socks
In addition to this they have the following in their backpacks:
- Change of clothes
- Pens & Crayons
- Reading book
- Cuddly Toy
- Sun hat
- Small box of toys – busy book toys have been our choice as they fit in a small tupperware
- Card games
- Story Cubes
- Waterproof jackets and trousers
- Sandals and trainers (Dave has 2 pairs of trainers)
- 2 pairs of trousers/shorts (Sarah has zip off trousers)
- 1 pair of jeans
- 1 dress and skirt (obviously only Sarah!)
- 2 hoodies
- 2 swimsuits
- 6 tshirts or vests (plus 2 long sleeved)
- 6 sets of underwear
We’ve also got a change of clothes in our backpacks, as well as electronics, medicines and some basic toiletries. Of course we also have all the documents!
What else have we purchased to make life easy?
We have purchased quite a few things to make life easier whilst we are away, these include a comprehensive first aid kit (we’ll let you know what we’ve taken in another post), limited toiletries – we can buy most things!
Here are our top extra purchases:
- Travel Pillows – we hadn’t thought about these but Dave’s sister got the girls one each and we actually think these will make sleeping much easier for them.
- Bubblebum Blow Up Car Seat – essential for Tasmania and New Zealand where we will have hire vehicles, but we can also use it on planes and trains or even at cinemas to help Sophie be a bit higher up.
- Universal Power Adaptor – this simple adaptor has 4 USB ports as well as a plug so we can charge up to 5 devices at once – should be great for places where we need to charge multiple electronics overnight.
- Digital Luggage Scales – with 13 flights that all have different baggage allowances, we don’t want to get caught out with excess baggage charges so these will allow us to weight and repack as necessary.
- Mosquito Repellent Bracelets – we want to prevent bits as far as possible but also try to use natural methods so these leather bracelets caught our eye – we’ll let you know how effective they are once we start using them.
And that is about it, we haven’t covered every little thing we’ve packed but hopefully, these highlights give you an idea. Here is what the almost packed cases look like: