My name is Antonia Cetin. I am an educator and the author of “You’ve Got This, Mom! A Mother’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving in Today’s Modern World.” Having travelled with my son to at least 17 countries from the age of 3 to 12, I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way. In this blog, you will find my fail-proof travel list of things you absolutely have to have, things I would recommend, and a few things that will make your experience that much better.
Here are the things you absolutely need to travel with your kids:
Passports - yours and theirs! Make sure they are valid for 6 months after travel.
Child Travel Consent letter if only one parent is travelling. You can get a downloadable form provided by Global Affairs Canada on-line.
Money - credit card and some cash. Find out ahead of time how useful the credit card will be, what kind of ATMs there are, and if it’s better to get cash here or there.
If you are travelling with a baby, you will need to have a fully equipped diaper bag with all of the goodies you never leave home without: bottles, diapers, cleaners, extra clothes. You need to bring at least enough to get you to the first store at your destination. Be prepared that the products at your destination will not be exactly the same as back home and decide ahead of time if you are going to just make do with what you find or if you really need to bring enough for the whole trip and how much that would be.
Things I would highly recommend to bring in case you need them while you are there:
Certified pure essential oils - You have no idea how many times my Home Essential kit of the basic 10 essential oils has come in handy on a trip! Clean those airplane surfaces with On Guard. Infection? Melaleuca. Strep throat? On Guard and “flu bomb.” Gastritis or Montezuma’s? Digestzen. Cold? Breathe. Rash? Lavender. And, the list goes on. When you are in a place far from home and you don’t know how the medical facilities work, and you really don’t want to have to try them out no matter how good you hear they are, essential oils are a godsend! They fit right into your carry-on and away you go. At airport security, being in 15 ml bottles and fitting into one of the little plastic baggies provided, they pass no problem. In all of my travels, no airport official has done more than give them a cursory look. (For more information about essential oils, you can contact me at antoniacetin.com or on my facebook page: @youvegotthismom)
If you forget anything else for your trip, you will most likely be able to find what you need at your travel destination, even if it is more costly than back home.
What you should try to remember for each traveller:
At least one change of clothes and enough socks and underwear so you don’t have to wash it every day.
One very warm sweater or jacket for those cooler evenings.
A second pair of good walking shoes so you don’t have to wear the same pair every day - wearing the same shoes day after day can be hard on your feet and back.
Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, deodorant. All liquids in quantities of less than 100ml.
A few extras that make travel so much easier and more fun!
At least one device for Facetime which you can use anywhere there is free WiFi to stay in touch with people back home; and for facebook to share the joys of your travels. If you bring your own device, check with your provider ahead of time how your data works. Charges can be crazy expensive for the shortest communications or searches. Find out how to use your device at no cost! (Maybe this can be another blog!)
Downloaded books from the public library for your kids and yourself - right onto your device. No need to lug around books! While travelling is the one time when I appreciate not having the paper copy in my hand.
A favourite stuffy, blankie or toy. Definitely a compact game and a deck of cards for the long waits at the airport and for other transportation.
As an experienced traveller, I would also recommend leaving some space for those souvenirs your child will just have to have and then that you will just have to carry around for the remainder of your trip!
Everything else is gravy!