Long-Term Packing | Hotel Living
When moving across Canada or within a province, the common thing many consider is what clothes will we pack. The long-range forecast is often our main resource. However, it is so important to consider all the aspects of that move and the essential items that should be on your long-term packing list. In our home country of Canada, we are very aware of our various climates zone, whether down the road or across the country. When moving abroad, you are pushed out of your comfort zone, and plenty of research is required to overcome this gap in knowledge.
Packing List Essentials
- Stroller with rain cover
- Travel Cot or playpen if they can’t sleep in a bed without railings. Use an extra blanket as padding, between the cot and the cover, since they will be on it for so long.
- Car seats – since you will be renting a car, bring your own car seat. They are available for renting (at 7 euro per day) but I have heard bad reviews from the seats that are given out. If you aren’t able to bring your car seat, for lack of space or lack of hands to carry them all, there is a nifty new contraption available. It’s called MiFold (check it out here on Amazon), and it acts like a booster seat. I now have one less car seat I need to bring on the plane. Thank goodness small favors.
- Enough diapers and wipes for the first few days. Buy the rest once you’ve settled in
- 2 sippy cups per child (one for dirty, one for clean)
- Diaper bag/backpack – pack with
- Tablet with tv shows, movies, puzzles games and apps. Something different on each tablet so they can be passed around and optimize the limited shortage – check the voltage on the power supply. Is a voltage converter needed or just a tip adapter?
- Child safe headphones. Should also be sound limiting so they can’t turn the volume up too high. Be sure to test on the tablet before purchase – some tablets do not respond well to this technology and become barely audible while on a plane. We prefer Kidz Gear, they are available as Bluetooth with a detachable cord.
- Colouring book and markers
- Two or three toys.
- Aquadoodle travel edition is always a good game. Extra pens can be purchased separately so more than one child can play at once.
- Lots of snacks.
Drinks need to be purchased after security at the airport. Don’t forget that they were purchased – there may be another security screening for the connecting flight and some are only 2 hours apart.
Since everyone gets their own carry-on plus a personal item, I tend to give the kids their own child-sized backpack of toys, tablet, puzzles etc and mom has the “diaper bag” full of extras, goodies, snacks and then her purse. I wouldn’t use a carry-on bag for this, since it needs to be stored in the overhead compartment, making it inaccessible. A small gym-bag type carry-on can be stored under the seat.
Adult Specific Gear
- A smartphone or European cell phone is always a great idea as hotels charge for local calls. A contract can’t be created in Germany without a lease agreement. Some shops will sell a phone at full value and give prepaid cards. This will mean you no longer need a contract come moving day so not a total waste of money. Canada does not sell unlocked phones through the cell phone companies, you would need to contact the Brand and purchase from them; this is why we prefer Apple products, so much easier to just buy from an Apple store and have them create the account for us.
- Laptop (can also Skype calls to Canada if needing to communicate, 2-3cents per minute)
- If an adapter exists for your tablet and/or laptop to output HDMI to the tv, I recommend bringing/purchasing this as well. Now all those movies and shows can be streamed to your hotel TV instead of watching whatever is on.
- Toiletry bag
- An umbrella for everyone – nothing fancy or expensive. The wind can be pretty harsh and do damage to the umbrella.
- Attempt to have enough tip adapters for each electronic item. If time permits, dealextreme has them for fairly inexpensive and offer some bulk discounts; they are of great quality and but they take about two weeks to arrive, so at their prices, I accept the wait.
Considerations For Clothing
- For 30 days of Long Term Packing, with access to laundry, I try to pack for 7 days only. (Wear bottoms for two days each before washing unless soiled).
- 5 tops
- 7 pants (9 for the kids)
- 7 socks
- 2 cardigans or light sweaters (mornings are chilly; t-shirt, cardigan and raincoat until noon are the usual)
- Rain coat/light spring jacket (needs to be waterproof and wind resistant)
- Water proof, comfortable walking shoes or hiking sandals (the kids should have a second pair of practical shoes, or at least a last resort backup in case they get lost, wet or otherwise unusable).
- I pack a pair of flats and flip flops in case it is really warm and I’m not walking too much.
- One nice, smart casual outfit, for everyone. You never know if you are going to find a fancy restaurant. A collared shirt and no jeans should be good enough for the men unless traveling by sea then you would want at least one Dinner Jacket.
- If speciality items are required (food, diapering, detergent) and it is not possible to fly with it all, try ordering it online. Amazon or Toys r Us have both Canadian sites and German sites that will deliver to the hotel if given enough notice.
- Stroller. Airlines have very tricky rules about strollers. Most, if not all, claim that checking in a stroller is at your own risk, as they will not cover it for insurance purposes, should it get damaged. They are starting to discover that this is not right, and very poor customer service on their part, and are making small amendments to this policy; if the stroller is in a stroller bag, it will be covered. Therefore, we still advise not to fly with the most expensive stroller on the market unless you can guarantee covered by a third party, having a stroller bag is slowly becoming a must. Some vacationers have even gone as far as simply purchasing a cheap umbrella stroller for their child and donating it when they are finished vacationing, therefore never having to bring it on the plane.
Since you are using Packing Cubes, it shouldn’t be too difficult to pack everything into only a handful of suitcases. One suitcase for mom and dad together, one suitcase for the kids, 1 child backpack each, one adult carry on, moms purse (if it can’t be collapsed and placed inside the carry on or suitcase), a stroller – checked at the gate, car seats to be checked with luggage. (Just because you are allowed more pieces doesn’t make it a good idea).
If you lost count, that is a grand total of 2 suitcases, 1 carryon, a stroller and some car seats. For 30 days in a hotel!
I say child backpack because this appears easier than a rolling carry-on or ride-on luggage that are also available. With a suitcase that rolls, if the child gets bored or tired, the parents are forced to deal with the bulk. In terms of a backpack, it is easier to force a child to continue wearing it if it is not too heavy or simply lengthen the straps and an adult can wear the bag.
Are you ready? What is on your Long Term Packing List?
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