Making a List and Checking it Twice

 

Do you every have that perfect picture in your mind? Well, with children that often just doesn’t work…

As we ring in the new year I look back and see just how wonderful 2016 was and how amazing 2017 is going to be. 2016 had our first child turn two and the birth of our second child in September. We also took a 6-week vacation to Belize with our then 1.5-year-old son.

2017 will certainly be a year to remember as we plan our two-month long vacation to New Zealand and Australia (let’s be honest, traveling that far from Canada with two little ones means we will make the trip as long as possible)

Let’s just say I’m a list person (I get that from my mother apparently)

I LOVE lists when it comes to remembering things.

In high school my mother told me to get a chain for my wallet, you know like the grunge era chain that attached your wallet to your pants… yeah…I tend to forget things.

Oh, and for Christmas this year I got a TILE.


It’s one of those if you lose whatever you attach it to you can find it again.  Do you know who got me that gift?  Yup…you guessed it, my Mother. (P.S. I love it, put it on my keys and I can use it to find my phone like a reverse look up).They retail for about $30 each.

So packing….

I think my list for Belize was three pages long, with one kid and two adults in warm weather.  We had two large suitcases and WAY too much carry on items.  According to my husband, I had gone a little crazy.

This time around I would like to see if I can seriously cut down on luggage. Maybe even just one large suitcase, wouldn’t that be AMAZING!

We were talking about packing just the other day and this trip really is different than Belize.  Austrailia and New Zealand are First Worlds whereas Belize is a much more simple country.  In Belize can be hard to find what you are looking for.  Buying anything in Belize has its adventures (and brand name/US type items are very expensive). Sometimes finding the medication or ointment can be pricey or difficult.

So we thought about traveling light and picking up what we need as we go from thrift shops and other stores, then we can simply donate the items before hopping back on the next plane (or coming home with lots of souvenirs!)

So now my search is on for Thrift Store locations and making my list of JUST the ESSENTIALS

Can I do it?

Here are a few “big” items we are considering.

First, a tip!

Normally I just use the standard hardshell zipper suitcase I have had for the last 10 years. Storage, however, can be very limited in a motorhome and collapsible bags will take up much less space. I also plan on using those space bags. The ones that will squish all the air out of your clothing.
Next are Portable Bassinets:

Baby Scarlet and Big Brother Roland will be sharing a big bed and Scarlet will be too little to actually sleep in the bed. So, a portable bed of some kind will be needed.

I would prefer it to sit on the bed if possible (three sides on the bed have walls) but may we’ll end up on the floor.
One rental company even suggested a specific brand as it was Barrie enough to sit on the floor of the motor home.

 

I have done lots of reading and these are on my short list of light, portable and small.
koo-diThe Koo-di Travel Bubble Cot will sit on the floor. It has a very small footprint and will last the longest (it take longer to outgrow this one, up to 24 months depending on the style). Super portable at just 3 or 4 lbs and can double as a UV/bug shelter for baby outside. Unfortunately, this is a UK company and that makes it a more expensive option here in Canada. I will be looking for a “Canadian” version if possible.

3-in-1

3 in 1 Diaper Bag – Travel Bassinet – Change Station looks like an amazing product.  Something with multiple functions in one is always a plus when traveling.  This looks great for the airplane too as baby Scarlet can have a nap anywhere.  It is 30in long so should last until the end of our trip (I HOPE! Roland was almost that long at 7 months!!)

summer-infant

Summer Infant By Your Side Sleeper I have used before. It’s small light and sets up in seconds.

My only concern will be scarlets height. She is already tall at 25.5 inches at 4 months old. Most travel bassinets are recommended up until the baby can sit up unaided or starts rolling around lots. She may well outgrow these types of beds while we are there too!

shrunks

 

We also have The Shrunks Inflatable Bed Rail . We used it in Belize and it’s wonderfully small for travel, comes with a pump and simply tucks under the bed sheet.

Regalo Cot.jpg
On a side note. We love the Regalo Travel cot. We would not use it on the trip. It’s worth a mention for any traveling toddler. Low to the ground. Small. Light. A crib sheet will fit on it as well.

 

And so my list and research will continue tirelessly until the day we leave because that is the type of person I am.  I will make sure to share my final list and choices with you as we get closer to leaving on this trip.

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World Traveling Toddlers was created as a place to document and share all the research I do when traveling with or without my children. 

I update pages and post often and add information as I learn new things.

Please like and share so more families can learn along with us. 

Have a question? Ask me anything!

International Calling is kinda exciting!

 

Flash Back 80’s!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today I started the exhaustive search for a camper/motorhome, flights, and hotels!

Scarlet is now 4 months old and super busy. Eating your own feet can become a full-time hobby apparently.

Roland LOVES his little sister too. He will talk with her and make her laugh or bring her toys to play with.  I could listen to them talking and giggling all day! ❤️

Ok. Back to planning. There are SOOOOO many to choices!

For our camper rental, or “hire” as it’s called on the other side of the world, I decided it best to call around and look for companies that would give us a discount for renting in both countries.

And you know what… it was actually exciting calling another country so far away.  (I love hearing the different voices!!)

 

So far I have found Maui and Apallo to have rentals in both NZ and OZ.

We are looking for a camper that suits 4 people and two of them will be in car seats.  We also want a toilet and shower.

When looking at what company to hire there are several areas to look at. Things like the age of the vehicle, manual vs automatic and floor plans are just the tip of the iceberg.  You also need to look at all the extras vs what is included in the rental, then you can start doing some math.

Many of the extras can be car seats, folding chairs, crib, highchair etc. Where as many of the inclusions to look for are heat/ Air Conditioning, gas bottles, cutlery/crockery.  I found it best to make my own list of what I wanted to see what I got with each company.

There are also bundles you can get.  For example, $10 a day can get you many of the extras like chairs/table, car seats and 1 GB of internet.

I was able to call and talk directly to Nora in New Zealand. She was a wonderful help and sent me a quote with what I wanted and even what I didn’t know I wanted (She was spot on!).  Poor Nora, I sent her at least 4 revisions on the dates and she happily obliged and got me an extra discount.


Here is the floor plan. I really like how there is lots of space for the kids to play during the day. We can all sit around that back table to eat. And with the second table, there will still be somewhere to sit while the kids are sleeping.

With the internet available on board I won’t need to find any type of cell phone plan with data while we are there. (I have used internet based calling aps while in other countries before).

Sadly Apollo was not as smooth.  I was unable to call. I tried every number they had, even local with all the extra country codes and everything.  Nothing worked.  So I hopped online to do a live chat.  It was promising until I got the runaround.  I explained my flexible dates, two countries, kids… and after waiting I was disconnected.  After reconnecting and retelling my plans I was transferred through several people.  (I was happy to call but no one could answer the question of how to call from Canada).  I was given a quote for Australia but not New Zealand and the quote was MORE than if I booked it on the website own search function!!!!

Finally, I gave up.  It was late and I wanted to go to bed.  I asked them to send the information to my email address and said good night.  Nothing came.

www.maui-rentals.com has won my business!

 

Fingers crossed we can find what we are looking for (T-Minus 3 months till departure!)

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World Traveling Toddlers was created as a place to document and share all the research I do when traveling with or without my children. 

I update pages and post often and add information as I learn new things. 
Please like and share so more families can learn along with us. 
Have a question? Ask me anything!

Why Bother? They won’t remember it. 

Sometimes what I hear is ” why bother? They are too young to even remember it”

I admit, I thought this way once too.

We went with a then 1 1/2-year-old Roland to Belize for just over 6 weeks. We went for ourselves, the adults. We traveled around a bit before settling into one location, Placencia, for a month.

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On the airplane, won’t nap…

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until…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I know Roland will not remember this trip but the growth and development we saw happening right before us have convinced me.…
Travel is good for children!

Getting out there and experiencing new adventures is fun (for everyone!)

Roland had a blast getting around by backpack, golf cart, boat, and of course running!

Here are just a few of the friends Roland made while in Belize

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Our Placencia Neighbours

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Line Dancing in San Ignacio

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Checking out the Kitchen at EVERY restaurant

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More kids and dogs

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Friendly with everyone he meets on the Sidewalk, Placencia

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Ever helpful carrying groceries for new friends just met.

 

So now when I hear “Why bother? They won’t remember it”

I simply respond with “why bother parenting your child, they won’t remember it…”
I believe each and every experience we give our children helps to shape a part of who they are and who they will become.
Roland is an outgoing busy boy who is friendly and generally not shy.
I attribute some of this to simply running around Placencia, Belize and saying “hi” or giving High Fives to everyone we saw.
Traveling with a toddler will never be as easy as traveling alone or with just adults.
Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.

Theodore Roosevelt

So go… Travel near… Travel far… Experience life by living

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

World Traveling Toddlers was created as a place to document and share all the research I do when traveling with or without my children. 

I update pages and post often and add information as I learn new things. 
Please like and share so more families can learn along with us. 
Have a question? Ask me anything!