Laura Sutherland

March 9, 2011

Packing with babies

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Laura Sutherland @ 5:57 am

Traveling with Babies – You’re a Pack Animal
Why even pretend you can travel light when you’re hitting the road with a baby. On a two-month research trip through five European countries with a 2-year-old

Backbreaking baby backpack somewhere in France

and an eight-month-old I stripped it down to the bare essentials:

That would be the two car seats, a stroller, a backpack to carry the baby, a porta-crib and bedding for the toddler and a diaper bag that folded into a bed that the 8 month old outgrew immediately so we had to get another porta-crib. And then diapers, food, snacks, babyproofing supplies for the hotel (more on that later) toys and books. Oh, and their clothes. (And the endless search for Laundromats and evenings spent washing in the hotel sink.)

There really isn’t anything you can do about the amount of gear you’ll need with a baby. But there are a few things you can do before you leave that might help.

• Some vacation destinations have baby rental gear companies. Baby’s Away is one of them and they have listings in more than twenty states.
• Call your hotel to confirm that they have cribs available and ask them about other baby proofing gear they might provide – many now do.
• If you are renting a car, call in advance to see if they also rent car seats.
• Call your accommodations to see if they have laundry facilities onsite. Ask if they sell laundry detergent, too, and bring a little bag of it to get you started if they don’t.
• Ship some of your gear to your destination so you won’t have so much to juggle at the airport.

February 9, 2010

The Toss-it System of Packing for a Longer Trip

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Laura Sutherland @ 8:26 pm

When my mother and father returned from a six-week trip to Europe some years ago, my father begged my mother to throw away her capsule wardrobe – a navy blue pantsuit and all of its matching tops.  He’d looked at her in pretty much the same outfit for a total of 42 straight days and was completely sick of it.  Apparently she felt the same way and blithely tossed them in the trash.

So a couple of months later when I headed out on an open-ended trip through Mexico during a break from college, she took me to the local charity consignment store and had me pick out a complete travel wardrobe.  “Make it much more conservative than you usually wear,” she advised, “so you will blend in better.  And then toss the clothes when you get home.”

She was right – when the trip was over I never wanted to look at those clothes again.  Plus it was easy to toss them since we hadn’t spent a fortune on them in the first place.  I would never have worn them at home anyway – they weren’t cool enough.  But they allowed me to move around Mexico incognito – another good strategy on a trip.

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