Packing is not my talent.
We have 4 bags. 2 carry-on. 2 Checked. A total of 134 pounds of luggage (not including the stroller). And I just have no idea.
So I have already started.
Lists aren’t going to work. I need a visual. So I pulled the luggage out of storage and started loosely assigning items to places. I could probably do a better job if I didn’t have this deep rooted fear that the Checked Luggage will get lost on the way there. I really don’t care if it gets lost on the way home but AHHHHHHHHHHHH if it gets lost on the way there. I am already squeezing my life into 4 bags WHILE adding a new family member PLEASE universe take pity on me and give me all the stuff back at the luggage carousel.
So what does a packing list (if I were to make one) look like?
3 days of Clothes for Myself. Underwear, Bras, Socks, Versatile pants, Versatile Tops (Neutral Colors). 2 pairs of shoes one casual one dress flats. 2 pairs PJs. Reversible hooded sweater. Winter coat/hat/mittens
4 days worth of clothes for each girl. PLAYCLOTHES with one nicer outfit. Pants, Tops, Socks, Undershirts. 2 pairs PJs. Sneakers and slippers. Sweater. Winter Coat/hat/mittens. Includes Velour Jumpsuits for Airplane (this worked SO well in June).
Toys: favorite stuffed animals (3 going, possibly 4 coming back). Color wonder books and Markers, Balloons, Pipe Cleaners, Magna Doodle, 6 books. I might try and get an additional toy or two if there is room in one of the checked.
2 CARES harnesses
2 infant/toddler neck pillows
2 toddler headphones (Spend the $20 at target and get some toddler headphones for the airplane) The adults ones WILL NOT stay in/on.
A container of reduced sugar Nestle Quik and enough Clif Organic Energy bars to last Jude (and now Gabriel) from when we leave until when we get back, because she will try new food but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY don’t leave the chocolate milk and the yummy bars behind. We would have to go back.
Diapers and Wipes. Enough for the whole week.
A nebulizer machine, A stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff, and a portable food processor.
Voltage converter, Adapter, Phone Charger, Phone, earbuds. It would be super helpful to bring my laptop this time but I don’t think I have the space. It will probably have to stay behind.
Meds for Children: Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Multivitamins, The just-in-case antibiotics, everyone’s RX’d medication, Vap-O-Rub, Diaper Cream, Sea-Bands (in case for Nausea)
Meds for Adults: Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Multivitamins, The just-in-case antibiotics, RX’d medication, Benedryl, Hydrocortisone cream, Pyridium (you never know), Immodium AD
Toiletries. I would note here that we are bringing a metal lice comb, cetaphil, and tea tree oil castile soap. We saw nothing in June. I prepare for any possibility. Travel size whenever possible. We bought some TSA compliant bottles and have filled it with our own stuff too.
2 Sippy cups, 2 toddler plates, Package of Take & Toss Bowls (also works as on the go snack containers) and small plastic toddler forks and spoons (8 pack).
2 Toddler Safety Harnesses aka leashes for kiddos. (It will come down to it, and drivers in Bulgaria are rivaled only on those “Most amazing police chases caught on video” shows).
Ergo carrier and Backpack. Mostly for the Embassy trip.
Graco Duo-Glide Double Tandem Stroller.
A reusable grocery bag. You either need the reusable ones in Sofia or Purchase (very sturdy) plastic ones. We typically combine as we end up using the sturdy ones for dirty laundry or liquids on the way home.
Everyone’s travel documents
Our travel information (including tickets/Boarding passes)
Duct Tape. Why you ask? This is the perfect childproofing multitool. We take a bit and tape over all electrical outlets. Our first apartment and a beautiful glass cabinet. The doors were heavily duct-taped closed. If you have sharp metal edges to a modern-type table or counter top you can take anything (plastic bag, washcloth, even papertowels) to pad the corner and tape it down. The downside is TSA is going to ask you “Why the duct/gaffer’s tape” if you are on your way home to the USA you don’t even need to respond with words you simply lift the hysterical Bulgarian into view of your inquisitor and they smile sympathetically and offer to repack your bag for you.
And if you don’t bring it there, chances are you can find it there…
Next step is to squish it all in.