I've been obsessively making checklists on everything we need to do, buy and take with us on our upcoming trip to Los Angeles to visit my parents, and then the Philippines to visit Mr. Bee's parents. It takes 3 flights and 2 days of travel to get to the remote island where Mr. Bee's parents live. This will be my third time flying out there, and the travel was difficult even without kids, so many people have called us brave for taking this trip with a 10 month old and 2 1/2 year old. I know it'll be tough, but my mom will be coming with us, so she'll be a big help. Mr. Bee's parents also haven't met Olive yet, so that alone will make the trip worth it.
Mr. Bee's parents own a couple of beachfront cottages that they rent out to tourists year round. They have tons of pet chickens and roosters, and grow their own fruits and vegetables. We think Charlie is going to have the time of his life, and he's at an age where he may remember the trip. It's a gorgeous little island with crystal blue waters that caters to tourists, but most of its residents are also very poor. I know Charlie and Olive are too young to understand just yet, but I want to travel to many places with poverty so they can appreciate how much they have, how lucky they are, and how they should give back.
We're flying out to Los Angeles and spending a couple of days with my family first, because the flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo is much shorter than the flight from New York to Tokyo. There are no direct flights to Manila so we have to take a connecting flight in Seoul or Tokyo.
OUR 2 1/2 WEEK ITINERARY
Flight #1: 6:00pm flight from New York to Los Angeles (6 hours)
Flight #2: 1:30pm flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo (12 hours)
Flight #3: connecting flight from Tokyo to Manila (5 hours)
Flight #4: next day morning flight to small island (1 hour)
Flight #5: morning flight back to Manila (1 hour)
Flight #6: next day 9:00am flight from Manila to Tokyo ( 4 1/2 hours)
Flight #7: connecting flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles (10 hours)
Flight #8: next day 11:30am flight from Los Angeles to New York (5 1/2 hours)
The first flight from New York to Los Angeles won't be that bad because the flight is around their bedtime, so I think they'll both sleep most of the way. But we have 5 other long flights (12, 5, 4.5, 10, 5.5 hours respectively) during which we have to entertain both Charlie and Olive. I bought a bunch of new toys for the trip, but that also means saving some of the toys for the return flights, and schlepping everything with us. I don't think Charlie will be that difficult with all the toys/apps/movies we'll have for him. But Olive is at a tough age where she's not into tv, toys don't hold her interest for very long, and she's going to want to move around. I'll just be nursing a lot, feeding her lots of snacks, and walking up and down the aisles a lot!
Ceviche, calamari and lobster caught and cooked the same day. It doesn't get any fresher!
Other than the grueling travel, some other difficult logistics we have to navigate include:
- Charlie is recently potty trained, but we will have him in diapers when we're on the planes/traveling
- Olive is a lap infant on all our flights
- no strollers as Mr Bee's parents live on the beach -- a 20 minute walk from town with no roads; Charlie is going to have to walk a lot while we're there, and when switching planes (we'll probably end up carrying him a lot)
- no car seats as we wouldn't even be able to use them in the Philippines anyway
- no crib so we're bringing our own
- electricity for only half the day
- no bathtubs or hot water (we bathe by mixing cold water with boiled water in a large bucket)
- no hemp milk... so hopefully Charlie will drink soy because we're not carrying milk with us (if we can even find soy that is)
- lots of mosquitoes
- only one room has ac (that's the one I'll be staying in!) and it is hot and humid
- it's a rural, remote island, so we can't buy anything there and we're going to have to bring everything we need with us
We definitely have our work cut out for us!
We had to purchase new suitcases for the trip because we lent ours to someone who moved and didn't return them(!). We will be taking three pieces of luggage with us:
- This duffle suitcase which will be checked. It has backpack straps in case we can't use the wheels, like on the beach. It also folds up very small when empty, which is always a big plus.
- This carry-on wheeled suitcase with a detachable backpack.The detachable backpack is so cool! We're going to put all our electronics in it, and it'll be a great diaper bag during our trip. Since we can attach it to the suitcase, it's one less thing to carry. The carry-on suitcase will hold all of Charlie and Olive's toys and books, and also has backpack straps like the duffle suitcase.
- Our Diaper Dude Messenger II Diaper Bag for diapers, snacks, etc. It has a lot of pockets and holds a lot of stuff.
I'll be wearing Olive and dragging one suitcase, and Mr. Bee will be wearing the messenger bag and dragging one suitcase. Hopefully Charlie can walk!
I'm going to create detailed printable checklists along with links and visual guides to all the products I used/recommend when we return, so this is just a general list of what I'm packing for now. I've done a lot of research, and learned lots of great tips from the Hellobee community as well!
GO travel crib/sheet
fabric high chair
clothes/underwear for whole family
swimming suits for the whole family
Charlie/Olive sun hats
Olive sleep sack (2)
diapers & wipes
Carry-On Suitcase (Toys and Books)
Charlie books: Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, Harold and the Purple Crayon, White Rabbit's Color Book, I Love My White Shoes, Prince of the Potty, Airport
My Plane Trip coloring book, twistable crayons
Wonder Color Markers and Drawing Pad
Create-a-Scene Magnetic Playset: Construction Site
Wikki Stix / pipe cleaners
Thomas Train & fire truck
Painter's Tape (to create roads/cities)
Thomas' Sticker Express
Thomas Water Wow Activity Book
Playdoh (red, blue, yellow) & garlic press (to make noodles)
playing cards (dazzle Charlie with shuffling, and Mr Bee and I can play cards too)
Olive's book: Indestructible's: Jungle, Rumble!
toy leash (so toys don't land on the dirty floor)
Baby Einstein Takealong Tunes
Fisher Price Click n' Learn Remote
Random small toys: silicon cupcake cup, straws
Charlie/Olive change of clothes (3)
Charlie headphones & headphone splitter
earbuds x 2
notebook + pen
Charlie/Olive birth certificates copies
family toothbrushes/toothpaste/kids' toothpaste
Carry-on Diaper Bag
overnight diapers size 3, 4
2 aden & anais blankets
extra shirt for me
ibuprofen & acetaminophen
Benadryl (in case of an allergic reaction)
travel Boppy (Olive is going to sleep on this on my lap)
disposable place mats (to use on airplane tray tables)
Charlie hemp milk
Packit Freezable lunch bag for milk
Olive water bottle cap adapter
dish soap (to wash bottles at airport during flight connections)
Charlie/Olive snacks & food: Cheerios, yogurt melts, mum mums, lollipops & gummi bears (for take-off and landing), fruit leather, nutri-grain bars, food pouches, nonrefrigerated foods like muffins/bananas
Since the travel crib takes up half our check-in suitcase, we have to pack very light. Mr. Bee and I are only taking 2 outfits in addition to what we'll be wearing, and pretty much nothing else other than our technology. We'll use the kids' toiletries, and we can just wash our clothes while we're there. Since we can't buy necessities like wipes and diapers there, pretty much everything we're bringing is for the kids. I packed more toys than clothes because we have 6 flights that are between 5.5 - 12 hours!
I'm not gonna lie -- I'm worried that it's going to be really tough. But whatever happens, I'm sure this will be a trip we never forget!
Based on our itinerary and packing list, do you have any last minute packing gear/tips or travel advice for us?
Mrs. Bee’s International Travel with Kids Series part 1 of 61. Packing for an International Trip with an Infant and a Toddler by Mrs. Bee
2. Our First International Trip by Mrs. Bee
3. Packing Checklist for Flying with Children by Mrs. Bee
4. 45 Tips for Flying With Kids by Mrs. Bee
5. Best Infant and Toddler Travel Toys by Mrs. Bee
6. The Benefits of Traveling With Young Children by Mrs. Bee