30 May 2012

What's in the bag?

My bag (left) Zane & Dude's bag (right)
I spent all day washing clothes and packing.  I put much thought into what to pack.  Our trip to Berlin and Paris will be quite different from our recent trip to Panamá.  Europe is much cooler this time of year, we will visit at least two countries this time, and we will stay in a combination of host families, rental apartments and god knows what else.  Our packing needs are definitely different this time around.  I think I did pretty well for 3 people for 1 month of travel.  So, let me cut to the chase, here's what's in the bag:

For me:

A bunch of underwear/ 2 bras
a few pair of socks
one pair of cute heeled shoes/ one pair of flip flops (I'll wear my sneakers on the plane)
2 pair of jeans
4 pair of crock pants
1 pair of black tights
1 pretty red wrap dress
2 short summer dresses
7 fitted shirts
1 light sweater
1 pair of pajamas

I packed mostly gray, blue, and cream colors that can be mixed and matched and can be worn many times.  I did, however, add in a few colored shirts to jazz up my small wardrobe.  I was able to fit all of this in a small carry-on size bag along with some toiletries that I will list later.

For the boys:    Zane 8 years old & Dude 3 years old

2 sleeping bags
5 pair of shorts (per child)
2 pair of jeans (per child)
a bunch of socks and undies
1 pair of pajamas (per child)
7 pair of short sleeve shirts (per child)
2 pair of long sleeve shirts (per child)
swim trunks

All of the boys belongings fit into one medium size suitcase.  The sleeping bags were bulky and if not for them I could have used a much smaller suitcase.  Since these are all children's summer clothes they take up less space and made up for the puffy sleeping bags.  We will also bring Dude's stroller, it travels free and we plan to do quite a bit of walking.

I could have packed a third bag since each child is allowed a free bag but I decided against it since the flight from Berlin to Paris charges for checked bags.  As for our carry on bags I packed a lonely planet guide book "Europe on a shoestring", phone chargers, camera, pull-ups for Dude, passports, e-tickets.  I will also pack a few things to keep the boys busy on the bus and plane.  I'll allow Zane and Dude to pack their own carry-ons and of course AlphaPoppa packed his own bag which will probably be a very simple guy duffel bag type deal.

Our toiletries are packed mostly in my bag:
toothbrushes (non-electronic)/ small toothpaste tube
child Motrin/ Amoxicilin (in case of child illness)
allergy meds for my hay fever (just in case)
nail clippers/ tweezers/ safety pins/ ponytail holders
lotion/ sun block
wash cloths/ towels
eyeliner/ mascara
dental floss
pillow cases
clothes detergent capsules

Some of these things can be used for multiple purposes.  If I need to hand wash underwear or other clothes the dental floss makes a good clothes line.  Pillow cases can be stuffed with clothes from the suitcase to serve as a pillow.  One of the most important things I packed is an electric chord adapter.  The plugs in Europe of different from the plugs in America, so to keep our many electronic devices up and running adapters are a must.

Adapter, passports, Lonely Planet guide book,
soon-to-be unloaded BlackBerry, iPhone 4
Speaking of electronics, I will be trying something new (for me) on  this trip.  I recently upgraded my cellphone to an iPhone 4 (AT&T refurb discount) but I am still in possession of my BlackBerry Torch.  AT&T is in the process of unlocking my BlackBerry so while overseas I can get a European sim card and phone number to make keeping in touch this family and friends in the US a lot easier.  For those of you unfamiliar with what it means to unlock a cell phone, it means that a restriction is removed from the phone allowing it to carry service from any carrier, including international cell phone companies.  While my BlackBerry can be used for calling home and contacting future friends in Europe, my new iPhone 4 will allow me to Skype, blog, upload to Instagram, etc. to keep in touch with my loyal blog readers. 

I called my bank earlier and alerted them that I will be traveling in Europe.  They made sure my card will not be blocked and that I will have access to money while in Europe.  I contacted our Berlin host and checked to make sure all bus and plane tickets are in order.  We've done all we can do to prepare now all that is left is to get a good night's rest and let things fall into place.

Did I miss anything?  What do you think will be useful to have in our bags?


  1. Wow! Those are the smallest bags ever for a month long trip. I'm impressed!

  2. you left off deodorant ;-)

    1. I packed it, but yes, I did leave it off the list. Luckily, deodorant is one of those things that you can buy at your travel destination.

  3. Impressive Nena! And I believe that red dress can be worn multiple ways, including as a skirt!!

    1. I hope an opportunity will present itself so I can wear it! BouChic has all the cute clothes, thanks for the deal :-)