Packing with a toddler for a 4-week trip = total chaos

“I want to only have one roller bag,” Chris insisted as we were packing on Thursday. “it will make things so much easier, especially when we’re in transit in Japan.”

Everything he’s saying here makes sense. Of course it will be easier to wrangle just one large roller bag along with a couple backpacks, the car seat bag (it’s HUGE!), shoulder bags, a stroller, and our active toddler. But we are packing for four weeks away — three will be in Australia, and one will be in Japan. This is a rough feat to pull off. And I knew if this was the goal, every single bag we’d have would be stuffed to the BRIM. The biggest challenges that I thought about were a) packing for two totally different seasons — summer in Australia AND a cold winter in Japan, and b) all the gifts we’d likely be given for Kaia, not to mention anything we’d like to buy/take back home with us, both from Australia and Japan. I’d like to buy some gifts for friends, too. And literally, every single item ADDS UP when you have to pack for this situation, not to mention the random things you have to throw into your bag to keep your toddler in check and comfortable.

So I had to give up on some things to pack: some cute summer outfits for Pookster that I really wanted her to wear this trip, but will just have to hope she’ll still fit into in May-June when our spring/summer warm months come around in New York. At Chris’s urging, I reduced the number of sweaters for myself to wear in Japan. And annoyingly, I also gave up traveling with my mirrorless camera, which I haven’t actively used since Kaia was born two years ago. My poor (well, expensive!) camera has sadly been collecting some dust in the closet these two years. But I just couldn’t justify squeezing into our already crazily stuffed bags. Plus, I would be so paranoid about losing/forgetting it in a mad rush to get in/out of places with Pookster, especially as she is always on the move and run now. The latter is the number 1 reason I haven’t taken it on any trip we’ve done since she was born. I only have so much mind share, and I can’t keep track of everything with another human to keep track of the way I used to.

It’s okay, though. At some point in the near future, hopefully we will need to pack less, and I’ll make space for my currently dormant Sony mirrorless camera. I haven’t forgotten about you!!

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