Hello my dears! One more week of school here and we are dragging our feet to the finish line! Last week was the kids’ piano recital. Check out Annaliese taking her first bow after her first piano performance yesterday, she was SO excited… Also, we helped out with a retirement party for a beloved preschool teacher all my children were lucky to have. Marc and I are down in Florida for two days this weekend for his best friend’s daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. Super fun to get away but things are too busy and my head is spinning.
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As I mentioned in a vlog last week, this summer is going to be a huge family adventure for us because we are heading off to visit with family and friends in Spain and France. As fortunate as we are to have the opportunity to take this trip, I have to be honest with you: I am a nervous wreck. I’ll be traveling by plane by myself with all of my 5 kids, and going to a place I don’t know well. A while back, I thought it was too much –frankly, I was too scared — but then I realized that if I don’t do this special trip with my kids, I’ll regret it later, regret having not said carpe diem! Also, I was inspired by Jennifer Colburn’s guest post We’ll Always Have Paris about her milestone trips to Europe with her daughter Katie… SO, I decided to go ahead and started getting ready for our trip in early APRIL, yes APRIL (it’s now the end of May).
My Packing Checklist: What to Pack for Travel with a Toddler and 4 Older Kids
One way I’ve been battling my anxiety over traveling so far away with my kids on my own is by writing lists, packing, and figuring what we need. In today’s video, I’m walking y’all through my suitcases and showing you how I’m going about getting ready. Here’s a brief checklist — LMK if I’m leaving anything out!
- shampoo/body wash/conditioner (don’t know if I can find my fav brands there)
- contact lens solution
- garbage bags and blue tape – in case they don’t have blackout shades where we are staying!!! Don’t want the kids waking up early with jet lag!
- 2 bathing suits
- bathing suit coverups — a MUST post baby, ha ha.
- 4 light dresses (don’t complain if you see me wearing the same things all summer on Instagram, that’s why, ha ha!)
- light raincoat
- 2 light nightgowns
- lightweight beach/touring bag
- 2 pairs of comfy flat sandals
- sun hat
- Foreign chargers, adapters — must if you are going to Europe: Xcessor Compact 2 Pin European USB Wall Charger
- suitcase locks (yes, I’m paranoid) — try to get the ones that are TSA approved: Master Lock 4680DNKL TSA-Accepted Set-Your-Own Combination Lock
KID’S TRAVEL CHECKLIST
- 2 bathing suits each
- 2 pairs walking shoes/sneakers each
- 3 changes of clothes TOTAL each (luckily, we have access to laundry)
- 2 lightweight pajamas each
- each kid has HIS OR HER OWN BACKPACK FOR PLANE — PHEW! I’ll be doing a separate video on what I’m putting into those for our flight… stay tuned for that!
- travel inflatable crib for Marielle (since we don’t have enough beds for everyone). Did tons of research and this is what we decided upon: AeroBed Mattress for Kids
I’m on the fence over fleece tops from the Children’s Place — not sure I will need them — worried about a cold front but don’t really have the space???
Do you guys think I left anything out? If so let me know. I’ve still got another week so plenty of time. Anyways, to see the ins and outs of my packing strategy and what we’re bringing as well as where I am putting everything, watch today’s video.
Thanks for watching and have a great day!