During our Family World Trip we learned a lot about what is useful and what is a complete waste when travelling. In this post we want to share some lessons we have learned and hope it will help some of you on future trips. One of the best advices is to pack less! It is unbelievable how few clothes one really needs. Almost everywhere we found washing machines or laundries. Most of the links below are affiliate marketing links, meaning we get a very small share if someone buys these products. Therefore, we only linked to products we have used ourselves and that have proven very useful to us.
Organize everything with Packing Cubes
We absolutely fell in love with packing cubes. Those cubes allowed us to quickly organize our clothes and keep them like that. We had one packing cube for Leandro’s clothes, one for Diego’s and so on. Hence, when we were looking for some clothes, we did not have to unpack everything, but only take the corresponding packing cube out. It saves much time. We even had different colors for them. Thus, everybody knew which packing cube belongs to him. Arranging the clothes like that open up a lot of space in the backpack. I would not want to travel without these packing cubes anymore!
Travel Plug with USB Ports
Travelling the world means many different power plug systems. Instead of carrying many different adapters, I wanted one adapter for all countries. However, we carried several devices and many times we needed to charge more than one device at the same time. Fortunately, nowadays most devices can be charged via USB. Therefore, we took a travel plug with 4 USB ports with us. Believe it or not, but most times we used at least 3 of them at the same time. If you carry cellphones, a tablet, a kindle, a power bank and perhaps some other devices 4 USB chargers are not that many all of a sudden.
A Backpack Cover avoids Struggle at the Airport
Like when I was a student, I travelled with my large backpack during our Family World Trip. It is definitely easy to carry and I can pack many things in it, but at the airport it is a struggle when checking in luggage. As there are so many straps at my backpack, many times I had to check it in as special or sports luggage. With the many flights ahead, I definitely wanted to avoid this. The backpack cover helped me greatly. It was easy to put over the backpack and lock. Additionally, I had some more space to pack light things (like diapers). It definitely made my life easier at the airport and was an additional protection for my backpack.
Powder is your Friend
Last year the instructor of my video course had a few mantras. One of it was “Powder is your Friend”. Although she meant it in a slightly different way, I could not agree more after this trip. Powder, either as Baby Powder or Cooling Powder, was something I used in different ways. In hot places like Thailand or Australia, cooling powder is very pleasant on the skin and avoids heat rushes. During the time in the motorhome we used powder often to quickly clean our feet. Cooling powder also kept shoes fresh. Normally not a topic people talk about, but try it for yourself. Especially in sandals it gives feet a nice and fresh feeling and it keeps them from smelling (shoes and feet). Last but not least, I also used it instead of after shave. Whereas after shave hurts sensitive skin, baby powder gives skin a much better feeling. In the end, powder replaced several other products and was extremely versatile during our trip.
A Lightweight Packable Backpack
For all the electronic equipment we used a proper backpack as cabin luggage. For the rest however, we used lightweight and packable backpacks. Carolina bought one just before we left. Although we bought a few others during the trip, this initial one was the most versatile and the longest lasting. It has several different storage possibilities and is very convenient for many situations, such as: as cabin luggage, for shopping, for hiking, strolling around etc. The other small packable backpacks we bought did not last very long, but this one is very resistant.
Travel Money Belt to keep important Things Safe
We visited several big cities and many crowded tourist spots. Usually, with two toddlers we are spotted as an easy target for pickpockets. We tried not to carry many valuable things with us, but some we always had to (e.g. cellphone or credit card). To minimize the risk of pickpockets I used this travel money belt with two straps. I normally put one strap around the shoulder and the other one around my waist. I would not have won anything in a fashion show, but our belongings were as safe as the could have been in such places.
Long USB Cables
As described before we took one travel plug with 4 USB ports with us. This meant we could only charge our devices in one place. Therefore, long USB cables (2 meters / 6.8 feet) were very handy. We bought three colored cables to distinguish between them. These USB cables were very useful throughout the time of our trip and even now at home, these cables are still useful.
Just before the start of our trip I looked intensively for sandals. In addition to flip flops and sneakers I wanted some sandals, which I could use basically everywhere. I bought these crocs sandals with mesh material on top. They were great, because 90 percent of the time, I used these shoes. I used them when sightseeing, when swimming at a very rocky beach in Thailand, for hiking in the mountains and even for kayaking in Ireland. In combination with the powder tip (see above) these sandals are absolutely great.
Additional Random Advice
In addition to the tips above we recommend taking the following things along:
- one light rain jacket for everyone, because at some point you will need it!
- Synthetic shirts, because they dry much faster than cotton
- Flip flops come in handy in almost every place, not only when using public showers at campgrounds
- A travel credit card, which does not charge for cash withdrawal (like Santander Visa Card 1plus)
- Deodorant sticks, because compared to sprays and roll-ons they are more compact and last much longer
- No world travel SIM card, because it is much cheaper to buy local SIM cards, plus the one we bought upfront did not work everywhere
We really hope, these tips help making your next trip easier. Please let us know, if you have any other questions regarding what to bring on a trip. We are more than happy to share our experiences.