Did you miss me last week? We were gone all week on a family tour of Northern Laos. Ryan had done the same trip last month and decided he wanted to take us along to see it before we head back to the US this summer. We had an awesome trip (aside from a few rough spots.) I’ll be telling you all about it this week.
First, I’m going to tell you what we took with us. We knew we’d be on and off many different modes of transportation: buses, tuktuks and boats, so we wanted to pack as light as possible. We ended up with 3 small bags:
1 duffel bag
1 purse It was very convenient to only have these bags, especially since we often had to pick up the kids or help them on and off our rides. What did we fit in these three bags? Just enough for a week of travel.
In the duffel we packed:
1 outfit per day for Elise (a few less for the rest of us)
1 toiletry bag for the whole family
1 small pouch of hair things
1 inflatable toddler mattress
In the backpack:
homeopathic motion sickness medicine
In my purse:
notebooks and crayons
a pouch containing wet wipes, chapstick, money, bib, mosquito repellent, barf bags, phone etc..
We had some laundry done at one stop, and another time we washed a few things in the sink.We brought very few toys for the kids. They were happy with their notebooks, crayons, and plastic animals while waiting at restaurants. On the long bus rides, they kept entertained with audiobooks, music, snacks and a few games on the ipad. They also took a number of naps on the road. We bought snacks as we went from the bus or boat stops like seasonal fruit, nuts, homemade rice crackers and smoked meat.
The most useful item we packed? Our three sarongs.They are just simple strips of fabric. Each one is a different shape and fabric. One is sewn into a tube. They pack up very flat, dry quickly and have so many uses! I can’t recommend them enough.We used them as pillows on the buses and boats, towels, sheets, picnic blankets, rain coverand in the past we’ve used them as baby carriers We would consider them an essential travel item.
That was all we brought. It’s the lightest we’ve ever packed for that length of time. The only thing I wished I had brought was a sun hat for Elise as it was blazing hot some days (and she has very white skin). And my plastic flip flops that I chose as my only pair of shoes ended up wearing down a bit too much.
In the next few days, I’ll be telling you more about where we went, what we saw and how we slept.
What do you pack for a week long trip? What are your essential travel items?
part 1 touring Northern Laos: packing light
part 2 touring Northern Laos: Phongsali
part 3 touring Northern Laos: down the Nam Ou River
part 4 touring Northern Laos: family accommodations