1. Carry-on bag. One piece of luggage with all your essentials. Keep your “airplane survival supplies” in it. With your family that includes some “real food” for the flight, such as instant cup of noodles, in addition to snack foods. A couple of sets of change clothes for kids. Lip balm to combat the dry airplane compartment air and a portable DVD player for the carry-on-bag “survival kit”.
2. Medication and glasses. Make sure you have your prescription drugs, vitamins and glasses packed in both checked and carry-on luggage. If one gets lost you still function without a hitch. Replacing glasses or prescriptive meds in another country is a waste of valuable time and effort, better spent on the fun sights.
3. Money belt. Pickpockets are pretty common in Southeast Asia and most Westerners are not aware enough of the subtle ways a pickpocket can take your valuables. A moments’ carelessness can cause great interruption and inconvenience for your trip.
4. Passport holder. Pickpockets are interest in Westerner passport, especially US or UK passports. Carry a small passport purse around your neck, and under a jacket or shirt, for security and easy access. Keep passports and tip or small money amounts there for easy access. You can transfer more money from your belt at discreet moments, and not open up your traveling cash for merchants and pickpockets to notice.
5. Backpacks are great. We would recommend the padded, double strap for both shoulders, which wear well all day long without straining neck muscles. These are great for keeping your hands free, as well as carrying essentials for adults and activities or a journal for the kids.
6. Plastic bags. These little gems have incredible usefulness and not just on an adoption travel. They can save your suitcase from leaky toiletries, pack a snack, organize dirty clothes or just keep organized away from home, and a thousand other uses.
7. Sanitation Supplies. A bottle or two of hand sanitizer and your own supply of Kleenex or toilet tissue are important. If you do have Western-style toilets at all of your stops, you may not find an adequate supply of paper there. With frequent contact with numerous people in tourist areas, you’ll want to make use of hand sanitizer or wipes to keep germs away and family members healthy.
8. First aid kit. A small, but well-stocked travel medical kit can save the day many times. You want to be able to take care of minor scrapes and bruises easily. An obvious list is: bandages, aspirin, antiseptic. A few other items also top the list: bug spray/ointment, tweezers for splinters or other such emergencies.
9. Door stopper. If you are traveling off the beaten path, or even if you’re not, a simple added security measure is to carry a rubber door stopper. It is light and easy to slip under any hotel room door for that added measure of security for your family. Good tip wherever you travel.
10. Cameras. This is a very individual choice for families. Something to consider are options to record key moments of your trip without interfering with the experience. Some cameras can take still photos and video; this may be worthwhile to allow all family members to fully experience the trip. Or, if friends or extended family travel, one or two may be designated to capture key moments of the trip.
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