First of all, packing for a month long trip overseas with a baby seems like a very important task. It was but I learned a lot.

1. Bring half the stuff and twice the money is great advice

I didn’t listen to this piece of wisdom as I packed all 16 of our new and half used sunscreen bottles. I also brought over a hundred balance and think thin bars. In my defense, we found we didn’t love the bars in New Zealand last year so I brought almost 120 bars to tide us over for the month. Enough bars for us to have on our flights and at least one bar a day. They’re healthy, delicious and we love our think thin bars at home. However, I had a strong change of heart as I found myself sitting on the airport floor in Portland trying to repack and reposition everything to avoid the hefty $400 overweight charge by our friends at United Airlines.
Next time, I will bring 1 bottle of sunscreen to get us started and maybe 20 bars for a fun treat.

2. Request a baby bassinet

I vaguely remember seeing baby bassinets on other international flights I’d been on BK (before Kai). Anyway, when I called Air New Zealand to request a baby bassinet they told me there are 4 onboard and are given to the youngest babies. I figured as long as there aren’t two sets of twins flying to Auckland, we’re in the money. When we scooted over to the international terminal in SFO, I was aghast as I started counting the baby strollers roaming the boarding area, five, six, seven… Luckily, we scored one of the four baby bassinets for our 12 hour flight to Auckland. I watched movies and Sean played his angry bird game. It was a total treat! Later, we learned there were 12 infants onboard our flight!

3. Take an evening flight if possible

I think most of the long international flights departing from the US are in the evening so that makes it easy.

4. Don’t forget weight matters

I was so proud of myself for buying two ginormous roller bags. I figured I could cram everything into the two bags to “keep it simple.” Packing and traveling with large bags that don’t fit in the overhead bins is new to me. Turns out, size isn’t everything-such is life. Weight matters and it matters a lot with checked luggage. Surprise! Every airline has their own rules but United celebrates a 50 pound weight limit for each checked bag. Any bag weighing more than 50 pounds will cost you an extra $200. Bummer to start your trip that way so don’t forget weight matters. Less is better :)

5. Bring toys but leave your baby monitor at home

Turns out, I didn’t use a few baby gear items that I use regularly at home. For example, our white noise machine went tits up when we arrived in Ohope, New Zealand. It wouldn’t turn off unless we took the batteries out and it didn’t work when plugged in. The graco sound machine was stuffed back into my bag where it stayed all month. I certainly don’t hold a grudge against the graco sound machine, it still remains to be one of my favorite baby items. We’re lucky because we had the ocean singing to us right outside our window, a built in white noise machine if you will. Because there was a lot of co-sleeping going on, my baby monitor stayed in my bag for the entire trip. However, the toys were good. Having a variety of toys really paid off. They entertained Kai and bought me some good ole fashioned free time in the morning. And, bringing 20 small toys and books allowed me to pay it forward and leave a few in the kiddie room for the next traveler.

Happy Travels!