Have I overpacked the carry on?

Well! Well. Well well? Well?!

This is big, guys. Wednesday the three of us get on a plane to go to…


This is Logan’s and my first time visiting, and Ami’s first time out of the country. The DFW-NRT leg of our flight will be the longest single flight we’ve ever taken (13.5 hours), and we will of course be accompanied by our toddler, who is now 27 months old and, while awesome in lots of ways, is not the most patient creature in the world.

Logan and I have traveled a good bit in our almost 19 years together. We first backpacked in 2001, a ten-week European trip that taught me a very good lesson about overpacking. This lesson was reinforced by our honeymoon in 2004 and our travels in 2006-2007 when Logan was in culinary school in Italy. By the time we went on our around the world trip in 2011-2012, we had our packing method pretty well figured out. I traveled for 15 months with a 40-liter pack and a daypack, and I honestly think I could have gone smaller. Here I am trying to hail a bus on an overpass in Jordan.

Sometimes, public transit means hanging out on a highway overpass.

So traveling with a toddler is a whole new ballgame! I’ve now been stressing and obsessing over this for the better part of two months, and since I found other people’s blogs about toddler travel super helpful, I thought it might be fun to share some of what we’re doing.

We bought bigger backpacks than we’re used to, and the hope is that we can keep the packing to a point where we’re prepared, but still able to heft our bags onto our backs and walk with them. The bag we settled on (after way too much research and multiple trips to REI) is the Osprey Farpoint 70. Mine is black and Logan’s is blue. Yeah, matchy matchy. I also bought a large purse with lots of pockets that I hope to stick in my luggage on travel days, and Logan will have his camera bag.

For the toddler, we bought a City Tour stroller. It weighs 14 pounds and fits into its own backpack. While 14 pounds is pretty light for a stroller (this one is pretty full-featured, too, with a big canopy and a reasonably sized basket) that is stil a heavy piece of equipment to lug around. Fingers crossed she will use it. I’ll also bring our trusty Boba Air in case she wants to ride on our backs.

And this is what my Osprey daypack has in it right now for the flight. Missing still: diapers/wipes, change of clothes (full for Ami, just shirts for me and Logan), a few quart and gallon ziplock bags for emergencies, and lots and lots of snacks. I may reconsider and pack some of this stuff in my main pack, because these are all the toys and books we are currently planning to bring for the entire three and a half week trip.

New books! Drawing equipment (including triangular jumbo crayons that won’t roll on the plane)! Stickers! Wikki Stix (she may be too young for these yet)! Teeny animals and vehicles and Sesame Street characters! And, of course, we will have the ipad (that’s what the headphones are for) which I am even now stocking with episodes of Dinosaur Train and Daniel Tiger.

Here goes!

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