Bangkok-grand-palaceIn a couple weeks, my family and I will be taking a two week vacation to Bangkok and Phuket. Southeast Asia has always intrigued me…well, until “Hangover 2” came out; that left me a little leery for a while. I’ve read a lot and have some ideas on what we’ll experience while there, but the packing is what intimidates me more.

Where to begin? A lot of what I’ll be basing my packing on is Sri Lanka. I figure it’s relatively the same idea…mosquitoes, sun, beach and exploration. So here’s what I’ve come up with.

Mosquitoes:

TerraShield by Doterra.  An all natural essential oil which repels mosquitoes.

Off! Clip-on Mosquito Repellent Fans.  These were great to clip on in the jungle for added protection, but also just to put on the ground at our feet, as mosquitoes love the feet/ankle area under tables.  While they are not non-toxic, we needed some heavy duty ammo at times.

Buzz Barrier Mosquito Repellent Wristbands…non-toxic.  We put these on our kids at all times while outdoors.  Worked like a charm.

Solar Power Anit-mosquito Repellant Keychains…non-toxic.  We just clipped these onto our bags we carried and off we went.

Basic Travel Necessities:

Hats.  I always make sure to have a hat for every member of the family.  You never know when you’ll want that extra protection from heat and sun.

Small backpack or shoulder bag of must have items.  You’ll want one for all the little extras that go along with having kids.  Throw in the following:
*small medical kit, spare bottle of water, sunscreen, a few granola bars, wet wipes, tissues and hand sanitizer.  Make sure you have room for other things that will inevitably be thrown in there during your day out, like the hats, sunglasses, small souvenir purchases, etc.toilet-seat-cover large

Toilet seat covers.  I now never travel without toilet seat covers.  Yep, you know the ones they have for your kids to use out in public restrooms while they are learning to potty train.  I buy several packages at a time.  You never know where you’re going to have to go, at least feel a little cleaner while doing it.

Favorite snacks.  I always save room in our luggage for favorite snacks for my kids.  While you will probably be able to find snacks in the grocery stores…how long will it take you to get to one upon arrival?  I just like to have a favorite to pull out of my bag for when we’re stuck in a pickle.

Entertainment.  Now that we are traveling a lot more, we purchased iPods for our kids.  They’ve come in handy on long train rides, long flights, long layovers, etc.  They can also take pictures with them, documenting and remembering their trips.  But, it’s not all we take along.  I bring a coloring book and crayons for the kids, as well as one new “toy” or game of some sort.

Stroller.  I dread traveling with a stroller now days.  My youngest is 4 and I feel she’s up for the walking most of the time.  It’s just one extra piece to carry around with you throughout the entire trip.  And you can never be sure of what the road/sidewalk conditions will be like everywhere you go.  Of course, if you have a younger one, you’ll probably want it.  A baby carrier will probably be too hot in the humidity.

Umbrealla. If you’re going during monsoon season like we are, you might want an umbrella.

Clothing:

Summer clothes.  Plain and simple, load up your lightweight items, including shorts, shirts, swimsuits, dresses and slacks.  You want items that breathe due to the humidity during the summer.  Don’t neglect your long linen pants and shirts…you might want to cover up after too much sun or to keep protected from the mosquitoes.

Resort attire.  If you’re staying at a resort during your vacation, you might be required to have dresses, slacks, collared shirt, etc.  Check before going.  Doesn’t hurt to have a nice outfit or two for going out.

Temple attire.  Due to traditions and culture, you are going to want to cover your legs and upper arms when visiting temples.  Bring a large scarf to wrap around your arms if you have sleeveless tops and dresses.  You also need closed shoes covering your toes and heals, not sandals.  I find the shoe thing a bit amusing as you usually have to take your shoes off anyway before entering.

Other Items:

*Money belt
*Universal plug adaptors
*Phone chargers, computer chargers, etc.
*Beach toys…I bring arm floaties, some sand toys, and sometimes life jackets as I cannot assume they will all be available nor in good condition
*Car seats.  A pain in the tush, I know, but if you are planning on a lot of car travel, bring them…especially to these parts of the world.  Many people only do train/public bus travel which makes having and lugging car seats around more of a problem.  Just plan accordingly.
*Copies of all your travel documents spread out among your luggage, purse, etc.  You want to make sure in case one is lost or stolen, you’ll have your information somewhere else as well.
*Diapers? Formula? Food? Bring enough till you get to the store.

This list should get you started on your packing needs for visiting South East Asia during the summer months.  There are numerous other items to consider, but for traveling with kids, this is a good place to start.