Packing and Planning for Sri Lanka – with our Conor
Packing for a trip was never an issue for Danny and me. Usually, we’d get it all in one suitcase the night before (or, sometimes the day of). Planning was always fun, easy, and exciting. Add Conor to the equation, and things get a bit more complicated. We’ve been researching and planning “traveling with a toddler” for over a month now.
First, we had to get the little guy his passport. The paperwork was pretty straight forward, and easy to complete. Luckily for us, they also offered the photo session on location – his first passport photo, done.
Next up was a trip to the travel clinic. Learning about all the different diseases around the world was quite eye-opening. Another great thing about heading to Sri Lanka: Yellow Fever shot is not required; neither is Zika. At 18 months, Conor is current on all his vaccinations. The travel nurse did advise that we get his final MMR shot: usually it’s a booster shot for 4 years old, but due to him traveling out of the country…it’s better to be safe and get the shot before flying. We walked out of the clinic with a sense of relief. Child-safe Mosquito repellent on hand. We’re one step closer to Sri Lanka.
Picking international flights is daunting when you have a toddler in tow. Are more shorter flights better than fewer, longer flights? What about layover times? It really is just one big gamble. We took a chance and focused on minimizing the number of flights. The first leg of our journey will be from Denver to London. A ten-hour evening flight which hopefully, Conor will sleep thru most of it. Once landing in Heathrow, we have another ten hours before the next flight. Our goal is to wear Conor out: so he’ll sleep on the final leg of the trip, from London to Sri Lanka. Heathrow Airport has some great children areas that I’m sure Conor will love.
Since he’s under two, Conor will travel as a lap child. We opted for the bulkhead seats, for some extra room to let him sit and play. For families traveling with infants, most airlines offer bassinet-beds that attach to the bulkhead wall for added toddler-support. Some airlines also have a dedicated Child Care Stewardess onboard their flights. I hope Conor is ready to make a new friend. We have almost a similar return itinerary to the States. The only major difference…we booked a hotel room during our layover, in hopes of getting some quiet time, naps, and a shower.
What do you do with a curious kid who is stuck in a limited space for ten hours? Snacks, snacks, and more snacks. To make the list, snacks had to meet two important criteria: not too messy and require no refrigeration. We picked up the following: crackers, pretzels, cheese, chips, granola bars, fruit gummies, and juice pouches. Gummies were recommended by our pediatrician. She explained that kids could play with them, bend and wiggle them. They don’t get very sticky, so there’s not very messy. Conor can nibble on them, and hopefully share some with me. Aside from the snacks, Conor really loves to play and explore. We are planning on lots of walks up and down the isles with him. We packed up some small toys that we can pull out throughout the flight. Painters tape is a favorite: he can stick it on things and pull it back off. We also decided to let him play around on the iPad in hopes of some quiet time.
The last part of the airplane bag essentials includes: diapers, blankets, wipes, and extra clothes for both Conor and me. The blankets help shield out any light source if he’s napping. We also packed a teething necklace: during take-off, he’ll play with that while on my lap.
Since we’re taking all of this into the cabin with us, we’ve checked a few items. You can check two baby items, free of charge with checked luggage. We opted to take a travel car seat with us: since we will be traveling throughout Sri Lanka by car and train. The most important features for us is that it’s safe, light-weight, and easy to install. For our second item, we are bringing a travel crib for him. We chose one that is only 13 pounds and super-easy to set up. Should Conor need a place to nap or in the off-chance one of our hotels doesn’t offer a crib: we’re prepared.
Our luggage filled up fast, as there are clothes, toiletries, and all the other basics that you pack for a trip. We can’t forget the necessary creature comforts for Conor: His white noise machine, bedtime toys, and favorite books will hopefully make bedtime run smoothly.
We’ll be sure to let you know if we packed everything, or if we didn’t. Check-in on Khiri Travel’s social media accounts to follow along in our adventure.