Updated: Jun 19
Before any trip, we always make sure to create a packing list that takes into account the transportation method and the specifics of the trip. We want to always consider factors such as baggage allowance, essential items, and the needs of our family and this trip was no different.
For our recent trip to Canada with our family of four, including two under two, we knew that we would be flying Air Canada for each of our four flights. We took advantage of their policy that allows each child to check two baby items for free, including a pack and play/travel crib in place of a stroller if needed. We also made sure to book hotels that provided a crib/pack and play, which made traveling with two babies much easier.
Air Canada is also known to be quite strict with their baggage policies, especially in Toronto. This includes not only weight limits but also size restrictions for carry on baggage and personal items.
Our packing strategy included one diaper bag per child, checking one large suitcase (or two if needed), and bringing two rolling carry-on suitcases. If we needed more space, we planned to check one carry-on and bring two large suitcases. We also allowed for two personal items per person.
However, we remained flexible with our packing plans. We understood that trying to cram everything we needed for our kids into a limited amount of baggage could be stressful, so we were prepared to adjust our plans if necessary. We stayed focused on the essentials while being open to modifications, which ultimately made for a smoother and more enjoyable trip.
As mentioned above, we knew that having cribs or pack and plays for our two babies was a top priority. We made sure to only book hotels and rentals that offered these amenities upon request. I even took the extra step of reaching out to each hotel beforehand to request two cribs for our stay. Unfortunately, only one of the three hotels was able to guarantee us the two cribs we needed.
With this in mind, we had to consider other options. We weighed up renting a travel crib from a local rental company in Banff and Toronto or bringing our own. However, we ultimately decided to bring our own pack and play since Air Canada's policy allowed each child to check two baby items for free, which included a pack and play. This saved us the extra expense and hassle of renting a travel crib.
TIP: If one of your children is under the age of 6ish months, you may want to consider a travel bassinet instead of a pack and play. You can pack it in your checked suitcase instead of bringing along a whole other travel crib and its much less expensive than buying a new travel crib as well.
In the end, we were glad we had the pack and play with us, as it gave at least one of our babies a familiar and comfortable place to sleep no matter where we were.
Sleep Packing List:
To the best of my ability, these items should be packed all together and in my carry on luggage as I want them to be with me during those travel days and not potentially lost in my checked bags.
Sleep Monitor - we have the Infant Optics DXR-8 Pro which consists of one monitor that works with two cameras. This is the same monitor that we use at home.
Two Sleep Sacks (or swaddles if you have a younger baby)
Must Have Baby Related Items
As parents with two young children, packing for the trip required us to carefully consider the baby-related items we needed to bring. The first challenge was how to pack enough diapers for eight days for two babies, which can take up a lot of space in our luggage. Additionally, we needed to bring enough formula for the baby's evening feeds and consider how to pack it securely.
We also had to decide whether to bring a stroller, a baby carrier, or a stroller wagon. After much thought, we decided to bring two carriers and one jogging stroller instead of the larger and heavier stroller wagon. This allowed us to be more agile and flexible, especially during outdoor activities and hiking. The jogging stroller was also useful for when the terrain allowed for it.
To save space in our bags, we brought enough diapers for the first few days and planned to purchase the rest at our destination. For formula, we packed as much as we needed for the trip, considering the formula shortage in both the US and Canada. During the trip, we learned that babies and adults can become more dehydrated at higher elevations, so consider this in your own travels and make sure to bring more formula than you think you may need.
In retrospect, we learned that bringing more formula was essential, as there was only one brand available in Banff. Fortunately, our baby was okay with it, but other children may not be as accepting. It's always good to be prepared for unexpected situations like this.
Essentials Packing List:
Grab and Go Diaper Kit
Enough diapers for 2-3 days per kid
Supplemental Formula or Breastmilk
Tula Lite (My favorite travel carrier, TWB10 for 10% off)
Tula Standard Carrier (has a little more padding for longer wearing)
Clothing for Hiking, Higher Elevation, & Outdoor Activities
When planning a trip with babies, it's crucial to consider the type of activities you'll be doing during your vacation. For our trip to Banff in the spring, we knew that the weather could change a lot within the day, with warm temperatures in town and colder temperatures on the mountain. Since our babies wouldn't be participating in the physical activities, we needed to ensure that they stayed warm, dry, and dressed in layers to keep them comfortable while we were hiking on the mountain. Being prepared for different weather conditions is key to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable trip with your little ones.
Base Layers: We chose to go with Merino Silk from Nui Organics (Code TWB20 for 20% off). Merino silk offers a range of advantages making it a fantastic choice for baby. Its temperature-regulating properties help keep you comfortable in various climates, while its moisture-wicking abilities keep you dry and prevent clamminess. The fabric's softness and gentle touch ensure exceptional comfort, and its natural odor resistance allows for prolonged wear without worrying about unpleasant smells. Merino silk is lightweight, breathable, and provides natural UV protection, making it suitable for active pursuits and outdoor activities. Despite its delicate feel, it is remarkably durable and retains its shape even after multiple washes.
Hoodie for toddler
Waterproof Winter Coat
Drool bibs for baby (easier to change out when wet than a whole outfit)
"Bear Suit" for baby
The Complete List
<< Here is where you can shop some of my favorite products like the Slumberpod, Ceres Chill, & AtoZ Adventure Gear
<< For all other products you will likely find them here!
Disposable Changing Pad
Reusable Changing Pad
Extra Change of Clothes for Baby
Plastic Doggy Bags
Bottles for Milk/Formula
Water Bottle for Toddler
Food/Meals/Snacks for both kids
Carry On Bags
Feeding related Items
Additional Food/Snacks if needed
Ceres Chill Washbasin Bag (Code TWB15 for 15% off)
Laptop or other electronics
Charger & Cords
Change of Clothes for Myself
Clothes/Pajamas for Baby
Slumberpod (2) (Discount Code already applied at link)
AtoZ Adventure Gear Playmat (Discount Code already applied at link)
Seasonal Items & Clothes
In conclusion, our packing list for our recent trip to Canada with two under two proved to be invaluable in ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience. By carefully considering the needs of our family, such as diaper supplies, formula, and appropriate clothing for varying weather conditions, we were well-prepared for any situation. Opting for baby carriers and a jogging stroller allowed us to navigate different terrains while staying agile and flexible. Choosing accommodations that provided cribs or pack and plays eased our worries about the babies' sleep arrangements. The use of merino silk clothing provided excellent temperature regulation and comfort for our little ones. Overall, with thorough planning and consideration of our children's needs, our trip was a success, and we created beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.
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