We traveled with Boyan, our 13-month son last month to Japan (for those who are wondering, yep, he is the main reason why this blog has been so quiet in the past couple of years. :-)) and spent a unforgettable 10 days there. Before I went there, I searched over the web for tips, but they seemed to scattered around. I therefore decided to share our experience and hope it will be useful for others.
To make the information most useful, I will just list items we brought with us for the trip and comment on how essential each item was based on our experience denoted in the following way:
*** Must have
** Nice to have
* Not needed
**1. Travel Gears
Mountain Buggy Nano (***)
It's definitely a life saver to travel with a small child. The major cities in Japan are very stroller friendly, even though it seems that locals prefer baby carriers over strollers. We did bring a baby carrier with us but ended up using the stroller most of the time.
- It is lightweight and can be folded into carry-on size.
- It's back can be adjusted into different positions, including a lie flat position for sleeping
- It has up to 44lb weight and children up to 4 years
- The sun shade is on the small side. But this issue has already been fixed for newer model of Nano.
Mountain Buggy Nano All Weather Cover (***)
Unless you plan to stay indoor all the time, the all weather covers are must-have to ensure your child stay comfortable all the time. We used the rain cover for both rainy and windy conditions. We also used the sun shade to create a dark environment to allow Boyan to take a good nap during the day.
- Both covers fit into a small bag that can be attached to the stroller.
Hip Seat Baby Carrier (*)
We have multiple baby carriers, including Egobaby. But our favorite is Bebamour baby carrier, mostly used as hipseat. During our Japan trip, we used it from time to time, but only for short trips. However, we did notice that baby carriers are very popular for locals.
- Hearing Protection (**)
I love my Bose Noisy Canceling headset for air travels. Even though Boyan was only 13-month, we got the large size Baby Banz earBanZ Hearing Protection and it worked great for him. He seemed to very comfortable in it and wared it all through the flights. He looks super cute in it as well. :-)
- Getting a window seat on the airplane (***)
Not really a gear, but it is super important. It helps to keep the kid entertained from time to time, especially at boarding and landing time. More importantly, it allows the kid to sleep with the least amount of interruption.
Neck wallet and passport holder (***)
A must-have for traveling with a small child. It makes it so much easier to manage all the important documents and tickets on the go. The last thing you want is to leave any of the important documents behind.
- Diaper bag (***)
There is no need to explain why it is critical to have a well-stocked diaper bag for travel, particular on the road in a foreign country.
I will write a separate post soon on the content of the diaper bag for both air travel as well as for day trips. Stay tuned.