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Distant Lands

Friday, 25 July 2008

Three to get ready...

Click on image for a larger version
ergofab.jpg
one more reason to love the ergo baby carrier
Click on image for a larger version
ergofab.jpg
one more reason to love the ergo baby carrier
Packing for a trip with a kid requires certain paranormal abilities, namely ability to predict the future and ability to bend the space-time continuum in order to fit that last pair of shoes in. Even just getting the three of us ready, there are a number of last minute questions to answer:

  1. Will the ergo baby carrier we loved having with us two years ago in Europe work now, when she's roughly 2x bigger?

  2. Will we make it through the morass of setting up an international plan for the iPhone, and will it be worth the trouble and expense?

  3. Will her portable "bed house" (the PeaPod Travel Bed) fit in the one checked bag we plan to bring with us?

  4. Do we or don't we get some money-of-country in advance - in this case, Euros that are going for nearly $1.70 each?

For us, packing is a practice in economy. What can we comfortably carry on our own without too much trouble?  Sometimes that gets me in a lot of trouble (the snort-laughing you hear is my dear husband remembering that 6-week backpack in Europe where I thought a hand towel and two pairs of socks was a wise economy.  Again, I apologize to everyone who had to be within 2 miles of my socks. I did wash them a lot.  Honest.).  Sometimes it means we're able to clear customs in a snap. Traveling with one checked bag, maximum, is one of the rules we've kept over the years.  If we can get away with it, no checked bags is even better.

What it also means is that I usually pack each case three times.  Once for what I want to bring with us, once for what I should bring with us (half of what I want), and finally something in between. 

And when I keep packing lists from previous trips, I reuse them a lot - even if we're not taking quite the same things now… so I'm glad I put them online - now I can double check.

And now, for the answers to today's quiz:

  1. Will the ergo baby carrier we loved having with us two years ago in Europe work now, when she's roughly 2x bigger?  Yes! It is absolutely awesome - as easy to carry her now as it was then.  Hooray!

  2. Will we make it through the morass of setting up an international plan for the iPhone, and will it be worth the trouble and expense? Well - yes, so far.  Here's what I found out, after confirming that we were going to an in-plan country:
    • You need both the World Traveler Phone Plan (@ $5.99 a month) AND an International Data Plan (@ $24.99/month or $59.99/month, depending on how many MB you want.  With the plan, overages are much less expensive than surfing without the plan, however).  The phone plan only entitles you to $0.99/minute calls - no freebies.
    • You need to keep both plans on your account until all the calls made on the foreign country's phone lines are recorded on your account.  If you take the plans off when you return thinking "Ta-DA! Done! How Smart We Are!" you are in for a rough awakening when the bill comes.  Any calls/downloads that are recorded after you take the plans off your account are charged at the full non-plan, SUCKA, rate.  Seriously. AND… it can take upwards of 45-60 days to get all the calls logged to your account.  SHEESH, I say.  I will have to get back to you on whether or not this was a huge waste of not-so-plentiful funds.

  3. Will her portable "bed house" (the PeaPod Travel Bed) fit in the one checked bag we plan to bring with us? It does!  With room to spare for, you know, our stuff.

  4. Do we or don't we get some money-of-country in advance - in this case, Euros that are going for nearly $1.70 each? We've traveled without before and had no problem finding an ATM either in the airport or just outside of it.  With credit cards and other conveniences throughout many countries, this isn't a huge issue anymore.  On the other hand, we're coming into Ireland at the crack of early.  So we decided to get an AAA convenience pack in advance.  This gives us small denomination Euros and will at least help us get some much needed coffee when we land.  The rate was a bit higher than the exchange - not a happy thing.

Now it's out the door and off to the airport!

Posted in Americas : Europe : June-Aug. : Toddler : Young Child by Fran W. at 9:46 AMPermalink

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