When we decided to leave NYC and travel indefinitely we knew we needed to pack light. Anyone who has traveled with a toddler knows how much gear can be involved and we really wanted to limit that as much of that as humanly possible. Everything we brought with we were able to carry on. We did this for two reasons. One, getting in and out of the airport as quickly as possible is always our goal as a family. Two, for a lot of the international budget airlines you’re super limited as to what you can carry on and prices begin to skyrocket if you start checking baggage. So we decided to keep things real, real simple. The only piece of baby gear we ended up bringing is our Babyzen YOYO+ stroller. It folds up small enough that you can carry it on the plane (yes, that means no gate checks), is super narrow making it ultra easy to get around Paris and Owen has been ultra comfy taking stroller naps and exploring our new home. In a nutshell, it’s been perfect. Aside from baby gear, I’ve received plenty of questions about exactly what we decided to keep and bring along for this adventure. Below you will find images, more information and links to my capsule travel wardrobe, Owen’s wardrobe and the essentials we brought along for this toddler of ours! It took some strong will for all of us to get rid of the items we didn’t need for our travels, but it was an incredibly liberating and cleansing experience to let 99% of our belongings go. What items do you have now that you can’t imagine living without?
Believe it or not there are only one or two items here that I had before we made the decision to travel. Just a few weeks ago, after returning from Spain I started the massive purge with my closet. I began listing items on Ebay I thought might have a chance of selling, and took the rest to second hand stores and donation centers. For me it was honestly easier to get rid of nearly everything than picking and choosing from what I had. Since I made a decent amount of money on the clothes I did have I decided I would take that money and buy items I truly loved. Nothing over the top fancy, but good staple pieces that would last through our travels. The result is what you see above plus a set of pajamas, undergarments and socks. It’s pretty limited and has already proven to be quite challenging (forcing me to stay on top of my laundry), but I’m loving it.
For Owen’s items we thought about the absolute essentials for clothing, toys and books. His wardrobe is ultra simple and essentially gives us enough outfits for one week. Even though our apartment was small in Brooklyn, he had plenty of toys and books (most of which we gifted to friends), but far too many to take with us. I thought about what toys are great when we’re out and about and upgraded the ones we had before. Stacking cups never seem to get old over here and these ones are great because you can stack them inside and outside of each other, plus they’re great in water too. Blocks and Legos have easily been Owen’s favorite toy so far so it was important that we had something along those lines as well, but wen I really started thinking about it I just imagined Legos scattered on the airplane floor and decided to not go in that route. This is where the magnetic blocks are perfect. There’s not a huge selection to play with in this pack and they’re a little pricy, but he’s really loved them and it’s been worth it. The flash cards will be a great addition as Owen gets older, but right now they’re just fun for us to to practice vocabulary with him, and for Owen to stack and place into his backpack. The backpack we picked up fits perfectly in the bottom of the Babyzen YOYO+ which was really important since we are doing plenty of walking in Paris at the moment and I’d prefer to keep my hands free. I realize this is a very limited selection of toys for a 19 month old, but our hope is that with both Zack and I working from home this will provide more time for activities out and about where toys aren’t as essential.
If you’re planning to travel this summer or live in a big city I highly recommend checking out the Babyzen YOYO+. Before this stroller I was never able to carry both Owen and his stroller up and down our walkup in Brooklyn, the subway in NYC and the same would apply here if it wasn’t for the Babyzen YOYO+. It’s super simple to fold up and even has a carrying strap to make your life easier. It’s a smooth ride, ultra safe and if there’s one thing I’m happy we brought on our travels so far it’s this stroller!