How To Pack The Luggage When Your Kid Travel Overseas Without You
Now that mid year exam is over, are we all ready for R & R (Rest & Relax)? I'm actually in the midst of packing luggage, not for us, not for me either, but for AJ.
AJ will be going away for 5 days with his school. This coming overseas trip will be AJ's third trip away without the parents over a span of just 2 years. Huh? He is only 10, and already third overseas trip without parents?! It's kinda too soon, isn't it? Yea, I actually dislike the idea of kids travelling overseas without parents at too young a age. To me, primary school level is considered too young.
His first trip was last year March when he went to Malaysia with his new primary school friends. Just 4 months past 9 years old and he had to be away from us for 3D/2N. It got me a little emo, no less. Why do school trips start so early these days? These children were only 9 or 10 years old. Haiz...
Knowing that it was probably our children’s first overseas trip without parents, the personnel from the tour agency was kind enough to share with us some practical tips how to pack their luggage. Here are some useful pointers:
1) Since it was a short 3D/2N trip, we only need to pack in 2 sets of day clothing, 1 set of pyjamas and an extra set for ‘in-case’.
2) Pack each set of clothing mentioned in point (1) in one ziplock bag. That means there should be 4 ziplock bags. So the children need not worry about what to wear everyday. Each day they only need to unzip one ziplock bag.
3) Pack the money for them to buy things into each ziplock bag together with the clothing as well. This is to prevent unforeseen mishap if the child lost his wallet that day, he/she would still have money from other day’s supply. Though the children hardly had to spend money as school trips would have all 3 meals covered, the extra money was given for them to buy little things like titbits, souvenirs, etc..
4) Pack in a large plastic bag for them to dump all soiled clothing.
5) Checked with the hotel if they supply toothpastes, toothbrush, shampoo, body wash, etc.. If the hotel does provide, you need not pack these in (remember: the less things to remember for them the better). If you do need to pack them in, give the child small bottles, enough for him/her to use for those days, and be prepared that he/she will forget to bring them back. In the madness of packing up upon checking out, they might forget many things.
6) Pack in the necessary medication in sufficient quantities for those few days only. Inform the teachers about your child’s health condition so that they may be able to help watching out for symptoms.
7) Lastly, don’t give them a luggage bag that is too huge for them to handle.
I find these tips very useful when I packed AJ’s luggage on his first school trip. I did exactly as told and the luggage bag came back as a piece. 😁
AJ’s second overseas trip was another Malaysia trip, but with Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir (SSCC) then. It was again a 3D/2N packed-to-the-brim trip. I used the same method to pack his clothes. The only difference was that I had to pack in his performance attire which he had to wear for 2 nights. It needed to be pressed and I was a little concerned that he might be careless in handling it and caused it to crease. Fortunately the children could hang their performance attires in the concert hall once they reached the site for rehearsal so that had solved the problem.
And very soon, he will be embarking on his third overseas trip without us. I am adopting the same packing method but this time I will get him to arrange his own outfit for the day.
By this time I have become a little cool about his travelling (and there will be more to come). My only concern left is the lack of sleep which always happen in this kind of packed-to-the-brim trip. Moreover, having a mate or 2 in the same room means endless chatting and possibly playing online games on the phones which will eat into their limited sleeping time.😔
That is something beyond my control since I cannot be present. So I will have to load him with probiotics and Vitamin C before and after the trip.
Have any of your kids gone overseas without you at such young age? How did you cope with this separation anxiety?