While Andres played with his grandparents today, Leanne and I did a test-pack to see how much gear we are taking and how many bags we will need.
This involved packing as closely as possible to what we intend to take … including all the extra gear – bottles, sterilisation equipment, ergo baby carrier, medicines, toiletries, all my camera gear, batteries, power adaptors, cables, etc. We also tried to decide on which clothes we would be taking and what we would need for the trip. Packing for the kids is more difficult – hard to tell if we will have enough or too many clothes. The difficulty is that we can’t just throw stuff in the wash like we do at home – at the Pension Stein, washing only gets done twice a week. If you miss a wash day for some reason, you need to make sure you effectively have enough clothes for 8 days (a week between washes, plus clothes for the day the washing gets done).
After trying a few things, we decided on which bags we would need and how we were going to pack them. Weight distribution is important too – we don’t want the larger bags to be too heavy, while the smaller bags shouldn’t just have light but bulky items in them.
So, we’re taking both Samsonite bags (with the smaller one expanded to increase capacity), plus the old PakLite duffel bag and my OnePlanet backpack. We did try to make do with only Leanne’s backpack, but it was just too small.
I weighed the bags, the large Samsonite bag is 20kg, PakLite duffel is also 20kg, small Samsonite bag 17kg and the OnePlanet backpack is 12kg. That’s 69kg all up. The three of us each get an allowance of two 23kg bags, so in theory we could take up to 138kg between us, but that’s going a bit overboard I think! It still does need to be manageable – and I think four bags will be okay, plus our carry-on luggage.
So, we’ve got plenty of leeway with weight and quite a bit of spare capacity for things we might buy while we’re away. We’ll try and take it easy on the books this time, but we do have some orders from other families for various items of clothing – especially Colombian flag tshirts and soccer tops for the local teams. We’ll try and stock up on stuff for the kids for when they are older too – we don’t know how long it will be before we are able to go back and visit Colombia again.
I just hope that they don’t send the same guy to pick us up from the airport in Cali – his tiny Hyundai Santro was barely big enough for Leanne and I and our four smaller bags last trip. We now have an extra body and one larger bag (plus extra carry-on), so there’s no way it would all fit.
We feel a bit more confident about the packing now.
I’m just waiting on some clothes to be delivered from the US and some last minute shopping, and we’ll be completely ready.