When you are dieting, 10kg is a lot of weight to lose but when you are packing for a 17 month old child to go on an international trip, 10kg seems very little!! 10kg is what Bella was allowed to take as her check-in luggage for our trip to Dubai to visit my sister Jessica. I was not told what we would be doing as she had arranged our itinerary so I wasn’t even sure what clothes to pack!!!

Now to be honest, I am not the best packer in the world and have been known to throw things into a suitcase and just to go. My hubby refuses to allow me to back his bags as he says that it doesn’t come out looking the same on the other side! It’s not for a lack of trying; I just don’t have the patience to fold things in an immaculate way.

So it was left to me to pack Bella’s case as I would “know” what she would need! The basics are a no brainer but clothes? Whenever we go away people always tell us how hot it is and about the lovely weather they are having and then we get there and it starts to rain or gets cold! I have therefore learnt to pack everything but the kitchen sink for her but to fit it all into 10kg, I had to think carefully!  I packed her own brand of formula as she is on soya and I didn’t want to have to sit with her having stomach cramps from a new formula -1.8kg gone. Packed all her medicines like cough mixture, vapour rub, thermometer, fever medicine and teething gels as I can’t read Arabic and I don’t want to be running around for a pharmacy at 02:00 if she gets sick as I won’t know where to start looking! This happened to a friend in Tunisia when she got food poisoning and her boyfriend took 4 hours to find a pharmacy as all the people he spoke to could not speak English! Not for me thanks! That took another chunk out of the 10kg!!

I then had to pack her clothes but this took a while to decide on what to pack! Bella wanted to be part of the packing and everything I folded something; she would help by taking it out and plonking it on the floor! She missed the crucial part that I was actually folding! So to “include” her I got her another suitcase and gave her some clothes to pack into it and this kept her busy while I packed like Speedy Gonzales! Warm tops and jackets in case it was cold, shorts and leggings, costumes, sun block, t-shirts and some pretty dresses in case we went to something fancy.  As I didn’t know what we were going to do, I did it on instinct.

Needless to say, I managed to get her clothes suitcase packed and stowed away before she could start unpacking it and I worried about the weight! I didn’t have money to pay for overweight bags! Then I started on her toy bag and baby bag for the plane. This was going to be her first time flying on a plane and I did a lot of research on what to take for kids and how to keep them busy but this didn’t mean that it would work for her! I packed her baby bag as I would normally but put in extra nappies in case of delays or long queues at Customs. My sister had bought her nappies in Dubai so luckily I didn’t have to pack all her nappies and I must say this helped a lot! What would keep her busy on a plane in a confined space??? I packed all her favourite toys as well as lots of stickers as these entertain her quite well at the moment and she seems to enjoy them.

Once Bella’s suitcase and bags were done, it was onto my suitcases and anything that didn’t fit into Bella’s suitcase, came into mine. I could take 23kg and my suitcase weighed 3kg so I had to pack really carefully. Once all the bags were packed, I just had to wait till the flight as there was nothing else I could do! I have learnt a little trick and most of my family and friends think I am nuts, but it works really well! If you go to the airport really early and check in 3 hours instead of 2 hours as is the norm for international flights and be super friendly to the Ground Staff of the airline, they tend to look the other way when your suitcase is a little overweight. Get there later and they tend to be fussier and you either have to pay for the luggage or take it out! Needless to say, Bella’s suitcase weighed 9.3kg and mine, well mine was a whopping 14.5kg!!!! J This I can assure you would not be the case when I came home! What happened next? Well you will have to read the next blog to find out!

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