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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Our Tokyo Trip Travel Must-haves!

It has been more than one month since our April trip to Tokyo.  I've been preparing a series of posts about our must-dos and must-visits.  But I also wanted to list down our essentials packing list, hopefully to help families in their own planning and packing, and to serve as a reminder to myself when I prepare for our future trips as well.

We visited Tokyo in spring, during Holy Week which was just after the sudden heat wave - from 20's the temperature was back to single digits and low 10's.   However, friends warned us that there were showers and we had to be ready.  Also, we could only bring limited thick clothes because we were allowed only 1 bag apiece, weighing 23 kilos.  So, we had to pack lightly and wisely, considering that I wanted to go shopping in Tokyo.

When traveling with kids, I always use packing cubes and group their clothes completely per day (1 underwear, top, bottom, thermal, socks).  While we were allowed 1 bag each, we were able to fit all our things in 3 bags.  However, we still brought 4 bags to make sure we have an extra bag for purchases :D

As suggested by friends who've been and lived in Tokyo, we brought foldable umbrellas.  I chose umbrellas that were light and for this, we brought the umbrellas that we purchased from Hongkong Disneyland.  I also made sure that we packed the umbrellas in our checked in bags - you can't hand carry them.
enjoying the park in their layers of clothing
We also brought rain jackets instead of thick coats.  The thick jackets were too bulky so to keep the kids warm, we used layers.  Did you know that there are thermals locally available courtesy of Uniqlo.  I was happy to find thermal shirts/bottoms for about 350pesos each for the kids.  I remember before that I had to rely on Marks and Spencer (with each piece costing about 800pesos) for thermal underwear.

We also packed Mustela sunblock and cold cream because we were out all day.  Even if it was cold and windy, it doesn't mean that the sun is not out.  The cold cream also works to prevent chapped and chafed cheeks.  I also made sure to pack baby carriers.  For this trip, I brought 2 - a soft structured carrier and a ring sling.  Erik now weighs 15kilos and I really can't carry him for long periods of time anymore.  The soft structured carrier was very useful for airport use and Disney use when all he wanted to do was be carried around.  Meanwhile, the ring sling was for our tour days, which let me nurse E and allowed him to nap while we were on the go.   

One new thing I included for this trip is the SafetyTat. Carina sent me 1 set of Zoo Animals to try with the kids and we love it!  SafetyTat is made of a proprietary tattoo material, Tateck®, which is an ultra-durable skin safe applique "tattoo" sticker.  The sticker is sweatproof/waterproof and will up to two weeks or until you are ready to remove it.  The pack also includes a marker to use to write on the SafetyTat.

When I posted this on Facebook, I was asked - why not use a Sharpie or permanent marker to write on your child's skin instead?  SafetyTat shares that permanent markers contain industrial solvents such as n-butanol, diacetone alcohol, xylene, and cresol - chemicals that should not be sniffed, eaten, or put on the skin.  These solvents penetrate the skin and fingernails, and do enter the bloodstream.  The SafetyTat acts as a barrier and prevents these chemicals from entering into your child's body.

In our case, we just put our hotel phone number since we didn't get a Japan mobile number.  However, if you have a local cellphone number I would recommend that you put that number there.  I don't recommend that you put your name or your child's name there though, to prevent strangers from getting information about your family.

Each SafetyTat pack of 6 tattoos cost P650 and can be ordered from Carina at SafetyTat Philippines.

What are your own travel must-haves when going out of town with kids?

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