6 Must-Have Items When Traveling Overseas

As we wait for the winter storm to end and are stuck inside our temporary house, there are a few items we packed in our suitcases that I am very thankful to have.

1. Waterproof mats
If you have a child who wets the bed, these sturdy mats are awesome! I have washed them countless times and they are like new.


2. Our $5 silicone iPhone speaker
While I know it’s not an apple-approved product, this speaker is the bomb! It fits our 5c phones perfectly snug and radiates the sounds well. Kid-proof (personally tested), waterproof (I assume), battery-less and cordless, & cheap, this gadget is a keeper.

3. Familiar cereals and snacks
I don’t typically encourage eating packaged foods but for international travel, it’s a convenient way to satisfy your kids’ homesick symptoms.

4. Games (iPad and boardgame)
When we left our previous home we didn’t know about the snow storm. We have been stuck in the temporary house for most of each day with a short outing to another friend’s home for an hour or two of reprieve. Uno, Go Fish, racing ipad games, checkers and other games have kept our minds a bit more active despite the gray weather and jetlag.


5. Rag towels
Really, it’s been nice to have such a resourceful item. It’s useful for the occasional spills and in a pinch is great as a blanket or even tucked as a pillow.


6. Liquid melatonin
I was looking for something natural to help adjust the kids’ sleep cycles other than the typical Benedryl idea. A friend mentioned to me about liquid melatonin and tried it out. It works like a charm for our kids! They usually just need help to settle down and fall asleep. And this does the trick for us!

*Updated word of caution: A commenter mentioned there are cautionary side effects when taking melatonin. I am not a doctor but just write what works for us. To each, one must decide for themselves.

For us, using a low dose of melatonin 3 or 4 nights in a row was just what we needed. Others may find otherwise. Always do your own research and consider your needs and weigh your decisions.

What have you found to be invaluable as you travel?

Packing Overseas: Medical Supplies

In the coming weeks and months we’ll be traveling and putting down roots in a new country. I hope to document what I packed and what I wish I knew after the fact.

Here’s the first post on packing for overseas!


This may not look like much but I would argue that a well stocked medicine box is well worth a few focused minutes & brain power.


I know pictures are worth a thousand words but probably not so for this post. My box is full of the regular stuff plus a couple extras that may not be as typical.

For starters organize your medical bin.

1. Discard any expired medicine.
2. Ensure there are measuring cups or spoons for the required medicines.


Next, consider what would be useful for the overseas travel or move:

1. Would an otoscope be a good instrument to have on hand to check for childrens’ ear infections and throats?

2. Check that your thermometer is working well. And a good amount of band aids & gauze for cuts, scrapes and sprains.

3. Think about alternative or seasonal needs. Like benedryl for an unexpected allergic reaction? Swimmers ear drops? Calendula cream is good for eczema. Arnica cream is good for muscle pain or any aches.

4. Would stomach ailments be alleviated or helped using garlic & cayenne pills? (Ever had an Egyptian parasite? Weeks of running to the bathroom!) Consider buying shelf-stable probiotics too.

5. And of course the regular stuff like Childrens’ Tylenol, Advil, anti-bacterial cream, anti-fungus cream? Vitamin C packets?


I don’t like to overpack or accumulate a lot but with kids and traveling to foreign countries, a well-stocked medicine box may just alleviate a lot of stress!

What medical supply is a must for you?