What is in our suitcase….

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Here it is, the answer to the biggest question of them all: what are you putting in your suitcase for a year around the world?

Let me tell you, this has truly been one of the most challenging moments of this trip up to now and we barely left our town! Many dilemmas have come up and a limited amount of space for each member of our family have made it even tougher to solve. Our initial plan was to travel with 4 medium suitcases and a backpack each.
A few days before leaving we realized that Luca actually needed his own bag too, so we bought one more suitcase but a little bigger this time!

As of the night before leaving we were still redoing our bags and getting rid of stuff…..

Here is a list of some of our “Must Haves” for our world travels.

Backpack or suitcase?

Without any suitcase for us!

We have realized that it would be more functional for us to use suitcases for a couple of good reasons. First, we still have a toddler who doesn’t carry a full backpack and we cannot carry extras! Secondly, our daughter isn’t crazy about walking with a heavy backpack for too long and we have a limited amount of shoulders.

Inevitably we came to our choice! We picked American Tourister Arrow Expandable Hardside Luggage, Black,in 5 different colors. They have a hard side, so our kids can actually sit on them while we are waiting in one of the many lines that I’m sure we will find along the way. We have picked a medium size because we knew it would help us contain the weight.

Since I’m a professional photographer, of course I need a camera bag! Picking what gear to bring for such a big adventure is very challenging. It was hard to limit myself but I did my best. But what is the best way to carry my gear? In order to make my life easier I have decided to go with the Think Tank Photo StreetWalker Rolling Backpack V2.0 . This bags gives me the option to use it as a backpack when necessary or a trolley when I don’t want to carry the weight. There is so much space, I just love it! In my camera bag I have this gear:

  1. Canon EOS 5D Mark III 22.3 MP Full Frame 
  2. Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L EF L-Series Standard Zoom Lens USM
  3. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
  4.  Sigma 35mm F1.4 ART DG HSM Lens for Canon.
  5. 4 camera batteries
  6. 8 memory cards
  7. 2 LaCie Rugged USB-C 4TB External Hard Drive USB 3.0 With Ivation Compact Portable Hard Drive Case (Small) to store all our photos.
  8. GoPro HERO6 Black
  9. My underwater Outex Underwater Camera Housing!

Personal travel gear

In order to pack our clothes in a more effective way we use packing cubes. These sets of TripDock Packing Cubes 6 Set- Lightweight Travel Luggage Organizers,WineRed (3 Slim) the sets come in different sizes. I specially love to use them for my kids because their clothing is smaller and easier to stuff in them. I bought different colors for each of us so we know whose who. Now every time I’m looking for shirts, I just go to the shirt bag without taking apart the whole bag. Easy peasy! My husband isn’t crazy about them because he packs his bag differently but I still stuff socks and underwear in them for him too!

As for clothing, we all have at least 6 pairs of socks and underwear, 6 or more T-shirts, 3/4 long shirts and 1 or 2 sweaters. The boys have 4/6 pairs of pants, some short and some long. Emma and I have some shorts and long pants as well as a few dresses. We also bought a K-way each and a hooded packable puffer down jacket each, like this Amazon Essentials Big Boys’ Lightweight Water-Resistant Packable Hooded Puffer Jacket, Navy with Red, Large, they are easily packable and not heavy at all!

Shoes were a great dilemma, but due to the limited space it was easily solved! 1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair of sandals and the kids have water shoes too. Emma and I have also an extra pair of pretty sandals to wear in special occasion.

Towels & bathing suits: I know it is an extra weight but we won’t always be in a place that provides them and you always want to have the opportunity to go for a swim! We have 2 bathing suits each so one is always dry and ready to go! Luca has received an awesome gift (thanks Rachael!), Speedo Safe Splasher, so he can jump in the water anywhere and never sink! We have some piece of mind because we know he is safe and he can enjoy some independence in the water. Of course now the problem is getting him out of the water!

Bathroom kit. In the past we have found ourselves sharing a tiny bathroom with no space to put our toiletry bags on. This is the reason why we bought 3 Hanging Travel Toiletry Bags Toiletry organizer Waterproof Toiletries Bag for Men & Women Bathroom Storage Cosmetic Bag Shaving Kit Orange. It has a little hanger incorporated so we can easily hang it anywhere without the risk of anything dropping out, being stepped on or maybe finding some unwanted little extra friends in it! Plus we can put it at a toddler safe height so he cannot get in it!

Books and notebooks. Our kids have all their books for homeschooling (at least 4 big ones each). We put a few in each suitcase so we share the weight. All of us have at least one book to read, that we are going to drop off somewhere when we finish it. We have notebooks (thanks Cecilia for these personalized ones!) where we can write about our adventures too. So we will always remember some of the special moments.

Extra Travel kits. We are trying to be as compact as possible but at the same time bring all we need. We got a sewing kit Coquimbo Mini Sewing Kit for Kids, Travel, Emergency, Sewing Supplies with Scissors, Thimble, Thread, Needles, Tape Measure, Carrying Case and Accessories with some sewing supplies in a very small space! We also put together a first aid kit, with bandages of every kind, creams, headache pills and more.

Silverware and dishes. I know it might sound crazy, but in our past travels we have found ourselves in a hotel and all our kids wanted for breakfast was a bowl of cereal. Unfortunately we had nothing to eat it in! So we found AVALEISURE COLLAPSIBLE SILICONE BOWL, which are collapsible, so we all have our own dish and plastic silverware wherever we are! This will also help us save money for some meals because we won’t need to go to a restaurant but simply buy the food we need.

Sarong. After our trip to Bali we learned that to enter some temples we all had to wear a sarong. This is simply a piece of fabric wrapped around the waist. They don’t take much space in the bags, can have also many other uses. They sell them out of the temples as well as rent them in some places. Once you have one you can also use it to cover yourself if you are a little cold. We cover Luca with it when he naps. We sit on it at the beach or Cosimo and Emma use it to build a tent. It is multifunctional!

This is how packed our bags are! We will probably lose some things along the way and maybe buy more. This year is all about being flexible, simple and able to adjust. We all want to remember what are the important things in life. Everything else is extra that isn’t really that necessary to be happy.

We are a few hours from our international travel to start! Let the adventure being!!!

Happy Travels!!!

The De Santi Family

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