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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

VietNam Adoption Packing List

I've shared this list many times via email, but think it might be helpful to post it here for some adoption travelers that are getting ready to jet half-way across the world for their own sweeties!  Congrats!  
For what it's worth, here it is-
This is the packing list for our adoption travel of Tess and Jujube.  The comments in red were made after our return.   We didn't know how long we would be gone, but ultimately we were in country 11 days.  

This list also looks HUGE, but in actuality, it isn't.  All of this fit in 2 medium size bags, 1 small bag, one small duffel-type bag, and 2 small sling-type carry ons (that doubled as diaper bags, not pictured)  There are really just a lot of little items.  (the pic above also include two large suit case filled to the brim with orphanage donations-this is not included in the below list.)  The pink soft-back 3ring is the mother load of paperwork that never left my person when we traveled.  

I also chose to take a whole slew of over the counter medications.  As expected most were not needed, but the alternative was trying to find and purchase medications packaged in a foreign language.  We didn't want to risk this


And because one list is never enough, toward the end of the list there are some extra lists.
----I planned on doing some grocery shopping as soon as we arrived in VietNam to cut back on packing.  So there is a grocery list for that trip to the store.
----There are also items that I used frequently, that needed to be stocked in our diaper bags prior to departing the hotel.  Thinking was not my forte during these 11 days and referring to this list ensured that I never was without.    
----And lastly, a list just for the return flight home. 

This list will also give you a glimpse into how anal retentive I am at heart!
......................................................................................................................................................


Travel August/September 2008
Ho Chi Minh City then Han Oi, Viet Nam
Travel for adoption of 2 children, 12 months old, 1 boy and 1 girl.
2 adults and 12 year old daughter-We were there 11 days

Category
Qty
Item
Comment
Baby
6/6
outfits
 (Wear warm outfit for plane ride home) and 5-6 cool outfit--1 cute plane out fit to change babies into when we land
Baby
3/3
Socks

Baby
    2/2
pj’s
wear 1 on plane as an extra warm outfit for plane-dress babies in jammies (with feet or socks) for plane ride home.  Good idea as it was chilly on plane home
Baby
1/1
hat
didn’t need-used cover of Ergo when older VN ladies were giving me the evil eye!
Baby
1/1
bathing suits

Baby
1/1
Bibs for eating
Long sleeve/light weight kind
Baby
1pkg
Disposable baby bowls(w/lids) & spoons
Very useful for everything, toys, eating, storage
Baby
     1
Wipes-diaper bag size container/filled
IF there’s room bring LOTS as the quality in VN is not good-1 pkg was plenty!
Baby
5/5
GOOD diapers
For airplane home in lg zip lock-this was way too many but good to have on hand anyway
Baby
1
pkg small rubber bands
To seal liners w/formula-this was a life saver as all formula was already in the baggie and premeasured when we traveled home or were on an outing.  Can use even on regular bottles
Baby
1/1
Baby bottles
w/ assorted “flow” nipples, incl. 2 silicone plain nipples in case baby won’t take our bottles-both babies preferred med-high flow nipples.
Baby
2 boxes
Single grain oat cereal baby cereal
Oat is the easiest to digest and single grain varieties are difficult to find in VN-definitely used both boxes.  Cereal in VN is weird and has strange things mixed in it
Baby
1
Thermometer
Didn’t need but nice to have on hand anyway
Baby
?
bottle liners
8 filled for plane ride home and prefilled with formula when we go out
Baby
1
Nipple brush/bottle brush combo
LOVED having this!
Baby
1/1
pacifiers/leash
favorite type for plane ride home-never used, waste of luggage space!
Baby
4/4
swim diapers
Check size at time of travel
Baby
2
Ergo baby carrier
the single best thing I packed!!!!!
Baby
1
Receiving blanket
++ doubles as changing pad-didn’t use-waste of luggage space
Baby
1
Thermos
For VERY warmed water for formula-VERY important

Baby
1/1
blanket
1 med weight blanket for hotel room and plane ride home.  It can get chilly in both and babies are NOT used to cool temps. 
Baby
1
Nail clippers
Infant kind-used
General
1
Sunglasses
in carry on
General
1
Playing Cards
in carry on
General
1
Lg. black trash bag
For return flight home of dirty laundry
General
2
Small travel umbrellas
Didn’t use.  Never had an extra hand for an umbrella anyway!
General
1
Med spoon/syringe
Used it and love it!  I don’t travel w/out it!
General
1
Traveler’s neck wallet

General
1
ear plugs
in carry on
General
1
cheap watch
wear it
General
1
Inflatable pillow
in POS carry on-for plane ride
General
1
Soap pads
Cut in half, 1 pkg., for dishes at hotel
General
1
Wash cloth
Many VN hotels do not have –never used it.  Waste of luggage space
General
3
Anti bacterial hand gel
one in each person in carryon-never used it
General
1
Small flashlight

General
1
Hand Held Fan
in mom’s sling bag
General
1
Nursing Necklace
just wear it-one of my favorite things to appease a cranky baby while waiting for anything!
General
1
Calculator/$ converter
Credit card size
General
?
Zip lock bags
Extras in gallon and small size for convenience and organization
Gifts

For orphanage
·         Staff
·         Main nannies for each baby
·         Orphanage officials

·         Barrettes sets (20 of them)
·         Card w/$20 each
·         Pen sets (2 men & 1 woman)
Gifts
3
For Justice Dept
3 pen sets (2 men and 1 woman)
Gifts
4-5
For Adoption staff


Meds
1
Acetaminophen-infant
in mama carry on-did use as both kiddos has a chest cold when we got them and seems pretty uncomfortable
Meds
1
Ibuprophen-infant
Didn’t use but glad to have on hand anyway
Meds
1
Cold medicine-infant
Didn’t use but glad to have on hand anyway
Meds
1
All medical supplies and meds from IA doc on prescription
Including Scabies Med Didn’t use but glad to have on hand anyway
Copy prescription for soft binder
Meds
2
CHEAP footed jammies for treating scabies med for first night home.  Throw away after use.
Came in VERY handy!  We treated for scabies preemptively as we knew the orphanage had scabies and we were told it didn’t hurt them at all!
Meds
1
Infant Benadryl
for babies for plane ride home for sleeping-be sure and test for agitation several days PRIOR to travel (1/2 dropper-1/4 t.)-did use and it work or it was just a coincidence that they both slept for the entire ride home-test ahead of time
Meds
1
Aquaphore
For eczema, small container-LOVED IT and used it a lot!  Babies skin dried out TONS with hotel air condtiores/heat/plane rides!  A little went a long way!
Meds
1
Baby Laxative
Miralax-didn’t need it but good to have anyway-1/4 t 1X per day.  Takes 2-3 days to kick in.  Very gentle for babies
Meds
1
Calmoseptomine
OTC diaper rash med.  World’s best diaper rash cream used at hospitals.  Order at any pharmacy.-didn’t need but so good to have in case
Meds
4
Sleeping pills
For mom on plane rides and before baby comes if needed/ in orig. prescription bottle-LOVED it!
Meds
1
Tylenol
Lg bottle
Meds
1
Neosporin
Didn’t use but glad to have on hand anyway
Meds
1
Benadryl or anti-itch cream
didn’t need it as we never saw a mosquito or any bugs that bite!!
Meds
2
Allergy Med
1 full box for Papa (not available in VN)- Didn’t use but glad to have on hand anyway
Meds
2
Cipro pkgs. (from immunization clinic)
in orig. container Didn’t use but glad to have on hand anyway
Meds
1 month supply
Prescription meds.
1 month supply, leave in container

Meds
1
Teething medicine
Didn’t use it
Meds
1 box
Pepto chewable tabs
for diarrhea- didn’t need it
Meds

Melatonin
@ health food store and Walgreens for Jet lag- didn’t need it
Office
20
Papa's business cards
in Papa carry on (in Mama’s wallet)
Office
1
Travel itinerary/binder
in soft binder, with all docs incl dossier w/updates and agency license, I171H, baby’s medical info., referral acceptance, 1040s, growth charts, milestone list for their age, insurance cards copies, passports page w/visa pages copied, power of attorney for both parents, Hotel Reservation Confirmation w/ Name & address of hotel in VN for taxi,  copies of prescriptions, copy of airline tix, steno pad, contact/phone # list,  credit card phone #s and copies, this list
MOST IMPORTANT CARRY ON ITEM!
Office
3/5
Passports
in mama’s carry on, 3 traveling to VN and 5 on return trip.  MOST IMPORTANT CARRY ON ITEM!
Office
3/5
Passport copies w/visa copies
one copy w/visa page in neck wallet of EACH passport, 4 traveling to VN and 6 on return trip- didn’t need but good to have
Office
3/5
Airline tickets
allow 3 hr. layover min. returning through LAX to get through customs-  X2, security, change terminals…
In mama’s carry on, 3 traveling to VN and 5 on return trip- San Fran was VERY quick through customs coming home.  About 5 min total!
Office
2
Pens
In carry on (include 1 Sharpie)
Toiletries
1
mosquito repellant-adult
Didn’t need-wast of luggage space
Toiletries
1
mosquito repellant-baby’s
Didn’t need-wast of luggage space
Toiletries
1
thermometer
Didn’t need but good to have anyway
Toiletries
1
Chapstick

Toiletries
?
Tampons/Pads

Toiletries
1
Small pkg Kleenex
one in each carry on, double as TP- Didn’t need as TP anyway
Toiletries
1
Sunscreen for babies
Didn’t need-babies have to be covered up anyway so they didn’t get sun
Toiletries
1
Sunscreen/moisturizer combo
For adults
Toiletries
1
Toothbrush for each person

Toiletries
2
Toothpaste
Travel size- this small size was enough
Toiletries
1
deodorant
Non-scented for all to share
Toiletries
1
Fingernail file

Toiletries
1
Hairdryer
I don’t go anywhere without mine
Toiletries
1
Curling Iron

Toiletries
1
headband
wear it
Toiletries
1
Hair Clip

Toiletries

Lg. hair rubber bands

Toiletries
1
scented lotion
To promote attachment-only 1 kind to wear daily
Toys
1
stacking cups
Great toy and used for many things!
Toys
2
teethers

Toys
2
Baby rattles

Toys
1
Small balls

Toys
1
links

Luggage
1
Carry on for Livy-travel back pack
She gets to pack it for herself just for her travel items
Luggage
2
Carry on’s for Mama and Papa with essentials we DON’T want to check or lose (less than 15 lbs. required!)-THS needs compartment for laptop
Some things we just can afford to gamble with checking on airlines.  So these 2 extra small carry-ons hold these essential items (medications, adoption docs, electronics…)
Luggage
3
Suitcase 
1 for each person-(each less than 64” and 55 lbs-Eva)
Luggage
3
Lg donation suitcases
To be checked! Full of donations for the orphanage
$
$50
$2 dollar bills-crip if we can find them
These were very fun to use as tips and hand out!  Definitely recommend
$

$100 per day cash
+Lots of $1,$2, $5, and $10-crip bills
Must be “clean” bills $50 a day would have covered everything fine.  Then add known expenses like hotel, adoption expenses...  Hotel we put on credit card and also US visa fees.  We came back with LOTS of money!  Set aside fees for passport $100, passport expedition $300, WC gifts, medical exam $100
$
1
Amex credit card
in neck wallet
$
1
Visa credit card
in neck wallet
$

Vietnamese Dong
Ordered from bank-enough to get taxi to hotel + a little- Didn’t need any money to get to hotel from airport.  Hotel arranges pickup.  Although expensive, it was worth not hassling or worrying about it. 
$
1
Small thin men’s wallet
For mama’s sling bag for money
Electronics
1
Digital camera in case
w/ extra battery
w/ battery charger
in mama’s carry on
Electronics
1
IPOD
w/ear buds
w/power cord to attch/charge w/computer
in mama’s carry on
Electronics
1
Computer
w/power cord
w/USB cord
in papa’s carry on
Electronics
1
Plug adaptor
Universal type-British standard 3-pin is very common, so that the plugs fit in VN outlets.  Most hotels will supply these at the front desk.  STILL need a power converter to convert voltage-didn’t need it.  Hotel had these available for us
Electronics
1
Extra batteries
Only for things you can’t live without!
Game boy?-Didn’t need them.  Be sure they are fresh when you leave home
Electronics
1
Power converter
To convert voltage for several item.  Like game boy, curling iron, cell phone? camera charger?  STILL need plug adaptor
Electronics
1
Calculator
Credit card size w/convertor for Dong
CDs
2/3
Entertainment CDs in CD sleeves
For airplane entertainment
Baby Einstein X2
Movie for mama & papa X 2 or 3
TV shows?? Maybe 1 full season-Didn’t need them and wouldn’t take them again!  Sleeping pills did the trick on the ride over and on the way back we were busy with baby or sleeping
Clothing-Mom
5
V Neck t shirts & cami’s
5 tops total
Clothing-Mom
2
Skirts

Clothing-Mom
2
Capri’s/pants

Clothing-Mom
1
Nice shirt
for G&R
Clothing-Mom
1
Travel outfit
Layer as I always get cold on planes.  Be sure to have socks for cold feet.
Clothing-Mom
1
Bathing suit

Clothing-Mom
1
Cover up

Clothing-Mom
1
Pj’s

Clothing-Mom
3
Underwear
Wash and dry kind
Clothing-Mom
1
Hat
baseball cap was good for bad hair days
Clothing-Mom
1
Sports Bra
I don’t go anywhere without mine to sleep in
Clothing-Mom
1
Shoes
Thin flipflops for hotel, and 2 pair of shoes (wear one)  extra pair is just in case
Books
1
Vietnam Guide Books

Books
1
“Attaching in Adoption”
Maybe take whole book with all notes
Books
1
Suduko
for plane
VN grocery list
10/day
Diapers or pull ups
Huggies overnights suggested
VN grocery list
2
Wipes
Lg. boxes-best ones I can find
VN grocery list
1
Laundry detergent
Med size
VN grocery list
2
Baby bottles, the cheap kind
for plane ride home, only if baby won’t take USA bottle
VN grocery list
2
cans of formula
Has to be the type babies are already using in the orphanage-When you find the “right” kind that baby had at orphanage get LOTS!!!!  It’s hard to find again, especially in Hanoi
VN grocery list
1
Snack food for room

VN grocery list
Lots
Bottled H2O

VN grocery list
2
Shaving razors
One for Papa & one for Mama
VN grocery list
1
Shampoo

VN grocery list
1
Conditioner

VN grocery list
1
Lotion

VN grocery list

New little toys for plane
Don’t let them see them till ride home-They didn’t need them, but it was good to have just in case
VN grocery list
4
Formula for home
Use this to transition to when we get home-This was a great purchase.  We ended up getting 2 VERY large cans to take home


When we leave the hotel, be sure to have…        
Sling bag for Papa
Sling bag for Mama
In Ergo for Mama
In Papa’s sling bag
·         2 Baby bottles w/drop-ins prefilled w/formula
·         Thermos filled with the the correct temp of water for formula
·         4 extra drop-ins filled with formula
·         In lg zip lock
1.     Sm bowl w/cereal (enough for 2)
2.     Baby spoon
3.     Bibs X2
·         In lg zip-bag (personal items)
1.     Hair rubber bands
2.     Hair clip
3.     Anti bac. Gel
4.     Allergy med/Tylenol/chapstick
·         Bottle of H2O on side
In Ergo (stuff for mama)
·         In lg zip lock
1.  Diapers
2.  Wipes
3.  Caloseptimine
·         Sunglasses
·         Camera
·         Portable fan
·         wallet w/money-1,5,10 and specifically what needed, Minimal amount needed!)
·         Calculator
·         Water bottle on the side
·         In sm zip lock-
1.     Extra baby clothes-onsie, gender neutral
Neck Wallet
Passport copies
Extra $
Credit Cards
2 Ergo
1 diaper in each
Wear watch

For G&R only
·         Gifts for care takers (gift bags w/barrettes)
·         Gifts for Orphanage directors (pen sets)
·         Donation items
Before leaving hotel
Heat bottled water and fill thermos
Before leaving hotel
Stock diaper bag
Before leaving hotel
Change diapers
For plane ride Home
Small baggies of food-used!  Very glad to have this!
For plane ride Home
Small NEW toys-didn’t need
For plane ride Home
DVD’s-didn’t need
For plane ride Home
Benadryl if it makes them tired-Used and seem to do the trick as both babies slept on the long leg of the plane ride, but we were sure to test it a couple days ahead of time as it makes some babies hyper.
For plane ride Home
Meds-the necessary ones, acetaminophen-didn’t need but glad I had just in case
For plane ride home
Blankies—used and it got cold on the plane.  I was glad to have these on the plane
For plane ride Home
Liners filled with formula (approx 8?)-didn’t need but glad I had just in case
For plane ride Home
Disposable bowl filled with cereal and disposable spoon-didn’t need but glad I had just in case

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