I was dreading the 14 hour flights, the layovers, and the jet lag. As it turned out, the flights weren’t nearly as bad as I’d feared. Somehow, the time passed and my kiddo did really well with her ipad and toys and the in-seat entertainment system. We had a few rough patches but… really, could’ve been worse! For airplane trips I recommend: a few new toys, play doh, stamps or art, iPad or tablet, and lots of snacks. The good kinds. I found that the provided blankets and pillows were plenty, and she slept just fine once she was tired enough. Biggest tip? Fly overnight! Both of our flights into and out of Kathmandu she slept the entire time (4.5 hours), and both 14 hour flights she slept half of the time. Very easy.
Coming soon: Long layovers in Hong Kong and why you should do them! Layovers at Hong Kong International Airport deserve their own post. I would definitely recommend at least one longer layover if you’re doing flights around the world. It gives your child a chance to stretch, move, and get some energy out, and guarantees that you won’t have to feel rushed if anything comes up in the airport. If you have a really long layover, you can rest up in a hotel and take your last flight feeling like a million bucks!
It was awful. Not even for me, really… I kind of just adjusted to their time right away. M, though? She didn’t sleep for like two days after arriving. It did NOT help that we didn’t have our own space, as I obviously didn’t want her to disturb everyone in the night when she was up. She was hyper, excited, and over-stimulated, but I never dreamed she’d stay awake so long! It took about 4 days for her to convert to their schedule, but even then she was waking up very early. I advise having your own hotel room or private accommodation if traveling with kids around the world… at least for the first week. Then there’s no pressure on you to have your kid on the right schedule.
What to pack?
What did we really need to have in Kathmandu? Two things I didn’t bring: wet wipes and alcohol hand gel. Those things can be bought very cheaply there ($3 for a jumbo thing of wipes, 60 cents or so for hand sanitizer) so I wouldn’t say you need to stock up before going, but one of each would be good. The portable charger proved its worth ten times over. Thanks to it we never had anything die on us… charged the iPad and the phone with no issue. Next time I’ll take a lap top, but I did just fine without one, even doing a few posts on my personal blog.
Also needed always: toilet paper. Or you can use your wipes. But don’t go out without something to wipe yourself with! Nothing worse than finding yourself looking around wondering what you’re going to do… drip dry or just pull the undies up? Ew. A whole lot of Nepali bathrooms still do not have toilet paper, or if they do, the rolls somehow get wet.
Also, bring wash cloths. No one seemed to have or use them. I find them handy in baths for tushy wiping or face washing. I didn’t see any for sale anywhere, either.
Finally, bandaids, and antibiotic ointment. Yes they can be easily found and bought for cheap, but it’s better in the moment to just have some. Especially considering the dust and dirt that gets on the wound if it isn’t covered. Anti-diarrheal medicine is not a bad idea either, although you can find it in any pharmacy as well.
What not to pack?
I packed a lot of shoes, but only wore my sandals/flip flops the entire time! M literally only wore her crocs with no socks. As far as the two back packs for carry-on, I don’t think I could’ve minimized that in any way. The changes of clothes were necessary, as were the toys and snacks. If I hadn’t brought so much stuff to my Nepali friends, I would’ve brought only one suitcase. As it was, luckily we had two to bring back as we filled a whole one with souvenirs/gifts.
What to buy there?
Anything can be found for much cheaper in Nepal than at home, except for maybe name brand toys like Legos. Other than what you need for your travel days themselves, there’s no point in bringing a bunch of stuff for your stay. I’m saying that as someone who feels comfortable asking around shops and knowing where to look for things, though.
What I spent
I spent under $300 (USD) while I had brought $500 with me. This is thanks to staying with friends and family and getting many free rides in people’s cars and on bikes. The majority of my money, after the hotel, went to taxi rides, like $10-20 per ride. We only bought like one or two of our own meals in Nepal. That being said, we splurged on a nice hotel for about $100. We bought gifts and souvenirs for several people at home as well. Without the hotel and gifts it would’ve come in under $125 I’m sure.
Soon to come…
Why you should make Hong Kong your long layover
My plan to live in Nepal in between working contracts in the USA
Visiting the “sites” in Kathmandu with a little one
Review of Club Himalaya in Nagarkot
How to learn from your preschooler’s bad behavior on trips