How to Prep Your Bag When You're Traveling Overseas

8:30 PM

I'm living in Taiwan right now with my husband and kids. We moved a few months ago and so far, we really love where we're at. Learning how to prep in a new country has been quite an adventure. We've already experienced three typhoons and several earthquakes. While it's always important to get ready for "big" disasters like these, I've found that even the day-to-day activities in a foreign country involve a bit of prepping.

If you're thinking of moving to another country or you just want to travel, make sure you pack your bag accordingly. Here's what I've got in mine.

Wet wipes
Sometimes bathrooms don't have soap. This is true in America, too, but I've noticed it more frequently since moving. I always carry wet wipes to wash our hands after using the bathroom; however, in Taiwan, wet wipes serve another purpose: wiping my kids' heads. In Taiwan, people don't like sweat. If a child gets sweaty at the park, the mom is supposed to wipe the child's head down. I carry wet wipes because even though I don't think sweat is a big deal, other people will come wipe my child's head if I don't.

Extra money
Always carry extra money when you're traveling in a foreign country. Even if you take the bus, having extra cash will be beneficial if you need to unexpectedly take a taxi or make a phone call or any other number of reasons.

Water bottle
It gets very hot in Taiwan and while there are plenty of convenience stores, I try to carry a water bottle for my kids. There's no such thing as "drinking from the tap" here. Another option would be to carry a steri-pen, though this is more for drinking from streams while hiking and that sort of thing.

Toilet paper/tissues
The idea that there is no toilet paper in Taiwan is false; however, a few public restrooms do not have toilet paper. I carry toilet paper just in case.

This is a good idea in America, but it's an especially good idea when you're traveling overseas. If you have picky eaters or a child with allergies, you need to carry your own food. It's incredibly easy to get food in Taiwan especially, but getting food your child likes or can tolerate if he has dietary restrictions can be tricky. Even if you can read Chinese well, you won't always be able to tell what the ingredients of something are, and if you plan to buy food at a restaurant or street vendor, you really won't be able to tell everything that goes into your food.

Always carry your child's medication with you. Getting children's medication, especially cold/allergy medication is difficult. In Taiwan, children are taught how to swallow pills at a young age, so the entire "chewable tablets that taste good" thing isn't popular here.

My address 
 I always carry my address with me. I can say it, but sometimes people don't always understand because my pronunciation isn't perfect. If you're traveling, carry the name of your hotel written in Chinese so you can always find your way home.

What are your must-have preps for traveling with kids?

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