Peru Travel with Kids: What to Pack?
Apus Peru Cofounder Ariana Svenson is currently planning a multi generation trip to Peru – with her mother and her children, aged 5 years and 20 months. What are some of the things to consider for Peru travel with children?
This is the second in a series of blogs – Travel with Kids to Peru – and is packed with realistic and useful advice from someone who has 5 years of travel with a small child under her belt, and is now looking forward to travelling with two! She has now planned her trip, which is covered in the first blog. Now: what to pack?
Pushing the pram in Ollantaytambo –
explains the need for a robust pram with good wheels!
In 2015 Australian parents are in the grip of an enormous vaccination debate as it’s increasingly popular to NOT vaccinate one’s children against basic childhood diseases. It is such a big issue the government has even proposed removing family benefits from those parents who don’t vaccinate! I am aware of the arguments against vaccination and question my decision to inject my gorgeous little 5-year-old with a number of extra vaccines. But then, on the other hand, the idea that Master L, with his propensity to eat dirt and whatever he encounters on the path, won’t be vaccinated, is just as alarming.
I realise that I don’t plan to go un-vaccinated so book in Miss M for her extra travelers’ shots. My final piece of advice – do it plenty of time prior to travel so the child’s body has time to recuperate.
Miss M in the Centre of Cusco wearing layers :) the essential clothing requirement for a trip to the Andes.
This is the easiest on the list – layers, layers and more layers! Of course, there are plenty of alpaca beanies, mittens and jumpers in Peru so don’t go overboard with bulky jackets and the like, as you will be able to stock up while there. Or shop the beautiful selection of Baby Wear at Threads of Peru!
I’m packing just enough nappies to get to Lima! Peru has everything that you might need for a baby or small toddler including disposable nappies, dummies (pacifiers), teething rings and lots of baby food. There is a good range of baby creams /shampoo in large supermarkets but not too many of the eco or earth-friendly variety, so if it’s important to you to use eco products, then best to bring them from home. In Australia we have teething rusks – these are not available in Peru.
- Car seat
- Baby cot
Babies/toddlers need a lot of paraphernalia, and international airlines include a stroller/pram, a car seat and a baby cot in the price of an infant plane ticket!!! (Note that domestic airlines do not). I have a specially purchased stroller, which is lightweight (10kg) and has big wheels that are good for negotiating cobblestone streets. Having strong wheels is an important consideration for a pram in Peru! Also be aware that outside of Lima and the better suburbs of Cusco, there are not too many pavements.
Car-seats are not commonly used by children in Peru and pretty much everyone I know thinks I’m a little odd for wanting to use one – however given that traffic is quite inconsistent and traffic accidents (even little prangs) are more common than in other countries – I’m insistent on a car seat for my kids’ protection. ** Note – we are going to explore “how to carry your baby” in a separate blog!
Most better hotels have a cot that they won’t charge for, but if you are on a budget then bringing your own portacot might be a good idea. Or – do as many Peruvians do and co-sleep.
Waiting for meals at restaurants can sometimes be interminable if you have a hungry child – that’s when the bag of goodies comes out :)
Hungry kids are no fun. Hungry kids who are screwing their nose up at some food that they aren’t familiar with are extremely frustrating. I’m taking enough of their favorite snacks to get us through the first 3-5 days when the world will be disorienting – and we will all be tired. Then, we can begin the culinary adventure that is Peru, including the fun of shopping in foreign supermarkets!
Bag of Toys and Books
We carry a bag of goodies to be brought out at opportune moments – small toys (My Little Pony for the Little Miss, and Matchbox toys for the boy) and lightweight books. That said, planes hand out coloring books and once you get to Peru it’s a great adventure getting a range of different toys we have never seen before!
With a bit of patience, and a willingness to slow your pace, traveling to Peru with children can be a relatively stress-free, and yes, even enjoyable, experience.