Step #08 - Travel to Country



Preparation for travel abroad is fun for some and a daunting task for others. Feel free to use our Travel Checklist as a guide to help in preparing, packing, and planning.  But don't rely on our alone . . . check with your adoption agency about specific needs for your country.  For instance . . . will you be in the mountains or in the city?  Or maybe both?  Is it the rainy or dry season?  All of these will impact what clothes you pack to deal with different precip, climate and temperatures.
Basic Rules for Effective Packing
Pack Lightly
The more luggage that a traveler has on a trip the less freedom they will experience. Not to mention- sore muscles. Instead of brining an outfit for each day plan on wearing the same outfit more than once or bring pieces that can be coordinated differently. Clothing and undergarments can be washed and reworn for easier travel!
Traveling is a great time to remember to share well with others. Rather than each family member brining their own toothpaste tubes, hair shampoo, and more find ways to share these items for less luggage.
Carry Important Things on You
It is wise to use a travel pack that attaches to your person to carry all-important documents such as passports, ID's, your wallet, drivers license, and insurance cards. In addition, traveler's checks, credit cards, travel tickets, and your itinerary with confirmation numbers and contact information should be kept close.
Provide yourself with several small and crisp bills of currency of the country you will be traveling in as soon as possible.
Pack Medication Safely
Medicine should be packed in your carry-on luggage as it will be safer from theft and from extreme temperatures. Medicine should be kept in the original prescription bottle to avoid security questions, this includes vitamins and non-
prescription medication.
If desired, contact an Adoption Doctor prior to travel.  Many will do video consultations while you're abroad to answer medical questions for you once you and your child are together.
It is wise, especially with increased security concerns, to bring a letter from your doctor concerning the need for the medications.
Know Your Airline's Regulations
Before packing check for the regulations on airlines that you will be traveling. This can be done by calling the airline directly or going to the website of the airline you are traveling with. It is important to follow the regulations not only for safety measures, but also to avoid having your belongings confiscated.
There are also VERY strict limits for how many pounds each piece of luggage can weigh and how much you can put in it.  DO NOT wait until you get to the airport to figure this out!  Check with your airline and MAKE SURE to check on the regulations of any in-country air travel . . . it will very likely be on a different carrier that may have different regulations.
Travel Checklist
For Baby:

  • Toys/Teething Ring
  • Activity mat or blanket
  • Bottles
  • Refill drop in bags
  • Nipples (may want to bring a variety of these to find which one your baby prefers)
  • Baby Spoon
  • Bowl
  • Diapers (8 to 12 changes per day)
  • Wipes (unscented and alcohol free)
  • Bibs
  • Cotton clothing appropriate for the weather (prewashed before travel)
  • Baby hip/back/front carrier
  • Burp Cloths
  • Cetaphil cream for eczematous skin
  • Saline nose drop
  • Triple antibiotic ointment
  • Benadryl
  • Ear syringe
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Digital thermometer (rectal for an infant)
  • Unscented soap for sensitive skin
  • First aid kit
  • Formula (28-32 ounces per day)
  • Hydrocortisone cream for eczema
  • Pedialyte or Kaolectrolyte for prevention of dehydration
  • Rice Cereal
  • Infant fingernail clippers
  • Sippy Cup
  • Sunscreen
  • T-Gel Shampoo for treatment of Cradle Cap
  • Children's pain medicine
  • Umbrella stroller
  • Handy packets of wet wipes for day trips and hand washing
  • Talk to your pediatrician about possible prescriptions that you may need to bring for:
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Ear infections, bacterial infection, or pneumonia
  • Rashes
For School Aged Child and Teenager:
  • Appropriate Clothing (Non-Irritating)
  • Toys and Games
  • Flash Card with translated words
  • Art Supplies: Coloring book, sketchpad, colored pencils, crayons
  • Stuffed animal
Talk with your family physician about prescriptions and medicine you should pack to be preventative for infections or rashes with this age child.
For Parents:

Communication Devices

Ready your electronic communication tools:  Consider purchasing an iPad, setting up a Skype or similar account, loading GoSecure on your laptop, purchasing a temporary international texting plan with your mobile carrier, etc.  Consider buying an extended battery charger for your mobile devices.  It is MUCH easier to do these things in the States than overseas!!!


When packing clothing for international travel it is wise to consider two factors: the culture and the weather. Rather than risk being offensive due to the way you are dressed, be safe and pack conservative styled clothing. Many cultures worldwide dress in a more formal manner than that of people in western culture. Going to complete the adoption of your child in another country is a big deal! We suggest packing comfortable and modest, Consider dressing in cotton and other non-irritating clothing that may bother the skin of your new child/children.

  • Socks
  • Layered Outfits
  • Bag to hold dirty laundry
  • Undershirts
  • Jacket
  • Small container of biodegradable laundry soap
  • Undergarments
  • Slippers or slip on shoes
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Pajamas
  • Bring at least $100 of one-dollar American bills.  They will come in extremely handy to tip people at the airport to carry your bags, etc.  Trust me on this.
  • Camera
  • Extra batteries and memory cards
  • Video Camera
  • Laptop (check airline guidelines, country warnings, and if wifi will be available to you)
  • Electrical Converter
  • Journal and Pens
  • Travel and Language Guidebook
  • Shampoo
  • Lotion
  • Conditioner
  • Saline Solutions
  • First Aid Kit
  • Toothpaste
  • Feminine Products
  • Toothbrush
  • Soap
  • Eyeglasses
  • Deodorant
  • Contacts (Bring extra!)
 Be a Safe and Courteous Traveler
  • Ask your agency any and all questions you have!  That is what they are there for.  One of their primary goals is to make you feel as secure as possible while you travel.  Ask them for detailed information on the person(s) that will be their primary point of contact in country.  Talk to them ahead of time if possible.
  • Do you research on the country you will be traveling in, spend time on the U.S. Department of State's international travel site, and look for any travel alerts or travel warnings issued on your country.  Discuss any you find with your agency.
  • Consider enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
  • Make sure to be a diplomatic and respectful traveler, following the societal rules and norms of the country. You want to demonstrate you as travel to pick your child from their home country that despite the economic difficulties the country may face you have a respect for the people and culture of your child's homeland. Each and every country has crime and areas in which to avoid while traveling.
  • Use good common sense and wisdom while traveling to ensure the safety of your party and the best travel experience possible.

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