Packing your bags for an international vacation is always an exercise in critical decision-making – especially if you’re traveling with kids. What do you really need and which things are just taking up precious space in your suitcase? Are you forgetting something super important? Did you remember to turn off the stove? So many questions!
I recently faced this challenge when I had the good fortune of being one of the first groups on the Adventures By Disney trips to Norway. While I can’t say I COMPLETELY nailed the packing piece, the trip was such a blast I barely noticed my minor wardrobe malfunctions.
But, of course, I want to save you from making the same mistakes if you embark on an amazing adventure in Norway (which I highly recommend). Seriously. I’ll admit that it wasn’t at the top of my list of places to visit in the world, but having been, I would absolutely encourage other people to put it on theirs. It’s all kinds of beautiful. Plus, it inspired Elsa and Anna’s homeland of Arendelle – in fact, Norway’s tourism is up year over year thanks to Frozen fans.
But I digress. So without further ado, here are a few of my best travel tips for families who are heading to this beautiful winter wonderland:
1. Raincoats are not merely a suggestion. I sat next to a native Norwegian on the plane in who said, “It can sometimes rain around 300 days a year here. Hope you brought a good jacket!”
2. Traction, traction, traction. Hiking is a must in Norway (the mountains offer beauty and views that go on for days), but the aforementioned rain makes the ground a little slippery. Regular walking shoes probably won’t do. Scratch that, they definitely won’t do. I promise no one is judging your functional footwear choices. If anything, they’ll be jealous.
3. Make sure you throw a change of clothes for each family member in your carry-on; you never know what could happen. Not that I speak from experience, but your luggage could get lost somewhere between Los Angeles, Newark, Copenhagen, and Bergen. Okay, you caught me. This really happened. And I really wish I had listened to my mother (don’t we all?) about packing a change of clothes so that I didn’t have to invest in three pairs of moose underwear and a Norway tshirt until my bag found me.
(While we’re on the subject, big shout out to Kira and Torgeir of the ABD Norway team who kept on top of the airline and made sure my luggage found us in Flam.)
4. Say it with me: layers.
5. Leave the suede and other delicate items at home. You never know when you’ll be walking by a waterfall, so it’s best not to risk it. Stick with shoes that won’t get ruined by a splash or two of water and clothes that don’t need to be dry cleaned.
6. Pack plenty of motion sickness pills or anything ginger for the boats, busses, and trains you’re sure to frequent. You’ll enjoy the views far more if you’re not feeling queasy from the twists and turns of roads so beautiful you’ll want to be snapping photos instead of looking straight ahead and wishing you’d grabbed the air sickness bag from the plane.
7. Forgo the fancy in favor of the practical. You’ll want pieces that can be mixed and matched easily and worn comfortably. You won’t want to be bothered by pants with too tight a seam or shirts that need to be ironed while you’re adventuring through the fjords. I wore the fancy duds I packed exactly zero times and the trip was no less delightful because of it.
Visit Adventures By Disney to learn more about their new Norway itinerary.