Adoption Travel Packing List

Note: This packing list was created using the lists of several friends who had already been through the adoption process in preparation for our trip to pick up our 10 month old daughter. I’ve since edited the list after having been to Ethiopia. While in Addis we stayed in a hotel and outside of Addis we stayed in a small local hotel and a traditional Afari grass hut. Our packing list reflects the travel we did outside of Addis. We packed very light–one carry on sized suitcase for each of us, plus one personal item (i.e. purse/computer bag), one large suitcase for the baby and 3 suitcases full of donations. We used old suitcases for the donations and left them behind. We also packed old clothing for ourselves and the baby, and left all of that behind as well to lighten our load on the trip home. All of the clothing we packed for ourselves dried quickly (we washed our clothes in the sink at night) and didn’t wrinkle. We wore the same things most days.

Adult Packing List

  • Old Sneakers (worn on plane)
  • Croc-style shoes
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • Undergarments
  • Yoga Pants (worn on plane by me)
  • Pants That Zip Into Shorts (worn on plane by husband)
  • Fleece Jacket (worn on plane)
  • Rain Coat
  • Skirt (quick dry fabric)
  • Long sleeve shirt (worn on plane)
  • Short sleeve shirt
  • Button Down Shirt (husband, worn to meet our daughter in and attend Embassy Appointment)
  • Dress (me, worn to meet our daughter in and attend Embassy Appointment)
  • Eyeglasses
  • Contact Case and Solution (travel sized)
  • Bandana
  • Hair ties
  • Shampoo, Conditioner, Soap, Hair Product, Deodorant, Razor (with built in solid shaving cream), Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Comb, Face Sunscreen, Feminine Products (all travel sized)

Baby Packing List

  • Diaper Rash Cream, Eucerin Lotion, Baby Sunscreen (all travel sized)
  • Baby wash cloths preloaded with cleanser (Huggies makes disposable ones)
  • Baby Wipes (x2)
  • Scented Garbage Bags (for dirty diapers)
  • Diapers (10/day)
  • Swim Diapers (1/day)
  • Pacifier
  • Changing Pad
  • Sanitizing Wipes
  • Rubber Pants (to layer over diapers on flight home to prevent blow outs)
  • First Aid: Baby Motrin, Baby Tylenol, Baby Orajel, Thermometer, Pedialyte Powder
  • Robeez Shoes
  • Comfy Outifts (3/day, plus 4 for plane) (I did sweatsuits)
  • Onesies (2/day)
  • Sweater
  • Formula
  • Baby Food
  • Disposable Baby Spoon and Bowl
  • Disposable Sippy Cup
  • Playtex Drop Ins with Liners
  • Bottle Brush
  • Disposable Bibs
  • Drool Bibs (3/day)
  • Baby Snacks (Cheerios and Fruit Puffs)
  • Receiving Blankets (x3)
  • Small Toys, Teether, Book, Tub Toy
  • Burp Cloths (1/day, plus 3 for plane)
  • Sun Hat
  • Sling

General Packing

  • Chamois Camping Towel
  • Small Kleenex Pack (x2)
  • Ear Plugs & Eyemasks
  • Travel Pillows
  • Candy, Trail Mix, Granola Bars
  • Folder with adoption paperwork
  • Folder with all travel documents
  • Book
  • Magazines
  • Pen & Blank Notebook
  • Cash
  • Passports, Yellow Fever Certificates with Shot Records
  • Laptop
  • DVDs
  • IPod
  • First Aid: Hydrocortizone Cream, Lotrimin, Neosporin, Nasal Decongestant, Pepto Bismol, Tums, Immodium, Claritin, Sleeping Medicine (prescription), Lice Bedding Spray, Lice Egg Remover Kit, Scabies Cream (prescription), Carmex, Liquid Bandage, Gauze, Medical Tape, Gas-X, Dramamine, Bandaids, Malaria Meds (prescription), Cipro (prescription), Airborne, Vitamins, Q-Tips, Cotton Balls/Pads, Vaseline, Advil, Tylenol, Thermacare Heat Packs (back and belly) (we packed small quantities of each and left most of this behind)
  • Insect repellant (safe for baby)
  • Money belt
  • Camera, Charging Cord, Extra Memory Card (fully charged)
  • Video Camera, Charging Cord, Extra Tapes (fully charged)
  • Space Saver Vacuum Bags (all clothing was packed in these)
  • 110 to 220 Converter
  • Plug Adapters
  • Bubble Wrap (it helped save our souveniers on the way home)
  • Duct Tape
  • Swiss Army Knife (with scissors)
  • Laundry Detergent (in travel sized bottle), Rope, Clothes Pins
  • Ziplock Bags (all toiletries, first aid, etc. packed and organized in these)
  • Small Sewing Kit
  • Dish Soap (in travel sized bottle)
  • Hand Sanitizer, Charmin Wipes, Travel Sized Toilet Paper (x2; in own Ziplocks, bring with you at all times–restrooms often don’t have water and/or toilet paper)
  • Sunglasses
  • Cell Phones (full charged)
  • Lonely Planet Ethiopia

4 thoughts on “Adoption Travel Packing List

  1. Pingback: BiG April tip #1 « Ethiopian Orphan Relief's Blog

  2. should there be different packing lists for families going in different seasons??

    Is the rainy season cold?

    How much of the first aid kit did you need?


  3. # Travel sewing kit
    # Fly swatter and sticky bug strips
    # Wash clothes
    # Zip lock bags – pint, quart, and gallon sizes
    # Several bottles of Purell waterless hand cleaner (kills 99.9% of germs)
    # Clorox bleach wipes
    # Age appropriate toys
    # Gifts for orphanage director, orphanage staff, adoption facilitators, translators, etc…
    # Donation of medical supplies, clothing, or toys to the orphanage
    # Laptop computer (if you have one or can borrow one) with DVDs and international adapter. Many regions and hotels have internet connections.

  4. Hi

    # Ladies, do not forget to pack sanitary items.
    # Several rolls of toilet paper. You can take the cardboard rolls out to compress them for easy packing.
    # Bungee cords and duct tape always come in handy for misc. uses. Use your imagination!
    # Travel alarm clock
    # Swiss Army knife (scissors, blades, small screwdriver for eyeglass screws, tweezers, toothpick, file, corkscrew, large screwdriver)

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