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What to take on plane when moving overseas?

(23 Posts)
bigtallpurple Sat 06-Dec-14 10:25:02


We are moving from the UK to Australia soon. Most of our things will be going in a container but obviously that will arrive a few months after us. What are the most important things that I should take with us in the suitcases on the plane? We are going straight into an unfurnished rental so I am trying to organise for some furniture etc to be delivered to the new house as soon as possible. I'll have to go shopping straight away for some things.

What should I take with us on the plane, though? So far on my list are clothes, some toys and books for the DC, important documents, small selection of photos, hard-drive, laptop, the usual toiletries etc.

Anyone got any advice? Anyone wish they had not put certain things in the container? Was there anything anyone took with them straight away but wished they'd just bought another when they arrived?

The DC are 6, 10 and 12. Did people find that their DC settled better if they had lots of their familiar toys/books/photos etc around them? Or did the bribery excitement of going shopping for a few new things help? smile


SaBearOz Sat 06-Dec-14 15:16:14

I will be doing this in a few months with a 3yo and 1 yo and because of their young age I am taking some plates and cups etc that they use as well as duvet covers so it feels familiar- some toys but not a huge amount as we are delaying Santa a bit until we get there

bettyspaghetti33 Sat 06-Dec-14 18:18:56

I have to admit to packing items of favourite 'couldn't live without' kitchen equipment into suitcases in and amongst clothes and towels.

I also made sure there were a few 'homey' things in our plane luggage to instantly put up when we arrive and make the place ours; wall hangings for the DC, a couple of their most loved duvet covers, their bedtime story books - it makes such a difference I think as the whole moving process is daunting for everyone. I mean sure shopping for new things is always fun but you have to remember that virtually every detail of their lives will be brand new to them so a few home comforts can really help them settle in.

echt Sat 06-Dec-14 19:46:22

What season will it be when you get here? Pack clothes accordingly,as Au shops go into autumn mode directly after the January sales and the place is awash with flannelette pyjamas when it's 40 outside.

gordonpym Sat 06-Dec-14 21:07:30

You can rent furniture (and fridge, washing machine ) until your stuff arrives, at least in Sydney, that's what we did.
You'll have to buy quite a lot of things as you'll need plates, pans, towels, sheets, .... You can find all these things in Target and K.mart. It means you'll have two kettles, toasters, but they are really cheap (less than 10 dollars). I find books extremely shockingly expensive. Yes you can have book depository deliver them for free, but the book price is different. I sometimes buy from Amazon and the delivery is 25$ on average. Mind you, there are items that cannot be delivered here. But library are great here, so I can read to my heart content for free.
Stationary is crap and expensive in my experience in most shops, except Office works.

I haven't find yet shoes I like, so I wonder if that's why so many people walk bare foot? Shampoo and Co are more expensive but you'll find offer every week so it's fine.

We had a suitcase each with mixed clothes. Temperatures can vary a lot and drop 15 - 20 degree in one day. We arrived in september, and it was summer like weather and then mid october, temperature dropped to 6 degree.

One trolley with all the documents as you said, birth certificate, bank, property, .....
If you are taking any electrical with you, buy adaptors in Uk, here they cost 10 times as much.

Be ultra-extra careful with all the requirement to pass quarantine, especially if you are bringing bikes, scooters, gum boots. Leave your vacuum cleaner in UK, it will be a PITA to clean every single particle of dust and it will get massive inspection. Careful with the christmas decorations. The tiniest bit made of natural stuff (pine) can mean the whole box will be destroyed and you'll have to pay 500$ for it.

If you are renting be very careful with the entry inspection report. State every single dent or mark on floor, wall, sink and make 200 pictures of everything.

About what can make it easier for the kids, I can't really answer that, as it's been tough (and still is). More than objects (toys, books,....) it will be people. And this takes times.

Where are you moving?

chloeb2002 Sat 06-Dec-14 23:40:00

Wish we didn't waste money on a container!
Bought all electrical stuff new. Then it has warranty.
Don't bring anything with mud or dust, wood or tree related. Furniture if it's hugely valuable and you can't bare to sell it!

It's Australia. We have everything here.

Pack clothes if you have plenty of summer stuff.

We wee charged to burn Xmas decorations, clean horse equipment. It was hugely expensive.

Of the original stuff we spent thousands bringing over in a container we still have less a box full and a dresser to show or it!
Getting new stuff is fun kids enjoy it. We enjoyed it.

8 years on we have everything we want! grin

We did arrange for a furniture store to deliver the day we arrived. But stuff wasn't in stick etc .. Still added to the adventure wink

bigtallpurple Sun 07-Dec-14 17:16:21

Thanks everyone, some great tips there smile. I've added a few essential kitchen utensils, DC's water bottles, bits of stationary (would never have thought of that!), and as many light, homely things as I can find, to my list! I'm also going to make sure we cram as many summer clothes into our cases as possible. Shame it's going to be freezing when we leave Heathrow, yet balmy when we arrive in Sydney! I hope we won't be the only ones getting off the plane wearing boots, jumpers and coats blush

I agree that the DC need to have as many of their favourite things around them. It's such a huge change for them (understatement). With just days to go, and the list of things-to-do seemingly never-ending, I know I need to focus on keeping them feeling happy and secure. Gosh it seems like such a ridiculously impossible challenge at the moment. What on earth are we doing??

So here's a tip for anyone thinking of making a similar move - don't do it just before Christmas!! As if there weren't enough things to do at this time of year! shock grin

Thanks again for the replies.

Living Mon 08-Dec-14 04:53:37

Why would you get off the plane wearing boots, jumpers and coats? Take them off at the airport and pack into your suitcases. I always find one of the most stressful parts of traveling with kids is getting on and off the planes. The less stuff you actually have in the cabin the better.

ninawish Mon 08-Dec-14 11:29:18

we did it just before Christmas from UK to Sydney with three kids 3, 7 and 10 and knew no one at all not a single person

we arrived in Sydney and it was very hot and after being here a few weeks New Year's Day was 44C - that's hot! the weather will be your main culture shock

we loved it and haven't looked back though there have been ups and downs

the best thing we brought in cases was linen and duvets that made it feel like home

I'd bring as little as possible with you in the container it's cheaper to do it all again over here that's what we did

good luck gringrin Sydney is the best city in the world lol

Padthai Mon 08-Dec-14 11:45:37

I second taking off all the big coats and packing them before you leave UK. Actually what we tend to do is just layer the kids in long sleeve t shirt, hoody, medium weight coat, cotton scarf and trainers and then just pack the coat into cases at heathrow. You will probably go from warm car into the airport so won't really need heavy coats. The other layers can be handy as planes can be cold. The kids can just put hoodies around their waist if they are hot getting off the plane. Converse/trainers are much more comfortable to travel in than boots.
I would get some new swim suits and rash tops before going as just after Christmas you may find that the cheaper shops in Sydney like target/k mart only have random sizes.
If you are doing some online shopping for Santa to deliver to your new home a good suggestion for the kids might be some nerf water guns, some water balloons, big paddling pool and sand pit for the little one, maybe some scooters and skate boards so they can start to enjoy the outdoors straight away.
If you are going to Sydney have a look at the Sydney festival website and perhaps book some tickets before you go and you will have some nice events to look forward to. If you want any other ideas about what to do with kids over summer let me know, it is my favourite time of year in Sydney and now that I am in London I miss it so much.
We found when we moved to the UK initially that the older ones enjoyed shopping for new stuff but were really happy a few months down the line to see some familiar things.

bigtallpurple Mon 08-Dec-14 14:13:23

Thanks ninawish and Padthai for getting me excited again about the move! I've lost that recently as all I've been focused on is the packing/moving/organising side of things. It will all be worth it I'm sure smile

Tricky one regarding the coats. We actually have a full day in London before the big flight (we fly in to London in the morning). I was hoping to go and see a few sights in that time but I might have to reconsider. It would be so much easier if we didn't have to think about winter coats etc. Layers are definitely an option, but there won't be any space in the cases for all the winter coats. They're jam-packed already with all the bedding, clothes, toys, kitchen utensils etc grin. Shame there isn't a charity shop at Heathrow where we could leave all the winter clobber. First world problems, eh?

DarceyBustle Tue 09-Dec-14 01:57:49

I would not bother bringing kids winter coats. If it means putting them in a bin so be it... The kids will have grown out of them in a few months.
I brought bed linen with us. I vacuum packed it all after our last night and it all fitted in perfectly. It was so handy on our first day and it does pack small too.

SteveBrucesNose Tue 09-Dec-14 02:56:43

I wouldn't worry about bringing any more toiletries than just a travel one of each to get you through a day or so - they can be heavy, take up lots of space, and you'll be I. A supermarket within a day or so anyway to replace. Unless of course you need specifics for any reason. The night before we emigrated, we realised we were about to get a huge excess baggage charge so had to rationalise! So other tip - pack in plenty of time so you know where you stand on that.

Home comforts definitely. And enough changes of clothing each for a few days (don't forget work clothes if one of you is going straight into a job);

Smidge001 Tue 09-Dec-14 03:55:24

Bring a few

Smidge001 Tue 09-Dec-14 04:02:01

Bring a couple of power board socket things - then you only need one adaptor for the power board, and can plug in 4 or 6 English plugs into the board. Much cheaper and easier. In fact, one step further than that - I've changed the plug on the board itself to an Aussie plug so haven't needed many adaptors at all. I like to keep the plugs on my pricey electrical goods as UK style because the plugs here in aus don't have fuses in them. I still find it a bit scarey (or reminiscent of my grandparents farm 30 years ago!) that I get sparks coming off plugs when you put them in and out of the wall!!! shock

HicDraconis Tue 09-Dec-14 04:07:40

When we emigrated to NZ we had 8 cases and 4 carry on bags (AirNZ had a generous luggage allowance in Economy if you had a one way ticket and a work visa!)

Clothes for different temperatures were vacuum packed into bags and spread across all 8 cases with a mix in each so that even if one or 2 got lost, we'd have enough to start with.

We brought favourite books and toys, essential pots and pans, some large bowls, kitchen things that I wanted on arrival and didn't want to have to buy duplicates of (eg cake tins, one of the boys had a birthday while our container was still en route, my food processor, DH's egg pan, basic cutlery set), toiletries to last us the first few days until we could find somewhere to buy them, towels, coats, boots, shoes, laptops. Carry on bags had distractions for the journey (small toys wrapped up which I brought out at intervals, snacks, drinks, books, nappies) and things I absolutely didn't want to risk getting lost (some of my jewellery, medicines, all the important documents).

We were moving into an unfurnished rental so we brought as many "home" things out as possible while we waited for the larger furniture to arrive on the container. In retrospect we probably brought far too much with us and could have coped with less. However once we'd moved in and unpacked it did make it feel more like home straight away and I think helped with the whole "omg what have we just done" feelings.

Hazchem Tue 09-Dec-14 04:25:55

When we came over the shippers did a deal so we had a very cheap very speedy tea chest. We put in important and essential things in that which were too big to go into luggage but couldn't wait for the shipping.

JellyTipisthebest Tue 09-Dec-14 04:30:24

We did uk to nz, and took waterproof sheets, and clothes. I think we just squished the kids coats in to the cases somewhere. The kids now only wear coats if we go skiing. The do wear waterproof ones sometimes. We were able to send our container ahead of us so only waited 2 weeks when we go here. No ikea in NZ so had new pillows and stuff like that in the container as it was vacuum packed so was small. We had to take the kids school bags and lunch boxes as they had school before we left.
Toys was a big thing. We took lots of small card games.

echt Tue 09-Dec-14 06:34:16

The one way ticket luggage weight is, or was, 40kg to Oz.

partialderivative Tue 09-Dec-14 13:40:20

You will want to use towels almost immediately if you are like me and need a shower first thing after a long flight.

I once ended up trying to dry myself with a J-cloth!

AmericasTorturedBrow Tue 09-Dec-14 15:31:41

slightly different as we moved to Southern California rather than Oz, but along with clothes and toys, books, familiar toiletries, I took my spice mixes (jerk, peri peri etc) for familiarity for me and the DC with regards to food, and because you can't put that stuff in the container

gordonpym Tue 09-Dec-14 22:21:09

With British Airways you can have 2x 23 kgs suitcase each and if I remember correctly 1x23 kg cabin luggage. Even on return tickets. But I guess you already have your tickets. What about one of those zip pocket bag, which are the size of a book when folded and becomes a big shopping bag when open. You should go and spend some time in London, just to get some fresh air and light. You will spend enough time reading and watching movies on the plane.
By the way, I had a couple of new books for my DC, they didn't even look at the cover, they just loved the on-board entertaining system. So leave the books, and take a couple of snacks which you MUST leave on board after landing in Sydney (or declare).

Careful with food when coming to Australia, you must declare everything, on the passenger entry card. No fresh food (apples, grapes, carrots, ...) are allowed and you may face a big fine just for a couples of grapes forgotten at the bottom of a bag. You are not fined if you declare them. they may be confiscated but without fine.

Sydney is lovely. We live in the Northern Beaches.

ninawish Thu 11-Dec-14 12:08:49

@gordonpym I'm in the northern beaches too - lucky country winkwink

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