We're heading out on our wild Canadian adventure! And by wild, I mean, it's going to be a bit intense and crazy to see how Caleb does in a tight cabin and walking up and down skinny aisles with other humans in such close quarters. But it's going to be great. And I thought I would share a bit about what we're bringing along for the ride - things for us, things for Caleb, and after it all, what ended up being useful.
Midori Traveler's Notebook To Do Bullet Journaling Planner
Here are most of the analogue supplies I'm bringing:
Packing with a toddler for VIA Rail Canadian train trip
Including: my journals, books to read, a set of playing cards, watercolours, envelopes for tips + a thank you note, scissors, wax seals for postcards we'll send home, stamps, stickers for Caleb, my address book, and my pen roll. I'll be keeping a sort of travel journal along the way, although I might finish up the details when we get home. This is a lot more electronic baggage than we brought on our last train ride, which was five years ago, across Russia and into China, partially because we didn't have so much technology then, but mostly because we have the business now.
Bringing electronics on VIA Rail Canadian train trip traveling with a toddler
We're bringing a few different types of cameras (my Instax and also the Polaroid), along with one laptop and one iPad to check emails and update the blog. Chargers for everything, extra film, and a white noise machine, especially for the train ride to help buffer out any footsteps or voices or clanging doors while Caleb's napping or sleeping at night. Packing for this trip has been a bit different than other trips I've gone on with Jon. When it's just adults, you have what you "need" and you have what you can live without. There really aren't too many things Caleb "needs," and yet there are many, many things that I don't think he could live without. It's safe to say that over half of our baggage is Caleb related, although some of it will be used up along the way so we won't have to bring it back.
Packing with a toddler for VIA Rail Canadian train trip

A few favourite books (would you believe that his favourite book is actually called "What's Wrong Little Pookie?") and a few new ones. A few toy cars, a few dinosaurs, and some snacks to hopefully last us until the end of the train trip.

We've been cloth diapering since Caleb was born, but for the trip, we figured it would be too much to have cloth diapers with us in our cabin - we might die from the fumes. One package of disposable diapers should last us until the end, but I brought a few cloth ones for just the last few changes on the way home.

It's been a side effect of being a "frugal" new business entrepreneurs that we don't have too many clothes for Caleb, and depend instead of frequent laundry loads, but luckily for us the week before we left my parents gave Caleb two pairs of shorts, which increased his total number of shorts to five.


The days before we left were spent making lists, and checking them twice, and making more lists, and then deciding which ones we could cross off as unnecessary because there wasn't enough time. It's funny because even as Jon and I were scrambling to get things done, Caleb's just going along as always. A few months ago we had started dabbling around in potty training, and while he's had some success, in the last couple of weeks, I've basically completely eased off in my "instructions." But in the last couple of weeks, he's been taking over on his own! He typically wanders around the apartment naked, and when he needs to go, he just walks over to his potty and pees like it's nobody's business. Whenever I catch him, I try to celebrate with him, and get all excited about flushing it down the real toilet, because that's what I'm supposed to be doing as the responsible parent that's supposed to be monitoring his actions and teaching him potty training. But sometimes I just find pee inside his little potty. It's like he already knows what he's supposed to be doing...
Here's one last photo of Caleb helping me pack. We've actually already left! And this blog post is from the road. Internet has been spotty, and it's only when we pass through a town that we get cell reception, so we can post a few photos onto Instagram or check emails before we exit. Every once in a while we make a stop, but if we've stopped, it's definitely nicer to stretch our legs out in the sunshine. I'm hoping to catch up and share a bit more about our train ride soon. Hope you're all having a great week :)

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wonderpens said:

Thanks for the tip! Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to visit Charals as we ran out of time, although it was on the list! We did visit the Vancouver Pen Shop, and a few other stationery and book shops – I’m hoping to get my act together to share all about our time in BC this week!


wonderpens said:

We’ve been looking forward to the trip for what seems like an eternity!

And what a great tip on the Instax. It was hard to find the right balance between not bringing too much, and bringing enough so I wouldn’t worry about “missing out” on a photo because we didn’t have enough film – so I brought “enough” and then a bit extra, haha! I wouldn’t have thought about it at all until you mentioned it, and I’ll be sure to keep it separate – thanks again :)


wonderpens said:

We don’t have any extras of anything! So unfortunately we would simply be as lost as we would be at home if one of our cords were to break or get nibbled on by a stray cat, haha!

However, we did bring a pack of disposable wipes and they’ve already come in handy, since showering on the train is a bit difficult with Caleb, so he’s just been “lightly refreshed” a few times :)


Ahab said:

If you need more film in Vancouver, drop by Beau Photo on Granville and 6th. And you might like Charals in the St Clair Centre downtown as they carry nice pens and accessories. It’s just a few blocks from the Vancouver Pen Shop. I think there’s also another location near the Vancouver Public Library. Looking forward to your stories along the way!!

Chris S.

Chris S. said:

Another suggestion/request- Please take photos and post your notes throughout your trip… It’s nice to read your handwriting and to see which ink/pen you are using.

Have a great, great trip!


wonderpens said:

I am certainly taking lots of photos, and am hoping to share more details of my travel journal along the way. I’ve got lots of scribblings and a few photos that I’m printing out on the road, and I’ll be sharing as I put it together. Thanks so much for your good wishes, and also for following along with us! (And, you are much, much too kind about the handwriting!)

Chris S.

Chris S. said:

I would suggest an extra (or two) charging cord for your devices- these break easily or get lost. If you haven’t packed already, a pack (or 2 or 3) of disposable wipes for Caleb and yourself. Invaluable for cleaning or freshening up!


Annie said:

Have fun, Chan Clan! You guys really deserve this vacation!

Also, since I believe you are flying back, any of those Instax films you have left over should be kept on you as your carry on. When you are going through the initial security check where they tell you to put your belongings on the conveyor belt, ask them if they can hand check your film (and the camera too if there is film left in there) as having them scanned, even if they aren’t opened, can expose them. Putting them in checked baggage may get them scanned as well so it is a precaution.

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