Tell me about your luggage please

(21 Posts)
LapinDeBois Sat 20-Jun-15 23:14:46

We haven't travelled much since the children (7 and 4) were born, and only really in the UK (when you can shove everything in the car). We're flying abroad in the summer and have decided we need to rethink/update our luggage. DH and I have an assortment of ancient suitcases (traditional style - one very posh and on wheels, but enormous and v heavy, the others not on wheels and falling apart). Given how shockingly expensive luggage is, I don't want to get it wrong.

So, I want to know what all you savvy travellers use for luggage. So far I am thinking along the following lines: normal daysacks for me and DH to carry on (have these already); small rucksacks for each of the kids (need to buy); two large hold bags between the four of us (need to buy). Does this sound sensible? And if so, what style of hold bags shall I get? I am utterly non-snobbish about luggage - only interested in practicalities. And in terms of packing I'd say I'm medium - not a hard-as-nails camping type who manages with two pairs of trousers and three t-shirts for a month, but not a different pair of shoes with every dress girl either. Should I get big square suitcases on wheels like these www.tkmaxx.com/luggage/navy-spinner-suitcases/invt/ms50296087b_0315? Or would I be better with a holdall not on wheels like this www.gooutdoors.co.uk/montane-transition-100-p269855? Or a holdall on wheels like this www.gooutdoors.co.uk/berghaus-mule-100-wheel-p269893? And how many litres do I need??

And what do I do about booster seats? Looked at Trunki boostapaks but they're eye-wateringly expensive, and not universally well-reviewed. Could hire seats out there but not sure how expensive that will be. Or, given that Easyjet carry them for free, could I not just chuck our normal ones in a plastic bag and be done with it?

Any advice at all warmly welcomed. Beginning to think the luggage will cost half as much again as the holiday hmm.

specialsubject Sun 21-Jun-15 10:08:37

I go for large soft holdalls, no wheels or similar useless heavy nonsense. Airports have trolleys, coaches/taxis have boots. Assuming this isn't a place to place backpacking holiday, that's all you need.

buy from Argos or similar and TAKE LESS. You can still have a variety of clothes without needing to do loads (or any?) washing.

look out for outgrown trunkis on ebay - but I am not entirely convinced that your kids will want to carry them that much. How much car travel will actually be involved?

ltk Sun 21-Jun-15 10:25:48

Buy luggage with wheels. Airports very often do not have trolleys, and your 7 yo can pull a wheeled suitcase for a bit if necessary. Never buy anything that would weigh more than 23 kilos fully packed (so a medium size). Buy a cheap duffel that will hold both booster seats and put them through that way, as airlines generally don't charge for them. Do not get children seperate kiddy luggage. It is too small to hold much and is just another annoying bag to deal with. Unless necessary, I would carry everything you need for the dc in your own luggage and daypacks - don't give them stuff to hold that you will be responsible for. It is just an extra headache to make sure they remember their stuff. Spinner suitcases nice but unnecesary. The wheels are usually the first casualty on a suitcase so buy reasonably priced but robust. Buy an unusual colour if you have a choice as its easy to spot at baggage reclaim. Whatever you buy, ALWAYS take photos of your bags before handing them over at check-in. This will make it easier for the airline to find when they lose them!

dementedpixie Sun 21-Jun-15 10:34:56

We have wheeled suitcases as you sometimes have to pull them through airports, through the hotel, etc. we have soft bodied ones - world's lightest suitcase brand I think

specialsubject Sun 21-Jun-15 12:29:02

23kg is HEAVY. Try it - it is a two person lift for most adults. Two bags each with half of this should be plenty. This is why I don't recommend wheels; they are useless weight. I've never seen an airport without a trolley.

no luggage for the four year old. 7 year old can carry a backpack with a few items which if are lost are not the end of the world, useful training.

Alanna1 Sun 21-Jun-15 12:39:47

I think its about flexibility, so there isn't a perfect solution. I like the trunki backpacks as they double as booster seats. We have been known to sometimes check them (if "free car seat" is offered for kids), sometimes carry on to plane as their bag, and sometimes pack into our bags. Suitcase-wise, we tend to use one medium sized roller and then another large bag (see below). My husband and I now tend to take rucksacks for carry on - leaves hands free for kids stuff. His (hiking grade) rucksack is frankly more useful than my herschel stylish one - more pockets/straps for attaching cardigans/coats/ways of accessing stuff. Our aim is for one adult to be able to carry most of the luggage. As to the "other large bag", we have both another medium roller and a large suitcase rucksack. Thus one adult (usually my husband!) can wheel large case carry large rucksack and have daysack on his front...!!

Artandco Sun 21-Jun-15 12:42:36

Rucksack for you and dh fine
Kids - no handluggage. Odd bits in your bag. It's another thing to get lost
X2 medium cases. Large ones are too big as will be overweight when full and you can't usually fit x2 large cases in most car boots ( especially small hire car ones)
Take own car seats

Millymollymama Sun 21-Jun-15 13:32:07

Don't bother with the children having hand luggage. You have to keep checking they have not left it somewhere.

I highly, highly, recommend Antler Double decker "holdall" bags. Wheels are essential in my view. Two of these are sufficient (we have the largest size) and fully packed they will be below the weight allowance, unless you pack lots of heavy boots! . They are not cheap but are robust. Best of all they have two layers and loads of pockets so you can put half of your luggage in one bag and half in the other. Good if airline loses one bag. The layers are great for storing your washing away from other cleaner items. You might find someone has them on offer but they are the best you can get and you won't need to buy anything else for a long time.

Sgtmajormummy Sun 21-Jun-15 13:47:27

Spinner suitcases all the way! They support their own weight and on a flat stretch you can just push them along with one finger as you shepherd the rest of your family. I have them in 3 sizes (admit the hand-luggage sized one is a bit wasteful on space) and when I put up the rigid handles and "walk the dogs", one on either side, I bless the day we bought them!

Toffeelatteplease Sun 21-Jun-15 14:30:36

Just bought some Samsonite spinner luggage and some hand luggage with a back strap so you can slip over the pull along handle and pull both you cabin and hold luggage in one go. Absolute beautiful!

LapinDeBois Sun 21-Jun-15 21:39:24

Thanks for all your replies. Lots of food for thought. Interesting that you mostly think 'don't bother' for kids rucksacks. And I've already learnt one thing - what a spinner suitcase is (had seen them but never heard the term...)

dementedpixie Sun 21-Jun-15 22:14:27

I do take rucksacks for the children and they have their own electrical items in them e.g. tablet, Nintendo, etc as they wouldn't all fit in the one bag

Hersetta427 Mon 22-Jun-15 09:09:31

I travel frequently (5-6 times a year) with my 7 and 3 yr olds.

The 7 year old has a small children's trolley soft sided case from Cabin Max in which she carries items for the pair of them (a DS, DVD player, sticker books, headphones etc). Until recently the 3 yr. old had nothing but he now has a small case of his own which he loves (he has a very small robot case with flashing wheels which gets him a lot of attention at the airport).

I then carry a large canvas zip up bag from accessorize (although primark do a great copy which I have also bought as a back up - £6).

As for suitcases, I have had 2 tripp cases (soft sided and expandable) for 10 years and they still going strong. I also have a hard sided extra light samsonite spinner case which is lovely but doesn't hold as much as the equivalent size tripp case.

For a two week holiday for a family of 4 we take 3 cases (although the Samsonite just holds the heavy toiletries, kids inflatables, beach/ water toys and snacks. The two tripp cases are for clothes and shoes. Last holiday our luggage totalled 56kg (we had an allowance of 80kg).

I think the tripp cases came from Debenhams and I would definitely buy them again - the expanding section has sometimes come in very handy so this is a must have feature for me.

Millymollymama Mon 22-Jun-15 13:22:04

A whole case full of toiletries, toys and food??? My children must have had deprived holidays. We bought a few pool toys when we were there and left then behind. What is the point of snacks in hold luggage? My children just ate meals. You must have a fierce beauty regime! Do they not supply toiletries where you stay? The kitchen sink will go with you next time!!!

Hersetta427 Mon 22-Jun-15 14:53:53

Hardly the kitchen sink as I had 34 kgs of free luggage allowance!

Its not a big case - full up it only weighed 13kgs. By the time you add the toiletries (just 2 large zip up toiletry bags one of which is all sun tan lotions and after sun) a couple of large inflatables (we always bring ours back as we obviously have plenty of luggage room - no point in throwing away money) plus a couple of packs of oreos and mini cheddars. Hardly extravagant.

Yes they do provide toiletries but I much prefer to use my own. Often the shampoo is rank and rarely is there conditioner (certainly not one that would get through my insanely thick curly hair).

Artandco Mon 22-Jun-15 15:10:57

Oreos on holiday? Really? The one think I like about travelling is trying all the new foreign biscuits smile

Hersetta427 Mon 22-Jun-15 15:18:17

A 3rd old may have a different view!

CrystalCove Tue 23-Jun-15 12:33:38

You must have a fierce beauty regime! Do they not supply toiletries where you stay? The kitchen sink will go with you next time!!!

I'm not saying this is you Milly but sometimes on these type of threads its like competitive under packing, it really is. I dont have a "fierce" beauty regime by any manner of means but my toiletries take up a big part of my hold luggage. Nowhere I have stayed has supplied the stuff I need over and above shampoo and conditioner, including my facial wash and moisturizer for my skin, scrunchie, sponge and fragrance free soap, hair mousse and spray, body lotion and deodorant. If you can tell me who supplies all that I will book up! And then there's all the sun cream.

We are off to America soon for 3 weeks and me, DH and our boys aged 7 and 13 wil have a hold case each up to 23kg, a cabin case plus a carry on bag. Lapin we bought cheap medium suitcases out of Argos 2 years ago for flying and they are fine, we usually drive to France and take bags. My 7 year old wants to use his gruffalo trunki again. We did buy an inflatable booster seat in America which we are going to take with us.

By the time Ive packed all our clothes, shoes, toiletries, and a few cool bags and a picnic rug our cases will be full!

CrystalCove Tue 23-Jun-15 12:36:16

Hersetta thankfully we drive to France as we take a huge amount of inflatables for the pool and it all fits in the roof box! For us its not just the money but we are always in the middle of rural France and choice is not great.

Millymollymama Tue 23-Jun-15 13:17:18

No that is really not me!!! I pack plenty and I always have hold luggage. Maybe I am lucky that I have stayed in great hotels with lovely shampoo, conditioner, body wash, moisturizer etc. I do take deodorant and face creams, hair mousse plus make up. I just didn't take huge pool inflatables, soap, a sponge, body lotion or Oreos. Our Antler bags will take 23kgs but we find that a bit too heavy to manage. Around 20kg is more manageable. We used to take 2 or 3 hold bags for 4 of us. When they were younger I did pack factor 50 for them. I hate washing loads of stuff on holiday and I like a choice of what to wear. So does DH and my DDs so I definitely don't do cabin bag only! I just never took my whole beauty regime, food or toys. They were happy with just swimming in the sea or simple pool rings not expensive inflatables.

When they were a bit older we went to Peru, Ecuador, sailing in the BVIs, India, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and to several destinations in the USA. The most difficult packing scenario is for a cruise where you need formal evening wear. We had to take an extra bag for that. When the children were younger and we took the car to France, we took more because we could, but flying long haul does make you think about what you really need and what you can buy at a reasonable price and use at the other end so avoiding the need to transport everything around the world.

BoysRule Tue 23-Jun-15 13:23:08

We have two eastpak cases which are brilliant. We have a medium and large - they are easy to pull along and have loads of room in them. We tend to use the smaller one for children's things (ages 5 and 3) and the larger for ours. Then each child has their own rucksack for iPads, pens and paper and snacks. We don't have a problem with them losing them - they wear them on their backs.

DH has a rucksack to take on and I have a tote bag. I am wondering about booster seats though - we took a blow up one last year for the oldest but this year the youngest can have a booster seat too.

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