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How many suitcases for family of 4 abroad?

(60 Posts)
BobbyO Sun 02-Mar-14 23:20:59

Going on our first family holiday abroad for 2 weeks in the sun. There are 4 of us (me, husband, 4yr old and 8yr old). We are allowed 20kg each. Just bought 2 large 28" cases. Will this be enough? Was thinking of getting a medium 26" as well. The two large we have just bought look massive now we've got them home. Would we be better with 3 or even 4 medium 26" instead? Thanks

SwedishEdith Sun 02-Mar-14 23:24:45

We did 2 x medium plus 4 x hand luggage each - but not up to actual allowance. Think each suitcase only weighed about 12-15kgs each. Still had too much.

AnyFuckerHQ Sun 02-Mar-14 23:31:14

if the weather will be hot, I would take 3 medium sized bags

AnyFuckerHQ Sun 02-Mar-14 23:31:45

15kg-ish each

girlywhirly Mon 03-Mar-14 08:58:07

Make sure you weigh the cases (packed) at home, as a trial run, then remove any items you can do without if you are over the 20kg. Things that weigh heavy are shoes/sandals, toiletries/sun lotion, beach towels and books. With a 28" case you are more likely to go over 20kg. It really is worth investing in a luggage weighing scale, but be wary of cheap ones which can be innaccurate; I found that mine was 1kg out! Now I just add 1kg on to what ever it displays my case as weighing. It really is worth weighing before you are at the airport, as it really annoys the rest of the check-in queue if you have to start repacking! And weigh your hand luggage too, some airlines will want to do this as well as your cases. Wait till you get airside before buying magazines and drinks for the flight, as these are heavy items.

DH and I have a 26" case each for a fortnight, and usually weigh in at between 17-19 kg each. I think your DC could share another case between them. It's worth remembering that if you buy anything on holiday you need some space/ weight allowance spare. I would also share out clothing and swimwear between all the cases, in case one gets lost so that you all have something to wear until it turns up. If you want to reduce the amount still further, pack into each persons hand luggage shorts and top, and underwear/socks.

Something you may not want to do but saves a lot of weight, is take a tube of travel wash and hand wash some clothes and underwear, so that you don't need to take much at all.

Theas18 Mon 03-Mar-14 09:00:53

Cripes! We do 2 weeks abroad on handbaggage only.that seems a lot! Maybe 1 case? Definitely weigh it!

Nomorepeppapig Mon 03-Mar-14 09:03:06

3 plus hand luggage each!

ilovepowerhoop Mon 03-Mar-14 09:05:41

we tend to take 3 as there is usually an upper weight limit on a single case e.g. for our holiday no one case can be over 23kgs. We then have 4 hand luggage bags (me, dh, 2 kids)

Doshusallie Mon 03-Mar-14 09:10:14

I usually take 3 plus hand luggage (but then I take ridiculous things like inflatable volley ball nets)

WeeClype Mon 03-Mar-14 09:12:00

I always take a case for each person but I mix and match what's in them just incase I arrive at the destination and one has got lost.

I've also seen a family being turned away as they packed everything into one case and it was far too heavy as they used all the baggage allowance in it.

SpookedMackerel Mon 03-Mar-14 09:29:28

You can usually split the total weight allowance between cases - check with the airline though! - so if you have say three bags you can have 60kg split between them, if you have 4 bags you can have 80kg between them , they don't have to be exactly 20 each (though there will also be a limit that any individual bag can't go over - check with the airline again).

So you could take your 2 big suitcases (which I would have thought would be ample space) and then check in a couple of your "hand baggage" bags to spread the weight. I never find everyone needs a bag on the plane, you can fit everything you need in one bag IMO.

We usually take a lightweight folding holdall that zips into a tiny pouch in case we come back with more than we left with - if we have accumulated more stuff we check that in with the suitcases and take one of the hand baggage sized bags into the plane with us.

ilovepowerhoop Mon 03-Mar-14 09:31:14

oh no, we need all the hand luggage bags for the tablets, kindles, nintendos, etc required for the flight. No way they would all fit in one bag

AnyFuckerHQ Mon 03-Mar-14 09:46:24

ugh, why do you take all that shit on holiday ? confused

ilovepowerhoop Mon 03-Mar-14 09:50:23

for the flight, for quiet times after a busy day, why shouldnt we take it?

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 03-Mar-14 09:52:10

We go away for a fortnight with 2 cases between the 4 of us and 2 car seats in bags.

That's plenty for a warm holiday.

Skiing is a different matter altogether!

specialsubject Mon 03-Mar-14 10:11:53

20kg is a maximum, not a target. Try lifting three of those! 20kg is enough for SIX MONTHS.

take the heavy cases back to the shop, buy or acquire some soft bags. Two large bags should do for all of you, plus hand luggage for essentials/valuables. One set of UK temperature clothes each - wear on flight with shorts and t-shirts underneath. Kids have three sunsuits each, you have two rash vests each and swim-wear. A couple of evening outfits, a pair of trainers and flip flops each, water shoes, one pair evening shoes for you. T-shirts, shorts, underwear. You can probably take a fortnight's worth of that and do no washing, or take half and do one load of washing. Take the mix and match advice.

toiletries, a few books, beepy-beepy stuff if you must. That's it.

wheeled cases only work in airports, where there are always trolleys. Wheels and handles add weight.

you do not need 20kg each!!

SooticaTheWitchesCat Mon 03-Mar-14 10:21:09

We usually take 2 medium case and 2 small ones, the kind you can take on as hand luggage. The 2 medium ones will weigh about 20kg and small ones about 10kg each.

I know some people manage to go away with hand luggage but I love to dress up nicely on holiday and so do my girls so we like to take lots of clothes, I don't want to be wearing the same things all the time smile

Creamycoolerwithcream Mon 03-Mar-14 10:27:21

I do exactly the same as Scootia, except my cases are not full of dresses as I have boys!

notso Mon 03-Mar-14 10:27:46

We took two big and two medium for six of us , including a fortnights nappies for two, a fortnights formula and food for DS with allergy and toys for the little ones.
None of the cases were over 20kg the heaviest was 18kg.

princessalbert Mon 03-Mar-14 10:40:24

I think that 2 large cases will be ample.

As said upthread- take a tube of travel wash - so you don't have to take 14 pairs of pants/socks per person.

DC are small. Their clothes are small too. Also, it isn't a definite that a t-shirt will only last one wear. A lot of the time could be spent in swimwear, so actual clothes are only worn on an evening. So they can be reused another time.

Buy beach towels over there and leave behind. They are a crazy waste of suitcase space and weight.

Can you tell I like to travel light? smile

Last time we went away to a hotel type place - me =, DH and DS (14) we took one case and hand luggage each. It was enough.

We prefer to self cater though as a rule - which helps with the traveling light, as we can wash and dry clothes there.

Just ensure that you weigh the cases before leaving for the airport. Leave space for souvenirs.

noramum Mon 03-Mar-14 11:15:28

We self-cater and I make sure there is a washing machine. So this cuts down on clothes.

But, we don't do hot sunny weather-holidays so we have to pack jeans, jumpers, coats, shoes etc. We also have some small games, cards and some bits for DD on the flight back (after once spending a fortune on an English magazine in Spain).

We manage with one huge suitcase, one large and a bag we use for shoes and toileteries. I take the brands I can't get somewhere else and normally buy the rest on day one and it is empty when we leave.

We have in the hand luggage books for the flight, DD's entertainment, a laptop, a tablet, a kindle plus a SLR camera.

If you have the suitcases I would normally say use it. Buying extra, I would cut down.

Driveway Mon 03-Mar-14 11:29:33

We took 20kg between three when we went on holiday abroad last. And half the case was taken up with nappies as I'd read they were extortionately expensive.
There is no way you need 20kg per person. What are you wearing? Lead trousers?

princessalbert Mon 03-Mar-14 11:55:23

It's quite liberating travelling light. It cuts down on decision making too - what to wear is easily answered if you only have a couple of outfit combos to choose from.

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Mon 03-Mar-14 12:02:07

Lol at lead trousers.

A hand luggage case or bag that can double as a beach bag per person plus two or three big suitcases in total sounds about right.

We do take quite a bit in the way of beach towels/snorkelling gear/suncream and also want space to bring back spirits, tobacco etc, but the amount of stuff you want to take, depends on how high maintenance you are clothes/styling wise.

I would take enough underwear to avoid having to do any washing - WTF, you are on holiday. If its a warm summer holiday, you'll probably need a lot fewer socks than you think, if you will be in flip flops most of the time.

I'm happy to re-wear clothes so don't need new clothes every day, but on here, I've seen people who think that each person needs a set of day and evening clothes per day, ie 28 outfits each for a 2 week holiday, plus a variety of shoes and things like hair straighteners.

BobbyO Mon 03-Mar-14 13:09:37

Thanks for all the advice everyone. Just wish we were going now. Got to wait a while yet!! I know my DC won't need 20kg each so I can safely say we won't need all the weight allowance. It's just the best option of how many cases and sizes. Yes, I was definitely going to split our luggage between the cases just in case one decided to visit a different location. :-)

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