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Moving around with children - how, how often and what luggage works best?

(11 Posts)
WallyWallyWally Wed 02-Oct-19 11:37:50

Following from another thread I started... we are planning to have our first long haul trip since having children. DH and I travelled a fair bit before we had children, but since then we've stuck with holiday homes / Europe / back to the UK (we live in France, family in the UK so a lot of our holidays are spent going back to visit. I digress). Anyway, we are throwing caution to the wind and heading to Singapore and Indonesia (Lombok) this summer. Our boys will be 12 and 9.

We don't want to spend all our time on the beach or in one place. But I can't envisage how often or how far we'll want to travel. In the past, we'd do 3-4 days in a place then move on - but then we were willing to rough it by sleeping on trains / in stations, take cheap buses overnight if necessary, etc. and lugging everything around in a massive backpack. I really don't want to do that now - I'm too old and my children and too young! So if you do this kind of holiday, how often and how far to you go? And what luggage do you take? Is it going to have to be backpacks (please no)? Or suitcases? What do you all use?

OP’s posts: |
Rua13 Wed 02-Oct-19 13:33:20

I have a Quiksilver roller on wheels that has two compartments so can divide our clothes.I think backpacks would work better especially in Bali and Lombok as I imagine you'll be hopping on and off boats.
We went to six places over a month with dc(3)last year and will go to four places over three weeks next year using a mixture of flights ,private taxi and boat.We go long haul every year with DC and she adapts very well.
Have a fantastic time

Fedupofballs Wed 02-Oct-19 22:45:30

We’re thinking of something similar for 2021 (kids will be 9 and 13 then). How long are you going for? Cost of drivers in Bali/Lombok seem fairly cheap, so I was thinking we’ll take our usual cases and not slum it too much. We will probably only do boats between Ubud, Gili air and Lombok. My current plan is to visit about 6 places, spending 5 nights in 2 or 3 of them and 3 nights in the others. Any less and I’d feel like we were just rushing around and not have time to relax. I also want to use the transfer days as an opportunity to see things too.
We will probably fly back from Lombok to Bali.
Our current plan is Ubud, amed, Gili Air, a village near Rinjani, southern Gilis and Kuta Lombok (plus a night in Bali before home).

I’ve obviously got a lot of time to plan, but that’s part of the fun!

PandaTurtle Thu 03-Oct-19 11:52:49

We will be doing Thailand and Malaysia / Borneo next summer - children will then be 13 and 14. We are doing a fair bit of moving round - I've booked in 2 suitcases though will travel as light as we can do and no laptops etc. Likely to get taxi transfers between places. Always sleeping in hotels or similar at night, can get pretty nice hotels with pools for around £100 a night for 4 of us.

Did consider backpacker type places, are so cheap and amazing value but DH and DD said no plus 3 of us need air conditioning and used to our comforts / nice bathrooms now. 3-4 days in each place sounds fine.

SJane48S Thu 03-Oct-19 18:38:57

We usually do 3-5 days in one place before moving on. If we’re travelling by public transport then usually it’s a 3 hour max journey catching a train (or occasional bus) mid morning so it’s not all rushed either end. If I’ve hired transport and driver then up to a 5 hour journey (I find them on Tripadvisor based on reviews and double check with them directly what vehicles and that they’ve definitely got an AC!). Again I arrange pick up for mid morning just so we don’t feel rushed either end. It’s up to you as it’s your holiday - if you think moving on after 3-4 days might be too much hassle, don’t do it! I usually make the last place we stay a 4-5 nighter and somewhere with a beach and pool where we don’t feel the need to do much and schedule most the trips and doing things for the first 2/3’ds of the holiday.

We do quite a bit of travelling around by train and use these. Basically they’re upmarket backpacks with wheels - much better than the bastard thing I used to carry around bent over double with in my twenties! Width wise they fit fine on train luggage racks.

timetomoveon Sat 05-Oct-19 04:27:46

My boys are 11 and 6 and when we do this we tend to do anywhere from 2-7 nights, but mostly 3-5. If we stay only 2 or 3 nights one place then we tend to stay 4-5 in the next place so it doesn’t feel like we’re constantly moving. We take 2 Eastpak wheeled soft bags - pretty big but we also find somewhere to do laundry while we’re away.

Teds77 Sat 05-Oct-19 17:50:51

Ha - suspect we have the same soft Eastpaks on wheels! I definitely recommend but maybe big rucksacks would be better in South East Asia.

We tend to roadtrip or do a bit of train/road combinations with our two. We always try to stay at least two nights in one place and try not to travel for more than 5 hours on any day. Also as other have said - try not to have two many short stays together. This summer we did 5nights, 2, 2, 4, 4 and then 1 (but that was at the airport for a early flight home).

And yes - try to avoid overpacking and instead plan to wash, otherwise you’ll be lugging really heavy bags around.

Our two love a sleeper train but we’re not been on many buses.

underneaththeash Sat 05-Oct-19 22:18:49

We did Vietnam’s and Cambodia at Easter - kids were 7,10 and 12. We did 2 days Hanoi, 2 days bai tu bay, 4 nights Lang co, 3 nights some reap.
I packed a separate suitcase for each trip, which cut down on packing.
We also chatted about the trip several times beforehand. They loved it (although we definitely didn’t rough it).
We’re doing a France road trip next summer.

underneaththeash Sat 05-Oct-19 22:39:01

To make it clear, I packed a separate suitcase fir each leg of our journey a d labelled it.

WallyWallyWally Wed 09-Oct-19 17:08:04

Fabulous advice - thank you! And I love the look of those soft eastpak bags.

DH and I blitzed our plan at the weekend...

4 nights in Singapore
6 nights in Kuching including a couple of nights out in Baku NP
10 nights in Lombok - which is 5 nights in Terebatu (up in the hills), 5 nights on Gili Gede,
2 nights in Singapore and home.

Can’t wait!! We’ve gone for nice-but-not-luxury accommodation, do own bathroom and a/c but nothing flash.

OP’s posts: |
Fedupofballs Wed 09-Oct-19 20:14:21

I’ll look forward to hearing what it’s like. Which accommodation have you booked in terebatu and Gili gede?

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