No announcement yet.

Travel with Mom

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Travel with Mom

    I need your help!

    I am going on a trip with my mother next June. She insists that she will be checking her bag and I should do the same.

    I prefer to travel with a backpack for clothes and toiletries and crossbody purse for necessities during the flight.
    I have chosen the new Synik for my backpack and am in the process of finding the right bag for the necessities of flight.

    My dilemma is this. My mother will be 74 at the time of the trip and as we are going to Glasgow and Paris, I think she will need some help carrying her bag over the cobblestones in Paris on our way to and from the airport.

    Should I use my rolling bag and check it (as she wants) or do I use my backpack and potentially have hands free to help her with her luggage if she needs it. I often have to help her carry her bag up and down stairs now, as she has bad balance.


    I would go with your plan of backpack + cross body for you and helping her with her (hopefully small) rolling bag. That way she has her hands free to hold on to hand rails, etc.

    You don't even have to check her rolling bag, if it's in the size limit. If you can get it into the overhead bin, you can do that for your mom. She can carry a small cross body bag for what she wants at her seat.

    To me it would depend on how light you both go on your stuff... regardless of whether you check the bags or not, you still have to move them around unless you can hire porters (if you can even find them)...

    You have time to plan, so I'd do some test packing and see how it goes.
    No matter what, it sounds like a fun trip!
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...


      I think you've already answered your own question - you'd like to have your hands free in case your mum needs help, which seems likely from what you've said.

      You know best what is right for you.

      Take the backpack and enjoy it

      Sent from my SM-T713 using Tapatalk


        If your mother insists on checking a rolling bag, I'd say that the last thing you want is a rolling bag for yourself - else you might end up wrangling two rolling bags across cobblestones instead of just one. If your planned packing list will comfortably fit in the relevant size of Synik, and you're happier doing that, then I would be very upfront with your mother and tell her you are going to do your packing your way, she can do it her way, and then you'll be better able to assist her if necessary!


          Take what is best for you. If she wants a roller bag, ok. You don't need to listen to her about what you should do for yourself. And like you said, if you have your hands free you can help with her bag if you need to, which is better for her.


            Something to consider is that most 2-wheel rollers have huge wheels versus the tiny wheels on 4-wheel rollers. Larger wheels help immensely on rough pavement such as cobblestones.


              Your instincts seem sound to me - i.e. that you should be hands-free so that you can better assist your mom.

              With that said - on a recent trip my husband managed a big checked bag plus his small rollaboard - he lined them up back to back and pushed them that way. But if your mother will need any assistance herself, then fewer bags to manage makes sense.

              I'd also put in the plug for spending on taxis to/from the airport - whatever transport will expedite getting you to your lodgings, even if a bit more expensive. (Since your mom insists on bringing a checked bag.) Then, once you are unencumbered by luggage, you and your mom can take your time using public transport, or walking.
              Last edited by haraya; 09-04-2019, 10:48 AM.


                Travel with Mom

                I think you will definitely have to take a taxi to / from airport, from my experience Europe public transportation wasn’t very handicap friendly. Either way you’ll definitely need free hands just getting your mum and her roller through customs. Its odd that she would demand you pack a certain way. Most people just let them choose for themselves.

                Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                "Not all who wander are lost"
                "Love people, use things, because the opposite never works" - The Minimalists
                Synapse 25 in Olive, Aubergine Side Effect, UV A30 PCBP, Sitka PCSB


                  I agree that you should splurge on transportation to/from the airport that will expedite things, and that your luggage selection to leave hands free plan sounds good. Are you staying in an area of Paris with cobblestoned streets? I usually stay somewhere close to an RER-B stop, because you can go fairly directly to and from the airport (without having to pass through transfer stations where there is also an increased incidence of pickpockets). LeBusDirect is also good, but mainly if you are staying near the big stops (like Gare Mont Parnasse). if it's a problem, take a taxi! I think that they have had flat rates since 2016.

                  You should have a fantastic time.



                    Your set up is perfect!

                    As far as your mom is concerned, let her choose the carryon among her smallest ones, so you can can keep it in the cabin.

                    The best way to convince anyone to not check a bag is, either bring the consequences of it being lost and all her favorite items with it and the hassle it will wasted time it will take to take it back, or the need to go shopping in places which have different size standards than anywhere else.

                    From now to the trip date, explain to her the 3-1-1 rule, everything liquid or gel needs to be in what amount to sample size containers. Find out if her favorite cosmetics and other items come in travel/sample size containers, if they do, buy them right away. Her favorite perfume, moisturizer, foundation... need to be decanted in smaller bottles.

                    Also make it clear, that unless you use a chain hotel, small ones have tiny and steep staircases, so big pieces of luggage won't fit in there. Those staircases are a health hazard.

                    Are you coming from the Americas, Oceania, Africa, Asia or within Europe?

                    If you are European. keep a close eye on Brexit matters because you might need more documents to travel from the U.K to Europe. Otherwise a passport would be all that you need.

                    About a month prior to your trip, keep a close eye on the weather and, of course, in France, strikes.

                    In Paris, your mom will have a blast shopping or just window shopping at Les Galeries Lafayette and the other department stores in Haussman's boulevard, worth a visit for the architecture alone.

                    I think all of those have places to eat, check the prices compared to adjacent cafes. Do indulge in French pastries.
                    Last edited by backpack; 09-06-2019, 08:29 AM.


                      Thanks everyone for the advise.

                      I am going have her use her carryon size rolling bag and I will use my backpack like always. I will suggest that we go carryon only, but she is a senior vp type who has a mind of her own and doesn’t like my backpack only travel style. So we will see how it goes.


                        I have travelled with each of my grandmothers separately, and have experience both ways.

                        My first trip with Grandma 1 (river cruise starting in Paris) I was travelling carry on only with a hard-sided roller bag and a cross-body tote style bag. Grandma had a very small hard-sided roller bag for her carry on, and a large hard-sided checked bag. I also encouraged her to bring a tote bag with long handles, and use that for her medications, liquids, anything else that had to come out at TSA, and her book or knitting or other entertainment on the plane. The long handles made it possible to set her tote on top of her suitcase and hang the handles in the telescoping handle of the suitcase. It also enabled her to feel more independent, as she didn’t need much help at customs and didn’t need me to get things out of the overhead bin for her on the plane.
                        Her suitcases both only had two wheels, and mine had four wheels. We were definitely more efficient at moving if I balanced the two wheeled carry on against my four wheeled carry on and took all the luggage myself. I managed. It wasn’t easy.

                        My second trip, with Grandma 2, I kept my things to a small backpack and a tote bag with long handles. I knew I would be taking care of her roller bag as well and wanted my hands free. Grandmas tend to really really love airport wheelchair service, and at smaller airports that means me pushing the wheelchair and piling everything in their lap.
                        The backpack made life easier, but my tote bag made my life unbearable. I felt like I only had one free hand and was constantly checking to make sure I hadn’t dropped anything. I have never forgiven that combination of luggage. If I had been able to fit everything in the backpack and worn my purse cross-body style that left both of my hands free, things would have been way easier.

                        Now I have an A30 and a SK. I’m going on another trip in December with Grandma 1, and imagine that I will be much happier with this combination as it really does leave both hands free.

                        Imagine you being the only two hands capable of dealing with all of the luggage at all times. If your mom is too tired to pull her suitcase and her EDC/purse is weighing her down, you need to be able to manage without resentment or frustration. Try to limit the total number of pieces of luggage to what you can comfortably manage with your two hands, especially if that means your main bag is a backpack.

                        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


                          Your mom can't carry a bag, so she has to use a rolling bag (that you roll around). While the advice of a two wheel bag makes sense because of the larger wheels, there are significant advantages to the 4 wheel bags as they tend to be more stable on flat surfaces and act as a stabilizer for balance (think cane) for your mom. Remember that your new backpack will fit over the handle of her roller so that can make your life easier as well.
                          When in trouble, obfuscate.