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NZ campervanning 2 weeks with kids

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    NZ campervanning 2 weeks with kids

    Planning a trip to NZ south island in September and keen to packing advice! Our luggage list is below:

    • Black Ballistic A45 (with absolute strap)
    • Blue Ballistic A30 as check-in luggage
    • Crumpler (awesome Aussie brand!) 30L backpack for our flight essentials and then as our EDC at our destination
    • 2 x car seats (for use on plane and in campervan at destination)

    We're going with our two kids who will be almost 5 and almost 7 at the time we travel, but we're not planning to make them carry any luggage - open to if this is the wrong plan!

    Would love suggestions of what to pack / where to go / things to do!

    I am really excited to hear about this trip after it happens, it sounds incredible.

    Here are my thoughts for and against giving them their own bags.

    If your own Crumpler bag is quite full and you’re looking to offload a small amount of weight or space, I would consider giving each child a small 6-8L backpack, making sure it has a sternum or waist strap so it doesn’t slip down their shoulders when they’re tired. The purpose of the bag would be to hold some small toys or snacks/a water bottle, nothing too heavy or bulky. The bags might help you keep the campervan organized even if you don’t end up taking them out during the day.

    Something I did the first time I gave the kids backpacks during travel was make sure I had a carabiner clip so that I could clip their backpacks to my own if I needed to. The Double Swivel Carabiner Hooks from TB are great for securing their slippery rain jackets to the top grab handle of their backpacks, and a large clip can tether a couple of kids backpacks to my own, but of course any carabiner or key strap will work too.

    On the other hand, it’s stressful to look after kids bags if you don’t need to! And you’re certainly used to carrying it all yourself. There is a real argument to be made against trying a new bag arrangement on holiday. My kids have had to carry their own swimming bags and we had many mishaps along the way (like losing everything that wasn’t clipped to the bag with a carabiner) but now after having done it for awhile, they don’t even complain anymore! (And we don’t keep things in pockets where we know they’re not secure). They do complain about heavy school bags but the swim bags are only 8L.

    You’ve gotten me excited to plan the packing for my upcoming (freezing English) beach trip. I’ll have to do a test pack for my kids’ new bags and see what we end up with!


      Cristina great points! Thank you. I think because it's only one short flight to NZ and luggage in one spot (campervan) it's not worth sharing the luggage with the kids. Definitely hope to give them their own bags when we (eventually) make it to the UK! I am now thinking about campervan organisation......

      We've been fans of the carabiner for a while now, hanging stuff off prams, off bags etc so definitely bringing a few.

      I will be doing a test pack at some point - mostly to see if 30L will be enough space for flight essentials (2 x tablets, multiple snacks, some toys, change of clothes etc). My issue will be with overpacking. I'm embarrassed to admit before I found Tom Bihn back in 2016 we went to NZ with one baby and took what felt like everything we own!


        Originally posted by Sydneygirl View Post
        My issue will be with overpacking. I'm embarrassed to admit before I found Tom Bihn back in 2016 we went to NZ with one baby and took what felt like everything we own!
        Same, even now. You should see how much I pack just to go to the park for a few hours!! 🤣🤣


          We always gave our kids their own small bags to pack and carry. In those days their bags were just small nylon duffels which could fold away when they unpacked. I think the practice taught them responsibility. I’d put out packing lists (with pictures for the non-reader) and they’d check off items as they packed. We never had an issue with something being missing!

          but if this doesn’t appeal to you, I’d still have them carry a small pack for their personal items. Again responsibility, but also you don’t want to be scrounging through a big bag every time they want a little item they packed.
          Synik 22, Truck, Luminary 12 with a MCB Freudian Slip, Daylight Backpack, EDC HLT2, Side Effect or Side Effect, zippered Large and Small Shopbags, Co-Pilot, Travel Tray, Snake Charmer


            Traveltech thanks for your suggestion - I've been reading your blog (amazing!) and really encouraged by your experience! I am thinking I might give them small backpacks with their own headphones, water bottle, healthy snacks etc to build that sense of responsibility. It's tricky at home because we always travel via car so there's not really any lugging of luggage, having said that getting them to pack and load their own bags to/from car is a step! This might help them prep for our trip later in the year.


              Slight change of plans - we found cheaper flights if we carry on only so will be trying to split the load between four bags all under 7kgs..... looks like the kids will be carrying their own stuff (or at least have their own bags!)