Main TOM BIHN website
 
emailus@tombihn.com

COMMUNITY FORUMS

Welcome! We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

x

First, select your desired search engine:

  • Google Search
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Original Forum Search Engine

User Tag List

Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    30
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Europe children and cameras in the summer

    Hi, itís been a long time since I visited!
    We are planing a trip for the summer to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Bruges and some day trips.
    I have no idea of how to pack as we will be mostly traveling by train.
    For the first half (Amsterdam and Paris)of the trip my husband and five yo son will be joining us the remainder will be just me and 15 and 13 yo daughters.
    Any ideas as to how to simplify transfers?

    Thanks Iím advance,

    Maria

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,064
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Marubex View Post
    Hi, itís been a long time since I visited!
    We are planing a trip for the summer to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Bruges and some day trips.
    I have no idea of how to pack as we will be mostly traveling by train.
    For the first half (Amsterdam and Paris)of the trip my husband and five yo son will be joining us the remainder will be just me and 15 and 13 yo daughters.
    Any ideas as to how to simplify transfers?

    Thanks Iím advance,

    Maria
    Hi Maria!

    Some general advice would be to make sure everyone can carry their own bag without help, except the 5yo, who can have his stuff in his dad's stuff since they'll be coming and going together.

    For you and the teenagers, I would recommend a carry-on backpack and a small purse for accessible essentials. What bags do you have and use now?

    The tricky part for this trip will be packing for varied weather. You'll need layers for cold and rain, comfortable walking shoes, a second pair of shoes in case your first pair gets wet, etc. Is the climate where you live now varied at all or is it primarily one thing?

    Can't wait to find out more about your trip, sounds fantastic!

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    30
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you Christina for your replay.
    TB We have a side effec wich my younger daughter has used as daybag on some previous trips (but I think she may benefit from a larger bag? Small cafe? Side kick?) a Smart Alec with top pouch, a medium cafe bag which used to b my top daybag when traveling but I upgraded my camera system and it now it fits but I canít fit my other essentials.
    And my girls have some north face school bags.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    30
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Forgot to add, we live in Mexico City, so pretty stable weather throughout the year, not to hot, not cold, but we do get a rainy season for about 1/3-1/2 year

  5. #5
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    1,252
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi Maria!

    First question: how reliable are your children when it comes to tracking their own bags?

    If they are good at watching their bags then each person can bring a backpack or cross-body bag which can also be their personal item on the plane/train. You can even give your 5yo his own small backpack if he is good at keeping it on. When we went to Europe for the first time as a family, our 6yo had a little 10L backpack (North Face Sprout, but any small comfy pack should do) which was perfect - he could carry his own toys and a small snack, but it wasn't so big that he got tired and made us carry it. You probably want to keep their valuables (passports) in your bag of course.

    Second question - are you planning to do carry-on only?

    If yes - In that case of course everyone has to carry their own bag. Probably I would not go any bigger than the Smart Alec for anyone, even the adults. I find 26L is plenty if I have to walk through unfamiliar cities and keep track of kids.

    If no - I find that even now, when our kids are old enough (14/10) to carry their own packs, still it's often easier to have one shared bag that gets checked or stowed, and smaller daypacks for the essentials that each person keeps next to them. But, it really depends on where you are staying at each stop, how far you have to travel when you get off the train (and what time you get there), and how you get there. I am willing to roll one or two bags (for the group, total; not 1-2 per person! ) on cobblestones for up to 20 minutes, but any further than that and I would get cranky.

    My feeling, since you have listed at least four destinations, is that fewer bags are better. Hopefully there are no weather extremes, and you don't have any formal events to attend! When my brother and family were traveling with three small kids, they had a rollaboard stolen at the train station, while they were dealing with the little ones and a stroller and multiple bags. So if there's one person per bag then each person can keep an eye on their own things. Plus if they are wearing their packs, then there's less chance of bags being left at a stop. You can always buy fancier clothes (a scarf, a dress), or a change of outfit if the weather changes (colder, rainier - although personally I always like to travel with a very light rain jacket). Maybe 2-4 outfits per person (I pack more undergarments so that I can do laundry every 4-6 days instead of every night).

    (Note that in my family, my teen insists on packing and bringing a whole rollaboard just for herself. As long as she keeps track of it I'm fine with that! The rest of us don't mind sharing a bag - we use packing cubes to keep each person's items separate and manageable.)

    Have a great trip!!

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    140
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Anything bigger than an A30/ European air carry on size and you may struggle to get your bags on as hand luggage on European trains.

    Certainly in the UK, the luggage racks at the end of each carriage fill up quickly. People try to bring on big rolling bags, but anything bigger than carry on size simply won't fit down the aisles.

    From most seats in the carriage, I can't see my bag if I leave it in the end rack, which personally makes me quite uncomfortable.

    The overhead racks are a similar size to regional commuter jets and there isn't much space under the seat in front, so bear that in mind. I am 5 ft 6 and if you are any shorter than me you may struggle to reach the overhead rack.

    I second what others have said about variable weather.



    Sent from my SM-T713 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    30
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you Haraya,
    Yes I guess they are pretty responsible to have their own bags. But with how they pack I donít think we can do carryon only for 3 weeks.
    I am unsure as which size of luggage is allowed on trains?
    Probably a messenger style bag for day so we wonít have to check them into the storage at museums.

  8. #8
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1,893
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Small day bags are a great idea. They can be used as well to hold important items like boarding passes and passports so they are readily available (in addition to a backpack). And they help avoid problems with museums when you're touring around Europe. My favorites for travel are:
    • Side Kick
    • Small Cafe Bag with Small Freudian Slip for extra security, as this provides two zippered areas for valuables, or
    • Small Cafe Bag with a Travel Cubelet inside


    If people will be shedding clothes as you all walk around during the day, perhaps one person can wear a backpack for extra jackets, etc.
    Last edited by bchaplin; 03-14-2019 at 04:35 PM.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  9. #9
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,064
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Marubex View Post
    Thank you Haraya,
    Yes I guess they are pretty responsible to have their own bags. But with how they pack I donít think we can do carryon only for 3 weeks.
    I am unsure as which size of luggage is allowed on trains?
    Probably a messenger style bag for day so we wonít have to check them into the storage at museums.
    In terms of luggage on trains, you could check with the train operators and check train layouts, and even do a Google image search for, say 'Eurostar luggage' as you can see pictures of what luggage storage there is.

    Here is an article on a travel site discussing luggage on European trains:
    https://www.seat61.com/luggage-on-european-trains.htm


    In terms of how to pack, let's narrow it down a little. Do you use packing cubes? In a four-city trip they will help so much to keep your stuff organized as you unpack and repack throughout your trip.

    Do you have or can you make a collection of clothes that all go together? You won't need as many clothes if everything looks good with everything else.

    Maybe you yourself could try carry-on only, and let your teenagers take larger bags?

    Are you staying in hotels or AirBnBs? The main difference for this discussion is laundry. The secret to packing light is being able to wash your clothes mid-trip. I never used to do this and it took a few tries to get it right, but on each trip I take less, clothing-wise.

    I am not going to suggest that you try to convince your teenagers to wash their clothes every few days while on a whirlwind European trip, it would be an adjustment even if everyone wanted to do it. So instead I'll just suggest that you do a test-run where everyone has to carry their own fully packed luggage (without help) up and down the stairs, and around the block three times, then up and down the stairs again, no matter what the weather is.

    If you take larger rolling suitcases then I would suggest taking taxis from your international trains to your hotel, as you might struggle to get them up and down stairs and on uneven sidewalks, and local trains have even less storage than long-haul ones.

    But if you then decide that washing clothes while traveling is better, we all have plenty of tips! ;-)

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    30
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you Christina that is super helpful link you provided!
    Yes, I tend to use packing cubes (eagle creek specter),not sure if I need to buy more so there are enough for all of us, for the whole trip. I also like to carry a travel tray and a small stuff sack.
    We will be staying in hotels, have very limited experience with private homes and afraid to give them a try on this kind of trip.
    You are right we would probably end up using taxis to get to/from hotels tos mail train/ airport.
    Do you have suggestions for day bags? That could fit a camera cube?

    Thanks again,
    Maria

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    30
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    BChaplin, thank you for your day bag suggestions. Do you know if any of them could fit a camera cube inside?

  12. #12
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1,893
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Marubex View Post
    BChaplin, thank you for your day bag suggestions. Do you know if any of them could fit a camera cube inside?
    If you measure your camera cube I can let you know!
    Also, at least one person is using the Side Kick for this, so you might ask them for more info as well.
    Last edited by bchaplin; 03-15-2019 at 08:17 AM.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  13. #13
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Digital Nomad
    Posts
    295
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I definitely agree that everyone except the 5-yo should bring and carry all their own stuff.

    I don't have kids, but I've traveled a bit with people who do, and I've absorbed this wisdom from them for when I do have kids:

    • I'd have mom carry her and the teens' passports, dad carries his and the son's passport. Parents have repeatedly told me that kids carrying their own passports is a recipe for disaster, even if they really really want to.
    • Two of something like these and two adapters like this could reduce outlet contention, which in my limited experience with families, is always an issue, especially in Europe where everything needs a bulky adapter and outlets are more scarce anyway. If your teenager daughters simply must have their own chargers with them at all times, just get these. They'll work everywhere outside of the UK on your list and are far more compact than most adapters.
    • I've been told(?) that water and bathroom breaks get more complicated when traveling with young children. Since Europe relies heavily on pay toilets, have change ready. For water needs, you can go bottled water or have everything bring their own water bottle in their day bags.


    Whatever the sizes and configurations, my general feeling is that dad carries with 5 year old's stuff in his bag, but otherwise everyone has their own travel bags and their own day bags, probably marsupial style.

    Sounds like an amazing trip, BTW.

    EDIT: And Mexico City is an amazing place. I've visited a few times and each time, I leave thinking I just didn't have enough time there. I <3 CDMX.b
    Last edited by bouncing; 03-18-2019 at 03:34 PM.

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    31
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi! I travel a lot in Europe with my kids, who are 6 and 11. Our preference is for me & my husband to take our bags as backpacks (A30 and A45), and the kids to take very small rollers. This allows us to take their bags when they are too tired (and one parent can even take bags for both kids -- this has saved us a lot when someone needs to wait in line while the rest of the family rests). The older kids though probably could probably take a backpack for luggage, and it's certainly possible to pack Dad & 5 year old into an A45. Additionally, though, everyone needs a daily item-- a little backpack or bag that can go inside their backpack, for being out and about.

    I have explained to the children that carrying heavy things makes the journey much worse, and that therefore we will all need to weigh our bags. I put a limit of 5kg on kid backpacks, and 10kg on rollers. Our bags also I limit to 10kg. I also make sure that we have bags and suitcases that don't themselves weigh a ton!

    Our packing list for any length of trip is generally:
    - long underwear (sometimes these double as pyjamas or sometimes we pack separate pyjamas, depends on how small we are packing)
    - two pairs of pants and one skirt or shorts
    - four tops (mix of long and short sleeved)
    - one fleece or sweater
    - one jacket that can withstand a light rain for a few hours
    - one fancy jacket
    - winter hat or sun hat, gloves if needed
    - one swimsuit
    - one pair of light shoes (flip-flop or sandals) (packed)
    - one pair of walking shoes (worn) (this can also be a pair of boots, worn, and walking shoes, packed)
    - workout clothes (shorts/tee/sports bra/shoes)
    - 4 pair underwear and 4 pair socks, plus 2 bras and 2 camisoles for me
    - toiletries (toothbrush and hair brush for kids, we grown ups take the toothpaste). If the teens want makeup buy a travel makeup case!
    - an umbrella

    I pack the undies and socks in their own dirty/clean packing cubes, everything else just gets folded and put back in after being worn. Packing cubes are really great for sharing suitcases.

    For the kids, I have often drawn a packing list and let them pick out everything. I think it encourages them. For the older ones, I would suggest that you make sure they can make a semi-fancy outfit (like out to dinner, say with skirt + sandals + top + sweater or fancy jacket); an out-all-day-in-the-heat outfit; an out-all-day-in-the-rain outfit and a chilly-mountain-hike outfit. In general Europeans dress more formally than Americans and in practice this means subdued colours and dark trousers.

    Electronics: if you travel with USB-powered devices I'd just get a USB plug at any train station. They should work all over Europe, except in the UK. Our rule is that everyone has a little bag with the plugs that belong to their devices: no sharing. Dad takes care of 5-year-old's plugs.

    We also as a family always travel with a food bag, and kids have their own water bottles. Delays and mealtimes at the wrong time can really mess up a trip -- hungry kids and hungry parents make a bad travel experience... and I always have headache pills to hand since being stuck in a 2-hour line at Washington DC airport with the worst headache I can ever remember having. I usually pack laundry supplies too -- a sink stopper, a dry bag (which serves as a large sink and laundry tub), and a clothesline. And of course a sewing kit.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •