It is really important for us to be able to move around effectively. We need to be able to walk 1 km or more with all of our stuff, and quickly get on and off buses, subways, planes, etc.
To enable this we have two principles (not hard rules, just principles):
- Everyone* carries their own stuff. That distributes the weight pretty evenly and makes it easier to keep track of everything. This also motivates everyone to keep their packing light :o)
- Everyone* carries a backpack and pulls a roller bag. Two is a manageable number of things to remember. And one backpack + one roller means everyone has one arm free to open doors, help each other, etc. The backpack contains stuff that we may need while in transit, the roller contains stuff that we only need while stationary.
* “Everyone” means everyone over 1 year, so Peter is off the hook :o)
Peter sits in a stroller. Sophia pushes the stroller (which is in fact good for her back, since she can lean on it a bit while walking). I pull a huge black duffel bag with my stuff, Sia’s stuff, and Peter’s stuff.
We tried this setup during our prototype trip to London last spring and it worked really well! During that trip we learned that the kids can (and in fact like to) take responsibility for their own bags throughout the trip.
When the kids get really tired we can temporarily hang some of their bags on the stroller and on my big black duffel bag. But we try to do that as seldom as possible, so it doesn’t become a habit.