Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    10

    luggage recommendations for a family of 4 traveling to South Asia

    Hi all. I'm seeking a bit of advice on travel gear - more specifically, what sort of luggage situation people would recommend for a family of 4 headed on our first overseas trip. I've got two kids, ages 4 and 7, and we are headed to South Asia in a few months. Like many folks on this forum, I've got some serious OCD when it comes to packing, and I am a minimalist at heart. On the other hand, kids have a way of showing you how minimal minimalism is....and consequently you understand why they sell so much Johnnie Walker in duty-free....

    I'd love to travel light. My ideal would be that we each have a 20-22" rollaboard and our own personal item - a backpack for my wife and my ID for me. The kids each have a tiny rollaboard to help carry their own stuff, too. (Before you judge, let me be clear: I know, rollaboards are not the most nimble luggage and draw the ire of many here on the forum, but this is a big trip for us with the kids, and it's so much easier on our backs not to have to shoulder EVERYTHING!)

    Question: does anyone with kid experience think this is do-able? We will be traveling for 3 weeks, and we are ready to do laundry by hand or have it sent out when needed. Anything we buy there we plan to ship back separately. We won't be taking any computer equipment. We haven't set aside anything for packing yet, so I don't know the total volume of stuff we'll be taking - I'm just hoping someone else has some comparable experience they'd be willing to share...and perhaps give me some idea as to how/whether I should expand my small collection of TB bags! And despite what I wrote before, I'm quite willing to consider ditching the rollaboards provided there's a reasonable alternative for our situation.

    Thanks so much in advance for any suggestions!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    461
    Hey there:
    I am not sure where in South Asia you will be; I am from India and can speak to some of that.
    1. In general, a lot will depend on how much public transport you are taking. If you are planning on that, a bag like the Medium Cafe bag is much better. You can sling that crosswise and keep it in front of you. Backpacks etc. do get slashed. Or you can wear them in front as I sometimes do.

    2. Rolling luggage is ok in airports and hotels. Useless almost anywhere else where it is difficult to roll them. Think New York City and subways: rollaboards are not convenient. So make sure you pack in a couple of lightweight bags that you can then wear on your backs or across. You will be carrying water everywhere, or at least I would recommend you do that...so!

    3. Laundry: yes, you can wash them out; and you can send them out--depending on where you are. But it does rain in parts of India--and that can be a mess! We do not always have "hot air dryers" everywhere. so keep that in mind.

    4. I would wear sandals like Tevas or Keen--close toed are better; and something that can be washed out easily.

    I would say if you can have two rollaboards on top of which you can piggyback others, that would be great. Also, since it is a hot country, you will not need heavy anything: lightweight cottons are all you will need.

    good luck
    s

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    310
    If your kids are like mine were at that age, count on having to tote their stuff when they get tired and whiny. I'd think about ultra-light weight backpacks for a few toys and clothes for the plane for them, and "rewards" for carrying them. We bribed shamelessly with special stickers for 'world traveler,' little sparkly items, 'energy bar' candies, etc. etc. Still, there were times when they just didn't want to carry their stuff, so we had to. So, make sure that you do a dry run with your collection of bags to ensure that, in a pinch, the grown-ups can carry everything.

    Incidentally, make room in one of the liquids and gels bags for a small bottle of bubbles if possible. That's cheap and safe fun that never gets old...
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    10
    Shiva: yes, we are headed to India to visit extended family. We've been there pre-kids - this will be the first time all 4 of us go this far. We won't be relying on public transit much at all, so I guess maybe the rollies will be okay. I like your suggestion of being able to stack them on one another too. And the idea about the MCB is great...the ID is bulky and a bit of overkill in terms of both space and weight.
    Flitcraft, great suggestions. I suspect we will indeed be carrying their stuff....hopefully it's just that, and that we won't have to carry them!
    Thank you! If I have any brilliant insights after our trip (in late Fall) I will post!

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    310
    It just occurred to me that the dyneema packing cube backpacks could be perfect lightweight backpacks for kids.
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    2,295
    hi berkeleyan!

    i did a 10 day trip to india with a friend of mine and three kids earlier this year. we did this all with carry on bags, and it worked out very nicely. we could have gone with the same amount of stuff for a longer trip since we each had 3-4 changes of clothes that got washed regularly.

    my friend and i both had an aeronaut. a western flyer held books, activities and such for the kids. a synapse held a laptop, book, and various stuff to be easily accessible on board. we also had two roll aboards - a large roll aboard suitcase and a roll aboard duffle. my friend packed clothes for the kids in another aeronaut first, but we realized that we didn't have enough backs capable of carrying all of the bags that needed to be carried as a shoulder bag or backpack. so stuff was transferred from an aeronaut to the roll aboards.

    the roll aboards were convenient when we were on surfaces where they could be rolled, and challenging when the surfaces didn't permit for easy rolling.

    i've also done trips with my wife and son where we have abstained from roll aboards, and that has worked out well. with one kid, you don't have that much stuff. but with three, the stuff adds up.

    in hindsight, i should have suggested a rolling luggage cart instead of roll aboard suitcase/duffle -
    • the aeronaut combined with a light luggage cart weighs far less than the roll aboard suitcase. you can also carry more than one shoulder / back bag on a single luggage cart, whereas you have added weight for each roll aboard bag.
    • the aeronaut holds more stuff than most roll aboard suitcases that meet carry on sizing requirements for most airlines.
    • you are sometimes requested to gate check roll aboard suitcases (when the flight is full, or when the jet has small overhead compartments), but you can bring the aeronaut on board.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    10
    Great ideas, everyone. Thanks so much! Maverick, I have been looking into luggage carts now - I haven't laid eyes on one since I was a kid!

    And....um....I went ahead and ordered a WF, too. Shhhhh don't tell my wife.......

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    310
    I wouldn't recommend the Samsonite Micro-mover luggage cart--it's pretty flimsy and tips at the slightest provocation. One of those bigger old fashioned ones, though, would be pretty darn helpful given the size of your crew.
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.

  9. #9
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    2,295
    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeleyan View Post
    Maverick, I have been looking into luggage carts now - I haven't laid eyes on one since I was a kid!

    And....um....I went ahead and ordered a WF, too. Shhhhh don't tell my wife.......
    hi berkeleyan!

    i'm not sure what is out there as far as luggage carts, either. a quick google search doesn't reveal anything exciting.

    i would want something that would fold flat and fit in the backpack strap pocket of the aeronaut, tri-star and western flyer.

    it needs to be light weight.

    and it needs to be tough and able to handle uneven sidewalks and such.

    i'm envisioning something made of carbon fiber or aircraft grade aluminum, a grab handle filled with poron foam and wrapped in 1050d ballistic nylon like those you'd find on a western flyer and other tom bihn bags.

    tom, what do you think about making a luggage cart?

    thanks!

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    461
    Hi folks:

    Amazon seems to have a few; but this one seems like it might work:

    http://www.amazon.com/Travel-Smart-C...ef=pd_sbs_op_7

    I am actually interested in finding out more about Luggage carts; I used to have one that was excellent--and gave away to someone years ago and never replaced it! Once "rolling luggage" became ubiquitous, many of us moved away from this I suppose; though I think they are far more flexible and useful!

    s

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    10
    This is really helpful. Flitcraft, I had been eyeing that one Samsonite on Amazon, I'm glad to hear your thoughts. Shiva, the one you mentioned seems pretty good, and I'm leaning towards that. But I don't know how much it weighs. It looks pretty hefty, I'm guessing 7-8 lbs. I have a question in to the manufacturer (Conair), so we'll know soon enough.
    The fellow at onebag.com recommends this cart: http://www.amazon.com/Travelite-Trav...2103465&sr=8-1. This looks pretty appealing from a weight point of view - it's only 2.5 lb but carries up to 80lb.
    Will wait to hear back about the Conair before deciding. Of course, if there was one by Tom Bihn, I'd buy that in a heartbeat!

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    461
    Hi Berkeleyan:
    Now you are taking all of us on your trip! You need to post pictures of course! You would think that people would still like lightweight luggage carts--and given technology, it would be easy to make a lightweight durable one of good materials! Let me know how that cart works for you--I am also in the market for one and would buy it.
    And I hope all the various luggage combos work out for you.

    shiva

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    10
    Hi Shiva,
    Well, I have traveled vicariously through so many of you, least I can do is permit the same! We just bought our tickets, so in some ways the journey has already begun....
    I did hear back from Conair, and I wasn't far off: that particular luggage cart is 8.5 lb. I think we are going to have to start laying out our stuff to see how much we have, to see if the cart is even needed.


Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0