Thursday, September 26, 2013

How much travel gear do you really need?

As you gathered from this blog, our family obviously spends a lot of time travelling.  So you might assume, we must have all the "gear" to hit the road, looking pretty spiffy as we go.

But that's simply not the case.  Top 3 Packing Essentials?

Item #1: Pack your BAG.

Yes, we all have a suitcase.  In fact, we have had many suitcases because I find that air travel is really hard on them.  They break, crack, the wheels fall off, the handles jam, and you really can't get upset about it because that's just the way it is.   If there's any suitcase company out there who'd like to prove me wrong, I'd gladly test their product out.

For our round-the-world trip we took backpack style luggage, but that is a regret.  If we did it again, a good wheeled bag would have been preferable since it was too heavy for the girls, and most places we needed to carry it, wheeling one would have been easy (... possible exception in the pouring rain at the ferry terminal in Civitivicchia, Italy, trying to find the train station over cobblestones in the dark.  Come to think of it, a flashlight other than the iPhone would have been nice.)

Choose whatever makes you (and the kids!) the most independent, and if "wheels" are easier than "weight", that's the best choice.

Travel Essential #2: Then it comes to shoes.

Traveling, for our family, involves a lot of walking.  Both as a form of transportation and as a past-time.   We were very grateful for our decision to outfit each of us with quality, well-fitted footwear prior to leaving for Machu Picchu and beyond.  For our family, that meant Merrell and Vasque.  Not everybody has the same feet, and we chose what felt the best for each of us.  The girls' Merrell's made it as far as Thailand, when the overpowering scent of Egyptian camels required us to leave them behind.  The boys' were able to make it to Australia before the sand and sea destroyed the linings (I did tell them to not go in the water!) But my Vasque pair made it all the way around the world, and I'm still wearing them on hikes back in Canada.  Invest in good shoes.  Your feet (and your knees) will thank you.

Item #3:  Protect your eyes... quality sunglasses for everyone, including the kids.

Everyone remembers sunscreen (goes without saying) but the UV index is also meant for your EYES.  Sun damage starts when kids are young, and keeps accumulating as we age.  Good UV protection is essential for travellers of all ages, and not just for the fancy photos... The Vision Council recommends eye protection even on those overcast days when the sun isn't as bright.  And it is never too early to start wearing them.

All that other "essential" travel gear? Our family can either take it, or pack light!

1 comment:

  1. I belong to a travel club. We like to exchange information about our travels. We recommend (or pan) everything from travel destinations to hotels to restaurants to airlines. We provide other members of the club with information that is vital for successful travel. To say that we're a "well-traveled" group would be an understatement.

    Worlds Best Travel Experience