As soon as you start traveling full time, you gradually realize how little you need, no matter whether you are a lone backpacker or a family of five. Not having to schlep heavy suitcases or overthink your daily outfits, and quicker packing/unpacking are all good reasons to downsize your stuff to a bare minimum.
Once we decided to fit our family’s stuff into five backpacks, we had to do some research. You might ask why, but there are backpacks and there are BACKPACKS – and we were looking for the latter. We made a list of our criteria:
- meets the strict limits for carry-on luggage;
- at least 40 liters;
- comfortable to carry;
- easy access to what’s inside (suitcase-like opening);
- pockets for laptops/iPads.
We read a lot of praise on the Osprey brand and decided to get the Farpoint 40 (1,350g) for Alex and Lilly, and Porter 46 (1,090g) for us. After a few months of real-life testing, we are convinced that we made the right choice. The kids are able to carry theirs (each weighs about 5 kilos) for a short period of time and we can fit quite a lot into our two. Maya got our old city backpack which we also use for our daily outings.
To organize our stuff, we bought Bago packing cubes. These things are so incredibly useful – I don’t know how people can live without them. 😀 We bought five different colors which makes it really easy for everyone to spot their things right away.
Here’s a list of the things we’ve packed. If you want to see the details, simply expand the below sections:Kaja
iPad Mini 2
Tiny solid deodorants
2 hand sanitizers
3 microfiber towels
Meds for Alex and Maya
Blood sugar monitor and stuff
Meds for diarrhea
Due to the medical issues of our two kids, we are carrying a lot of pills and some needles. We didn’t want to take any chances to get arrested for drugs smuggling so we asked our endocrinologist to write an official letter (template) explaining why and what we need for the children. Many times, our medical supplies raised the eyebrows of security people but once we showed them the letter, everyone was OK with it.
The total weight limit was 35 kilos and we exceeded it by 1 kilo. So far, it has not been a problem and if it ever happens to be, we’ll just stuff our pockets with the small but heavy things.
We are happy to report that after our first month in Southeast Asia, there is nothing we really miss and can’t get here – and that we even did not pack useless stuff we don’t need or want :-).