Family · Travel

Lighten your load

“Dear Dawn:  my family and I would love to do this ‘extended’ trip thing.  But ‘you know who’ would have to carry all the luggage and supplies.  How did you do it?”

Dear you-know-who: During our pre-trip planning we drummed it into our boys they would each be responsible for their own stuff.  This is a painful lesson for kids who remember the days when tears would allow them to be scooped up into their parents’ arms and carried.  As you grow up, you realize: tears only bring rewards to actors.

Our daily city outings entailed loads of walking laced with public transportation which is economical and culturally educational. Can’t learn about a place in a taxi. We used 2 ‘day-packs’ to hold our day supplies like snacks, ponchos, sanitizer, kleenex, etc. and we’d alternate who carried them. (Colton carried Ryan’s Pokemon Backpack to “protect him.”) 



Everyone was given one roller/carry-on pack to fit their clothes-2 short, 2 pant, 4 shirts, sweater, undies- for 7 months that ‘they’ were required to carry(we navigated 20 flights) and we had a large family supply case(Ron carried).  We didn’t dress for style, but for function.  The Norwegians say:  “There is no such thing as bad weather; just bad clothing,” and we agree.  Russia required layers.  And layers!  Often we dressed for warmth with summer gear as layer number one!


Here’s the deal:  Before you leave, carry a practice backpack.  Load it up with what you need and carry it everywhere you go.  Give it a couple weeks and you will no doubt jettison the load down to exactly what is essential.

Heavy load Russia.jpegTeach your kids to stand on their own two feet.  And when it comes time to give someone else a lift, they’ll be ready!

Lighten your load!


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