We recently arrived in Perth after spending a few months in Auckland, Whangarei and an extended time in Brisbane. Each time we had to pack up everything we owned. Whenever we travel we don’t take a lot of stuff. Of course, that would depend on how you compare us with others because we are a large family. Everything needs to fit in suitcases, we don’t take anything extra. When we are at the airport our luggage takes up at least two trolleys.
The kids are allowed to take a backpack each filled with their favourite toys. One time one of my boys took a lump of wood (he’s a chip off the old block). All the rest of their gear needs to fit into half of a large suitcase. We all get that allotment (except the adults don’t get the backpack full of toys). We have another suitcase with kitchen utensils and bedding because we never know exactly what will be at the place we are moving to. The last large suitcase has school materials for the kids and odds and ends.
Because we’ve travelled a bit you learn what you need and what you don’t. The first time we went to China I took this long heavy wool jacket. I wore it once for about an hour. It took up over half of a large suitcase (doh!). Now, instead of being a doofus and carrying around a heavy bulky jacket like that we use layers of clothes. So, in winter we would have a singlet, then a shirt, then a light jacket and maybe another light jacket (we also wear pants). In hotter times we wear the same things (just not all at once). That means we don’t need a summer and winter wardrobe.
I went to Fiji by myself in April last year. I was helping friends with their church (in case you were wondering why I was holidaying by myself). All I had was a carry on bag with some clothes and snacks. Fiji can get pretty hot, so you don’t need a lot of warm clothes.
Do the kids miss out? It depends on what you mean. They don’t have a lot of stuff, but they don’t crave after things. They are pretty content (we just give them a lump of wood and they are happy). Their favourite toy at the moment is lego. We utilize the library for books and in Australia, they have free DVDs as well. The heaviest and bulkiest thing is their homeschool materials. Some of it is online, but we need to take the rest.
One time, at the airport, we checked-in a large stroller. We had a couple of car seats and young children who wanted to be carried. Because of how long it took to check in the stroller we were running to get to our flight which was right at the end of the terminal. How we managed to carry our children, luggage and the car seats that distance is beyond me. You would think that they would be ready for people like us, but no you are on your own.