Planning a gap year?


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But feeling a little daunted?

Not sure which way to turn?

Wondering where you'll end up

And what might happen along the way?

Fear not!!

We have loads of tips and advice to share with you

From our own amazing Family Gap Year!

Hand Luggage and Kids - Gap Year Travel

"If you actually look like your passport photo, you aren't well enough to travel." Sir Vivian Fuchs

So much for technology and travelling getting easier and easier. The queues seem to get worse and worse. Three hours in a queue in Charles de Gaulle, an hour and forty minutes in Cape Town International, and two hours in San Francisco. That's time spent in the queue, not in the airport - just the queue. Joy...

So how to make sure your hand luggage meets the carriers criteria, is comfortable and still has everything you need? We'll this is what eventually worked for us.

As a rule you are allowed 7kg of hand luggage in one single piece.

For hand luggage each of the children had excellent drawstring bags that weighed almost nothing, could carry loads, could be folded into tiny squares, used as swim bags, day bags and pillow cases. They could also be carried as backpacks, carried over one shoulder or both or simply held by their strings. These were great.

For carry on hand luggage the children carried books, Nintendos, playing cards and pencils and paper. They also both carried a jumper and a small pillow or soft toy that could be used as a pillow so at least they could sleep if delays were interminable.

(Don't use the airline pillows or blankets in flight. These are only washed when they 'look' dirty. eurkh)

I carried all the paper work and money, camera's and laptops etc. I carried a book to read and some basic emergency clothing in case our luggage went awol.

The playing cards were wonderful as we could all play together, or just the children or we could play games or we could play on our own.

We all carried an empty plastic water bottles each which we filled with fresh water once we had cleared security so we had our own water on the plane and didn't hassle the staff. (Read the article on dehydration)Dehydration - Family Gap Year . We also carried a small meal or snack to avoid the high airport costs.

gap year suitcase backpackI also took a set of wheels which was an absolute life safer as my daypack was very heavy and when we were queuing for flights etc. I simply strapped my wheels onto my daypack and pulled it around.

The trolley was also used to hook the kids bags on too.

If you look into getting one of the trolleys, do make sure they are constructed from a very light metal with a broad and stable base. Skimping just a few £'s might not be worth it as it's maddening when they constantly tip over.

I have found that the best hand luggage is soft so it can squished into small spaces in overhead lockers or under the seat.

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