Packing for a short trip to London

Traveling in Europe with a family of five is not for the faint of heart.  It takes planning and precision that I have never had while traveling back in the states.  In the states if we had decided to take a short adventure (approximately 3 nights away), I would have had the kids packed and taken everything and thrown it into our Mini Van and taken off.  I would have preplanned very little about the actual travel process, given no thought as to limit what we could bring, and there would have been no problems actually fitting it all in.

None of this is true when I get the notion to travel while living in England.  For example we decided to take a trip to London while the kids were on Spring Term Holiday.  We wanted to play tourist while we had a very special visitor from the states, Mike’s mother.  A couple weeks beforehand my precision planning began to take place.  First off, we do not drive to London under any circumstances.  The hotel we were staying at did not have parking and navigating London is just not something Mike or I have a desire to do.  So train it is.  Last time we traveled to London we let each kid pack a bag and they were responsible for carrying it.  Well that worked about as well as you can imagine.  Mike, Michael and I became responsible for helping with the girls luggage.  In theory this method sounds great but in reality while navigating the busy streets, train and tube this did not work well.

This time I was smart.  I purchased travel packing cubes and gave each kid 1 and said fit all of your clothes for the trip in it.  No extras.  Mike and I had 2 travel bags each and 1 travel bag for bathroom items.

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Packing this way we were able to fit all of our items into two medium suitcases (26 inches).  We have invested in suitcases with spinner wheels so that they were easier to navigate small spaces with.  We went with 26 inches because Mike and Michael were able to easily handle a suitcase each on escalators or stairs with very little problem.

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We were so happy to have found a solution and I must say this way of navigating made our travel day so much easier.  Two backpacks, one with our camera and one with our important papers and we were ready to hit the train european style.

We love traveling by train!

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After an easy train ride up to Gatwick, we picked up our VIP and were ready to head to our hotel in London.

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Looking forward to sharing a review of our hotel and our experience using the London Pass in a blog post coming later this week!

Thanks for reading!

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