What type of clothing should my family pack for these locations? Going for the carry-on plan!
Weather is likely to be warm but not hot in both places. Think highs in the mid-60s to mid 70s, unless you happen to hit a cold snap or heat wave. Check forecasts before you go.
In general - clothes that mix and match. Think pants or skirts in a neutral color, with an assortment of tops that match all the pants. Most things should match most other things. A sweater of some sort for cool nights, and a lightweight rain jacket in case of rain. Women often wear scarves to change up the look. Shorts are not often worn in these cities , except on the beach in Barcelona. In the heat of August, maybe. Not as much with the likely temps here, so stick with pants, skirts, or capri pants.
Comfortable walking shoes, preferably not sneakers. In summer, sandals are fine but I'd find them too cold for the cooler evenings in spring. That's up to you, though. I'd do no more than 2 pairs of shoes each, or 3 if you need flip flops. That would apply if you are going to the beach or staying in hostels with shared bathrooms. If so - 1-2 shoes and the lightest, cheapest flip flops you can find.
I have a very loose rule of thumb of max. 10 items of clothing (not counting underwear, pjs, swimsuit, or one coat). For my upcoming trip to Spain in June, I will have: 2 pairs of pants, 1 maxi skirt, 2 sundresses, 4 tops that match the skirt and pants (and some can also layer over the dress!), and a button up long sleeve blouse that can go over the dress or most of the tops/pants - it works as a cardigan or as top on its own, or over the dress. Then an extremely light raincoat, a scarf, a swimsuit, 6 pairs of underwear, and a sleep shirt. Walking sandals and flat shoes. Shoes have to go with everything - none of the "brown shoes for this dress, black for that" business - pick a neutral like black, gray, beige, whatever - and make sure everything matches that. My list above includes what I wear on the plane - that is a part of your travel wardrobe too.
My kids are super easy - they are school age boys and couldn't care less about clothes. So they have 4 pairs of blue or gray pants and 6 tops that match blue and gray. One top is a polo shirt for going to dinner or to a church service. The others are just t-shirts with stripes. Boring but it makes everything extremely easy!
Runners are fine. They are comfy. That and maybe some walking sandals. I bring flips only if specifically making a beach visit. Dont make kids dress fancy, just neat and clean, kids are kids everwhere and comfort and no fights over outfits makes for best trip
I packed one pair of pants for my boys to last 3-4 days, jeans can last 5-6 days, jeans should be dark wash and well fitted( not baggy butt look) . Alwyas pack a pair or two of shorts, kids in europe wear them too for goodness sake.
Tshirts and one collared shirt.
Wind/ rain jacket and something to layer under it like a fleece..i have encountered cold weather in paris in May( as well as hot)
Pack enough for one week max. Even if going for 2,3,or 4 weeks, do laundry if needed.
Thanks very much Mira and Pat...great info! This makes the decision what to take so much simpler.
Maria's "10 item" maximum is a really good idea. I go even lighter. I always take two pair wash and wear black pants. I get mine at Travelsmith.com. I take a simple, lightweight black dress from llbean.com. (The dress is optional depending on your planned activities). I take 4 or 5 tops...2 or3 with short sleeves,two long sleeves. One of each style is black, for evening dressing. I also take a pair of silk long underwear and a black silk camisole to wear underclothes on cool days. I get cold easy. If you are a warm person, these aren't necessary. So that is 7 or 8 items, along with a black lightweight sweater (or gray), and a lightweight rain jacket. I take good walking sandals, like Keen Venice H2 or Ecco Yucatan, along with 2 pair of black merino wool socks in case my feet get cold, and black flip flops for hotel and beach. If you wanted you could take some black flats for evening use. I usually get black sandals and just wear them all the time. That's it. Well, underwear (3 or 4) and 2 or 3 colorful scarves to change my look. Sometimes I buy scarves for souvenirs. This scheme relies on hand washing of course, depending on how long you are going. Bring along some soap, a flat rubber sink stopper and a twisted clothesline. If really only a week you should only need to wash out underwear and a top or two. I can usually wear pants for 3 or 4 days.
Thanks gingermcintosh and especially for the sandal recommendations.