tips for traveling with 3 g-daughters 16, 12,11

Hello, Any carry on and one tote packing advice for my 3 granddaughters 16, 12, 11. Leaving next month June 23 for 10 days. Stopping in Paris for 2 days& 1 night.Going to Germany, and Austria (Innsbruck 1 night, Salzburg 3 nights)

Posted by Dina
Fontainebleau, France
893 posts

1. Pack only what you can carry. 2. Pack things you won't mind wearing over and over and over again. Dark colors that hide dirt would be better than lighter colors. 3. Bring one extra pair of shoes. The shoes you wear and the shoes you bring must be comfortable for walking around all day in. With that much moving around, you're going to have a tough time doing laundry. You won't have time to stop at a laundry mat, and with one night stays, things that are handwashed won't have time to dry. Good luck with your trip!

Posted by Claudette
huntington beach, ca, usa
500 posts

Heidi, I just got back from London, Paris, and Barcelona with my 3 kids for our "trip of a lifetime". They're older than your very lucky granddaughters, 16, 21, 23 but before the trip I sat down with them a few times and explained some ground rules: 1) Pack only a small carry on size suitcase. Even if you don't plan to carry on, you each will have to roll your own suitcase thru airports, train stations, etc. With 4 of you, it would be worth it to take a taxi or arrange for shuttle from airports/train station. Bring bungee cord to tie stuff to suitcase in case it's needed. 2) Each one should have a backpack or a big cross body bag/ duffle bag to bring on the plane holding needed toiletries, a change of clothes, electronics, and essential entertainment for the plane ride. This bag should double as the bag they will carry everyday. Or they can bring a small cross body purse they can tuck into said bag. Put money or cards in a money belt or in a deep front pocket. Personally, this is my first trip that I didn't use a money belt. I had my cards and cash in a zippered inside pocket of my zippered purse. I think I have switched sides in that long debate of money belt vs. no money belt! 3) Tell them never to hang their purses in the back of the chair at meals like we do here. 4) Tell them to say no and walk away when someone approaches them offering flowers or what not or asking if they speak English. I actually forgot to tell my daughter this so she accepted a paper flower from this lady inLondon who asked her a donation "for the children" ( right!). She gave her a pound coin and learned her lesson. She considers it a hard earned souvenir! 5). Supply a packing list and have them stick to it. We had a "packing party" before we left so We can critique what we packed. Ok, that's all I can think of right now. You are one awesome grandma!

Posted by shirley
Toronto, Canada
341 posts

I would definitely check in advance with them to see if they are planning to bring electronic devices. They may not understand the cost of just turning on their cell phones in Europe without a European plan from your home company or by buying sim cards in Europe. With a multi country trip, this could be a challenge. Ensure that you have converter plugs for any electronics and check to ensure that they will run on 220 volts. I bought something like this so I could charge everything: See other posts on this site for more information about electronics in Europe. Also, I recommend that they only go on line when there is wifi available - hopefully that will be available in the places where you are staying.

Posted by Southam
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
1186 posts

Make colour photocopies of their identification which they can carry with them during the day while the originals stay in a safe at the hotel (it's just backup.) Also give a hotel business card with address etc. to each of them in case one gets separated. And be sure each one understands the public transit system as well as you do or carries enough cash to use a cab.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8723 posts

I have travelled solo with an 11 yr old and 13 yr old. They carry their own stuff, PERIOD. The only exception was their passports, which I carried. They only bring what they can carry easily and they are simply not allowed to whine about it being "heavy" .. set this out clearly well in advance. You didn't ask but i am going to say it, this is the most whirlwind trip I have seen in awhile and I wouldn't do it. Travel between most places will eat up 1/2 a day, and since you have only allowed one night in serveral places, that means you basically only have 1/2 a day in those destinations. Two nights in one place equals one full day . Don't you think it would be nice to have one full day in most places you see?
Rushing kids is a sure way to start them complaining. Also , Salzburg 3 nights, and Paris gets one night, that's just simply odd. The amount to see in Paris is seriously 10 times what there is in Salzburg. I have been to Salzburg.

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
3252 posts

I would make sure each of them has a journal. I have taken a number of my grandkids on trips and they have to fill out their journal each day. I have devised a 'fill in the blank' so they don't have to think too hard, but leave plenty of room for sketching, thoughts, etc. in case they want to do more. I have them put in 'favorite memory', best food that day, amazing moments, what they would like to see again, surprises etc' as well as hotels, etc. and mode of travel.
As far as the number of days and locations I do think you might want to take a look at that. I am all for whirlwind trips, but even for me this is a bit much, especially if you are taking public transportation. I usually have a car, so can make last minute changes. Have taken two grandkids on separate trips to both Paris and Salzburg... and while they loved both each would have opted for more time in Paris. It was their favorite. I would trade out a day from Salzburg to add to Paris. It's going to be hard just getting everyone ready to get to those trains. Take lots of pictures!

Posted by Heidi
Granville,, OH, United States
9 posts

Thank all of you for your suggestions! I have much to consider.. By the way, a couple of you marveled that we only will be in Paris 2 days and 1 night, and are spending so much more time in the Salzburg area. I wanted the girls to get a "taste" if Paris,but our main travel focus will be on the Bavarian part of our "tour". I lived in that area for 4 years as a child , and I wanted to show them some of the places about which I have spoken.

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
3252 posts

If the plan is to give them a 'taste' of Paris... then that is what they will get, and if they fall in love with it, they are young and can set it as a goal to return. Just for the record... my first trip to Paris was with my daughter (age 21) and we only had one day... in and out by train and stayed in Strasbourg. That trip we both preferred Salzburg over Paris:)) Have a wonderful trip.