Our Family’s (2nd) Year in the South of France
Kids and Castles - Our year with kids in the South of France

One Year, 300 Pounds

Packing for a year away is a tricky thing. We rented a vacation home with towels, kitchen stuff and so on, so we just need personal stuff.  Our goal was to travel with one 50-pound bag plus one carry on each – the airline allowance for an international flight. We would have to prioritize.

First we packed the stuff that can’t be easily purchased – medicines, contact lenses, laptops, work stuff, and English workbooks for the girls. Next ,the clothes. We need enough for day-to-day, school, sports, special occasions, and possibly the odd work trip. We need all these types of clothes for all four seasons, plus have to consider that the girls will grow. Rounding out the list of necessities we find toiletries for travel since we are on the road for close to a month before we got to our “permanent” place.

The “needs” took most of our 200 pound allowance of checked luggage, and we hadn’t even considered the “wants” yet. The girls were allowed to fill their carry-on backpacks with anything they wanted. Luckily what they wanted most was light and squishy stuffed animals, so we took the opportunity to shift those to the checked luggage and put heavy stuff in their carry-ons for another few pounds of “free” weight.

JM and I both wanted some guilty-pleasure things. He wants to ski in Europe, so we added coats, ski pants, and toques. I’ve been saving up a few seasons of TV shows I like on DVD. In the end we decided to add a fifth bag to save our marriage from cut throat negotiations on whether his “Strength Band Training” book or my tabbed file folders (the ones in France don’t have tabs) was the more frivolous.

Final tally: five 50 pound bags plus 4 carry ons. About 300 pounds.


300 pounds of luggage

The remaining challenge – how to get all this luggage on and off the train. Fortunately we didn’t have any connections, the girls were helpful, and there were escalators in all but one place.

We are now in the Languedoc with all 300 pounds. But every time we shop we remember that everything needs to weigh about the same when we leave next July.

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