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Carry on luggage only with a family travelling to Europe?

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We are a family of four (2 kids aged 11 and 8) who are planning a trip to Europe. We will be visiting London, train to Paris and then visiting family in Malta before travelling by train in Italy (Rome, Florence and Venice).

I have been reading about packing light and can certainly see the advantages of taking carry on bags only but am wondering if any families have done this and if they were successful. I am particularly worried about the 7kg weight restriction that most airlines have. The kids are quite happy to have their own bags. I am quite guilty of packing way too much and have certainly paid for this on previous holidays.

Any advice would be great, even recommendations of particular bags.

Thanks very much!

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