Family of 4 traveling 10 months

Jan 23rd, 2015, 04:42 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Family of 4 traveling 10 months

My family and I are planning an extended trip to Europe. Approximatley 3 months each in France, Italy and Spain and 1 month in the UK. I have read a number of comments regarding luggage and the recommendation of taking only carry on. We of course plan to do laundry but I am dubious that we can pack for the variety of experiences in carry on only. I do, however, appreciated the arguments for it.
Does anyone have any experience traveling for a more extended time with kids? My kids are 8 & 10. I would love any to glean from your experiences.
Thanks a bunch
livinthedream2015 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2015, 04:47 PM
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What is your nationality? Are you aware of the Schengen limits?

I travel for months at a time with one carry on size bag and a day bag. Start here for my packing list:
thursdaysd is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2015, 05:19 PM
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Welcome to Fodors -- your profile doesn't say where you are from . . so before we all jump in to help . . . do you have schengen 'rights'?

If not -- luggage will be the least of your worries.
janisj is online now  
Jan 23rd, 2015, 05:58 PM
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Ezactly what I was thinking. What is your Nationality, livin?
elizzie4000 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2015, 07:15 PM
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He may be living the dream, but reality sucks!
Robert2533 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2015, 12:40 AM
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Unless your nationality allows otherwise you can do approximately 1 month each in France, Italy and Spain, and 3 months in the UK.

Why would you want to do carry on only with kids who will want to take stuff like favourite toys and books and need school stuff with them.
hetismij2 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2015, 12:56 AM
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As hetismij says; why would you even consider taking only carry-on luggage for a trip like this? On a 10 month trip the time you spend waiting for checked luggage is negligable.
Tulips is offline  
Jan 24th, 2015, 05:49 AM
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Oh boy, what a challenge...or maybe headache. Is that ten months total in various European locales...and with youngsters 8 and 10? Surely a learning experience for the family. How can you pull that off with work, schooling, etc.

Luggage? Well, that's only one thing to consider. I would assume some places you would just stay for awhile and relax. I'm curious as to goals and plans. What interests does "my family and I" have, i.e., recreation such as hiking or boating or swimming, art appreciation in world class museums, family fun in theme parks or zoos (for the kids anyway)?

Yes, what a challenge!
Ozarksbill is offline  
Jan 24th, 2015, 09:44 AM
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Before you go any further are you a nationality that is allowed to stay more than 90 days in Schengen? Americans can stay only 90 days in Schengen legally - then must leave for at least another 90 days before returning. US citizens can do 6 months in the UK - so unless you are a Schengen citizen don't see how what you want is possible.

Have you even looked into this issue?

Obviously traveling with kids through out a school year would require brining a lot of "stuff" with you and can;t imagine how this could be done with only a small carry-on bag.

Suggest as a first step you look into what legal options you have for living in europe.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 24th, 2015, 04:14 PM
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Some nationals, notably New Zealanders, can stay in some EU countries like France, Italy and Spain for 90 days each, thanks to bilateral agreements concluded prior to the introduction of Schengen rules. This is little known fact, and not many people use it, but it does exist. It has been argued that all such agreements have cease to be effective when those countries entered the Schengen zone, but this isn't so. Whether individual border official is aware of this exception is another matter, or that the relevant EU country still honours the agreement in the post-Schengen age.
Alec is offline  
Jan 24th, 2015, 04:46 PM
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Our friends, talented filmmakers, did a year-long 6-continent world trip with their 10 year old son and 13 year old daughter. I think they spent about 4 months in Europe - you can check out their itinerary to see how they dealt with Schengen requirements. During the school months, they home schooled their kids (except math for their older daughter - she had a tutor on skype.)

They kept a blog with some extraordinary videos, which have received a lot of attention in the film and travel communities and will no doubt inspire you.

You can contact them through the blog with questions - They've been in touch with quite a few other families (including Fodorites) who took similar journeys and they even met up with some.
We traveled extensively with our (now grown) boys, but after spending a few days with this family in Paris, I was sorry we hadn't give our kids the gift of a year on the road.
crosscheck is offline  
Jan 24th, 2015, 04:53 PM
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I just remembered that they shot a video with packing info:

They each had an Eaglecreek ORV bag (sort of a duffel that could be used as a backpack), as well as a smaller day pack. They claimed they had no formal outfits, but I saw them the evening they attended an event at the American Embassy in Paris and they looked quite presentable.
crosscheck is offline  
Jan 25th, 2015, 08:07 AM
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If you look at their itinerary, I think they were careful to stay within the Schengen limit of 90-in-180 days by having side trips to North Africa and UK.
Alec is offline  
Jan 25th, 2015, 10:34 AM
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They well and truly overstayed their 90 days if you work it out. Even with their time in Morocco and Israel, and Africa, since they only spent a month out of Schengen. they were nearly over their time by the time they left Paris.
By the time they left Amsterdam in June they were 39 days over their limit, and then added Scandanavia to it all after two weeks in Kenya.
It is not a good idea to suggest people break the law like that.

New Zealanders can stay in some Schengen countries for a month each, but most nationalities have to abide by the 90 day rule.

Do not encourage people to break the law.

Not that I think this dreamer will be back again - no responses so far from them.
hetismij2 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2015, 11:57 AM
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In fact, as invited cultural guests, they had special visas and worked closely with various EU film commissions throughout their trip. I just found that out and apologize for not referencing it in my original post.

I usually stay out of the negativity and snarkiness here, but this thread is out of control. The OP came asking for luggage advice related to a life-changing adventure and was immediately shot down by naysayers. He or she never mentioned having Schengen issues - perhaps family members are duel citizens or New Zealanders or going for work or whatever.

We know MANY families who routinely and legally live (and work) in Europe and other parts of the world for a year and longer. We can assume that the OP in planning a 10-month trip has already figured out the visa situation. I wish posters here, in the spirit of what travel is about, would be more encouraging.
crosscheck is offline  
Jan 25th, 2015, 01:07 PM
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Given the posters we see here who have no idea of the Schengen limits, it is not unreasonable to ask whether a new poster has taken them into account.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jan 25th, 2015, 01:14 PM
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I have also read at least a couple of posts from families/couples who planned the same extended amount of time in Europe who were unaware of these rules if not for posters who've written about them. In fact a canadian couple who just finished a 12-month trip with their kids were able to procure the necessary visas to do the trip legally which they would not have done had the posters here not made them aware of the Schengen Rules.

So I don't think posters here are trying to dissuade newbies from spending a lengthy time in Europe but just making them aware that there are laws to be followed. Believe me, not all travelers, even the well-traveled ones, know about them.
JoyC is offline  
Jan 25th, 2015, 02:11 PM
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I am going to back up crosscheck on this one. Posters here accused others of encouraging breaking of laws -- when, in fact, no such encouragement was given at all. Immediately people jumped to the conclusion that the OP and really anyone who stays in Europe needs to be interrogated and sniped at, and that somebody who truly travels must be some kind of dope. One simply weaeries of the immigration patrol on Fodor's that is so eager to shoot down other people's plans to travel extensively in Europe, and even more so the underlying the presumption that these laws are to be followed because they are "right." Not everybody shares the view that they are "right" and with good reason. They are a stupid, discriminatory nuisance -- and while I think everybody needs to be aware of them and the consequences of breaking them, families looking to take their kids into the Schengen zone for longer than 90 days are not doing anybody here any harm and are possibly to their kids and everybody who ever meets their kids a world of good.
sandralist is offline  
Jan 25th, 2015, 02:17 PM
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Ignoring zeppole's rant - I think the OP won't be back

He either 1) doesn't like the responses, 2) forgot how to get back here, or 3) is waiting for an e-mail alert re activity on his thread.
janisj is online now  
Jan 25th, 2015, 05:03 PM
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Just want the OP to be aware of the immigration rules when contemplating extensive stay in Schengen. All they need to do is to assure us they are exempt (EU nationals etc), are NZ or Australian nationals with special visa concessions, or just say they will revise their plan accordingly. As they haven't been back, it seems pointless to continue our debate.
Alec is offline  

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