I find myself talking about the idea of value often in my blog posts. So often, in fact, that I thought I should sit down and write this post outlining my philosophy on the subject. After all, I think value is something we all want, yet it is easy to get wrong. Read more “Dad’s Definition of Value”→
Our goal for our Japan adventure was to travel light, as light as possible. Thanks to a few key pieces of equipment, we have been able to manage that very well.
Packing light has allowed us to travel across the country easily, using nothing but public transport. In total, we have just five components to carry when moving from one place to the next – the perfect amount for to of us to manage.
Our Luggage – Travel Light
We took two suitcases, one carry-on case, a backpack and the all-important stroller. When we moved from one place to the next, one of us wheeled a big suitcase and the carry-on case, the other wheeled the pram and second case. I usually wore the backpack, but that’s no problem because there isn’t anything heavy in it.
Antler provided me with a suitcase to road test on our Japan adventure. The full review of that suitcase is coming, but I can tell you now that it is a worthwhile investment, if you are in the market.
The Antler suitcase is lightweight. It is extremely easy to wheel around, whether it is behind, next to, or pushed in front of you. The wheels have been able to handle all of the quirks of the streets of Tokyo and Kyoto with ease.
The contrast is our other suitcase. It can only be dragged behind us, which is fine most of the time. However, it is extremely inconvenient a small amount of the time. It is also heavier to begin with, and the way in which it rolls on just two wheels means it places more stress on the wrist during long walks. It does the job, but the Antler suitcase does it a hell of a lot better. On more than one occasion I found myself wishing for a second Antler.
What about the portable cot?
Those of you who have been following the Travelling to Japan With a Toddler feature know that BabyBjorn gave us their excellent Travel Cot Light to review during our Japan adventures (spoiler alert, we haven’t had disrupted a night’s sleep).
“Surely,” I can hear you cry, “you must have to carry that around…”
And I did!
The thing is, it fits perfectly into a suitcase. Originally, we were going to carry it in the Antler case. However, because the portable cot is so light, it made sense to pack it into the heavier suitcase. That way we could fill the Antler case with heavy things, and still be under the weight limit.
I cannot stress how valuable it is to have a portable cot that fits into a suitcase – I still have nightmares of lugging our old portable cot around on our trip to Brisbane. I cannot imagine bringing that one with us to Japan. It just would not have worked. The BabyBjorn cot has been a revelation, and invaluable in my quest to travel light.
Washing Machines – Travel Light
Airbnb was a gamble, but it appears to have paid off. Not only do we have a huge amount of space compared to what we would have in a hotel room, we also have in-house washing machines.
This has allowed us to pack just four days’ worth of clothes each. We probably could have gotten away with less. I had some clothes in the suitcase that I did not use.
You may think regular washing of clothes is a chore you would rather do without on holidays, but the Japanese have made life easy for us. The first Airbnb included a washer/dryer combo – just turn it on and forget about it. The second and third only had a washing machine, but the bathroom converted into a clothes drying room – just hang the clothes out at night and use hot air to have them thoroughly dry by the morning.
The RECARO stroller – Travel Light
Many of the Japanese locals that I have seen favour the lightweight umbrella strollers. However, most of them are just traveling from point a to point b in the city.
The RECARO has allowed us to travel light by doing the hard work for us as we walk the city. It carries everything I would normally lug around in a backpack in the massive storage basket.
On a couple of occasions I have had to carry it up stairs. It is perfectly manageable in such situations. The handy one-piece fold has also been useful several times. Just be aware that it cannot fold with a full load in the storage basket, so be prepared to easily remove your goodies from below if you plan on folding it during a day trip.
I highly recommend traveling as light as possible if you venture overseas with a toddler. It can be done, even on a long trip (we have proven it). As always, spending a little bit of money on the right. quality equipment can go a long way to saving you a lot of pain on your journey, so do the research first and get the right gear.
Disclosure – The products mentioned in this post were provided to Blog Of Dad free of charge, for the purpose of review during our Japan adventure. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views, based on my experiences. For further information, please visit my disclosure page.