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No matter what kind of vacation we are on, we always pack our stuff in our travel backpacks. Especially now with kids, it’s nice to be able to carry your luggage on you. Sometimes I walk with one full backpack on my front and another on my back while my hands are carrying 2 duffel bags. That way my wife can carry one kid in the child carrier and have her hands free to deal with the other.
We got hooked to these while traveling in Europe for 3 months. Living out of a backpack that long, you learn how to pack light. Recently, traveling with kids has been a challenge keeping everything we need down to two bags but it’s still possible. We usually end up with an extra duffle that’s holding “diaper bag” type stuff.
Road Trip...man this is going to be uncomfortable!
REI Grand Tour
This is what I used in Europe with no issues. Years later, when it finally bit the dust, I went out and purchased another.
Eagle Creek Packs
My wife uses an Eagle Creek Pack similar to the one below. Their names and designs seem to change often but the quality is good as always.
Even when we plan vacations to major cities, we usually plan on at least one night hiking outside of town. With luggage that is a backpack as well, you can transition from tourist to backpacker easily.