Day one: London Heathrow


Sunday 7th September

We’ve spent the last few weeks editing, editing and re-editing the contents of our travelling kit to the real minimum – or at least the kind of ‘real minimum’ our family can cope with. (I won’t go into the contents of the ‘technology bag’ right now as you’d just laugh at what constitutes ‘minimum’ in our household.) As a result, we have random bags of ‘no longer required stuff’ at various relatives’ houses, storage lock ups and even the boot of our car – I am not looking forward to that kind of sort out at the end of all this.

As owners of some sparkly new backpacks (okay, I admit it, the adult ones also have wheels on… you may now be getting a better picture of what level of ‘travelling-family’ we are), we wake up early after staying with some wonderful friends for our final night in the UK and head for Heathrow.

The good news is that the children don’t tip over with the weight of their backpacks – the plan is that they carry everything they need on this trip in their own backpacks – at only 7, 7 & 8 years old that’s a big ask, but so far… no complaints. For any backpack enthusiasts(!) we went with the Osprey Escapist 25 (size: s/m) for the children and Osprey Sojourn 80 for us. So the children have about 25 litres and we have about 80 litres each.

At the weigh-in at Heathrow, the children’s bags were between 3.5kg and 4kg and ours were approximately 14kg each. That’s the lightest we have EVER travelled and we do lots of chest puffing proudness. Goodness only knows if we’ve packed what we actually need, but we have head torches, so are feeling pretty confident.

A quick trip to get some dollars, some technology things and the obligatory trip to Giraffe and that’s it… we are on our way! First stop Miami.

Items lost today*: 1

– Debit card left at Travelex, LHR

*I now realise this will become a regular feature.

Items bought today: 2

– USB/USA travel plug

– New SD card for the GoPro as I seem to have broken the existing one in the last 24 hours

Next stop Miami!

Next stop Miami!


  1. Our family is laughing heartily reading your account of your departure and remembering ours. One of our first big losses was our debit card too! Can’t wait to read the other entries and glad you found “fivepacksoneworld”!

  2. So inspiring Aimee. Dougie and I always said we would ‘travel with the kids’. Four kids down, oldest nearly ten, youngest just turned three, and we’re still dreaming, not doing. I think it’s time to start planning. I am going to direct Dougie to your blog. Would love to hear the background to your trip too – how did you make it work with – work/school/house etc too? It feels as though those are the things that hold us to the ground.

  3. How exciting! Your kids are so lucky to be given such an awesome opportunity 🙂 I’m planning on doing a three month trip around Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Chile next year, so I’ll be following you on your journey for some tips!

    Good luck – hope you all have the best time imaginable.

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