Clash Of The Suitcases: Toddlers v Nonagenarians

Judging by your comments on the last post, you’re about to be shocked. And then excited!

See, one of the first things I did when we started talking about this trip was invite pretty much everyone I’m related to, and would you believe it, a lot of them declined.

Their excuses ranged from the mundane – “we can’t afford it” – to the ridiculous – “we’re going on ninety-three years old and we have seven medical conditions between us and our sense of adventure and ability to galavant about the globe has been crushed under an enormous pile of all the extra travel equipment we need to take with us these days”.

That was the shocking bit. Now for the excitement:

“Grandma,” I found myself saying. “How bad can it be? Are you even aware that I travel with two young children whose luggage requirements are surely more horrendous than anything you could possibly imagine?”

And by the jut of her chin and the glint in her eye I knew The Great Toddler/Nonagenarian Packing List Throwdown Of 2015 had begun.

Oh! By the way, I’ve just updated my family packing list to include Grandma’s personal extras in case you want to skip past the drama and go for the practicalities BECAUSE YOU CAN’T TAKE THE EXCITEMENT.

The Teams

On TEAM ONE we have myself, Bronwyn Joy, and as many of my children as I can get to sit still for a team photo at any one time:

Team One: This is Grandma's first time using a smart phone.

This is Great-Grandma’s first time using a smart phone.

On TEAM TWO we have my Grandma and Granddad, also known as Great-Grandma and Great-Granddad:

Team Two: This is NOT Great-Granddad's first time doing a photobomb.

This is NOT Great-Granddad’s first time doing a photobomb.

The Venue

The local RSL Club, between the carvery and the pokies.

The Game

Round one – Documents, Money and Communications

Nonagenarian V Toddler - Documents and Communications

Scores at the end of this round:
Nonagenarians – 8
Toddlers – 9, and maybe even 10, depending on the size of Grandma’s maps

Round two – Clothing

Nonagenarian V Toddler - Clothing

Scores at the end of this round:
Nonagenarians – 15
Toddlers – 17

Round three – Medications and Health Care

Nonagenarian V Toddler - health care


Scores at the end of this round:
Can’t quite bring myself to add this one up. Team toddler sort of lost, or is that “won”?

Round four – Other Stuff

Nonagenarian V Toddler - Other

Scores at the end of this round:
I’ve forgotten what my original goals were but I think the “other” category shows that toddlers are whackier.

The Winners

Do you feel like a winner? Because it wasn’t really any of us.

The List

The list displayed here is my Grandma’s personal packing list, which she’s been using since she and my Grandfather turned 85. During that time, they’ve travelled to Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Port Douglas in North Queensland, Thursday Island (on a cargo boat), and around Australia by cruise ship from Perth to Brisbane. She claims that, as of 2015, their travelling days are over, but so far nobody believes her.

Grandma recommends separating each person’s luggage into their own, roll-along suitcase (and, if possible, getting someone else to pull it).

You can now view the new, improved, nonagenarian-approved version of our family packing list. And if you’re over, let’s just say “old enough to consider yourself part of a similar demographic”, feel free to add your own thoughts there.

On a more-or-less related note, here’s what’s in our cabin baggage for travelling with kids