The Yellow Backpacks

by Carla Delgado

Count travel as one of my passions. Traveling with my boys takes it to a whole new level of pleasure. Always looking for ways to make our journeys easier and less cumbersome taking into account all the layers of security we have to subject ourselves nowadays, enter this year’s trial: The Yellow Backpacks.

It was a true research project to find “the one” as I have never camped out with such technical gear. Reading the descriptions was a foreign language at the beginning until I started asking questions to “aficionados” and got a grip of what I may receive in the mail. Still, I ordered four different sets of three.

The Thule 70L was the chosen one. Given the nature of our trip we only needed three days worth of outfits. Maneuvering around the space and compartments of the gear was an adventure on its own, not to mention navigating through the tight hallways of the planes we embarked.

Off we went to our first destination: NYC. Combining my love for architecture and my kids’ fascination with aviation, the TWA Hotel became a no brainer.

Eero Saarinen’s Landmark turned into a hotel allowed us to sleep and wake up to the sight of planes landing and taking off on the JFK’s runways. The rooftop pool makes it that much more special with views of the sun setting over the Manhattan skyline and the moon rising over the traveling planes.

Moving on from planes to trains, we commuted from the airport to Penn Station and got on a train to our next stop: New London Station followed by a short drive to Niantic, CT. I felt like a genius for not having any bulky rollers (or even small ones) to pull on escalators or squeeze through when needing to run to catch a departing train.

What followed was a series of very intimate interactions with friends that feel like family. New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Florida and Michigan: The maiden voyage of the yellow Backpacks covered 5 states and left us with many memories, good ones.

Backpack traveling forces you into minimalism and efficiency, coordinating stops with laundry machine availability. It also provides a sense of freedom and focus on simplicity. I love all kinds of travel, backpacking has become one of my favorites. Why not.

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