Ever since my kids were about two years old they have had their own kids luggage. Before making our first purchase I did a lot of research into what is the best luggage for kids, and we inevitably started off with a Trunki ride-on suitcase. Once their legs got too long for these, we progressed to a Trunki BoostApak (a backpack which doubles as a car booster seat) and have now moved on to pull-along suitcases that double as backpacks.
Getting the kids their own suitcases is a great way to get them involved with the packing process (although you may need to veto a few items if your kids are anything like mine, who think that ballet shoes and kitchen utensils are essential travel items!)
Having their own kids luggage means you can load up their bags with all the paraphernalia required when traveling with kids – changes of clothes, nappies, wet wipes, snacks, water bottles, toys, iPads, books etc, meaning your hand luggage can be blissfully clutter free.
If you are trying to decide what luggage to buy for kids, here is our round-up of the best luggage for kids, taking into account kids ride-on suitcases, kids pull-along suitcases and kids backpacks.
Kids Ride-on Suitcase
For younger kids, a ride-on suitcase can be a lifesaver for long airport corridors – and great fun for them too. My kids absolutely loved their Trunkis and we have enjoyed many an airport Trunki race. The downside to them is they are heavy, and you inevitably end up having to carry them at some point – often when you have to carry a sleeping child at the same time. You also need to exercise some caution – I once tugged the strap too hard and too quickly after hearing our names called over the tannoy and my daughter went flying backwards off the case. I also have a friend whose daughter ended up with stitches in her chin due to a ride-on suitcase accident.
The Trunki is probably the best-known ride-on suitcase, and comes in a fun selection of colours and designs including ladybirds, zebras, London buses and pirate ships. The suitcase is big enough to hold everything the kids need on the plane and has a hard shell to ensure they can sit on it and nothing inside gets damaged.Click here to check prices for the Trunki
Jet Kids BedBox
The Jet Kids BedBox takes the concept of the ride-on suitcase for kids one step further and doubles up as a bed/leg rest on the plane. Designed to be the same height as the airline seat, the top lifts off to reveal a washable mattress that can be folded out to create a flat bed for your kids. A similar concept to the 1st Class Kid Travel Pillow we reviewed, but doubled-up as a suitcase.
Zinc Flyte Kids Scooter
The Zinc Flyte Kids Scooter adds another dimension of fun to travelling – you don’t just sit on it and get pulled along, you ride it as a scooter! This backpack and foldable scooter in one comes in two sizes: Mini for ages 2-4 and Midi for ages 4-8 (Maxi coming soon) and in a range of fun designs, including Polly the Panda and Snapper the Shark.Click here to check prices for the Zinc Flyte Kids Scooter
Kids Pull Along Suitcase
Once you think the kids are old enough to walk through the airport without whinging that it’s too far to walk, a pull along suitcase is a great option. My kids love the feeling of being ‘grown up’ and having their own pull along suitcases now – especially as we managed to find ones with light-up wheels! As my kids are still quite young (4 and 6) I prefer a pull-along suitcase that doubles up as a backpack as this just gives you added flexibility – especially if you end up having to carry the kids’ luggage at some point. But I can also see the benefit of having a hard-backed case that the kids can sit on if they need to.
Skip Hop Zoo Kids Rolling Luggage
Skip Hop Zoo Kids are a hugely popular range of kids’ suitcases thanks to their well-made products and thoughtful design. The lightweight material makes these suitcases easy for little ones to pull along, and there is a front zip pocket to make snacks and small toys easily reachable, as well as a side mesh pocket for water bottles. There are no backpack straps for the kids to carry it, but there is a shoulder strap should mum or dad need to pick up the slack.Click here to check prices for the Skip Hop Zoo Kids Rolling Luggage
Yodo Zoo 3-Way Toddler Backpack with Wheels
This cute little backpack/pull along suitcase is ideal for mini travellers. The clever design allows you to hide the shoulder straps when you are using it as luggage, and hide the wheels when using as a backpack. There is a padded easy-reach front pocket for snacks and two side pockets for water bottles and an additional inside zip pocket. The only downside I can see is that the ‘cute’ design means it really is only suitable for the under-6 market.Click here to check prices for the Yodo Zoo 3-Way Toddler Backpack with wheels
American Tourister Disney Suitcases
American Tourister have a fun selection of Disney-themed roll along suitcases for kids. The cases have internal straps for keeping all items in place and a large internal mesh pocket. The hard shell will protect all the contents if the kids want to sit on the case to rest. The range includes Star Wars characters, Disney Princesses and other Disney characters.Click here to check prices for the American Tourister Disney suitcases
Kids Backpacks for Travel
If you just want a backpack as a carry-on bag for kids, then really any kids’ school backpack will do. Having a front pocket for easily reachable snacks or toys is a good idea, as is a side pocket for a water bottle. For me there is only one backpack that really stands out for travel and that is the Trunki BoostApack.
The Trunki BoostApak is a backpack that doubles as a car booster seat. This is brilliant for travel, especially if you are planning to take taxis to and from the airport or for sightseeing once you arrive in your destination. It has 8 litres of capacity inside, which is enough for a change of clothes, few toys and books, water bottle and snacks for the plane.
The only downside is that it is quite heavy when fully loaded – and you need to remember to take anything they need in the car out before they sit on it! We used this backpack for a couple of years, until we discovered the mifold portable car booster seat and we now pack these in our hand luggage instead.
What do you think is the best luggage for kids?
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