Choosing Suitcases for Kids – TIPS to make traveling easier

Choosing Suitcases for Kids – TIPS!

A suitcase is an important tool for traveling. You’ll be spending a lot of time with your suitcases so don’t make the choice casually!  Even suitcases for kids will end up being a thorn in your side at some point because you might be carrying it at least for a little while. If even one of the suitcases of your traveling companions malfunctions it will be a problem for you. Choose wisely!

Choosing Suitcases for Kids – Open from the TOP

We learned this lesson the hard way as this suitcase was our choice for our first international trip with the kids. You can tell from the content that each child gets a small carryon suitcase to fill with whatever they want to bring – no questions asked. The stuff they really need like clothes and toothbrushes go in our main family suitcases.

child's open suitcase with toys and dolls, suitcases for kids,

We soon realized this type of carrying made getting into it in tight places like airplane or train seats because you have to open it completely flat to access things. This was not a fun thing to learn because it made it really hard for them to get out all the things we carefully packed so they would be occupied during those times. But, you live and learn, right? So……new carryons for kids – that open from the top! Learn from what we’ve learned the hard way!

Choosing Suitcases for Kids – What size do you need?

The safest size to buy is one that fits under the seat. This way kids can keep the all their goodies near by so they can get to them anytime they need. That leaves YOU with more freedom as they can be independent with their stuff.

First step – look online to find out how large the underseat area is on a plane.  It has to fit under the seat in front of kiddo. What good are all the things to keep kiddo occupied if they are stowed high above the seats where they can’t reach them?

Second step – look online (What did we do in the days before ‘online’???) to find measurements on all rolling backpacks.

Choosing Suitcases for Kids – Measure the handle, too.

If you have a tall parent be sure to choose a long handle in case you have to pull them. I know how much we all love to dream about our kids being 100% independent with their luggage, but…..that doesn’t always happen. Be prepared to handle the suitcase at some point – just in case.

The handles on suitcases are not all created equally. One that is too short will have you leaning over trying to roll it. This is an even more uncomfortable position to be in if you are leaned over pulling kiddo’s suitcase with one hand, but standing up with a tall and heavy suitcase that belongs to the whole family with the other arm. Trust me, plan ahead.

You will be happier standing up straight than bent over! You’re back will thank you!

Choosing Suitcases for Kids – Our choice

After much deliberation…drum roll, please…..I opted for these:

rolling backpack with handle and stuffed animal, suitcases for kids,

Jansport for boy chickadee in navy….

jansport logo, suitcases for kids,

and High Sierra in purple for girly chickadee:

High Sierra logo on purple black pack, suitcases for kids,

** Top opening for easy access in small aisles – check!

**Extra tall handles in case an adult has to help without bending over – check!

** Measured carefully to fit under the seat for airflight – check!

UPDATE:   We used these carryon backpacks for a 2 week adventure to Spain, Gibraltar, and Morocco. They were AWESOME!!  Even after rolling over cobblestones, dusty streets in a 10th century Kasbah, and being handled by kids…they look brand new. Kids had access to their ‘stuff’ even in the tiniest of places because of the top opening. Perfect! Read more about our wonderful adventure in Spain, Gibraltar, and Morocco.

The Educational Tourist in Ephesus, Suitcases for Kids,

Planning ahead can make all the difference in the world for a wonderful adventure!

Happy travels!

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

The Educational Tourist logo, suitcases for kids,


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4 Responses

  1. MummyTravels says:

    Great tips – I always pick my daughter’s bag based on the assumption I’ll be carrying it (and probably her) at some point. I also still keep an eye on what she’s packing: for our mini break away last week, she wanted to take Christmas decorations and a shell along with books! Admittedly we were going in the car so less lugging required but I still put my foot down when she couldn’t move it…!

    • NatalieTanner says:

      LOL! It is hard to learn how to pack light and it is good to see that you are teaching her early! Love it! 🙂 It is always fascinating to see what they choose as important enough to pack!

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