Choosing Suitcases for Kids – TIPS to make traveling easier
Choosing Suitcases for Kids – TIPS!
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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.
We soon realized this type of carrying made getting into it in tight places like an airplane or train seats because you have to open it completely flat to access things. There isn’t enough room in the aisles to open them up flat so it was really hard to get to the toys.
This was not a fun lesson 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.
Don’t make our mistake!! Have your things easily accessible so the kids can’t get to their stuff and stay occupied.
But, you live and learn, right? We sure did!
So……new carryons for kids – that open from the top! Learn from what we’ve learned the hard way!
Carry-ons need to open from the top!
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 their all their goodies nearby so they can get to them anytime they need. That leaves YOU with more freedom as they can be independent with their stuff.
The first step – look online to find out how large the under-seat area is on a plane. Seat Guru gives you all the information you need.
The carryon has to fit under the seat in front of the 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? You’ll be the one jumping up and down to get the stuff they need.
The second step – look online (What did we do in the days before ‘online’???) to find measurements on all rolling backpacks.
The last step – Choose a fun color. Let the kids choose!
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! Your back will thank you!
Choosing Suitcases for Kids – Our choice
The choices for us were Jansport and High Sierra. They are sturdy and worked beautifully.
UPDATE – 4 years later these carryons are still working great! They have held up beautifully and are well worth the money.
After much deliberation…drum roll, please…..I opted for these:
Jansport for boy chickadee in navy…
and Jansport in purple for girly chickadee:
** 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 on the actual plane we are going on – 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.
Planning ahead can make all the difference in the world for a wonderful adventure!