Traveling with children can be both a joy and a hassle depending on the luggage situation. Many parents find it easier to get a piece of child-friendly luggage that their kids will love to pack and transport all by themselves. But, you need to be sure it is the best kids luggage type with all the right features and a design your child will love.
So, what are the different types of luggage for children, and which is the best kids luggage option for your child?
- Why Get Separate Luggage For Kids?
- Do You Want A Backpack, Suitcase, Or Ride-On Luggage?
- The Best Kids Backpacks For Traveling
- The Best Suitcases For Children On Vacation
- The Best Ride-on Luggage For A Kid’s Vacation.
- Wrapping Up
Why Get Separate Luggage For Kids?
Kids can benefit a lot from having their own luggage when on vacation. For a start, this makes it easier to organize everything and know where their belongings are. They get the fun of packing the case with their clothes, toys, and other essentials for the week ahead and living out of that case while staying at your accommodation. It should also be easier to find what they need on a flight or road trip with a well-designed and compartmentalized bag or case.
Another benefit here is that children have a sense of responsibility over their belongings and the chance to enjoy a more fulfilling experience from the moment they leave the house. Young children will see their parents and siblings handling cases and backpacks and wonder why they aren’t trusted to have their own. When they do get that opportunity, they can enjoy the act of taking care of everything and copying everyone else. They get to feel more involved in the whole experience and as important as everyone else.
Do You Want A Backpack, Suitcase, Or Ride-On Luggage?
There are three styles of children’s luggage that you can choose from when finding the best kids’ luggage for your vacation. They are:
- The more traditional over-the-shoulder backpack.
- The child-friendly version of a suitcase.
- The ride-on luggage option.
Each style has its pros and cons, as you will see below. You may find that one style is perfect for all occasions and is used a lot by kids over different trips. Or, you might want to have one of a couple of styles depending on the type of trip. For example, while ride-on cases are great for air travel and longer holidays, they aren’t so necessary for a road trip to see grandma for a weekend. Here, a backpack may be better.
Below are 10 best kids luggage from the above three categories to help you find the right option for your needs.
The Best Kids Backpacks For Traveling
Let’s start with the benefits of using a backpack for kids while traveling. Backpacks could be the best kids luggage if your child wants to copy their older siblings and have a hands-free option, rather than rely on a suitcase. Backpacks are also typically more multifunctional than suitcases, so kids can use them for other types of excursions and day trips, not just bigger vacations.
Because of this, there are a lot of different backpacks around that are the perfect size for kids of different ages. You can even find adjustable ones that will adapt as your child grows, so you can get a few years’ worth of use out of them. As long as they are comfortable to wear, engaging, and have practical front and side pockets for organization, you should be fine.
Young children can benefit from backpacks like this because they are so cute and age-appropriate, but practical at the same time. This one is adorable, with some cute details in the face of the llama, the fleecy top of the bag, little ears, and the tassels on the zippers. But, the capacity and use of pockets make it great for travel.
You can put snacks in the insulated pouch, a water bottle in the mesh side pocket, and a change of clothes and other essentials in the main compartment. Be aware that as cute as this llama is, there are lots of other animals in the Skip Hop range.
If you want something a bit more grown-up, the Mountain Top backpack for kids could be ideal. Here you have something that looks more rugged and ready for outdoor adventure. The 8-liter malleable bag has more than enough room and the mesh pockets are a nice touch for easy access to essential or any wet gear.
This miniature of an adult bag is perfect for kids wanting to copy their parents and the sizes and adjustable straps mean that this version is suitable for kids between 3-6. This adaptability also means that kids should be able to use the same reliable bags for many years. Have a look at the color options to find the most suitable design.
3. Trunki BoostApak (Transformable to Booster Seat)
Finally, for these backpack options, we have something completely different for young children. As with some of the ride-on options below, you are either going to love or hate this. The selling point here is that the structure and hard shell turn this backpack into a booster seat for a 2-in-1 travel solution. Kids can sit in it in the car to the airport, then you detach it and put it over their shoulders.
The downside here is that the bags can get a bit heavy and cumbersome with this broad shell. You also have to unpack the bag in the car as essential items won’t be accessible when kids are sitting on it. You have to be organized here, but it could help.
The Best Suitcases For Children On Vacation
Backpacks can be a little too casual or every day for some kids. While some will find comfort in traveling with a reliable bag they know inside out, others will expect something a bit different on a bigger vacation. Here, you could find that the best kids luggage is a larger suitcase on wheels could help them feel like they are on a bigger adventure.
As long as they are small enough to be maneuverable but big enough for all they need, there shouldn’t be too many issues here. Still, you do need to be sure that the dimensions are suitable and that the handle is child-friendly. Of course, the right design goes a long way too. On top of this, you should consider whether to get a hardside case that can withstand rough handling or something softer that is lighter and more malleable for easier packing.
We took a moment to talk about the adorable designs of Skip Hop before and their benefits in backpacks. However, what if you love the designs but aren’t into the idea of that style of kids’ luggage?
Their alternative rolling luggage could be the best option. Here, you essentially get the same bag mounted onto a base with wheels and a telescoping handle. It is the best of both worlds as you get the same capacity and helpful pockets but kids can use it like a grown-up suitcase. This unicorn version is as cute as the llama, with the tactile ears and horn and bright colors. Again, check out the full range to find something kids will fall in love with.
If you know that zoo-themed cute luggage options are the right way to go, but aren’t sure between the backpacks and suitcases, you could try something like this. Yodo helps those children that want to do it all by offering this 2-in-1 solution. They can wheel this around with the ergonomic handle on its little wheels, or you can bring out the shoulder straps to turn this into a wearable bag.
Kids can have a lot of fun here and the capacity and still ideal for just enough personal belonging. However, be aware that the plush snout of the hippo isn’t a pocket and is purely decorative. This means this one doesn’t offer the same level of organization as the Skip Hop case.
One possible downside of the animal cases above is that they are for very young kids and your child may outgrow them fast. Kids that want to emulate their parents with miniature cases may prefer a classic-looking hardside suitcase that looks grown-up. That is what you can get here, with all the essential features of the telescoping handle, spinner wheels, secure zipper, and adequate storage within.
What makes these more appropriate for kids around 6 and above is the Disney theme. To be fair, you might see adults rocking this look on a Disney vacation too. The Micky Mouse one is actually quite understated and classy. Others in the range are more full-on. So, take the time to see what is available from your child’s favorite movie or franchise.
The Rockland Jr. Kids luggage is definitely an excellent choice if your kid is an animal lover. Rockland Junior Kids consist of characters style like Turtle, Shark, Frog, Dinosaur, Puppy, Owl and more, to keep your young one fascinated. Function wise, the luggage comes with adjustable handle for both parents & kids, full lined rubber zipper, 4 multi-directional wheels that ensure easy manoeuvrability, and there’s also a free animal styled luggage tag that comes with the luggage.
The Best Ride-on Luggage For A Kid’s Vacation.
Finally for this guide on the best kids luggage, there are the ride-on options. This is something parents will either love or hate. Kids can have a lot of fun sitting on these wheeled cases and it does save tired legs during a long day at the airport. But, you are then left dragging them around and dealing with quite awkward cases. The scooter versions for older kids are a lot more fun for all concerned. You also have to be mindful of airline regulations with some of these bigger cases, as you will see with one of the models below.
If you feel like this is the perfect way to keep kids happy and in control of their own packing, look out for products with strong wheels, ergonomic places to sit, good carry handles for when kids get bored, and engaging designs.
We talked about the pros and cons of Trunki’s booster seat option before. Well, the original product is a lot more reliable and likely to please parents and kids alike. The simple premise is that you have a large hard case that sits on textured wheels with a curved top to sit on. The extra pull-along strap lets parents pull the case as kids rest their feet, but this also doubles as a carry strap as needed.
The interior is massive compared to the backpack, so you can get more than enough clothes and other items in here. While roomy, it should still be fine for use on a plane and not too difficult to manage. That shell is also tougher than it looks so even if the fun paintwork gets a little scratched, it should hold up for years.
Again, this is something you might love or hate depending on the situation. The main selling point of this alternative to the Trunki is that it acts as a leg rest when not in use. You just take the top off to reveal a mattress that is the same height as an airline seat. However, airline regulations can make this a bit worthless on a plane.
If you can use this to its full potential, you should find that this 20-liter case is a spacious and comfortable way to keep kids happy on vacation. They have more than enough room for all they need and the chance to relax a little better on a long flight.
Finally, we have something for the kids that loved their Trunki or other ride-on cases for years but are now ready to move on to something more grown-up. This takes the idea of the case of wheels and blends it with a scooter. Kids can have all they need safely stowed in the case above the front wheel, and ride away from the airport with ease. Naturally, they need to be respectful of other passengers and can’t go too crazy on this thing. But, it should prove to be a nice step-up from their previous case.
Also, don’t worry about getting this into a plane. The scooter part folds up into the back of the 25-liter case for a compact storable solution. Then, just unfold it when you are at your destination. While more grown-up than a Trunki, there are still fun designs and bright colors to choose from.
Hopefully, something in this guide on the best kids luggage seems like the ideal solution for your child on vacation. Whether you need a hands-free backpack, grown-up case, or a ride-on trunk, there is something out there for everyone.