Toddler Luggage: Review and What do You Use?

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For months leading up to our most recent family trip I have been preparing Little C to start carrying her own luggage. I don’t know what the “magic” age is when toddlers should start carrying their own stuff, but I decided that 2 1/2 was a good time for us to start. She already helps with packing her bags and selecting which toys and movies to bring, so this seemed like the next logical step. In order to get her excited about the process, I showed her lots of different bags online and let her pick which one she wanted. I only showed her ones that I would actually be willing to purchase – of course.

She selected the Travel Buddies Percy Penguin luggage set by Trendy Kid. It had pretty good reviews online and she immediately loved the penguin. I knew I wanted to get the bag before our most recent trip to Vegas, but I had been so busy that I forgot to order it until just a couple days before we were to depart on our trip. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem since I have Amazon Prime, and an additional $3.99 will get you one day shipping. However, when I went to order it, the item was showing as requiring extra processing time, so it wouldn’t make it on time. Oops. This was a pretty major fail since Little C was very excited about her penguin, and she would absolutely remember if I didn’t have it for this trip.

So, I did what any sane mom would do in that situation – I started tweeting to see if anyone knew a retail store that sold these bags. I then found the phone number to the Trendy Kid company and called and asked if they had the bags in any retail stores in Manhattan (since that is where I was at the time). They were super friendly and told me that The Container Store not only had the bags in the store available in Manhattan, but they were having a good sale! Wow! I can go pick up the bag the same day, order through the Ultimate Rewards shopping portal, and get it on sale! Triple win. 😉

The set comes with a carry-on sized roller bag and a back pack. The roller bag has a pretty decent rolling ability – especially for a kid’s bag. Little C was totally able to maneuver the bag on her own. Of course, that doesn’t mean that she had the bag the whole time at the airport, but she did a decent job rolling it part of the time. She absolutely loved wearing the back pack. We put all of her clothes and shoes in the roller bag and then let her fill the back pack with her carry-on toys. The bags are not huge, but the backpack held all of her carry-on items, and the roller bag held all of her shoes and clothes for a four-day trip.

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I just checked and The Container Store is still running their luggage sale, so the penguins can be yours for $69.99.  If you do order them that way, be sure to shop through a portal!  They are also available on Amazon.com for a few dollars more.  I’m pretty happy thus far with our Trendy Kid penguin bags, but I’m curious as to what type of bags others use for their traveling kiddos?  Also, at what age did your little ones start helping with their own bags in the airport?

PS, we had a great trip to Vegas, but I am so glad to be home for more than a couple days in a row!

 

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  1. We have the Heys Disney [subject] 18″ wheeled carry on. Princess for our girl and Toy Story for our boy. They look great, but we haven’t used them other than for filling/unfilling with other Christmas gifts. My wife is afraid to damage them or something… any help with that???

    I wish I had seen the matching set because we separately bought backpacks, which they do use: http://thumb18.webshots.net/t/86/86/3/61/46/2171361460101336718TQmUnN_th.jpg
    I feel like a bad father for buying them non-matching luggage. And on Father’s Day weekend, no less…

    We also had the Melissa and Doug Trunki’s for awhile. I’m a fan of M&D, but those are not a good product. All the complaints on Amazon are pretty much on the mark.

  2. A very apropos post for me. In six weeks we leave for 4 weeks of traveling in southeast Asia with our 10 and 12 year old daughters. We’ll probably be making a trip out to Campmor this weekend to research bags.

  3. When we went to Disney last year we got my 3 kids (then aged 6, 8 and 10) their own luggage for the first time. My daughter got the Disney princess wheeled suitcase and backpack, and the boys got cobalt blue Disney rolling suitcases and sort of mail-bag-style carryons. They all love them. The best part of packing is the day before when they fill their carry-ons with everything they want/need. The best part of traveling is having them help so my husband and I don’t have to carry everything! I loved when they were little, but traveling gets a lot easier when they hit elementary school!

  4. Great post! Made me smile….

    We have been traveling with our daughter and there is a big difference WHEN and HOW LONG the travel is. If the little one falls asleep you may end up carrying the kid and all her carryon. Very inconvenient especially when you are trying to make a connection.
    The gear on the picture is very cute though.

  5. This calls for a trip to SeaWorld in San Antonio to the Penguin exhibit! They even have camps and sleepovers.

  6. -We considered some other ones similar to the options posted here. I know we looked at the Pottery Barn Kids luggage, but many of the reviews were not stellar.
    -I agree that you have to consider when/where you are traveling to decide if having your toddler carry luggage will make things harder or easier….that said I am all for starting to teach responsibility even if it does make things a little harder for a while. 😉
    -We didn’t actually make any shows (long story). My parents took our tickets to Love and Terry Fator and they loved both of them!
    -You may find us at SeaWorld in the very near future! 😉

  7. Sweet suitcases.

    For the Heys owner above, they will get badly scratched if checked planeside or flat out checked in as luggage. However, use it for carryon only (see note above about planeside checking) and you should be fine for a while. My black Heys xcase is a mess after 3 years of travel, primarily because I’ve hit a ton of regional aircraft in which it needed to be checked planeside. I haven’t tried any polishing compound to clean it. Bottom line, it’s a suitcase, use it.

  8. @purplnuprl: that is my take also. I would have bought them something nearly indestructible (and necessarily non-kid) but then throw some stickers on. Something that would last them until they go to college. 🙂

    But: we got them and they’re just taking up space in the closet now. They are legal carry-on gear though, and we get 8 items with 4 tix. Just a matter of who will wind up rolling them, right?

  9. We also bought at the container store, although my 4 year old chose the ladybug! I wasn’t able to shop through a portal because it was see luggage, want luggage, buy luggage! But we’re very happy with the purchase. This will be her first set of luggage, so I guess we’re starting at 4! We’ll practice with a short trip to NYC before heading off to Europe with it next spring.

  10. Could you share about what activities you could have with your daughter in Vegas ? I love vegas very much but was always discouraged whenever I tried to plan a trip to vegas with my toddler.

    • @Emilie, I will be doing full posts on that topic, but there was plenty to do. A few examples are: swimming, M&M store, shark tank, adventure dome, secret garden with dolphins and tigers at mirage, pirate show, gondolas, and more swimming. It is a very different trip with toddler in tow, but it was still fun.

  11. Bought the penguin online through a portal without any of my daughter’s input. Went to container store and let her choose in person. My wife and I were insistent on the penguin since we think it’s the cutest of the three, but my 2 yr old chose the Panda. We asked her at least 5 times if she was sure she wanted the Panda. We ended up exchanging it.

    The outer shell is not very durable and will get scratched easily. The back got scratched with her just pulling it around the house. At least it’s black and we can use a sharpie to cover up the scratches. I keep on reminding myself it’s just a suitcase.

  12. @LaoSifu, mine just got dragged on concrete for my most recent trip with my daughter and it also now has some scratches (though I’m sure most any hard case suitcase would after that!). It is just a suitcase. 😉 Otherwise, after trip #2 it is still working out great for us.

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