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What to Look For When Buying Luggage for Kids

by Erich Martin

Oct 23, 2019

Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

Equipping a child for travel might seem like an easy to do, but the realities of all the necessary supplies can begin to mount pretty quickly. One of the biggest things to consider is undoubtedly supplying kids with their own luggage.


It is definitely possible to pack your kids’ stuff with your own gear, and while this can work for a time, it assuredly won’t be long before the kids start clamoring for their own luggage. While there are cheaper options for this exact purpose, it might do you well to look a little harder or spend a little more for your child’s first piece of luggage.


The biggest difference between standard adult and child luggage is undoubtedly going to be the size. Most kid luggage is smaller than a regular carry-on.  This is perfect for kids 2–3, but will quickly become much too small. To make matters worse, these pieces of luggage often cost upwards of $70, especially if you are looking for any sort of durability.


There is no perfect solution, but my recommendation is to start your kids off with what is, essentially, an adult carry-on. These are, for all intents and purposes, just bigger pieces of luggage you might find in kids sections of luggage departments. Like any piece of luggage, you should look out for durability, material, weight and other dimensions before you pull the trigger. Carry-on pieces for kids have the extra benefit of aging with them. As kids grow older and begin to collect their own luggage, these carry-ons will continue to serve that purpose.


Family heading to gate. Photo: Patryk Kosmider | Dreamstime.com


A good rule of thumb to follow is the more durable and withstanding a piece of luggage is, the better it will hold up, and the more expensive it will be. Since these pieces will be with your kids for some time, this is not necessarily a bad thing.


The pros of hard luggage, when you can pick the color, is the customization options. If you pick up a carry-on, for instance, in white, it creates the perfect canvas for your kids to decorate. If that isn’t their style, getting a standard piece of luggage with a fabric outer layer and adorning it with fun patches or embroidery is always an option.


At the end of the day, finding a piece of luggage manageable for a child but also sustainable is probably your best bet, and is much better bang-for-your-buck than some novelty unicorn or SpongeBob suitcase.


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