12 Adorable Kids’ Luggage Pieces for Your Next Family Vacation
If you’ve taken a trip recently, you may have noticed more children in airports, hotels, and at tourist sites perhaps generally considered adult attractions. According to last year’s survey by the Family Travel Association, this trend is expected to continue and even increase in coming years. Busy parents want to enjoy quality time together, expose their children to new places and cultures, and help them learn to value travel experiences.
The market for children’s luggage has also grown along with the demand for more options, so selecting the best kids’ luggage can be a challenge. At the end of the day, parents want their children to learn, and having them pack their own bags builds responsibility and planning skills. With baggage fees and carry-on limits, it also helps to have another piece of luggage, even if it’s just a small one for toys and snacks.
The best luggage for kids is sturdy, functional, and age-appropriate in size, weight, and design. We considered choices for various age groups from toddlers to preteens in our search for the best kids’ luggage.
Stephen Joseph Rolling Suitcase
This colorful wheeled bag will be fun and practical for little ones, with a choice of several designs including dinosaurs, ladybugs, and other cute animals. Exterior pockets on the front and sides make it convenient to access games or snacks, and the polyester fabric can easily be spot cleaned. There’s enough interior space for some clothing or other items, as well.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $40
Lassig Little Monster Rolling Suitcase
Little ones will love this brightly striped lightweight bag, available in two colors: black and pink stripes or black and white stripes, both with “monster” features that glow in the dark. It’s a polyester carry-on bag and at 18-inches, there’s plenty of storage space, along with a front zipper pocket and interior straps. Sturdy wheels and the adjustable pull handle make it easy to manage and quality materials make it durable.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $80
Trunki, the Original Ride-on Suitcase
This would be a starter bag for young children (about 3 to 5 years old), depending on their size. Kids can sit on it and push it along with their feet or parents can pull it like a wagon. Made of lightweight plastic, it comes in cute designs like Bernard, a yellow bee; Zimba, a zebra; and Tipu, the tiger. There’s ample packing space inside, so it doubles as a suitcase and an entertaining toy.
To buy: amazon.com, $50
Obersee Kids’ Rolling Luggage
At four pounds, this 16-inch carry-on suitcase is lightweight, yet durable. Its exterior front pocket is insulated to keep snacks chilled, and there are two mesh pockets on the sides for drinks. It’s easy to maneuver, with two wheels and a sturdy pull bar as well as a carry handle. The polyester fabric comes in a range of colors and patterns.
To buy: amazon.com, from $50
Crckt 18-inch Rolling Carry-on Luggage
This soft-sided, two-wheeled suitcase blends style and functionality, with enough outside zip pockets to store all of your kids’ favorite trinkets. There’s even a thoughtful bungee cord to attach a beloved stuffed animal or even a blanket or pillow for the plane.
To buy: target.com, $40
Heys America Sports Luggage
Little sports fans will want to show off their favorite game, whether it’s basketball, baseball, or soccer. This lightweight roller has an adjustable pull handle and a carry handle for convenience. There’s plenty of room inside, with packing straps and a zippered divider for organization.
To buy: amazon.com, $52
Olympia USA Kids’ 19-inch Luggage
This lightweight (it’s only four pounds) polyester soft-sided bag comes in three patterns: a blue sports design, multicolor handprints, and pink owls. It’s an easy-to-manage two-wheel roller board with a retractable pull handle and a top handle. There’s plenty of space inside and an outside zipper pocket for quick access.
To buy: ebags.com, $46 (originally $80)
Mima Ovi Hardshell Trolley
For pre-teens who feel far too sophisticated for bright colors and cartoon characters on their luggage, this egg-shaped, 18-inch carry-on is sure to appeal. The faux leather exterior comes in black, white, or camel and is easy to wipe clean. And this ultra-modern design includes an adjustable handle, zip-around closure, and quality materials throughout.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $149
American Tourister Soft-sided Suitcase, Disney Collection
This 21-inch carry-on with four spinner wheels would be ideal for a slightly older child who still loves the polka dots and red bow of Minnie Mouse. It’s spacious and functional with an open packing area and exterior pockets. The locking pull handle and lightweight polyester fabric make it easy to handle. (It also comes in a 28-inch checked size at a slightly higher price).
To buy: ebags.com, $140
Traveler’s choice 22-inch Expandable Hard-sided Spinner
Older kids who can handle a 22-inch bag will like the undersea design or pop art print that they can personalize by adding comments in the text bubbles. (Better use washable markers!) There’s lots of packing room, and it expands for even more if needed. Dual spinner wheels, a telescopic handle, top and side grips, and impact-resistant corner guards make it a durable and convenient bag.
To buy: ebags.com, $111 (originally $240)
Eagle Creek Load Warrior 20 Duffel Bag
This durable, good-looking bag will appeal to more mature preteens, in solid color choices of black, blue, and tan. Multiple grips allow it to be carried like a duffel and oversized treaded wheels and a hidden telescopic handle make pulling it easy, too. The roomy main compartment is expandable, and there’s a top pocket for quick-grab items. Durability is built in with reinforced bumpers and a water-repellent 450 D Ripstop fabric exterior.
To buy: eaglecreek.com, $229
Samsonite Medium Wheeled Backpack
For kids who are more comfortable with a backpack — perhaps from carrying their schoolbooks in one — this Samsonite might be just the thing. Even if they wouldn’t think of wheels for school, they’ll welcome them for travel. The large main compartment, zippered front pocket, and side mesh pouch provide plenty of space for packing, and there’s a padded tech sleeve, as well, if they have their own tablet. Keeping in mind that the best kids’ luggage will meet their needs and tastes as well as travel considerations, this one is a great choice.
To buy: ebags.com, $80