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Luggage for children?

We are planning a 2-week trip to Europe next summer (Munich and Budapest) and my kids will be 6 1/2 and 3 1/2. Any recommendations for luggage? My son (the older child) will probably be able to wear a small backpack, but would a small roller suitcase work?
My husband and I are pretty good at packing light and staying mobile, but is that possible when lugging our stuff plus our kids' stuff? The two of us have been abroad numerous times, but this is the first time with the kids, so any suggestions are welcome.

Posted by
800 posts

When we first started traveling with our kids we took 2 large rolling suitcases for the 4 of us. Yes, we had to check the bags but we found it much easier to keep up with only 2 bags than with 4. Both kids took a backpack with their personal items - books (as many as they wanted to carry), music (cd player first, then ipod), cards, etc. In Italy this past month I saw a very small child - probably 3 years old - with a small backpack that did tie/buckle around his waist. I thought that was great because it wouldn't slip off.

Many here will say NEVER check bags but we have been happily checking our luggage these past 10 years. We board the plane with kids in tow, not bags. And yes, we have had one of our bags "delayed" twice - our first trip and our most recent. Both times it was delivered after 2 days to the 2nd hotel that we were staying at. Since I had vital stuff (camera, meds, maps) in my carryon the total impact was that we ended up buying a few new things - not bad!

Posted by
1455 posts

What you can do is try a "dry run" as Rick suggests for us adults to try. See if your eldest can carry his own stuff for a day. If he seems responsible to do that, then give him the task of carrying his own little backpack in Europe.

The stuff inside the pack should be items the child isn't really attached to, in the event it becomes lost or broken.

You should also put inside his backpack a copy of the name and number of the hotel you are currently staying for that city. That way in case the pack or child gets misplaced, there is a way to find out where or who it belongs to.

IMHO, a roller suitcase would hinder you. If the pack is light and small, the child would be able to carry his stuff and keep his hands free to hold your hand.