Veda is now 19 months old, and although we are still flying with her infant-in-lap, she will soon be turning two and will be required to have her own seat, plus we’ll be adding a newborn to the traveling mix shortly after her second birthday. This means we’ll have more kids and stuff to travel with, and Veda will need her own travel bag.
Here are some options for toddler carry-on bags for age two (ish) and up:
Another great product by Melissa & Doug, my toddler toy heroes. I purchased this as my toddler carry-on go-to for Veda, and she loves it. The Trunki allows children to ride their luggage through the airport or train station. How great is that for an antsy toddler after a long flight? It’s a lightweight, durable, carry-on sized suitcase that serves as luggage, riding toy, and transport for kids on the go. But, when my babe gets tired it features a tow strap to pull her along, carry handles for me to carry or sling over a stroller, secure catches, integrated wheels and stabilizers to prevent toppling over. It holds up to 250 lbs- which means I can ride it too? Hooray!
It’s intended for use at 36 months, although Veda already loves it at 19 months and has been riding it around at home. I plan on taking it on a trip to Portland in a couple of weeks as it will be a great place to store all of her toys for the flight. It’s appealing to me because Veda is very independent and likes to ride on things and pull things along. Other parents who have already used it give it smashing reviews, too. You can also purchase the Trunki Saddlebag separately which comes with extra storage and lays over the seat for extra comfy padding as toddler zooms around.
Although the option below is also nice, I personally like to check my car seat because I don’t like to deal with gate checking or putting it on the plane. I like to travel as light as possible through airports.
This strap is a great solution, especially if you plan on using your car seat on the airplane for your infant or toddler’s own seat. It can be used to strap any car seat to the back of a rolling carry-on luggage piece. This is an appealing option as I could ditch the backpack completely. Plus, it’s cheap at only $15 and would work with my Diono Radian car seat that I usually don’t otherwise travel with. The appeal is that I can easily roll my carry-on plus baby through the airport along with a car seat that can be used on the airplane, or I could gate check the car seat and pick it back up/ strap it back on at my destination. It also means not having to bring a stroller on the trip. If I use this with my Diono Radian car seat, I can actually just fit that up in the overhead compartment (and feel the hatred being burned through me by the other passengers who now have no space to fit their carry-ons). I can also ditch the diaper bag and any other carry-on and streamline everything into one carry-on size piece of luggage where I can fit all of my own and toddler’s needs for the plane (E.g. spare change of clothes, medicines, diapers, and toys).
This is not appealing to me at my daughter’s age. Small toddlers get tired and cranky, especially on long journeys. The other options provide me with ways to condense toddler transport and a carry-on into one, which is appealing. This option just leaves me with more crap to carry in addition to my tired toddler. I think these might be more appropriate for an older toddler or smaller child (let’s say four and up), but for ages 2-4 I’d rather have an option that combines the transport with carry-on.
These are cute packs for little kids, with lots of whimsical details in a variety of designs, and are functional with durable materials. They are BPP, Phthalate, and PVC free. It features a roomy main compartment, insulated pouch for snacks, adjustable mesh bottle pocket, and padded, adjustable comfy straps. These are also good options for pre-school, daycare, or kindergarten backpacks, with matching lunch packs, too!
Toddler Rolling Backpack like Dora the Explorer 12 inch Rolling Backpack
There are lots of options of different animals and cartoon character-featured rolling backpacks for toddlers that can be used as a toddler carry-on bag. They are functional as they can be worn as a backpack or they can be rolled behind the toddler. But, if my child is going to roll something, why would I not have the Trunki above that she can roll AND freaking RIDE on and sit on at the airport? This might be a more practical option for pre-school, etc., and has ample space for toys for a long journey on a plane, but when given the choice between the Trunki (with more space and more fun potential), I think Trunk wins hands down for long hauls.