8 Top Bags For Traveling With Kids
Updated December 2019
Staying organized and packing efficiently is one of the biggest challenges to traveling with kids. A good bag—durable, well designed and washable—helps tremendously.
No one needs all the suitcases, carry-ons and daypacks we list below, but one of them might be just the thing you need.
We chose them because they look good and are designed to be practical. They are durable and some do more than one thing (versatility is essential for travel). There are options for parents and for kids who are ready to pack and carry their own stuff.
Most of them are pretty affordable, too. If none of these bags suit you, their best features can help you to know what to look for in your own choices.
8 Practical Bags for Travel With Kids
>Weekend bag with a baby or toddler:
BB Bags Extra Large Duffel (price it!)
I love this duffel for weekends and other short getaways with babies and toddlers.
It folds up compactly into its own pouch for storage but unfolds into a roomy duffell where you can easily pack for you and the kiddo.
Plus, it has a side access pocket to separate particularly smelly or stained laundry from the rest of your clothes.
It also comes in pink and black.
The go-where shoulder bag/backpack:
Fossil Camilla (Price it!)
As a shoulder tote or backpack this bag will take you from week to weekend away and back again. It can fit your water bottle, laptop and a few folders, or your diaper bag basics and a tablet; or your book and a few toys and snacks. All along with your sunglasses, wallet and lipstick.
It has an inside pocket to keep your phone handy, too. It’s always great to have a practical bag that doesn’t quite scream “mom.”
Carry-on that carries your preschooler:
We never had Trunki, but I’ve always coveted these bright-colored cases when I spot one at the airport. Preschoolers love pulling it along on their own.
When they get tired, or you need to move along quickly, sit them on top and pull both together– handy when you don’t want to bring a stroller.
The company sells it as a carry-on where you can stash toys and a change of clothes. But I know some parents who have gotten away with it as a weekender suitcase. Bonus: When kids hit school-age it works for sleepovers, too.
Backpack to keep you organized:
Fjällräven Raven 28L backpack (Price it!)
I love a backpack with lots of compartments. This one has three roomy compartments and 2 side pockets.
The middle pocket is ideal for a laptop or tablet and a few cords. The deep main pocket carries hoodies, guidebooks, and other bulky items.
The roomy front pocket is for snacks, a wallet or other small itemms. 2 side pockets can hold a small water bottle and asnug enough to keep keys or a phone handy.
The Kids-carry-their-own bags:
Obersee Bag & Backpack (Price it!)
By age 6 or 7 kids can start packing their own bag (with parental review) and carrying it, too. Small wheeler bags are ideal for a weekend or beach vacation.
Both suitcase and matching backpack have a front pocket that’s insulated. And I like that the backpack isn’t too big; it keeps kids from packing more than they can carry.
It comes in a range of patterns to suit boys and girls. The only downside is that it has two wheels, not four, which can sometimes make rolling easier for kids.
Backpack for bigger kids:
Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Youth (Price it!)
I love this backpack because it comes in little-kid and big-kid sizes.
And it offers a range of colors that are kid-friendly but not too cute, so kids won’t outgrow it the way they will bags with fairies or dinosaurs on them.
It has a handy outside pocket and water bottle holder, and an inside pocket to help kids stay organized. And the padded straps are just right for kids shoulders.
Daytime wallet that turns evening purse:
I love small purses like these because i can pop one into my backpack or shoulder tote during the day and the day and use it on its own when we go out to dinner at night.
There’s room for wallet, keys, phone, lipstick, and even a pocket camera or crayons and a small notebook for the kids.
The Bag That Goes in Any Suitcase
Miamica Travel Laundry Bag. (Price it!)
Kid laundry can be especially…messy. That’s why this laundry bag is ideal no matter what kind of travel bag or suitcase you use.
It folds up compactly into a zippered case. When you open it’s a drawstring bag that’s moisture-proof and will keep the kids’ dirty clothes well away from your clean ones!