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Packing For Travel With Kids: 11 Bags To Help You Do It Better

Packing For Travel With Kids: 11 Bags To Help You Do It Better

Staying organized and packing efficiently is one of the biggest challenges to traveling with kids. A good travel 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 these bags 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.

You’ll Want At Least 1 These 11 Sturdy & Clever Bags For Travel With Kids

The Durable Weeked Duffle

Bago Duffle

Bago Travel Duffle Bag

I really like this weekender by Bago. It’s waterproof and folds up flat for storage.

It comes in a dozen colors. And it has a side zipper compartment that’s handy for shoes butcan also to keep dirty baby and toddler clothes separate from your clean ones. Two zipper pockets keep small items handy.

. And you can choose from 40, 60 or 80-liter sizes. The smallest one is perfect for a couple one-night getaway. The 60-liter is great for a busy weekend. The largest one is idal if you are packing for yourself and one or more kids in one bag.

Tip: Packing cubes are handy with a duffel. They allow you to fit more and keep you organized so you aren’t always searching the bottom of the bag for the thing you want. They also keep your shoes away from your clothes if the sidepocket is doing laundry duty.

The go-every-where shoulder bag:

Fossil Backpack-Tote

As a shoulder tote or backpack the Camilla 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.”

This Leather Bag Can Be A Shoulder Tote Or Backpack
Northface Tote

Readers’ Pick: Northface Laptop Tote

Readers have been buying up this Borealis Laptop Tote because it’s practical and made well, as you would expect from the outdoor company.

It’s water-repellent, zips closed on top, stays upright, and has a padded pouch for your laptop.

An external zipper pocket keeps phone and money from being buried in the bottom. There’s a deep water-bottle pocket and rip cords for attaching a windbreaker or hat you want handy, or for items that are too bulky, sandy or wet to put inside.

Use it for the beach, picnics, a roomy city tote or that extra bag you put in your suitcase in case you do a lot of shopping.

Its comes in half a dozen colors and can become a backpack in a pinch.

Carry-ons that carries your preschooler

Kids Love Trunki Carry-On Cases They Can Pull Or Ride On. This One Looks Like A Green Monster.

The Classic Trunki

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 use it as a weekender suitcase, too.

Bonus: When kids hit school-age it works for sleepovers, too.

Jetkids ride-on suitcase & airplane bed

Stokke makes some very cleverly designed kid products and their new Jetkids line is no exception. This ride-on suitcase has a secret:

You can disassemble it to turn your toddler’s airplane seat into a kid-size bed.

Beyond that (like that isn’t enough), the wheels swivel and there is a shoulder strap as well as a strap for kids to hold on to.

They seem to advise putting your kids stuff in a backpack in the suitcase so you can easily

Stokke Suitcase Bed

Backpack to keep you organized:

Raven 28

Fjällräven Raven 28 backpack 

If you like Fjallraven’s quality but not its signature boxy bags consider the Raven 28.

It lookes less sporty and more city than most “practica” backpacks. Pluse, it has three roomy compartments, two side pockets and a discreet front one.

The middle pocket is ideal for a laptop or tablet, a few cords and a travel charger.

The deep main pocket carries hoodies, guidebooks, and other bulky items.

The font pouch keeps snacks easy to reach while the front zipper keeps phone and cash both secure and handy.

The side pockets can hold a water bottle and are snug enough to keep keys convenient.

The Kids-carry-their-own bags:

By age 6 or 7 kids can start packing their own bag (with parental review) and carrying it, too.

Kids Roller Mickey

A Fun First Roller Suitcase

Small wheeler bags like this are ideal for an extended weekend or beach vacation.

It has two outside pouches and comes with two packing cubes and a laundry bag to help kids lear to stay organized. Spinner wheels make it easy to maneuver

It comes in a half doze Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse patterns and it comes as a in 21-inch carry-on and larger 24-inch sizes.

And, it’s made by American Tourister so it’s likely to withstand whatever your kid puts it through.

Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Youth

I love this Herschel 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 small shoulders.

Kids Can Use This Herschel Backpack For Many Years.

Daytime wallet that turns evening purse:

Small Purses Like This Fit Into A Tote Or Backpack During The Day.

Dakine Jive Cross-body

I love small cross-body purses like this by Dakine. 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.

This spring I also discovered that small bags like this are ideal for theme parks becauase they hold your necessities but you cankeep them o you for most rides.

There’s room for wallet, keys, phone, sunglasses and lipstick. It might even fit a pocket camera or crayons and a small notebook for the kids if you’re at that stage of parenting.

Frye’s Roomy Wristlet

If you want something that’s not much bigger than a wallet to go from day to night, you can’t go wrong with this classic nubuck wristlet from Frye.

It has slots for credit cards and I.D., a secure zip pocket for cash and room inside for a phone, lipstick, keys.

It comes in classic cognac or a lighter mushroom brown.

There’s no room for crayon or even small toys in here. But that’s fine for nights where you want to be an adult and not a mom. Or when your kids have outgrown those things.

Frye Wristlet

The Bag You eed in Every Suitcase


Miamica Travel Laundry Bag

No matter how old they get, kids can be messy. That’s why this laundry bag is ideal no matter what kind of weekend 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’ dirty clothes well away from clean ones!

Give everyone their own so you don’t wind up with all the laudry your bag.

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