Traveling with children is a great way to teach them about the world. And one of the first things my kids learned from traveling is that once they were too big for a stroller, they were big enough to pull their own weight. Or at least their own suitcase.
Long before the idea of charging passengers to check bags sparked a twinkle in some accountant's eye, I have refused to check bags. Mostly that's because we usually fly through O'Hare International Airport, home of a direct flight to nearly every corner of the world as well as an inept baggage handling system. The few times I have checked a bag (mostly in the post-9/11 months when we had no choice), my bags mysteriously disappeared only to resurface 24 hours later.
So my kids learned early that they had to pull their own carry-ons. Yours can too. The key is finding a kid-friendly suitcase-like the new, ultra lightweight Ricardo Elite Crystal City suitcase from Ricardo Beverly Hills.
It's perfect for kids as young as 4. The 17-inch version Ricardo sent me after I attended a Family Travel Conference in New York City for family travel writers weighs just 6.55 pounds. Its four-wheeled 360-degree spinner technology makes it easy to pull or push. The telegraphing handle stops at a kid-friendly height or extends to full length for a tall adult. It's tough enough to withstand the bumps and bruises that come from hanging out with a kid. And it's cute enough for a kid to love.
The suitcase I got retails for $129. Well worth it for the lightweight and sturdy construction. And the cute. Can't forget the cute.
Cindy Richards is the mom of two who gets her muse from traveling the world, usually with kids in tow. She also writes for TravelingMom.com, where she also serves as editor.
See more of Cindy's stories here.