Kids can pull their own weight–in luggage

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.

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