A student from the UK studying product design needs some help for his final project, and he emailed to see if the MDD readers out there could help. I don't normally get a lot of comments on this blog, but if you're reading this and have an opinion, leave a comment. Well designed kids stuff has to start somewhere right?
His project involves kid's luggage, and his questions revolve around long family vacations - primarily those that are longer and more involved than a car trip. His questions are:
- As parents at what age do you allow your child (children) to carry their own luggage?
- Do they use the luggage for their own clothes or is it largely for toys and games? And do they pack it themselves?
- Would an additional piece of luggage used for toys result in difficulties due to the numerous other items taken on holiday?
- What criteria would be important in an item of children's luggage (e.g., lightweight, serves multifunctional purpose like a seat for child etc...)
- Do you carry any items for yourself or your child that are specific to a delay in travel?
I still have a baby, so I'm not really speaking from a lot of experience, but here it goes:
- I'm not sure, but my guess is as soon as they are able to carry it for themselves. 5? 6?
- I have no idea, though I think I was pretty old before I packed a suitcase for myself.
- Another piece of luggage means another thing to deal with, which is never a good idea when traveling. Plus all it would do is encourage kids to bring more toys on vacation, which I think I would want to limit anyway.
- The top criteria for me I think would be make it as manageable for a kid to deal with as possible. In other words, if they can handle it and be responsible for it without me having to hold it for them, than it's good.
- From a traveling-with-an-infant perspective, we just had to make sure there was plenty of food, formula and diaper changing stuff. When traveling with a baby you don't really get the luxury of packing stuff just for you in case there is a delay.
I know that's a lot of questions, but if you've got an opinion about any of it, leave it in the comments. I'm sure he'll thank you.