Let's help a future product designer.

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:

  1. As parents at what age do you allow your child (children) to carry their own luggage?
  2. Do they use the luggage for their own clothes or is it largely for toys and games? And do they pack it themselves?
  3. Would an additional piece of luggage used for toys result in difficulties due to the numerous other items taken on holiday?
  4. What criteria would be important in an item of children's luggage (e.g., lightweight, serves multifunctional purpose like a seat for child etc...)
  5. 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:

  1. I'm not sure, but my guess is as soon as they are able to carry it for themselves. 5? 6?
  2. I have no idea, though I think I was pretty old before I packed a suitcase for myself.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.