With travel season hard upon us, I decided it was probably time I talked travel gear. In November 2009 we bought our daughter a Trunki, Terrance the Cow to be precise (it was the only one available through Amazon at the time that would make it to our house before that year’s Thanksgiving trek).
Best. Travel. Purchase. Ever.
For those of you unfamiliar with Trunki, it’s a hard-sided plastic child’s suitcase with wheels and a strap that can be used for carrying or pulling. We use ours as a combination toy/child transport pod. Trunki holds enough toys, books, games, and crayons to keep The Four-Year-Old entertained on a plane or in a hotel room for a week, yet is small enough that packing and pulling Trunki remain child-sized tasks. (And because Trunki fits under the seat in front of The Four-Year-Old on the plane, her precious cargo is always in sight and perhaps more importantly, within reach.)
At the airport, The Four-Year-Old pulls Trunki herself when we’re overloaded with other luggage. But she vastly prefers to ride Trunki. I kind of prefer it too. It’s cheap entertainment when you’re stuck at a gate, eliminates the need to lug a stroller through the airport, and makes it easier to get to the gate quickly when we’re running late, have gotten tied up in security, or have a particularly short connection. The system works pretty well, as long as you remember that:
- There is no overstuffing Trunki
- Both clasps need to be closed and locked before passengers board Trunki
- Trunki is not equipped for travel at truly high speeds (or to make hairpin turns)
Plus, it’s kind of fun to see other travelers’ reactions when The Four-Year-Old zooms by on her blue cow.
A Final Note: We purchased our Trunki from the original UK company. Since then it looks like Melissa & Doug have taken over the distribution of Trunki in the US, and according to Amazon reviews, some consumers have been having trouble with the trunk popping open during travel or wheels falling off. Our Trunki seems pretty sturdy, but it’s always possible that the product line has changed a bit in the two years since we purchased it. Still, if our Trunki broke on one of The Four-Year-Old’s upcoming travel adventures, we’d buy another one in a heartbeat.
But there’s no need to take my word for it. With Melissa & Doug’s marketing power behind it, Trunki has started popping up in toy stores across the country. In the last few months, I’ve seen Trunki prominently displayed at the Blue Bunny in Dedham, Massachusetts and The Magic Flute Toy Shop in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Which means you can go inspect it for yourself.
- In which we visit the Magic Flute Toy Shop (Caterpickles)