Monday, 22 November 2010

Trunki - the genius invention for travelling kids

When  @Beckicklesie asked us all for recommendations on  a suitcase for kidder, I was prompt to reply with a ‘Trunki’. But why was it the obvious choice for me and how did I come to this conclusion.
Well, we in the Honie House (House of Lynne, even) are rather frequent travellers  (usually rather long flights and in-land travel to be expected) and along with our 3 children (who have very different needs), having the right luggage is essential.
Rob and I (age not disclosed, lol) have two large suitcases with all of our own clothes, shoes and holiday stuff for the hold packed in, along with those of the children.  We carry an ‘in flight bag’ each, with what we need for the flight and a light change of clothes, toothbrush etc. (had lost luggage incident once –once too many!). We carry our cameras, books, iPod in our ‘in flight bags and Rob also carries the laptop and O’Pops ‘in flight entertainment’ usually just his iPod as long flights tend to have reasonable in flight entertainment anyway.
H’Boo (now 11 years) is rather simple: her clothes, shoes and stuff for the holiday goes in my very large case.  Her ‘in flight bag’ is very personal – space for books to read, her iPod, DS, lip balm, spare underwear and light change of clothes (lost luggage only happens once to ensure this) and anything a tweenie (or inbetweener) needs to take to keep them re-assured they are normal. Her ‘in flight case’ need to have wheels, because it would be ‘impossible’ to carry – of course!
O’Pops (now 10 years)is disabled and although he requires ‘in flight entertaining’ he is unable to carry his own luggage on board – Dad has to carry him, O’Pops hand luggage and his own on board, so light is good!  Rob packs O’Pops holiday clothes, shoes and stuff in with his own suitcase and also O’Pops ‘in flight stuff’ in with his own also.
K’Boo (almost 4 years) has been travelling since she was 7 months old and is brilliant at it. She often does an extra set of flights in the year with us – as O’Pops and H’Boo do a holiday a year with his Mum and her Dad respectively!
K’Boo likes to pack her own ‘in flight entertainment’ which usually consists of: pencils/crayons; a colouring book; Dora doll; Woody; extra paper; her hat; sunglasses; a pack of hair bobbles; anything she could get her hands on around the case (that we forgot to hide) and the light clothing/toothbrush (in case of lost luggage). She steals anybody’s iPod or my iPhone (which we stock up with about 30 episodes of whatever is current entertainment to her – Dora & Toy Story lately!
So why Trunki?
Well we used to take the stroller to the gate and have it there when we reached our destination (with the exception of return flights to Manchester – who usually throw it on the conveyor, no matter what the bright pink tag says). But as she has got older, even if convenient, the stroller is not what she always wants.  I had seen so many kids on Trunki’s and thought “that looks cute, but I bet it’s not practical”.
Think Again – it is genius!
She packs it herself and is excited about the holiday from the start. It has anything and everything she needs inside and so it’s all in one place, it’s spacious – has a safety belt inside for teddy, colourful – and themed, fun and extremely strong - so supports the weight of any child till they get bored of the concept, it can be pulled by the strap when they get tired of sitting on it, they offer to pull it themselves, it can have its own comfy seat as an extra – which converts to a simple carry bag for when you are on holiday (crayons always at the ready when needed). Trunk is the answer to airport nightmares and it’s theirs – so they want to take it and look after it!
So what changed my mind to buy Trunki and discover all this?
It was on a shopping trip to Liverpool One with Daddy and I, that Kate decided to get bored in the middle of John Lewis and allow herself to wander off (as children like to challenge us with at this age). “I thought she was with you” we each said to the other (as we often end up separated from each other anyway due to ‘shiny bit syndrome’ – a ‘got to have it’ sort of disorder!).

It was moments before we were re-united, as she often shouts when she has found whatever she was looking for (which is whatever she feels is suitable entertainment for the moment).
And that entertainment was a pile of plastic cases, with colours and odd bits of extremities to resemble funny little animals and things (Tipu an orange tiger, a Gruffalo, Freddie the fire engine, Bernard a stripey yellow bee, Harley the ladybird, Penelope the princess carriage, Terrance a blue one and Trixie a pink one).

She had pulled out the orange tiger and started shuffling around on it. Every attempt I made to put it back was with tantrums and complaints and so I resigned to letting her sit on it as we shopped.  I soon realised how ‘easy’ this actually made the rest of the shop in there and how I always knew where she was. She smiled the whole way round, laughing as we negotiated the aisles and displays put out, stayed quiet when we stopped to look at things and didn’t complain once.
Until we were leaving John Lewis that is!  I had explained to K’Boo that she could sit on Tipu Trunki until we had to go, but that it lived in the shop and we had to leave it there.  Mmmh, this did not make leaving huge open doorway any easier.  She stood firmly inside alongside the abandoned Trunki and said it was her friend.  Rob got fed up with this and said he would nip to a shop he had to get something from (which has left my memory now) while I negotiated my way out of this.
Well, we did manage to leave the store and Rob was pleased to see this on his return.What he did not expect is Mummy to be holding the end of a strap attached to an orange booster seat that looked very much like ‘Tipu’ the orange tiger.  K’Boo had a very big smile for him and it was decided that this was probably going to be a good buy, after all. 
Well it was – and I would wholeheartedly recommend one of these for lots of reasons, not least for safety, practicality and to avoid tiredness and tantrums.


Check out the website for product information, history and fans of Trunki

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  1. Thanks for that hon. Do you think it's worth the extra £20 for the Gruffalo trunki?

    Becca x

  2. lol, I don't know. Depends how much kidder likes Gruffalo. We have Tipu, cos she picked it. They are all similar in size, but I think the ones with two handles on top were a little more comfortable - that said the 'saddle bag' is a lot more comfy and has a beeper on it. She loves transferring some of her things into this and carrying it about seperately - and being a saddle bag it's not girlie.
    I am a total Trunki convert - in case you didn't notice, lol