Months before the vacation that Big Sister E and I took this past April I was already thinking of all of the things that we would need to remember to pack.
As well as the usual swimsuits, sunscreen, and sandals that are typically needed for a warm weather trip, I knew that, as I was going to be the one carrying all of the bags, that I would need to make things as efficient as possible for myself.
In the past I had tried getting Big Sister E to pull a small suitcase or carry a backpack, but it seemed like I always ended up just lugging everything along myself... which, when I was also trying to keep track of not losing her in the airports, wasn't always so much fun.
This trip, however, was different. Because this year I was given a review opportunity that I will be forever grateful for: the Melissa & Doug Trunki Kids Suitcase from Gummy Lump.
Available in six different colors and patterns, it is hard to describe Trunki Suitcases in any way other than really, really cool. A bright and fun combination of a ride-on toy and luggage, these customizable, lightweight, sturdy, carry-on sized suitcases are an innovation that changes traveling with children for the better. Much better.
The day that I was able to show Big Sister E the various kids' suitcases on GummyLump.com, I'm not sure that her eyes could have gotten any wider after seeing the options and hearing that as well as being her luggage, she was going to be able to ride on it. Coolest Mom of the Year Award, here I come!
I wasn't surprised when she selected Trunki Terrance (her favorite color is blue) and then all we had to do was endure a few days of waiting before the fun could begin.
Arriving along with Terrance, Melissa & Doug has also created adorable matching Trunki Saddlebags for storage and padding, as well as Trunki Stickers that are a necessity for turning your child's suitcase into their well-loved friend.
As we checked out the Trunki Blue Saddlebag, right away I could tell that it was well-made and extremely durable. Whether worn as a shoulder pack to carry around small items in the various pockets and compartments or strapped on the Trunki as a padded seat, this bag transforms between duties with ease.
Big Sister E's immediate favorite feature of the Saddlebag was the squeaky horn but she also really liked the idea of having her own special bag to carry her small belongings in wherever we might go.
Snapping this into place on the Trunki is fast and easy and it is such a fun accessory for an already fun product.
Turning to the main event, Big Sister E could barely contain her excitement as we sat down to decorate Terrance using the Fun Face Stickers, Alphabet Stickers and Destination Stickers.
Each set of stickers is cuter than the next! After personalizing Terrance with a face from the 20+ facial features and fashion accessories in the Fun Face Stickers, we decided on spelling out the word "airplane" with the Alphabet Stickers and then filling in much of the remaining open space with the real and imaginary locations on the Destination Stickers.
Even though Terrance had been pretty good-looking to start with, when he was finished being all dolled up, he was near irresistible.
When it came time to pack up her Trunki and leave for vacation, I was extremely impressed with just how much it could hold. Measuring 18.25" x 12" x 8.63", the entire thing appears to be fairly small until it is opened up to reveal the size and depth of both sides.
Filling one side with craft supplies and the other with small toys and snacks, all that was left to do was to head to the airport.
Considering the lightweight, durable plastic construction, Big Sister E had no problem lifting or pulling her Trunki on her own. The extra-wide wheel base kept it from tipping over and the choices between using the carry handles or the pull/shoulder strap made it easy to grab and move depending on where we were or how many people were around.
She was so proud to be able to be responsible for her own luggage, particularly one that was this attractive!
With horn grips, a contoured top and stabilizers to keep things upright, Big Sister E was plenty comfortable holding on when I was pulling her and I had no worries about her toppling off. And boy did this come in handy! Large airports aren't always the most kid-friendly places and having her hop onto Terrance and zip along right behind me ensured that we could move quickly to cover long distances without worry of being separated.
And the comments! I would have thought that we were celebrities with the amount of attention that we received in every location. From other passengers to airport employees to flight attendants and pilots - we received compliment after compliment that left Big Sister E beaming. We had so many conversations with other parents that started with "I LOVE your suitcase!" or "What a GREAT idea!" that I was thinking a Gummy Lump stand would be able to sell Trunkis by the handful!
But as well as being helpful for transportation, Terrance was able to keep Big Sister E entertained far better than any book or toy could have while we passed the time throughout the trip. Whether we were waiting to catch a tram to our gate, passing the time between flights or just standing around at baggage claim, she loved being able to hop on and scoot around on her own.
The Trunki has a sliding latch on each end that pop into place to keep the suitcase closed and even has a key attached to the pull/shoulder strap in case you want to lock them shut for extra safety.
We left them unlocked the entire trip and had no problems with the suitcase coming open at any point, but instead were able to slide Terrance in and out under the seat in front of Big Sister E with ease and open and close him to pull items out.
The Trunki is by far the BEST thing that I have come across for traveling with children in a long, long time. No dealing with bulky strollers, whines to be carried, hoisting heavy backpacks or worrying about entertainment during layovers and delays - this kids suitcase is the precise combination of every solution!
Prior to our next family vacation, I will absolutely be purchasing a second Trunki so that Little Sister B will have one as well... and, as they are designed to hold up to 100 pounds, I know we'll get years and years of use from them! And, when we're not traveling, these are perfect for storing toys, playtime at home, trips to Grandma's house, and more. I can't stress it enough: WE LOVE TRUNKI!
Retailing for $39.99 elsewhere, Trunki Kids Suitcases are only $31.99 from Gummy Lump with the Saddlebags running for $11.99 and the Stickers for $1.59 a pack. We were already huge fans of the high quality, award-winning products for all ages and abilities that Gummy Lump offers, but this review actually gave us a look into their customer service as well.
When Terrance arrived, one of the latches was missing two of the inner clips that holds it in place. Without those, the entire suitcase would fall open on the one end and I worried that we wouldn't be able to use it. Fortunately, Gummy Lump had me in touch immediately with Melissa & Doug to get the correct replacement sent out and we were on our way to a wonderful trip in no time.
I always appreciate companies that care about their customers and that is exactly what you will find at Gummy Lump. You're not another nameless consumer, you're family! No matter what toys, puzzles, blocks, pretend play, giant stuffed animals or more that you end up purchasing, you'll always know that you can turn to them on their website, blog, Facebook or Twitter accounts and receive a friendly response in no time.
And, thanks to their generosity, one person will be prepared for the end of tiring travel with the most fun suitcase around, because...
One lucky person will win their choice of Trunki Suitcase
as well as the matching Trunki Saddlebag and two packs of
Trunki Stickers (total ARV $47.16)!
as well as the matching Trunki Saddlebag and two packs of
Trunki Stickers (total ARV $47.16)!
*If you have won any giveaway from Gummy Lump in the past 90 days, you are not eligible to win.
To enter to win: Visit Gummy Lump and tell me another of their amazing products that you think the child(ren) in your life would really enjoy.
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Kids love Trunki! WIN a Trunki Kids Suitcase, Saddlebag & Stickers from @GummyLump! #thxmailcarrier http://bit.ly/jUc88J #win #giveaway
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Giveaway will end on May 26th at 11:59pm CST. Do me the favor of leaving an email address or making absolutely sure it is visible in your profile, I have to have a way to contact the winner. The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to contact me or respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
A big thank you to Gummy Lump for providing Trunki, Saddlebag and Stickers by Melissa & Doug for me to review as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.