We took the kids to Arizona and New Mexico last year. We did not plan on checking bags. As a result, we wanted the kids to each have a bag that was not too big and that they could handle. We discovered the REI Wheelie Bags. These bags are perfect for kids!
The bags are big enough to fit plenty of clothes in. They have a large compartment and two separate compartments. One compartment I typically use to store socks/underwear/swimsuits. The other compartment is smaller but I can still store a stuffed animal or a small pillow pet. Additionally, the bags also have a small book bag that can be disconnected from the larger suitcase. This is great as a carry on for an airplane. Finally, the bags are on wheels. Last year when my daughter was 3.5 she was able to handle her own luggage.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure if we’ll be bringing these bags with us on our trip. We are really, really, really trying to pack light. I am hoping we will get all the clothes we need for four people in two suitcases. If we do that then my husband and I will bring our suitcases and the kids won’t have theirs.