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We go away in the caravan quite a lot and my daughter also goes to stay with her grandparents quite a bit so we thought it would be a good idea if she had her own suitcase that she recognised as hers. They had these on sale in a local shop and my daughter kept wanting to play with them so we decided to get her one for her birthday when she was 2.
---About the range:
Trunki is famous for having the product shown on Dragon's Den and then went on to develop themselves in 2006. Since then, they have developed several more products designed to help children relieve the boredom of treavelling and to help entertain them. The range includes the trunki suitcases, boostapaks (a backpack that doubles as a booster seat) and snooziheadz (3 in 1 travel pillow, pal and blanket).
---About the product:
The Trunki is hand luggage that can be packed by kids with all their favourite toys and can then be ridden or be pulled along by their parents. The Trunki measures 46 x 20.5 x 31cm and weighs 1.7kg on its own. Bernard the Bee is yellow in colour and has black stipes, wheels, eyes (which double as handles) and catches on the front and back. He also has a big black smiley face on the front.
When you open the trunki, there is space in both sides. One of the sides has straps across it which can be opened so that toys/clothes can be kept in place in the side. The other side is open so it helps to know which side to open up first! On one side there is a fabric pouch that stretches the whole way along to put small pieces in as well as a very small 'secret' compartment built into the plastic which is only about 2cm cubed.
The trunki also comes with a towing strap which can be attached to a hoop on the front top of the product. The strap also has a 'key' on one of the handles which allows you to lock the catches used to close Bernard. The Trunki also comes with a passport which has access to downloadable activities.
---Using the product:
Our daughter was very excited when she first saw this. We showed her two different models on the Internet and she chose this one, so was very happy when we got this for her. She has taken this away with her many times for weekends and she is able to pack everything she needs for a weekend inside this. For anything longer, she needs a second case and we use this for her toys and another for her clothes etc.
She really enjoys using this as it is so different from our other suitcases so it is very recognisable as her own. It means she knows we are going away and she loves putting all her toys in it herself. My daughter is now 2 and a half and is able to open and close the Trunki on her own. Once it is closed, she will happily climb on it and ride herself around the living room or other people's houses when she goes to visit. When we take it away in the caravan, it also doubles as a step so she can reach things on the counters.
The size of the Trunki makes it great for taking away as it fits easily into the car boot and is light enough to carry around with you. It is made of sturdy plastic and has been able to take quite a beating from my daughter as well as being man-handled in and out of the boot and caravan. Being able to be accessed by my daughter is also very useful as she doesn't need to keep asking for help whenever she wants any of her toys out of it.
Bernard the Bee costs £38 from the Trunki website but can be bought for £28 from Amazon's website (as of May 2012). We bought him for a similar price in a special offer which we still felt was a little bit pricey. It is a glorified suitcase and although it incorporates the play element as well, it only holds a small amount and you are likely to need a second suitcase anyway. As a novelty item or to keep kids entertained it might well be worth it, but you probably want to keep a look out for special offers. Trunki's are supposed to be suitable for hand luggage on flights as well so children can keep their toys with them on flights. This needs to be checked with individual airlines but is good feature of them. I am not sure if there is an age limit/weight limit for riding on Bernard, but I think my daughter will be able to enjot him for several years to come.
I have a much cherished niece and for her birthday last year my boyfriend and I bought her a little ride along suitcase. The Trunki cases had been around for a while my sister told me it would make a great gift for her as they were planning a family holiday. With Olive having her own case she could take responsibility for her possessions and use it to sit on when she got tired. We looked at many of the different Trunki patterns but settled on the Bernard Bumble Bee one. We gave it to her for her birthday and for the first 2 months of her having it, it never left her side. She brought it to my house when she came to visit and took it everywhere! Now she just uses it when she goes to my mum's while my sister works. I am really pleased with the case and for such a little thing it is deceptively quite big inside. It is a great gift for children and my niece loved it! The design is fun and funky and the brand has a dedicated website that you can log onto and register your trunki's passport! There is also exclusive games and puzzles for children to do online.
Price and availability
When you buy a Trunki you are paying over the odds for the brand name and uniqueness of the product. They class all their designs as 'limited edition' which is a bit of a con because they have been around for ages. The case cost me £35.00 and I bought it from Sainbury's.
The Trunki is made from a very strong robust plastic that is moulded into an attractive looking shpe with a moulded top that makes the Trunki comfortable to sit on. The design of the case is like a bee, yellow and black stripes and little handles that look like eyes. The case has a soft rubber rim and fastens with a locking catch that is safe for children to use. On the top are two fabric carrying handles and there is a large handle that comes out the front so you can pull it along, now I have pulled my niece along and it is not an easy task on carpet! It will be much easier on lino or hard floors like you get in airports! There are four wheels underneath that run smoothly and feel very robust. There is an id pouch for children to slip their names on the outside. Inside the case is quite big and there are straps to secure some items on one side. There is also a 'secret' compartment and an internal pouch for smaller items.
The case is faultless on design and colour. It is really cute and designed to a high standard. The features that make the bee look like a bee are brilliant and everyone who encounters the Trunki gives out a nice, "Aww!" In terms of practicality, the case is perfect for overnight stays at grandmas as there is room for toys, games, spare clothes and pjs. My niece still loves to bring it over to my house when she comes to play and we fill it with all sorts of things. As I said above, as a case it is really good and really useful to have but as a ride a long trunk, it is a little bit of pain to pull on carpets, the wheels do not roll very well.
It was great to see the look on my nieces face when she opened this and I'm glad that she gets quite a lot of use out of it. The novelty is wearing off a bit now though as when she first got it she wanted to sleep with it!
Wave good bye to tiring travel, tears and tantrums with an award winning Trunki – the world?s first ride-on suitcase for globetrotting tots.Fresh from the hive and boasting the best stripes in the colony is Bernard the Bee.Take the stress out of travelling with the Trunki ride-on suitcase. Tots can pack, sit-on and ride their Trunki whilst you can keep them in tow.The Trunki is practical, safe and fun. it is hand luggage restriction approved and is durable yet lightweight. Features a multi-functional shoulder/tow strap, a soft rubber rim to prevent trapped fingers, stabilizers to stop tots toppling off and a lost child luggage tag.Trunki content not included. Age range: From 3 years.