1_ricardotdad_subwayDuring a sojourn to Walt Disney World with the Traveling Mom team I discovered the dark magic of Dole Whip, communed with winged creatures at Epcot, and discovered why it’s important to see the Tree of Life in Disney’s Animal Kingdom for yourself.

I also received a nice piece of luggage, the Ricardo Beverly Hills 21″ 4-Wheel Spinner WheelAboard, which in layman’s parlance is a medium-sized carry-on wheelie bag that will fit comfortably in the overhead luggage compartments of most commercial airplanes.

I got to keep the bag. In exchange I agreed to write the post that follows.

But before we get to it, know this:

You too could win one of these bags. Enter our sweepstakes via the handy widget you’ll find at the end of this article.

Enjoy these tips, and good luck…

1. The bag makes a statement on the New York City subways.

L4_ricardotdad_walksammieet’s face it, it helps to be tough when you ride the New York City subways and often it’s a mixed blessing if you’re pretty, too.

This RBH bag is certainly pretty — it has a true black cherry-veneer that comes through in the photos. Its toughness comes from its high-impact Makrolon® polycarbonate shell, which earns the bag the right to call itself a hard case.

Speaking of which, the bag got no disprespectful catcalls from the hard cases on the subway. And it was nice to class up the trains and platforms with a smart looking bag that, not incidentally, maneuvers through crowds like a champ.

2. You’ll look in charge.

On a recent father-son trip the bag’s maneuv3_ricardotdad_bkfasterability was put to the test by my young son, who within seconds of reaching the airport took custody of the bag, because boys like things with wheels, especially when those things are effortless to drive. He looked confident and in-charge as he led the way.

It also says something positive about a suitcase when a boy can comfortably navigate it through the airport with one hand and hold a foot-long Subway sandwich in the other, breezing along unencumbered like he doesn’t have a care in the world. Which at his age he sort of doesn’t, but with this kid you’d be surprised.

3. Breakfast tray.

Once we discovered that JFK had several outposts of Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack, it became clear that sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches and milkshakes would be the appropriate breakfast for kicking off our boys’ weekend. The only question was, where to eat? Once we reached our gate, the Ricardo bag took over, its Makrolon® polycarbonate shell doubling as a stable breakfast tray.

4. Hot-Wheelie.

My so5_ricardotdad_hotwheeliebagn and I agreed that the bag’s handling is by far its best feature, and when you combine its easy maneuverabilty with marble-smooth surfaces you get an opportunity to treat the bag like a vertical Hot Wheels car, which my son did on numerous occasions, pushing it ahead of him at high speeds and then letting it go, which is not necessarily a good idea even in a sparsely-crowded airport. But in fairness, he got the idea from me.

5. Footrest.

Kicking back at the gate, it’s nice to confidently rest your feet on something solid. Plus, you can easily hang your jacket on the high, sturdy handle without your coat enveloping the entire bag, so the bag doubles as a coat rack, too.

6. Packing clothes.

I don’t need to spend a lot of time walking you through the particulars of packing this suitca6_ricardotdad_footrestse because Boyd Rogers already did that for us in the splendid packing video embedded here.

Plus, I’m not a neat packer, which is a selling point of this bag: I literally threw my clothes into it the three times I’ve used it recently, and as I sloppily repacked it and accumulated more and more stuff during the course of my trips, the bag gave me no push back.

And during none of my messily-packed trips did I need to engage the zipper to expand the bag and permit myself what Ricardo calls “added packing capacity.”

Tough, versatile, easy-going, pretty, and fun. It’s not often you find all of those qualities in one travel companion. You do in this case.

TravelingDad Ricardo Giveaway