A baby guide to ____________ (fill in the blank)

This week we were contacted by a family that was in Calgary on a work exchange. The couple and their 6 month old daughter were in Calgary for a few months from the UK. They wanted to do some site seeing before they had to go back home. They contacted us to rent some Baby Equipment for their trip to Jasper.

They said that they had heard about our service from a recommendation in a local book (see below) aimed at helping Calgary parents figure out all of the shops and services available when you have a new baby. The mom had ordered a copy of the book before they even arrived in Calgary so she would be armed with all the ‘must have’ information about beA Baby Guide to Calgarying a mom in the city.

Here it is: Paula McGarrigle is the author of A Baby Guide to Calgary. She wrote this, “handbook for parents to provide information on what is available in Calgary during parental leave”. It contains details on everything from parks to preschools (and a baby travel section too).

It got me to thinking… I have a friend staying in New York City for a couple of weeks while her husband is working there. Any chance there is A Baby Guide to the Big Apple?

City Baby NY

Why yes, there is www.citybabyny.com

Tourism and Travel Talk

Calgary is preparing for the upcoming Junos (Canadian Music Awards) on April 6.  

Juno Awards
At One Tiny Suitcase, we’re feeling the buzz too. We are looking forward to hosting visitors as a member of Tourism Calgary.

We just posted our latest special offer exclusively on Travel Alberta’s website http://www1.travelalberta.com/en-ab/. We are offering Free Airport Delivery during the Junos so that visitors can have car seats, strollers, pack n plays and more waiting for them when they arrive at the airport.

It got me to thinking…do you check out the Travel and Tourism websites of the city you are visiting before you arrive?

Travel Alberta has a great Family Travel section that highlights some of the attractions in the area.

Toronto’s site www.tourismtoronto.com is really easy to navigate and also posts special offers to family travellers.

I also liked Tourism Vancouver’s site because of it’s section on family and kids http://www.tourismvancouver.com/visitors/things_to_do/family_and_kids/family_and_kids.

It’s too bad but, Manitoba and Saskatchewan’s sites didn’t seem to have a section that was family travel focused. We get a lot of calls from families travelling to those areas looking for Baby Equipment Rentals.

So, next time you are going to visit relatives in a nearby city, check out the Tourism and Travel websites in the area. You  just might need some activities to keep you busy on a rainy (or snowy) day.

Baby Blogs

I have found a whole new source of information out there on the web that I didn’t really know to look for before. Now that I am deeper into this whole blogging thing, I have realized how many other moms are sharing their experiences via blog.

There are some really cool blogs out there that give first hand information to those of us who are getting ready for some Family Travel.Delicious Baby Blog

Delicious Baby www.deliciousbaby.com has some great family travel advice, destination guides, and really cute pictures!

WeeWee Travel Travel also has a blog that reviews the latest kid friendly travel gear. http://www.weetravel.ca/blog/

Next time you are out searching, look for some first hand information on a blog!

Pack your own pack n play

My husband and I were finally able to get away on our fabulous ‘family-free’ getaway. The kids were enjoying pyjama parties and popcorn with grandma and grandpa while we snuck away for a night on our own.

We splurged and stayed at a really swanky hotel, actually the most expensive hotel in the area. We had heard mixed reviews about the rooms but the amenities were supposed to make up for it, and they did.

When we arrived at the door to our room I was so excited to check out our room. The attendant at check-in described a king size bed, plasma TV, marble bathroom, and more. Upon opening the door we found that it was everything we expected…and more. There was a playpen already set up next to the bed in our room (I felt pangs of guilt and took it as a sign that we should have brought the twins with us for this weekend getaway). We had been very clear with the attendant that this was a child-free stay, so the playpen was obvisouly a mistake.

elfewithhole.jpgelfeinroom.jpgI immediately went over to fold it up and move it outside our room, when I noticed the large hole in the mesh on one side. Upon further inspection I realized that is was a pack n’ play brand that I was unfamiliar with (After some research, I found that it was probably sold at SEARS for $69.99). How is it that a hotel (which shall remain nameless) with such a great reputation would offer guests an out of date, unsafe baby bed? 

Moral of the story, pack your own pack n play….or better yet rent one from a Baby Equipment Rental Company. Most of these companies are owned by moms and aren’t too “big” to know that providing an unsafe product is a huge risk to our customers and our business.

I need a Trip Advisor

I am planning two vacations right now. One involves Family Travel, the other totally does not. The trip without the kids is coming up and I am trying to find a fabulous place for us to rest and relax in the Mountains.

Trip Advisor

My new Best Friend in the Travel Biz is Trip Advisor www.tripadvisor.com (and not just because they recommended One Tiny Suitcase in their Banff Family Travel section!) This site has a forum where users can give honest feedback about their experiences with hotel stays. It even ranks hotels in a particular location by popularity.

Now I know about Banff’s new hotel (The Fox) that has become more popular than the Banff Springs Hotel. The Juniper (www.thejuniper.com) looks very cool too, totally not child friendly but very chic.

What I really  need to know is, will I be able to sleep in past 6:30am if there aren’t any kids around or am I just programmed to wake up when they do?