Martha’s luggage tags

Okay, so on my list of favorite brands (besides Peg Perego, BRITAX, Bugaboo) is Martha Stewart. I love the clean crisp style of ‘everything’ she does.

luggage-tags

She sent me an email today (okay it was probably some auto-responder thing) about making your own customized luggage tags. This made me think it would be great to do this with the kids. http://www.marthastewart.com/article/luggage-tags?xsc=eml_msl_2009_02_26

When we were at the Maui Ocean Center they gave the kids each their favorite animal shape on a luggage tag. Disney is next on our list- Mickey and Minnie themes?

My parents just left for Barbados the other day and I drove them to the airport. I was surprised to see my dad with brand new very ‘colorful’ luggage. When I questioned why he had selected such a ‘loud’ pattern he said it was to better identify it on the luggage carousel. If only I had received this email from Martha sooner…I could have saved my Mom’s beautiful Diane Von Furstenberg luggage from being seen next to it. A customized luggage tag is so much chic-er!

Baby Bjorn On Board

babybjornWe have a customer coming to Calgary soon with 6 month old twins. She’s a little nervous about her first flight with the twins. I have recommended to her the use of a soft carrier like the Baby Bjorn.

I can remember when my own twins were 3 months old, we took them back to Winnipeg to meet the family. I was Baby Bjorn fan back then because the carriers allowed my husband and I to ‘get around’ each wearing a baby. My mom and I used them to navigate through the airport, through security and on to the plane for my baby’s first flight ( Looks like Brad and Angelina are fans too).

Once on board, the flight attendants seemed a bit ‘anxious’ about the carriers. We were instructed to remove the baby’s from the carrier and they even went so far as to ask us to remove the straps entirely from our bodies during the flight. They said it was in the interest of safety, so we removed them. It was tricky though trying to juggle a baby on your lap and put yourself back into a harness in the small confines of an airplane seat. Each subsequent flight (and crew) seemed to ask us to do something different with those Baby Bjorn carriers.

Have a look at Air Canada’s website http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/before/youngtravellers/infant-child.html..they will allow SNUGLI carriers but make no mention of any other brands.

  • SNUGLI® carriers are allowed for use on Air Canada flights, except during take-off, landing, taxiing on the runway and when the seat belt sign is on.
  • Probably just an over site (the webmaster at Air Canada probably thinks that we use the word SNUGLI the same way we call tissue KLEENEX). Be prepared for a few different requests from a few different flight attendants.

    Imaginary Friends Around the World

    My son has always had a pretty active imagination. Around Age 3 we started hearing about his ‘friend’ Joshua. Joshua used to live “in the mountains” but seems to be a bit of a Nomad. Lately he has been away visiting South Africa, Kelowna, Calgary. His girlfriend, Penelope seems to come in and out of the picture too.

    At first when this imaginary friend cropped up I worried. Was it as a result of loneliness, shyness, etc? As a twin, my son has a ‘built in playmate’ but I think he was getting tired of his sister.

    After a quick Google search I learned that imaginary friends are often a sign of children who are very social and that they usually disappear around age 4 or 5.

    My favorite explanation for kids with imaginary friends was, “If you could create someone who loved to play with you and did whatever you told them to- wouldn’t you have one?”

    fosters_home_for_imaginary_friends-show

    I like to think that my son’s active imagination has been fostered by our love of travel and his experiences in new places. We’ve never been to South Africa and I’m not sure where he heard the name Penelope, but I’m just glad he knows there is more to this world than the city we live in. We’re gearing up for our next family trip- this weekend!

    Trekaroo

    Here is a new site you might want to check out when planning  your next family vacation. Trekaroo (www.trekaroo.com) is full of interesting ideas and advice for travelling with young children.

    trekaroo-logo

    iphone

    I especially liked their open forum where you can pose questions to other site visitors.

    Read up on the “IPHONE as Baby Monitor” discussion…interesting idea.

    Or read their advice on what travel crib is best http://www.trekaroo.com/traveltips/tip/best-portable-cribs.

    They even recommend the use of Baby Equipment Rentals services like ours (www.onetinysuitcase.ca).

    A smooth flight with kids

    One of my favorite local authors, Ellen Percival wrote an interesting article on flying with kids. http://www2.canada.com/topics/travel/story.html?id=804659

    One of her tips included:
    If you are one parent travelling alone with your child, you will need the long version of the birth certificate as well as a notarized letter of travel consent signed by the absent parent.”

    On my last trip back through customs (without my husband) I had a rather tough officer who gave me the evil eye when I showed him a letter my husband had signed authorizing me to travel alone with the kids but it was not notarized. We had crossed the border together with the kids but my sister and I flew home a week later with the twins.

    They let me through, but it made me think twice about getting a proper note the next time!

    Car Seat or Cares?

    We get lots of questions from parents when it comes to air travel and child restraints.

    Delicious Baby (http://www.deliciousbaby.com/journal/2009/feb/19/reader-questions-keeping-active-child-calm-plane/) just posted an interesting Reader question regarding her frustration with both using her Car Seat inflight and the Cares Harness.

    Still not sure what would work best for you? Check out the reviews on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/CARES-Child-Aviation-Restraint-System/product-reviews/B0012E4FV8.

    gogkids_side_new_july

    I’m still a fan of the GoGo Kidz Travelmate! http://www.weetravel.ca/products/descriptions/carseats/travelmate.shtml

    Vacation Rentals= Extra Value

    Check out our latest article on Family Travel published in this month’s Calgary’s Child Magazine (www.calgaryschild.com) on Page 12.

    Vacation rentals are definitely my new favorite way to travel. Who needs an expensive hotel room when you get extra space, privacy, amenities and more with a Vacation Rental.

    On our last trip to Hawaii we booked a whole house overlooking the North shore of Maui. Total seclusion, total privacy, our own pool and an amazing view.

    hawaii037

    Hey, if a Hawaiian vacation rental is good enough for the Obama family- why not give it a try?

    Bassinets on Board

    I should have taken an international flight when my twins were little…well if for no other reason than to enjoy the use of the Airline’s baby bassinets.

    singapore_air_bassinet

    I’ve been hearing more and more about babies who have slept almost the entire long haul flight tucked in a cozy bassinet.

    Some airlines provide baby bassinets that clip on to the wall in front of your seat. Most in flight bassinets have pretty specific age/weight restrictions (thank goodness) but are designed for infants who like to sleep a lot anyways!

    air-nz-bassinet

    Here are just a few of the airlines that offer Bassinets for weary world travellers (the babies, not mom and dad):
    Gulf Air www.gulfair.com
    Korean Air www.koreanair.com
    Singapore Air www.singapoireair.com
    Lufthansa www.lufthansa.com
    Eva Air www.evaair.com
    Air New Zealand www.airnewzealand.com
    Cathay Pacific www.cathaypacific.com

    Fly, Fly Away

    One of my favorite Canadian Mom websites is Savvy Mom. They compile a great newsletter with the latest and greatest stuff us moms are looking for every week.

    This week they posted a great article about flying with kids. Check it out here http://www.savvymom.ca/index.php/newsletter/fly_fly_away/1

    I signed up for their newsletter a few years ago and have found a lot of great information there. Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter via email because, every mom wants to be Savvy.

    savvymom_logo

    Disneyland, here we come

    So, it’s official…we are going to Disneyland. It all started with Disney’s ‘What will you Celebrate?” campaign. Clever marketing, it got two very uneasy parents to commit to their first family trip to Disney.

    Having twins does have it’s advantages- like two birthdays on the same day. With Disney’s promotion the kids will get in free on their birthday and really, what is better than that?

    I’ve been scouring a website called Mousesavers (www.mousesavers.com) for tips and tricks on how to navigate Disney. I was disappointed to find out that they search your bags on the way in the gates and that pre-packed lunches might not be permitted. I just can’t imagine eating 3 ‘squares’ a day inside the park.

    When we travel, we always have a small cooler packed with drinks, snacks, sandwiches and treats. That cooler has saved us on many occasions when the kids are hungry and we can’t find food fast enough. I wonder how they would feel about a Disney themed lunch bag/cooler?

    mousebag