Prams, Pushchairs, Strollers and Buggys

I was speaking with one of our UK customers today and we were talking about the different names for Baby Equipment Rentals around the globe. Originally from South Africa and now living in the UK, she had some trouble finding what we would call ‘stroller rentals’ for her visit to Canada.

silvercross-pram

Luckily she found One Tiny Suitcase (www.onetinysuitcase.ca) and we were able to reserve an all-terrain stroller for her trip out to the mountains.

It got me thinking- what would you find for Stroller/Pram/Pushchair/Buggy rentals around the world?

Spain: Carrycot Stroller 20 Euros/day http://babytravelling.com/pasear_en.html

South Africa: Maclarent Quest Stroller R65/day http://www.babylite.co.za/ProductsView.asp?IVID=43&IVDEP2=50&IVDEP1=2

South Carolina: Jogging Stroller $15USD/day http://www.beachbabyrentalsmb.com/Rental_Equipment.html

What to do in a familiar land

emptysuitcase
I think if I hear the travel term ‘Staycation‘ one more time I am going to get mad. There’s nothing exciting about staying home versus getting away- no matter what you call it. Everyone wants a vacation, an adventure, some down time.

Okay, so I know you can’t afford to travel far and wide all the time and there are some pretty fabulous attractions close to home but let’s call it what it is…”an attraction close to home that will have to do until you get away on that fabulous vacation”.

Looking for some interesting local attractions? If you are in Calgary check out these links:

www.familyfuncalgary.com

http://www.girlfriend-getaways-nature-hiking-vacations-canadian-rockies.com/Just-for-Kids.html

http://www.savvymom.ca/index.php/newsletter/cal_spring_staycation/

http://www.packtrips.ca/wagonrides.html

If you are travelling to another city and looking for some family friendly fun search for your local Baby Equipment Rentals company. They each have some great links on their websites for things to do in that city!

www.baby-equipment-rental.com

www.onetinysuitcase.ca

Grandma, Grandpa, Minnie & Mickey

We’re on the count down to our first Disney vacation. Our last two vacations have included my parents (granny & grandpa to my children). It has been really great travelling with them, but for this trip we are flying solo.

walt-disney-world1

My parents are in their 50’s, pretty active, I never really worry about them being able to ‘keep up with us’ on vacation. I came across an interesting article though, about the perks of taking the grandparents with you to Disney World:

“Looking back on the five days in central Florida, we realized that a three-generation visit to Walt Disney World is an ideal plan. Not only do grandparents get to spend quality time with their children and grandchildren, but there’s usually someone to watch over little ones while parents and older kids enjoy the more challenging rides.” http://www.canada.com/travel/activities/survive+Walt+Disney+World+with+grandparents+kids/803163/story.html

It might be something to consider…next time!

Multigenerational Trips

When we tell our friends that we are planning another trip with our parents- they usually give us a funny kind of look. Some people dread the idea of Sunday dinner with their families let alone a two week vacation in close quarters with their in-laws. I, on the other hand have enjoyed travelling with grandma, grandpa (and even Aunt and Uncle) on our family vacations.

I’ve heard these trips called Multigenerational Travel. Pretty fancy name, pretty simple concept. Travelling with your extended family lets everyone share in the experience. We often travel with my parents and the kids love the extra time they get to spend with granny and grandpa.

On our last trip we also stayed with my sister and her fiancee. My daughter found that her Aunty was very cool and the three of us ‘girls’ went together to get her ears pierced (a great travel memory).

Travelling with a larger group has also allowed us to stay at some pretty fantastic vacation rentals that were made more affordable by splitting the cost with another couple.  A little down time for my husband and I is nice too. We usually plan for at least one ‘night on the town’ when my parents stay back and put the kids to bed.

One of my best memories was on our last trip to Maui- watching my parents play in the sand and surf with my kids was great. Something we’ll all remember for years to come.hawaii065

Looking for tips on planning  your next Multigenerational Trip? http://www.roadandtravel.com/traveladvice/multigenerationaltravel.htm

Disneyland Wait Times

Looks like my hopes for beating all the crowds at Disney by taking an off-season (highly discounted) vacation are dashed. Read the latest article in Budget Travel Magazine about wait times at Disney: http://current.newsweek.com/budgettravel/2009/03/disney_wait_times_still_high_d.html?wpisrc=newsletter

disneylandlines

My only question is- at age 4 (actually age 5- the twins are having their birthday at Disney this year) are my kids going to want to go on the ‘popular’ rides or are the kiddie rides pretty quiet?

If our trip to West Edmonton Mall’s Galazyland http://www.wem.ca/play/galaxyland.asp  is any indication, my daughter will want to go on the scariest rides while my husband, son and I try not to ‘toss our cookies’.

www.onetinysuitcase.ca

Banff Baby Strollers

Our strollers seem to be spending more time in Banff these days than I am. Customers are calling in everyday looking for an all-terrain stroller that they can take with them to Banff. One of my favorite stroller recommendations is the ZOOPER.

zooperboogie

This brand of stroller has been part of our inventory since our opening Day in 2006 (www.onetinysuitcase.ca) . Tough as nails, full of features and comes with so many custom accessories it can battle any kind of weather. Here are 5 reasons why the ZOOPER is so good for a winter trip:

1. The Winter Boot– included with all ZOOPER stroller rentals, this ‘boot’ or ‘foot muff’ as it is sometimes called, protects little one’s feet and never needs a blanket.

2. Recline– most strollers recline but this stroller really reclines (to flat) for nap time. You can also easily reverse the seat if you want baby facing you too.

3. Swivel– like the flexibilty of a front wheel that can swivel? This stroller can do both, easily change the front wheel from fixed to swivel with a flick of the swivel lock located on the handle. A fixed front wheel will be easier for getting through the snow and over curbs but the swivel wheel allows you to turn it on a dime.

4. Custom rain cover– which in Canada doubles as a snow cover. ‘Custom’ means it was made for the Zooper which means your little one will be protected and comfortable.

5. It’s Cute– it’s really cute. Our latest model is Midnight blue with the little ZOOPER logo.
zooperlogo

Car Seats Bad for Canada?

A friend emailed me from Germany today to say that she is on her way home (for good)! She has been jet-setting all over the globe with her husband and her young daughter for the last few years and is finally coming back home to Canada.

She had one question that needed an answer before they made the final preparations for their move. They had recently purchased a ROMER King Plus (made by BRITAX) car seat for their daughter and wanted to know if it could be used in Canada when they arrive.

king-plus-blackfusion

Unfortunately, it looks like the answer is No. Transport Canada seems to be cracking down on the use of illegal car seats in Canada. I remember about a year ago when there were big warning notices that came out about cross border shopping for car seats.

Transport Canada’s notice included this information: 

“The use of non-compliant child seats may not only jeopardize children’s safety and pose a serious danger to the public, but it may also result in repercussions such as:

* Confiscation of the seat at the border or after it has entered Canada;
* Fines and/or demerit point penalties;
* Reduced or voided insurance coverage for injury or death; and
* Possible criminal charges and/or civil litigation.

Criminal charges? Is that right? I’m definitely an advocate for child safety but I think Transport Canada has to deal with the issue of re-certifying some car seats that enter the country.

I still see more than my share of children in the vehicles who are NOT secured in car seats at all. Could one more ROMER King Plus really be that bad for Canada?