Britax Marathon

If you haven’t checked out the Dad Labs website yet you are missing out. This high quality web-based blog/tv show is professionally produced and has some really funny topics (search the Circumcision Decision video).

I also really like the reviews they do of popular baby equipment. This one focused on BRITAX car seats and explains in a bit more detail what True Side Impact Protection really means: http://www.dadlabs.com/Shows/car-seat-test-drive-britax.html

We carry the BRITAX Marathon and Roundabout car seats as part of our Baby Equipment Rentals. I recorded a video showing the features of the seats we carry at One Tiny Suitcase:  http://onetinysuitcase.wordpress.com/2009/01/24/britax-marathon-car-seat-rentals/

If you are looking for a high quality, easy to use, easy to clean car seat- this one is my favorite!

Word of Mom

I had a very cool experience yesterday. I delivered one of our Expectant Mom rentals (http://www.onetinysuitcase.ca/fetaldopplers.htm) to a customer yesterday. We were talking about her pregnancy when she told me how she heard about One Tiny Suitcase.

She was in a well known children’s toy/baby store and was reaching for a product (Angel Sounds Monitor) off a shelf when another expectant mom behind her said, “Don’t buy that, it doesn’t work”. She told her to immediately call One Tiny Suitcase and rent from us.

It got me to thinking about Word Of Mouth, or in this case Word Of Mom recommendations.

Cookie Magazine actually has a readers choice every year based on these mom recommendations. http://www.cookiemag.com/magazine/wordofmom Have a look at the travel recommendations here: WOM_awards

TRAVEL

 

Hotel/Resort: Disney

Airline: Southwest

Cruise Line: Disney

Portable Crib:Graco Pack ‘N Play

Travel Website:Orbitz.com

One Tiny Suitcase Website

May 25, 2009

We are having technical difficulties with our website (www.onetinysuitcase) and email addresses. Our Website Host is working on the problem and our website and email should be up and running soon.

In the meantime, please contact us using these phone numbers 403-208-1167 or 1-877- 663-8469 and temporary email address onetinysuitcase@gmail.com

Thank you!

Disneyland Stroller Rentals

Disney 145We often get questions from families about whether or not to rent a stroller at Disneyland.

On our trip to Disneyland in May 2009 I carefully observed the other families in the park to see if the Disney strollers were really the best answer.

Here are some pictures of the custom Disney strollers that were available for rent. They were like a modified Jogging Stroller with 4 wheels in total. The seats did not recline and there was a small basket underneath the seat.

I saw everyone from babies to toddlers to school age kids in these strollers.

The problem with a Disneyland stroller rental (aside from the lack of features on these basic strollers) is that you cannot take the strollers outside of the park….like across the way to Disney’s California Adventure Park.

We brought our own compact strollers with us for the twins. We decided to do that because we needed a way to get the kids back and forth to the hotel (about 1.5 miles one way). Our strollers folded up easily (to easily get on and off the Monorail), reclined, and had a decent canopy to protect the kids from the sun.

My recommendation would be to bring your own stroller or make arrangements with a Baby Equipment Rental company (www.baby-equipment-rental.com) to have better stroller waiting for you at your hotel!Disney 135

GRACO Turbo Booster Seats

There are booster seats and then there are Booster Seats. We carry only the best Booster Seats on the market in our Baby Equipment Rental inventory (www.onetinysuitcase.ca).

After researching what was available, we have chosen to carry the GRACO line of Turbo Booster Seats. The seats have more features than the basic boosters and provide a safe and comfortable ride once your child has outgrown their car seat.
Have a look at some of the features of these seats:

turbobooster

  • Cushioned with GracoPedic luxury foam for extra padding and added comfort
  • Two plush side pillows add support and comfort
  • Height adjustable for a safer ride
  • Padded armrests
  • Hideaway cup holders
  • Open loop belt guides easily position the vehicle’s seat belt
  • Energy EPS absorbing foam

Car Seat Rentals start at $6/day and orders are available by reservartion at the Calgary International Airport.

Interested in learning more about Booster Seat Safety? Click Here for a report from MSNBC  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/26970816#26970816

RideMax for Disneyland

My travel organization skills aren’t going to win me any awards. I like to fly by the seat of my (our) pants sometimes when we travel. Disneyland was a whole new sort of adventure. Our trip in May had been planned for about 6  months but it was clear that Disney would be a different type of vacation. 

Like many moms, I researched like crazy. One mom recommendation that I came across, but wasnt’ really looking for, was a recommendation to try RideMax.

RideMax is software that  you download onto your computer. It was supposed to tell you which attractions and rides to go on in  Disneyland, in what order to minimize your wait time and maximize efficiency. The data is based on actual wait times being observed at the park 6 days a week. You input what rides you want to go on and it gives you a schedule of what order to do them in. Disney 060

Not being one for strict schedules, I was a bit skeptical but we decided to buy it anyways ($14.99 US for a 3 month subscription www.ridemax.com ).

We visited Disneyland on a Saturday, Sunday and Monday. We knew the weekends would be busier but were surprised when the RideMax software recommended we be waiting at the park gates at 7:10am. I can’t remember the last time I got up at 6am on a vacation. We decided to try it and were at the park gates bright and early waiting for it to open. The kids were a bit miffed that after the excitement of getting to the gates of Disneyland they had a 45 min wait before it opened up.

Once the gates opened, we followed our pre-assigned RideMax plan. Amazingly, (on a Saturday morning) we didn’t have to wait for any of our rides. The other strange part was being finished all of the rides we wanted to go on by 11am. We decided to go back to our hotel room for a nap (much needed after our 6 am wake up) and then head back to the park after dinner.

We followed this plan for all of our 3 days at Disneyland (and Disney’s California Adventure) and were impressed with how well it worked. This is a definite Disney must-have for a family with young children who want to avoid the notorious Disney line ups.

Too Much Carry-on

I felt a bit like the Paparazzi at the Los Angeles International Airport the other day. My husband, kids and I were waiting for our flight when I noticed another young family in the waiting area.

What caught my eye wasn’t the family but more the family of luggage they had with them. The picture is a bit blurry, but I couldnt’ resist snapping a pick of this:

In the picture you can see their car seat (tipped over on the green piece of luggage), 2 fDisney 157ull size rolling suitcases, another green suitcase/shoulder bag and additional pink/blue bags. What you can’t see in the picture was Dad’s laptop case and mom’s purse. The toddler they had with them was burning off some energy before they boarded their flight.

I guess they were really taking advantage of the liberal carry-on luggage policies of their air carrier.

Are we going to see more of this with the extra baggage fees being imposed by major airlines?

Cosatto Travel Strollers

On our recent trip to Disneyland we were told by friends, in no uncertain terms, to use strollers for the twins. My kids were turning 5 years old while we were at Disney so it seemed a bit strange to be using strollers again but, when my mom friends give advice- I listen.

Thankfully, they were so right. We had thought about renting stroDisney 034llers at Disneyland but needed strollers to get from our hotel and back every day (about 1.5 miles one-way) so we decided to bring some with us from the One Tiny Suitcase (www.onetinysuitcase.ca) inventory.

The COSATTO travel strollers were the best option: light weight, easy to fold, reclining, 5 point harness, etc. We’ve had great feedback from our customers about these strollers and everything they said was true.

I don’t know how we would have done Disneyland with just a regular umbrella stroller and a bigger stroller like a CHARIOT would have been completely impractical because of the need to fold and unfold the strollers so often.

The COSATTO‘s, pictured here at the Calgary International Airport, turned some heads in California!

We rent out this brand in Calgary for $6/day…a small price to pay for comfort and convenience at the Calgary Zoo or around town in Banff. Check out our selecton of Stroller and Baby Equipment Rentals at www.onetinysuitcase.ca

Airlines as Public Transportation

I just read a really interesting article titled “The Charmless Airport” http://www.canada.com/travel/charmless+airport/894724/story.html.

It was like an epiphany for me. The ‘jist’ of the article is that air travel is widely accessible to the masses (prices haven’t really increased dramatically), therefore it is a very public mode of transportation…similar to your city bus.

large_cny_080613_bus

If it has been a while since you rode your local public bus, remember back to those incidents that include body odour, a lack of personal space and some riders who use the ride to share their philosophy on things like city garbage collection or taxes.

I’ve been finding it difficult to enjoy the flights we have been on lately. I’m fidgety, there aren’t any cookies and my seat mates don’t seem to know how to ‘share’ an armrest.

I loved this article because it really called it like it is. Commercial air travel is not a luxury, it is a public mode of transportation which includes all of the unpleasantness that comes along with that.

So, the moral of the story for me is to lower my expectations and save up for the that trip to Maui on a Private Plane.