Westjet has always been a family friendly airline but they are keeping up with the times and finding new ways to keep their guests entertained on long flights.
Two friends of mine in the last month have commented on how Westjet is now renting out Tablet computers that are loaded with movies, games and Tv shows.
It seems some of the new Westjet planes aren’t equipped with live seat back tv’s yet. Instead of hoping their guests will keep themselves entertained, they are providing (for a $5 rental fee) Tablets for use in flight. Typically on longer flights (my friends were on flights from the Dominican Republic and Hawaii to Calgary), these $5 rentals proved invaluable in keeping everybody on board happy.
I recently travelled on United Airlines and Air Canada with the twins and some of the planes had no seat back tv’s and one plane had the old-fashioned drop down screens from the roof of the plane. My children are 9 years old now but they were not tall enough to see over the seat in front of them to watch the screen. That seemed like a good thing because the airline certainly wasn’t showing a family friendly movie.
Kudos to Westjet to addressing the needs of families travelling on their airplanes. For more information about Westjet’s policies and procedures before your next family flight visit their website here.
Feeling anxious about taking your very active toddler on an airplane? Here are some inexpensive and simple items to pack in your carry on to keep those little hands busy (and passengers sitting near you happy too!)
-Crayons & colouring book – what kid doesn’t love to colour?
-Stickers and paper to stick stickers on
-Individually gift wrap trinkets/toys from the dollar store – kids love opening presents and this has always been a huge hit with my son!
-Pom Pom game – get some pom poms and an empty margarine container, cut a hole in the top, and let the stuffing game begin!
-Fruit Loops necklace – get some fruit loops and string, and your toddler will have fun making this necklace and eating it too!
Renting toys at your destination is a great way to beat boredom for your child at grandma and grandpas place too! One Tiny Suitcase rents toys suited for all ages.
(Kristina will be guest blogging for us in April & May 2013. As a busy mom of a very active toddler, she knows the ropes of family travel!)
I have been a long time lover of just about everything Peg Perego creates. Talk about brand loyalty.
The Peg Perego double stroller was my first purchase when I was expecting the twins. That thing was nearly indestructible. When I started by Baby Equipment Rental business, I knew I wanted to continue carrying the Peg Perego brand.
Today, after more than 5 years in business, I continue to add Peg Perego product to my inventory in Calgary, Edmonton & Winnipeg.
One of my favorite sites for Baby Travel Tips also seems to have a love for Peg Perego. Corinne from Have Baby Will Travel posted a review of a Peg Perego travel system that she and her family used for a trip to Quebec.
Love your Peg Perego infant car seat but don’t want to lug it on the plane? Call us– we’ll have one waiting for you!
My sister is pregnant with her first baby and I am so excited for her. As the little sister who had twins a few years ago she informed me that it was my job to tell her all the ‘baby things’ she is going to need.
We went to a local baby store to register her for all of this ‘stuff’. Top of the list was a Baby Bjorn carrier. It is one of those baby items that I an recommend without question.
New baby gear comes along all the time but the Baby Bjorn carrier has not been improved upon by any other product in my opinion.
Aside from just day to day use, my Baby Bjorn carriers were invaluable for travel. My carriers were used for getting us from the car into the airport, around the airport before our flight and were very helpful in navigating the narrow aisles of a plane with a baby and a carry on bag.
There are few ‘classics’ that I would recommend, but this is one of them!
There is a very cool website for parents that has always included the most comprehensive listing of Baby Equipment Rental companies around the world.
Whenever I get a call from someone looking for Baby Equipment Rentals in another city, state or country- I always direct people to The New Parents Guide.
I was recently asked to write a guest post on The New Parents Guide blog. Check out my entry about Eco-friendly family travel.
If you are looking to rent Baby Car Seats, Cribs, Strollers and more, you can find a great listing of Baby Equipment Rental companies in the Cook Islands, Singapore, Kauai or anywhere in the world you can travel with kids.
Also, have a look at their packing checklists!
One Tiny Suitcase has been asked to do another segment on Family Travel at the Global News studios in Calgary. As some of you know, I’m not a big fan of the ‘staycation’. On Monday I’ll give some tips for how to have a REAL vacation this summer without breaking the bank.
Watch for our segment on how to travel on a budget this summer, airing Monday June 15, 2009.
Have a look at a previous segment we did on Family Travel last year:
I heard a wild tale today about a new mom, a new stroller and an old Air Canada policy.
I was in my favorite baby store (www.bobebe.com) in Calgary admiring the new line of Valco lightweight strollers http://valcobaby.com/products/strollers.html?tx_productcatalog_pi1%5Buid%5D=5. The new Latitude strollers seem like the perfect travel companion- it has lots of the features of the popular Valco T ri Mode but is compact, lightweight and super stylish.
This mom was telling a story about how someone she knew tried to gate check the new Valco Latitude stroller for an Air Canada flight and was actually turned back at the gate by an Air Canada agent. They said that the stroller was too big and did not fit into their stroller policy (http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/before/youngtravellers/infant-child.html). They asked her to return to the check in desk to check the stroller (paying any additional baggage fees).
We all agreed that although Air Canada’s policy is pretty clear on their website, it all depends on who you get on your flight that day. Calling the call center does not seem to guarantee you a clear answer either.
That same mom said she was on a Westjet flight recently where a mom gate checked her Valco Tri-mode (technically a jogging stroller) – no questions asked. What has your experience been with these airlines?
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.
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!
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
Eva Air www.evaair.com
Air New Zealand www.airnewzealand.com
Cathay Pacific www.cathaypacific.com
There is another new site that is perfect for family travel enthusiasts. Ciao Bambino (www.ciaobambino.com) reveiws ‘Family Approved Vacation Properties’ around the world. Written by Aimee O’Shaughnessy, the site is super informative and makes travel abroad look less intimidating.
The site rates locations with 4 different levels of ‘family friendliness’: Baby Ready, Toddler Fun, School Age Action, and Cool for Teens. Most properties are upscale or luxury and one of my family’s favorites made the list: The Jasper Park Lodge. I can personally attest to the family friendliness of this property because we enjoyed our stay with two toddlers!
Check out the listing on this website for the Ac Palacio Del Retiro in Madrid, Spain. Modern design, in a historic building, with cribs and high chairs available?! I’ve officially added it to my list of places I need to stay at, but with all that contemporary design (ie. sharp corners) I will need to pack some extra baby proofing supplies. Totally worth it though!
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 being 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?
Why yes, there is www.citybabyny.com