23 August 2009

Back to School Laptop Lunch GIVEAWAY! - CLOSED

If you are like me, it's back to school time (well, in a couple of weeks, but it'll all be here too soon). I know some kids are already back, but up here in Maine, we still have a few precious days!

Anyway, I wanted to get a little info out there about some of the fun Back to Schoo
l items we have at KidsTravelHappy.com - for lunch packing, recess, after school, and things in between.

We've made a new category to make these easy to searchback to school", on
e category of which is "lunch & drink holders". We've got some fun ones. Make sure to check out Crocodile Creeks adorable Stainless Steel water bottles for just $9.99.

We love the Laptop Lunch systems from Obentec. They are an excellent way to save plastic bags, and other 'disposables'. I shutter to think about all of the waste generated by pre-packed snacks, and drinks for kids' lunches - convenient, but not so friendly to the landfills.

Laptop Lunch Bento Boxes come with an outside Main container, 5 smaller container, 2 lids, a Laptop Lunch User Manual/Recipe Idea book, and a stainless steel fork and spoon set. Upgrade this to the Complete Lunch Kit and get the insulated 'laptop' case that easily contains the boxes, as well as the additional BPA-free water bottle. The insulated case also has a mesh pocket for an ice pack (note: ice pack is NOT included).

The Boxes and the Complete Kits come in various colors, and we are giving away a COMPLETE Laptop Lunch System in Pink this week in honor of Back to School. (and, if the winner REALLY doesn't want pink, we're flexible!)
It's easy to WIN. There are several ways to earn entries, and we welcome as many or few as you care to
  1. become a follower of the BLOG (on the right-hand column)
  2. follow KidsTravelHappy on twitter
  3. Tweet about this contest by copying this " I just entered to win a Complete Laptop Lunch System from @KidsTravelHappy http://tinyurl.com/c6ptco "
  4. Become a Facebook Fan
  5. go to our home page and join our newsletter (sign up is lower LEFT of screen, you may have to scroll down)
  6. Visit the Back to School section of our site and let us know what else you like
  7. leave a comment about what your kid's (or your) favorite pack-at-home-for-travel-snacks are
  8. BLOG about this giveaway - this is worth FIVE entries
REMEMBER: make sure that you comment once for any of 1-7 you do, and FIVE times for Blogging about the giveaway.

Good Luck, and please pack your child's lunch in an environmentally friendly way!

Back to School Laptop Lunch GIVEAWAY! - CLOSEDSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

18 August 2009

$20 GC from KidsTravelHappy.com could be yours!

We're sponsoring a giveaway for a travel photo contest at Travel Mamas. More details on their site (scroll down to bottom left, and click email link there)
Check it out, and you could be shopping with us soon!! Contest ends August 29th.
$20 GC from KidsTravelHappy.com could be yours!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

14 August 2009

Packing with 'Multi-Purpose' in Mind (so there's room for the FUN stuff!)

My husband and I used to compete in Adventure Races (long story), where we usually had to carry everything we needed for a certain period of time(a few hours to more than a week at a time). The lighter our backpacks (see my tiny pack in photo for a race in the mountains of Switzerland), the faster we could travel. Thus, we analyzed every piece of gear we had, and we would do our best to bring things that had multiple uses – for example, we would plan to use the pad in our backpack as our emergency sleeping pad, or we would cut the handle off a toothbrush to save weight.

Well, we realized with kids that these measures don’t ALWAYS apply, and are NOT always practical, but the philosophy itself IS
very practical.

When packing for a trip (a few examples of multi-use items)
  • do your items have as many uses as possible?
  • could you use the vinyl travel play mat as a changing pad in a pinch?
  • the child soft carrier could make a great pillow if necessary.
When going on a trip (especially by air), we will lay out all of the items, then try to assess the need and uses for each item. Yes, sounds a bit overkill, but with all of the charges for luggage these days, it’s worth the savings. We also make sure each child has a reasonable carry-on bag that can be filled with (pretty much) whatever they want. A critical thing to think about with a child’s carry-on is that inevitably, the adults are going to have to carry it at some point (note in picture, my husband with 2 rolling bags, plus kids' Trunkis, and our then, 2-year old boy!). So, we recommend taking that into account when having a child choose a bag for the trip. Some kid-sized products ARE adorable, but when filled, too heavy for the child and too tiny for an adult to carry, thus becoming cumbersome during any layover, plane change, or even loading into and out of a vehicle. (we are all about making sure "adults travel happy too"!)

Why go thru all of this trouble? Well, in the end, it's the toys, games, and activities that are going to make the kids happy - they don't care about how many outfits they have (in fact, left to his own, my 6-yr old would wear the same thing day after day, clean or not). Plus, if you stay somewhere with laundry facilities be it a hotel, campground, any town will have one, etc.. you can just WASH the clothes and save the space! A little laundry detergent and a roll of quarters is MUCH cheaper than an additional bag, and take in the experience. Laundromats are alway a fun mix of experiences, and a good way to force some slow down time (go find a nice cafe while you're waiting....)

OK, so that's really just my opinion, here are a few links to other sites and specific ideas for packing LIGHT to travel with children.
The above links will surely lead you to even more info, and once you've 'packed small' don't forget to visit us for to keep you children busy and 'traveling happy'.
Packing with 'Multi-Purpose' in Mind (so there's room for the FUN stuff!)SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

We're Giving Away a $25 Gift Certificate (now CLOSED!)

Just a quick post to let you know that you could WIN a $25 Gift Certificate from KidsTravelHappy.com.

Visit a site we are sponsoring for this giveaway Jamie's Precious Peas, and find the giveaway posted on the 13th of August (you may have to scroll down) - contest runs for nearly 2 weeks!

Good Luck!

Congratulations to Christine who WON the $25 GC at Jamie's BLOG.
We're Giving Away a $25 Gift Certificate (now CLOSED!)SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

07 August 2009

Separated from a Child during Travels

As you look around for your child, you think of all the plans you SHOULD have made before you became separated. It is SO easy for this to happen, even in familiar places. We thought we'd come up with a list of a few simple things to remedy this situation should your family be unfortunate to get into it.

As parents, when we travel, we try to make note of what our boys are wearing.
  • Put your child/ren in bright colored shirt or jacket
  • Have the child wear a hat
  • This sounds silly, but have your family dress the same when you travel (or, go to any other crowded public place, shopping malls etc.) - it's easy to say to someone when describing a missing child that they are "dressed just like me... only smaller". No need to remember what they have on.
  • Don't dress a child with something with his/her name easily seen on it
  • Write a note with your phone # (cell), my Mommy's (or Daddy's) name is _____, maybe something that says "I am lost, please help me" for children too young to know exactly how to help themselves be found, and stick it in a pocket or other safe spot on their body.
If you are at an airport, amusement park etc.
  • Make a plan to meet at an easily seen from most anywhere spot (a tall ride, a certain flag, etc.)
  • Teach your child to find a Police Officer or Security Guard to help locate you, and teach them the many different ways this type of person may be dressed
  • Bring walkie-talkies (hand-held radios) or cell phones to keep communication with older children
  • Teach your child (if old enough) NOT to give out too much information, especially if talking with a stranger
  • It's best if the child knows NOT to wander further once they realize they are separated, it will make them easier to find
Other useful hints
  • Keep current photos of your children on your cell phone, iTouch, iPod etc. to show in case of a lost child while traveling
  • As soon as you realize your child is lost, report it, especially if you are somewhere where it can be announced over an intercom
  • If you have many kids of various ages, have each child have a 'buddy' - an older child helping out with keeping track of a younger child
  • If you want to protect your kids in the highest of tech ways, there are wrist-worn satellite tracking devices that can be put on a child
A few other good 'safety advice' links to check out for even more info
The best bit of advice, of course, is to teach children not to stray away, and to keep your eyes on your children, especially in crowded places. We live in a rural, generally VERY safe town, so our children have NOT grown up with any fear of the chance of 'bad' things happening, which becomes difficult when we travel away from home.

Please comment with YOUR experiences or ADD other hints and ideas! Surely we've missed some.

Separated from a Child during TravelsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

05 August 2009

Travel Hula Hoop WINNER announced

Congratulations to Bridget from California - this month's giveaway winner chosen as #26 at Random.org.

Please let us know what you think when you receive the item!

Thanks to all who participated and we will post another giveaway later this month, as well as links to other giveaways we sponsor.
Travel Hula Hoop WINNER announcedSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend