Travel Well, Travel Light on Your Next Flight

With airports gouging you for every little thing, you want to keep your bags as small and light as possible, packing no more then you have to for any trip. When you can, keep it to a carry on  and avoid those nasty baggage fees.  You are allowed one small bag, like a briefcase or purse, as well as your carry on bag, and you can make every inch count!

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The first thing you are going to want to pack- and it doesn’t even count toward your “luggage allotment”! is a head and neck pillow for the flight.  Those seats are awful, and there is no comfortable way to sit that doesn’t cramp up your neck (not to mention sleep even halfway decently).  The new Comfy Commuter Travel Pillow allows you to get some rest, and be as comfortable as possible in those seats.  The plush material cradles your neck to help the head stay upright  and in a position that won’t lead to cramping.  It is one of the more comfortable pillows I have used, and we travel often. It has a chin strap to keep it in place as well, so you won’t be picking it up off the floor.  You can pick one up in several colors at http://www.comfycommuter.com/ for $40.

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Going to be doing a lot of walking?  Check out Waldläufer.  Shoes for every journey- no matter where life takes you.  A new take on the “comfort shoe”, they are orthotic friendly and offer great support. These shoes are also designed specifically for a single width, making them shoes that won’t hurt your feet after long days.  They are stylish as well- no giant, clunky soles or orthodic-looking designs.  The Toni in black and grey suede is both classic and retro- it adds some “kick” to any outfit, and they really are comfortable.  Functional, too- the first day I wore them, I had to jump a fence due to my son being good at being 8.  Not your normal day at the office, but they performed well.  No matter what your day throws your way, Waldläufer will keep your feet comfortable and you looking good. Check out what they have for fall at http://waldlaufer.com
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The migratory patterns of kids’ gear

Kids' gear without a SwaggerTagCaribou, Atlantic Salmon and Monarch Butterflies tend to migrate predictably. Kids’ gear, however, can often be spotted in surprising and seemingly random locations. How does a pair of running shoes find its way up telephone wires? Do scooters & bikes wheel themselves miles away from home? How can that SmartPhone be forgotten on the subway when you can’t even get your kid to part from it at the dinner table?

New York City’s Transit (MTA) reports that its Lost & Found has a rotating inventory of over 160,000 items. And while kids & teens leave behind the bulk of gear, there are plenty of adults who contribute, too. Items range from a library of E-Readers & other electronics, a schoolyard of backpacks, a menagerie of stuffed animals, an orchestra of musical instruments, a hospital’s worth of medical aids and an alarming number of pairs of underwear(!?!)

Like most lost & found offices, the MTA does its best to reunite people with their lost articles, even creating an online database that’s updated hourly.

As parents, we know how easy it is for a distracted child or teen to loose track of their gear (hey, we’ve been know to be guilty of it ourselves!). And despite our warnings, threats & pleas, it happens. Sometimes we get lucky: we’re able to quickly backtrack and claim our personal effects. Other times, it doesn’t work out that way…and then everyone’s upset.
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Reese Explore Car Top Carrier

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New Seal of Approval Winner!

For the family that loves to camp or travel, check out the Reese Explore Car Top Carrier, which is a fabric, rainproof, expandable cargo storage unit for the top of your car.  Great for long trips (or trips that require a lot of luggage), it fits by attaching to your vehicle’s side rails or cross bars.  Be the hero by keeping your baggage clean and dry, no matter what the weather, as you travel to your destination and home again.  It attaches more easily then some roof-top luggage and has the added bonus of extendable straps that give you more room should you need it, or for awkwardly shaped items.  Did I mention it was rainproof?  Nice.  Perfect for all the times you run out of trunk space, or for smaller cars that don’t give you the space you need for all your (and the fam’s) gear.
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Why You Should Travel With a PaddlePak

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We travel a lot.  My son loves to take his own backpack with him, although it usually ends up being carried by mommy. The first good thing about this backpack is that he likes to carry it- the Paddlepak Backpacks are adorable and lightweight.  The next most awesome thing about them is that they are water resistant- so when junior or the little miss spills all over it in the car or plane, the inside contents are safe.

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We have recently taken several trips with the PaddlePak backpacks, and will be using them as often as possible.  My son used his backpack at the pool, the beach, and island hopping on a Caribbean cruise.  The packs weathered the use with no problems, and did well on the plane and boat rides as well to carry snacks and toys.

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While I think these bags are perfect for beach and pool use, they are great for everyday travel as well.  Going to grandma’s?  Taking a road trip?  Maybe just going to the mall and need something to play with with someone has a try on party.  Pack up a few things into the Paddlepak, and move along.  There is room in the tails of the packs to store “treasures” like rocks and shells, or even your room card.  Kids love to put “stuff in stuff'” as we all well know, and it’s easy to find in the tail.  If your child still uses a pacifier, there is a spot on the padded shoulder straps to connect it to as well so you won’t lose it (how gross, finding it on an airport or restaurant floor!)
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Prince Lionheart Travel Gear

Disclosure- I received the below in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own and honest.

Having kids can be tough on your vehicle.  With sticky fingers and lost snacks, muddy feet and spilled milk, lost toys and cheerios- all will eventually be found (or not) in the cracks and crevices of your vehicle.  There are quite a few products available to help cub the ‘kidification’ of your vehicle.  Prince Lionheart has two which are particularly effective.

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First up we have the back seat organizer.  This organizer has pockets, clips, zippers, clasps, and pouches for just about everything.  This organizer installs to the back of the front seat with a few simple straps and can be put in, in minutes.  The organizer is also easy to remove so when spills do happen, clean up is a breeze.  One of the most interesting features of the organizer are the ‘distraction’ pouches.  These are opaque pouches on the upper left and right sides of the organizer meant to be grabbed and handed to your little ones to act as a distraction.  Traffic with a screaming child in the back can only be tolerated for so long before something must be done and a distraction can be all that is needed sometimes.  From a new toy, a snack, or a new book all could work and would fit in this special pocket.  Prince Lionheart calls it ‘sanity restore’, and for those who have been in the situation that is definitely the best way to describe it.
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American Tourister – Great Travel Gear

Disclosure- I received the below in order to facilitate my post. All opinions are my own and honest. I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC Guidelines. Please see “Disclose” tab for more information.

The proper luggage can make or break a vacation.  Not only do you want your belongings to come along with you to your destination, but you want them to get their safely and well organized.  Check out these two pieces of wheeled luggage with two very different looks and styles.  One built lightweight and tough, the other brightly colored from handle to wheels.

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First up we will look at iLite Supreme Wheeled Boarding Bag.  The iLite series of baggage is stylish, light weight, and tough.  The handle is even padded on the and stylized to not only look like part of the pattern of the bag but are also futuristic and comfortable.  The bag itself is easy to move around quickly.  The wheels allow you to push, pull and turn in any direction.  The interior of the bag has pockets, straps and zipper compartments.  All of which make packing a breeze while keeping your belongings where you put them.  An interesting characteristic is its big outer pocket which could fit a laptop.  It is indeed big enough to fit a laptop and a few other gadgets and cables.  In practice the compartments if quite big and in order to keep your laptop safe I would suggest jamming in a few pairs of socks to act as padding.– Update- this bag fell apart after 7 months, seams burst, and it did not hold up well long term.
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