Travelling with kids just got easier!

Around the World in 80 Ways is a travel book for kids who travel! It was created to help make the journey as much fun as the destination and contains 80 fun and inspiring travel activities to keep children entertained during long trips.

These are not run-of-the-mill travel games. Each activity is designed to nurture little travellers and encourage your child to think about the world around them. Turns travel time into quality time – whether you’re travelling across town, or across the world, this book is a must for families on the move.

Released early December, “80 Ways” is the perfect Christmas gift for any family planning to travel.

The book is designed to tuck into any bag or glovebox, and is already receiving great early reviews from educators, parents and people in the travel industry.

  • 96 page book
  • Compact for travel – 17cm w x 12cm h 

Around the World in 80 ways is created by Itchee Feet whose aim is to help make the journey as much fun as the destination.

At Itchee Feet … 

  • It’s all about kids who travel and the adults they travel with
  • They have a passion for the planet so tread as lightly as we can
  • They believe “entertaining” and “educational” are great travelling companions
  • They are committed to nurturing cultural sensitivity
  • Life is an adventure and travel is fun. Simple

Available now from Haggus and Stookles for $14.95.

Travelling with Kids – some tips

Travelling with kids is definitely no easy feat – by the time you’ve packed them into the car, checked into your hotel and found a restaurant that everyone is willing to eat at – you’ll feel like you’re ready for another holiday from your holiday.

There’s no reason why a holiday with your kids has to feel like gearing up for battle. Here are some tips to make your family holiday more manageable:

  • Transportation – carefully consider how you’ll be travelling. If you’re going to be driving, make sure your car will be comfortable enough for everyone to endure the trip. Meanwhile, if you’re flying, give yourself plenty of lead time, especially if it’s the first time for the kids. Arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare and talk your kids through any anxieties they may be feeling.
  • Dining out – it can be hard to find family friendly restaurants in an unfamiliar place. If you can, book apartment style accommodation that includes kitchen facilities so you can make the most of your meals yourself. But don’t be afraid to eat out! Online review sites offer invaluable insights into which dining establishments are family friendly to help you narrow down the field.
  • Accommodation – don’t book your hotels at the last minute hoping for a great deal. You’ll have a much more enjoyable holiday if you leave yourself plenty of time to plan your trip.
  • Activities – see the sites of the cities or plan a fun filled day at the beach – there are plenty fun activities for everyone to enjoy. The important thing to remember is not to be too ambitious with your schedule. Travelling with kids in tow usually takes longer and you don’t want to be pushing forward when little Suzi really has to use the toilet!

Great Australian Holiday ideas for families

  • Gold Coast – this action packed destination includes Movie World and DreamWorld – it’s sure to be a hit with the kids.
  • Whitsundays – stay on fabulous Hamilton Island – with many resorts offering Kids Eat Free programmes.
  • Tasmania – drive around the breathtaking wilderness and discover everything that this great island has to offer.

Author Bio:
This article is supplied Quickbeds.com. With no booking fees and great rates – you’ll have no trouble finding
accommodation – Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, wherever you’re headed – the great Australian family holiday awaits you.

Top 8 Family Travel Tips

Family holidays. An oxymoron? Once you’ve returned from a getaway, you might feel that you need another week off to compensate for the stressful time you’ve just had. Here are our 8 top family travel tips for making your family holiday easy and stress-free.

1. Cut down on costs by choosing accommodation that offers value for money and provides all the basic essentials. Kids don’t need fancy extras like a concierge or valet parking, so save that for your own indulgent break away. Best Western offers quality accommodation and value for money, with great locations all over Australia and New Zealand. See www.bestwestern.com.au or www.bestwestern.co.nz to search over 200 hotels, motels, resorts and apartments.

2. Don’t pack your itinerary with too many things to do. Kids need to rest – and have time for their own play. Plan one or two activities per day, and be flexible about changing your plans based on everyone’s wishes.

3. If heading abroad, make sure you plan your vaccinations well in advance as some need to be taken up to six weeks before you travel.

4. Children up to seven years of age must now be restrained in a booster seat or forward-facing restraint so when booking a hire car, make sure they have these options available for your kids.

5. No destination is off-limits. Don’t be worried about travelling with children to developing countries or regional areas. They will usually adapt to new experiences fairly quickly.

6. There’s no need to over-pack but don’t forget necessities like sunscreen, baby paracetamol, wipes and any special medication.

7. Kids can get bored easily – so make them a part of the action. Buy each child an inexpensive disposable camera so they can take pictures. Your kids will really feel special when they can snap their own photos. They’ll also love the resulting photos they can later use in a memory book of the trip.

8. Have fun – holidays are about enjoying yourself, and although there might be tantrums and tears, they’re usually overcome by some quiet time out or a playful distraction.

The above post is courtesy of www.bestwestern.com.au

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Travelling in the car – tips and a checklist

Tips when planning a family holiday

Travel Checklists – forms to help when travelling with kids

The Great Aussie Road Trip hits the road again…

An amazing viewAfter a successful project in 2008 that followed the 4 month journey around Australia of the Power Family with their girls who were 5 and 3, the Power’s are about to hit the road again – with a new addition. The Great Aussie Project re-launched on the 1st May and the Power’s are about to embark on a three week trip, with a difference!  Jasmine is now 7, Jemma is now 5 and Greg and Rachel Power now also have the added fun of sharing Australia with the newest family member – Edward (Teddy) who is about to turn 1. “We never dreamed we would ever get the chance to travel like this again!” remarks Rachel frequently.  “This time round we have developed a website that will do more than allow families to follow our adventures (or mis-adventures), we know it will inspire them to hit the road and create experiences of their own.” On the 8th June 2010 the Power Family are travelling from their home in Canberra to Lake Eyre, the Flinders Ranges (Arkaroola), Menindee Lakes and Lake Mungo. During the three week adventure their journal will be followed by schools and families across the country in a trial of the Education Feature of the project. “Jasmine will keep her own journal with photos that will be followed in the classroom, and the families at home can extend what the kids in class are learning by following our family journal and those of our Guest Family Bloggers, other families travelling the country.”  Says Rachel. “It’s about showing children our amazing country and how different it is once you are outside your own backyard.  We want to instil a passion for Australia, travel and experiencing the natural wonderland that we are lucky to live in.” Working closely with many state and regional Tourism bodies, the Power Family hope that the Great Aussie Road Trip website will become the foremost experience based travel information tool for families. “Our aim is to inspire families to experience Australia.  We offer the tools to help them decide where they should travel to next, great places to stay and fantastic products to make their travelling life easier. By reading our experiences, parents can relate to how our children enjoy the location and gain a feel for how their children will enjoy it. By featuring Guest Family Bloggers, the ages of the children are much wider and there is more than one family experience for a location.  Our first Guest Family Bloggers hit the road at the end of June, one is travelling for 7 months.  The Ross family were inspired into hitting the road after seeing us interviewed on the Today Show in 2008.” Rachel said. Opportunity exists for the travel, tourism and media industries to be involved with the Great Aussie Road Trip. Contact Rachel Power for more details. www.greataussieroadtrip.com.au
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Credit Cards for overseas travel – ensure you have a PIN!

When travelling overseas, beware that most countries require a pin on credit card purchases – so you do not have the option to sign for payment. On a recent trip to New Zealand we found 95% of places would not accept a signature on a credit card payment and luckily we had a backup and could get money out with our eftpos card.

Note however in New Zealand you cannot use your Australia eftpos card in a shop, you can only use it to withdraw at an ATM as long as you have Cirrus or Maestro on the back of your card.

The UK and nearly all of Europe also require a pin on credit card purchases so make sure you have one (if you do not already) when travelling overseas.

We feel it is a good thing they are enforcing this as it obviously makes everything a lot more secure, but as we were not organised and did not check this before leaving we found it a major inconvenience. In some cases we were lucky we had cash, especially after filling up the car, otherwise we would have had a major problem trying to leave the petrol station!

In the United States, we have also heard that if a transaction is under around $50, your credit card only needs to be swiped and no signature or pin is required. The key issue with this is you need to ensure your credit card is stored very securely as, if it’s stolen, a lot of small transactions can be made which can add up to a lot in a short amount of time.

Let us know whether signature is accepted in other parts of the world.

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Family Accommodation – Finding baby and child friendly accommodation in Europe

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Family Accommodation – Finding baby and child friendly accommodation in Europe

 

http://www.babyfriendlyboltholes.co.uk/

http://www.babyfriendlyboltholes.co.uk/

As an Australian living in London one of the highlights is the closeness to Europe, and the endless travel opportunities.

Having had 2 boys while we were living there makes the travel much harder, especially when it comes to finding family accommodation that is baby and toddler friendly.

One time we stayed in a beautiful old house in Malta down by the harbour, but split over 3 floors and with an open spiral staircase it proved a long week having to be a step behind our toddling 1 year old who was drawn to the stairs like a magnet!

Luckily we found a brilliant website that specialize in baby and child friendly accommodation, mainly in the UK and Europe.

http://www.babyfriendlyboltholes.co.uk/

There is a huge range of family accommodation, from farm stays to luxury villas in the Mediterranean and the website is constantly updated with new places they have found.

Countries they cover include the Caribbean, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mauritius, Oman, Portugal, Spain, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

The website was set up by a mum who after having her first child thought holidays and mini-breaks would never be the same again with a baby or toddler in tow! Thankfully she was wrong!

So, if you’re looking for somewhere that combines taste with toddlers and most importantly is run by the kind of people who know that it takes far more than a travel cot and a highchair to make a family-friendly  holiday, look no further than http://www.babyfriendlyboltholes.co.uk/!

This post is courtesy of my sister Angela who has spent 8 years living in London.

Please visit the Haggus and Stookles E-Store.  We sell fantastic Kids rolling luggage. Visit now and feel free to browse our products that you might find useful when travelling with kids.

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A few travel tips from our family trip to the USA

Mimi Mouse and the Family

The following post is courtesy of Hailee Meehan who has recently returned from an overseas trip with her family. She wrote a few tips about how they managed to get through the long flights during a trip to the USA with their 3 kids.

I thought I would drop you a line to say thanks for all the handy stuff I bought from you just before my holiday to the USA with my three kids. Jacob (6), Zara (5) and Tom (1) all had a great time and the products made my life so much easier.

I had the anti-bacterial wipes as well as the swipes case strapped to the outside of my nappy/day bag (AKA battle bag) and it was so convenient. The kids didn’t mind me wiping their hands with the anti-bacterial wipes, as opposed to the gels sold in the supermarket, as they didn’t leave a smell or funny taste. The envirosax bags were a godsend for storing jackets as we jumped states and climates. I even used the stuffed bag as a pillow on the flight home from LA!

Skiing in AmericaThe flight coming home was a nightmare with cancelled connection flights, snow delays and lost baggage. 30 hours of travel with three young kids is never easy. But we were able to keep our cool with good team work between myself and my husband and a tube of vegemite for our fussy eaters! I also took a lot of the ‘Rafferty’s Garden’ squeezy tubes of baby food as well. Tom was happy to suck the food straight out of the sachet without the need to carry around a messy spoon and bowl. It was also a lot lighter to transport and reseal than the cans or bottles of baby food, and I can report can also be convenient when feeding in the dark! (Sometimes I just can’t make sense of the food service times).

With having to go through several screening points coming home, I thought the baby sling from you guys was indispensible to keep wiggly, but not quite walking, Tom secure and off the dirty airport floor. Because we were travelling with baby food, we were required to submit to extra screening and testing of the food. I kept all items for testing in one large clip seal bag, so that I could pull all items out in one go and not have to rummage through the bag time after time. I learnt this through trial and error on the way over!!!

Family in AmericaThe older kids were mostly able to organise themselves for screening by learning to get their own tray and placing their ‘bobble art’ luggage trolley’s (also purchased from you!) up on the conveyor belt. I had packed in each bag; toys, a spare set of clothes, snacks and sticker books. This freed up space in the nappy bag, gave the kids independence and responsibility and saved me from having to constantly rummage through the bottomless nappy bag. The kids loved the option of carrying and pulling the bags when they felt they needed to.

All in all we had a great time, but I couldn’t say it was easy! But some organising, good gadgets and a willingness to give it a go made it possible. I’d do it again anytime, because at the end of the day, it was a fabulous experience. In fact we are going to the UK next year, with an extra one – will see you before then for some more shopping!

Hailee

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How to Avoid Lost Luggage..and be prepared in case it happens to you.

Baby in SuitcaseSummer is just around the corner and while ‘tis the season to be jolly, ‘tis also the season for family holidays! For those flying this Christmas, it can be a challenge trying to fit everything you think everyone will need in a limited number of bags. So imagine what it would be like if you lost just one of your bags along the way…

Having almost done just that on a recent family holiday to the US (the bag I almost lost had all our passports, cash, and credit cards!), I am happy to share some tips on how to avoid lost luggage… and be prepared in case it happens to you!

Firstly, how to avoid it….

1. Check-in early. Whatever your booking confirmation says you need to allow for time to check-in, add an extra 45 minutes – especially in busy cities, and especially when travelling with kids. If there is a long queue or you encounter problems at the check-in counter, your bags – and your family – still have enough time to clear security and make it onto the correct flight.

Personalised Luggage Tags are a great way to label your bags

Personalised Luggage Tags are a great way to label your bags

2. Put proper identification on ALL your bags – both outside and inside. Check-in luggage, carry-on bags, kids’ backpacks should all have a sturdy ID tags on them for easy identification. Some useful information to include would be your name, physical address where the bags can be returned, a contact number or email address where you can be reached while you are away. Tip: If you have concerns about putting your home address on the tag, put a frequent flyer membership number (for the airline you are travelling with) instead. This way all your relevant information can be retrieved by airline staff if they need to.

3. Before you check-in your bags, make a note of how many pieces of luggage you have in total, including all hand-carry items, strollers, and car seats. This way you can do a baggage count each time you move from one point to the next making sure nothing has been left behind.

4. Remove airline tags from previous trips. These can cause confusion and result in your bag being loaded onto the wrong flight.

5. Ensure airline staff attaches the correct flight and destination details on your check-in bags. Double check this before your bag gets loaded onto the conveyor belt and heads off into the intricate world of airport baggage handling.

6. Arrive at Baggage Claim early. Being there to pick up your bags as soon as it comes onto the carousel reduces the chances of someone else picking it up by mistake.

If despite these precautions, you still find yourself in a ‘lost bag situation’, don’t panic. Be prepared for it by taking a few simple precautions before you leave.

1. Take photos of each bag. Keep a printed copy of photos with your passports. If you need to report a lost bag and identify it, a picture is worth a thousand words.

2. Split pack in each bag. Rather than having one suitcase for each person, or doing the ‘one for adults, one for kids’ suitcase split, make sure each suitcase has a few outfits for everyone. That way, should one of your bags go missing, everyone still has something to wear.

3. Split your cash and credit cards. If you are travelling with another adult, split your cash and carry your own credit cards.

4. Keep all medication and valuables in your carry-on bags. Be aware of airline rules for declaring sharps and other items allowed on board and have them with you at all times, especially prescription medication which may be more difficult to replace.

5. Have a ‘Do Not Lose’ bag. This is the bag you guard with your life and keep with you at all times. It would typically have things like your passports, cash, credit cards, itinerary and booking confirmations, travel insurance documents, and any essential medicines such as allergy, asthma or prescription medication.

6. Keep your check-in luggage stubs. Airlines normally attach this to your boarding pass. While most of the time you may not even notice they are there, you will need them to track down any missing bags.

7. Travel insurance. Know what you are entitled to claim for lost baggage and how to go about it. Keep travel insurance documents in your ‘Do Not Lose’ bag.

Realising that one of your bags is missing can be quite stressful. By taking these simple precautions, if you do find yourself in this situation, at least you can make sure it doesn’t take the fun out of your holiday.

This post is courtesy of Cindy Matias, the creator of  The Bag Tag Studio and a fantastic range of personalised luggage tags and bag tags.

 

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Cindy with John, Bea, Katrina and baby Miguel

Cindy with John, Bea, Katrina and baby Miguel

The following post is a real life story from Cindy Matias, the creator of  The Bag Tag Studio and a fantastic range of personalised luggage tags and bag tags.

We all know we need to put ID on our luggage when we travel. Personally, I used to do it out of habit (now I do it as an excuse to make myself another tag from my favourite designs). It’s just something that I’ve always done as far back as I can remember. It wasn’t until a recent trip a few months ago that I really saw the benefit of this habit.

A few months ago, I set off on a 5-week family adventure to the US with my husband, John and 3 kids – Katrina, 9, Bea, 5, and Miguel, 3 months. Our itinerary involved moving through 5 cities (New York, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Florida, Boston) in a span of 5 weeks. Friends thought we were crazy to attempt this trip with a 3-month old. I thought it was great!

Travelling light was not in our vocabulary. We had 8 check-in bags, plus 5 on board bags – each bag had one of our personalised luggage tags with our surname, frequent flyer number, and address on it. I had all our passports and cash for the trip in my backpack. My husband had his camera gear and laptop. The kids had their own backpacks with their stuff to keep them busy on the plane. I carried our 3 month old in a Baby Bjorn pouch in front of me, with the backpack on my back. This is how I went through Sydney Airport and onto the plane.

After a long flight, we finally got to the other end – a stopover in Los Angeles. We had to change planes for our onward journey to New York. Everyone gathered their bags, and I put our 3-month old back in the pouch as we got off the plane. As we waited by the baggage carousel for our check-in luggage, my husband turned to me and asked for his passport. I turned around so he could get it out off the backpack on my back. The expression on his face changed as he asked “Where’s your backpack?!”. I stared at him momentarily and went cold, then uttered a few expletives. I thought I had my backpack on me but it was the weight of the baby in the pouch that was pulling down on my shoulders. There was NO backpack! I had left it under my seat on the plane!

Cindy and family in New York

Cindy and family in New York

Our passports, our cash, our credit cards… EVERYTHING was in that backpack! We just knew we had to get it back. My husband raced through the airport to find the relevant airline personnel so he could hopefully get back on the plane to get the bag. It wasn’t an easy task as US Airport Security is very tight – even tighter when you have some tired, unshaven gentleman without a passport wanting to get back on an empty plane to get a backpack!

After much confusion, explaining and convincing, an airport staff member at the arrival gate asked my husband to identify the bag he was looking for. He did this as well as providing them with all the details on the luggage tag. They checked his NSW Drivers’ License (which he luckily had in his camera bag) against the details on the luggage tag and, once convinced that he was the owner of the backpack, turned it over to him.

Heaven only knows what the rest of the trip would have been like if we had lost that backpack so early into our trip. It was definitely an experience and only one of the many stories that we brought home with us from that 5-week family adventure.

Written by Cindy Matias
The Bag Tag Studio
www.bagtagstudio.com.au

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Plane travel with kids – tips and packing carry on luggage

boy flying plane588x400General Tips for on a Plane

1. Children under the age of 2 do not need their own seat. If you are travelling a long distance, you may like to book a seat however for extra comfort. When booking your flight, book a bassinet for your baby and request an aisle seat, kids will want to get up and move. If you book their own seat, check if you can take their car seat with you. This way they are contained and in a familiar surroundings. You need to check with the airline before you book to check you can do this.

2. Take your child’s favourite teddy and small blanket and a sleeping bag for a baby, planes get cold and something familiar will help settle babies and young children.

3. If you have a long trip, break up the trip with a 2-3 day stopover. Kids patience is a lot lower than yours.

4. Always have your airline and travel insurance company phone numbers in your mobile phone.

5. Give them milk/water or something to suck on during take-off and landing so their ears adjust to the difference in air pressure.

6. If you are going on a long plane trip, travel at night if possible as the children will sleep much better at night and won’t need to be entertained so much as during the day.

7. If travelling overseas and to regional or remote locations, check in advance what flights are available (keep a print out in your luggage) back to a major city or your home, in the case of emergency this information could be critical.

8. Leave details of your holiday with a family member or close friend at home, including flights, hotel details, insurance details, copy of passport and birth certificate.

9. Always keep a copy of your passport and insurance in your luggage.

Carry on Luggage

1. When you pack your carry-on luggage, remember the supplies in this bag need to last you from when you check in your luggage until you pick up your luggage at your destination. Always pack extra of everything, flight delays are common.

2. For your carry-on luggage, have your nappy change supplies handy and all together (in change wallet or drawstring bag) near the top of the carry-on so it is easily accessible. Always take more nappies than you think you will need. Also take at least 1 change of clothes for a short flight and 2 or more for a long flight – for your children and you.

3. To keep a baby or child happy during the flight, a great idea is to a pack a bag within your carry-on bag. It can be large-pink-ballet-dress-500anything but a drawstring is fantastic. You can pull this out of your carry-on before you sit down and keep it in the pocket right in front of the child. Fill this drawstring with stuff you need for your child and you during your flight – a drink bottle/milk bottle, a favourite toy, a new toy, activities, a bib, a few wipes, and a bag for rubbish.

5. A great activity for kids from 2 years on the plane is a sticker book – you will not have to worry about toys rolling onto the floor and they will love spending time finding where the stickers go. Buy a new one for the trip.

6. If they love milk, you can include a couple of small long life milk cartons for them to have on landing/take off. The Juice Buddy is a great thing to use so they don’t spill it everywhere. Also pack a bottle of water for you, tissues and a pen (to write on for the arrival card).

7. With the recent restrictions on carry on liquids on international flights, remember to pack any liquids in a clear bag bottles 3in 100ml bottles. Note baby’s food, water and milk is exempt from the 100ml limit, see below.

8.  The Australian Government has introduced enhanced security measures limiting the amount of liquids, aerosols, and/or gels guests are permitted to take as carry-on baggage to containers with a maximum capacity of 100ml each. All containers must fit comfortably inside a single one litre transparent re-sealable plastic bag (approx 20cm x 20cm) which must be completely closed. This bag must be presented separately at the security screening point.

These restrictions apply to drinks, foods in sauces, shampoos/soaps, creams, lotions, perfumes, sprays, gels, toothpaste, lip balm and similar substances. Note you may still take on-board items purchased after the security screening point at the airport, including duty free.

Exceptions however will be made for guests with medication and quantities of baby food and drinks required for the flight. These items may be subject to additional security checks. Tip – for children’s water bottles, take an empty bottle and fill it up after you pass through the security screening point.

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