With the gift-giving season upon us, travelers everywhere are rubbing their hands together in the hopes of finding two first class (the kids can fly coach) tickets to somewhere warm wrapped in pretty paper. And while chances are slim that you’ll be able to deliver on that wish, you can help another parent out by giving them a travel-related gift that helps make traveling with kids at least a little bit easier.
From the wish I’d thought of that file:
1. Problem: “Which Black Bag is mine?”
Solution: A wireless luggage finder! Snap the gadget onto the handle of your case and never worry about finding your black bag again. Opt for the LED version and when your bag arrives you’ll see the tag blinking like a Christmas tree (you pick the colours) on the belt. Sure it elicited a few stares but hey, small price to pay for not lifting every black bag off that came before it. And who needs a name tag on your bag when you can see someone rolling off with the blinker from miles away. Those who are a little more conservative will like the wireless key chain recognition device that uses a radio frequency tag and will vibrate as your bag approaches. Genius. www.easy-2-pick.com (LED Retails for $9.95; wireless clicker is $24.95)
2. Problem: “I know I put that gameboy/DS/ipod somewhere.”
Solution: Sesame Street’s Elmo Mini Game Pack
Nothing will make you want to turn your car around faster than a slew of “I’m boreds” coming from the back seat. I’m not a fan of video games all the time but I do like the idea of having a diversion (and threatenable object) handy when you need a break. And I’m a HUGE fan of kids carrying their own stuff. This officially licensed “Mini Game Pack” solves both of those issues. The miniature backpack shape comes with a clip that can attach to your child’s bigger bag and has plenty of pockets to hold the gaming system and all of its accessories. The Sesame Street logo (pick from Elmo or Cookie Monster) will be a hit with the kids and keep all of that go-to goodness in one spot. www.dreamgear.net (Retails for $14.99)
3. Problem: I’ve got a baby, not lost my sense of style!”
Solution: Magz Bagz
Megan Turvolgyi loved fun and funky bags. She’d co-ordinate them with her outfits and her shoes. Then she had a baby and….still had a sense of style!
“As a woman you love your handbag and then you have a baby and you give up all the cutesy things,” she recalls. When she couldn’t find the bags she needed to carry the new stuff (diapers, bottles, wipes, gear…) she set out to make her own and Magz Bagz were born. “Some people can look at something conceptually and guess at what might work but having children and knowing what I needed the bag to do made me the perfect person to do it.” The bags are made to order from 100% cotton in Canada (you choose the fabric and style) and custom laminated (UV inhibitors and Phthlate free!) Best of all you won’t have to change who you are to carry them. www.magz-bagz.com (Retails for $28 -$150)
4. Problem: “I’ve got a bag, 20 pounds of camera equipment and 10 pounds of baby to carry and only two arms.”
Solution: Airbak Focus Tech Photography Backpack
Bad backs are one of the less than joyful surprises of parenting. They creep up on you once that 5-pound bundle of joy turns into a 30-pound squirming bundle of a boy. Now try lifting him and dragging your suitcase with a camera bag strap around your neck. Not fun. The Airbak bag has adjustable lumbar support and is designed to take the pressure off your upper and lower back with a “patented system that redistributes the weight to your upper buttocks” (hello!). With several compartments that can hold both your clothing and multiple lenses it can be your all in one carry-on for a short trip. (Airbak Technology is also available in a host of kid-friendly and adult friendly backpack options. www.airbak.com (Retails for $99)
And as our gift to you? Four lucky readers can take home one of the four solutions as a prize. Simply share a dilemma you’ve faced traveling with kids (below) for your chance to win. Readers will be selected at random. The contest closes on November 28, 2010.
Click here for contest Rules and Regulations.
For more family travel musings visit www.globetrottingmama.com