Eating on the Go – Snack Tips for Family Travel

12 Sep

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Traveling with children in tow is always an adventure, but it’s one worth having. Taking your children to amusement parks, national parks, museums and other places is fun and there’s always something for your child to learn.

Of course, no trip is worth taking unless you have a few snacks packed for the journey. Just be selective on what you pack, and how you pack it. The tips below should help.

Tips on Snacking While Traveling

Keep it Nutritious: You want your trip to be fun, but there’s no reason to let your child fill up on sugar and foods that could make traveling more difficult. Keeping to your child’s regular diet is probably a good idea. He’ll be less likely to suffer from stomach aches, and you won’t have to break his bad eating habits when you get back home. It’s fine to offer a tasty snack every day, but for the most part stick to fruits, crackers, water and other healthy options.

Consider Packing:

  • Fresh Fruit
  • Dried Cereals
  • Soy Crisps
  • Trail Mix
  • Fruit Snacks
  • Pretzel Sticks
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Grapes
  • Carrot Sticks
  • Almond Slices
  • Mini Granola Bars
  • Goldfish Crackers

Pack it Right: Certain snacks just don’t travel well. Stay clear of any snacks that can melt in the hot sun, spill or cause food-bourne illness. Cheese and peanut butter are messy options, as are any snacks that require dipping. Pack your snacks in air-tight plastic containers and be sure your snacks will adhere to security guidelines if you’re traveling by plane.

Keep it Cold: If you pack a snack that requires refrigeration, be sure to pack ice coolies and check the temperature of the snack before serving. Water is probably best for drinking as it can be consumed either cold, or luke warm, if necessary. An insulated thermos is a good investment, and will keep drinks cold for hours at a time.

Bring Along Backup: There’s no such thing as a clean snack, so be sure to pack clean up wipes or a spray bottle filled with water for quick clean up. Baby wipes are also helpful for keeping kids and the car clean and ready to go.

Traveling Baby Company helps parents with all their baby rental gear. Consider renting a stroller, crib or other baby items from us on your next family trip.

5 Ways to Ruin Your Family Vacation

1 Sep

 

Don’t let these mistakes ruin your family vacation.

Many families wait all year to take a trip together, and while a trip may be just what’s needed for family bonding and to de-stress, common mistakes can ruin a family trip. Below are five mistakes that parents often make when traveling with children. Be aware of them, so the next time your family packs their bags to destinations unknown, you’ll be less likely to come home disappointed.

Mistakes that Can Ruin a Family Trip

Overscheduling – Parents are known from time to time to commit to doing too many things at once, and family vacations are no different. While you may want to cover a lot of territory on your trip, the truth is children (especially young children) need a lot of down time to rest and regroup. Make sure you’re not overscheduling your family or setting a pace that is stressful to keep up with. Instead, pace your group and yourself so that you can really enjoy your time together. Sometimes, less is more.

Failing to Offer Kid Activities – Children need activities that are appropriate for their age group but parents often don’t schedule “kid time” while on vacation. Be sure that your daily agenda includes time for outdoor play, playground play, or downtime to read, draw or play with toys. Providing these activities will give your child an outlet and a chance to regroup for the next activity. In addition, be sure that any museums or parks that you visit have galleries or offerings for your children.

Making Everything About Education – Parents want to expose their children to wonderful learning opportunities, but sometimes it’s more fun to just enjoy the day. Be sure your vacation combines learning opportunities as well as fun time. You could go to a museum one day and a water park the next.

Indulging – For many adults, vacations are a time to forget about the diet and have a little fun. But children who eat too much fast food, sugar or other non-nutrtional snacks or meals may actually be grumpier and even more difficult to manage. A healthy diet is important to maintain while on vacation — and may result in fewer tummy aches, constipation or other digestive problems.

Failing to Plan Ahead – Kids can get grumpy on vacation just like any other time of the year, but a little preplanning can minimize that. Make sure you bring a bag of goodies with you on your trip filled with books, magazines, snacks or other activities that will help keep your child entertained while traveling. Cut down on lines by ordering tickets ahead of time, and try to reserve tables at popular restaurants ahead of time.

Traveling Baby Company rents baby equipment to families on the go. Leave the heavy baby gear at home and let them bring a crib, stroller, high chair or other baby gear to your destination. 

Traveling with Kids? Consider a Tour Company

16 Aug

A tour company can make traveling with kids a lot easier.

When I was younger I traveled without an itinerary, never knowing where I’d plop down for the night or where I’d be the next day. I had my backpack, my traveling buddy, my youth hostel pass and my passport. It was a great way to travel — and still is, if you’re young, single and don’t have any children.

Travel these days is quite different for me. With two kids and a husband along, not to mention all of our gear, I have to know where we’re going, where we’re staying, and I have to make sure we keep to our budget. That’s a lot of work. And sometimes, I don’t want to take it on.

So, I’ve been considering taking the family on a trip through a tour agency. It seems ideal to me. I know the costs upfront, and I can leave all the details to the company and the tour guides. They’ll know ahead of time where the family friendly spots are, they’ll take care off all the transportation details, and they’ll even book us into hotels, restaurants and at special attractions we want to see.

Sounds great to me.

Of course, one day I know I’ll pick up my backpack again, and hit the road without any plans whatsoever. Until then, I think I’ll let the pros do what they do best.

Not ready to join me? You can always travel with your kids to your destination and then hire a tour company to show you the sights on a day trip. That also sounds interesting. Whether you’re headed to New York, Washington, Los Angeles or another great city, there’s a company that can show you around and make your trip enjoyable and fun.

Whether you let a tour company handle your entire trip, or just a few hours, they’re a great way to take some of the responsibilities off your plate. Find a company that caters to families, then sit back, and take it all in.

Traveling Baby Company rents baby equipment to families on the go. Leave the heavy baby gear at home and let them bring a crib, stroller, high chair or other baby gear to your destination. 

Where to Take a Baby on Vacation

2 Aug

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When it comes time to plan a vacation or a quick get away, some parents hesitate about bringing a baby along. But babies can be flexible travelers, and seasoned parents almost always encourage new moms and dads to take their babies just about everywhere.

Why?

Well, for starters, if you introduce traveling to your child at a young age, they’ll learn how to adjust and will become experienced travelers themselves. But traveling can also introduce your child to a number of geographic differences, cultural differences and more. Just like adults, kids who travel just seem to know more about the people and the world around them.

WIth that in mind, what are a few possible destinations a parent could bring a baby to? The answer is simple: babies can go just about anywhere adults do, keeping good common sense in mind. Below are a few popular destinations you might want to visit with your sweet little baby in tow.

Visiting Relatives: Visiting relatives can be a great first trip with baby. You want your Great Uncle Bob to meet the little guy that was named after him, don’t you? In addition, a family trip to see relatives can also be easy on the budget, if you stay with them and forgo the hotel. Just be sure they have all the baby equipment you’ll need, and if not, rent or bring your own.

To the Beach: The beach is fun for just about anyone, babies included. Be sure you time your visits to the beach when the sun isn’t at its strongest. Shade, sunscreen and fluids are a must for your baby. And while you’re there, let your little one splash in the surf and dig in the sand.

To a Big City: Cities can be surprisingly baby friendly, offering deals to families and easy to use public transit systems. If your baby is well rested and happy, check out a local park, zoo or museum. When your baby is older you can make use of the visit to introduce her to different foods, music and cultures.

To the Mountains: The mountains can provide a beautiful backdrop to a relaxing vacation or weekend trip. Let your baby experience the mountains with you. Consider a short hike together (using a baby backpack), or just enjoy the outdoors while you tent or cabin camp. Point out animals and other items from nature — to help your baby develop a bond with his outdoor environment.

Traveling Baby Company rents baby equipment to families on the go. Consider them for your crib, stroller, or car seat rentals or for any other item your baby will need while traveling.

Should I Take My Baby to a Museum?

18 Jul

Babies can be brought along on a museum trip. And they may learn a lot.

Some parents think that when children come along, they have to give up certain social activities. That’s not necessarily the case.

Babies love to get out and about, and even very young babies can be flexible enough to travel, and take to places like parties and museums. Don’t hesitate to bring your child with you to a museum, just be careful about timing the visit around your baby’s schedule. Infants may do well if you bring them when they typically nap — you can put your child in a sling and let him snooze while you wander around from gallery to gallery.

An older baby may do better visiting after a feeding, but before nap time — so that he can people watch and enjoy the sites. But timing your visit is just the first step. If your child enjoys looking at bold colors or objects, he may get as much out of the visit as you do. Be sure to point out things you think he might enjoy looking at — including ordinary things such as other babies or even the signs in the museum.

If your baby is stroller bound, make sure he can see from where he’s sitting. Consider propping him up in a sitting position so that he can look around and watch. Older children who are walking can be even more engaged. You can ask your child to find “something blue” in the museum — sort of a beginner’s treasure hunt.

Of course,  babies need breaks for snacks and for rest so be sure you clear time to visit the museum cafe for a bite or a bottle. Ending your trip by visiting the gift shop and purchasing something inexpensive might be a way of encouraging your child to love museums as much as you do.

Traveling Baby Company helps parents and guardians when they travel by fulfilling their baby equipment needs. If you’ll be traveling with a baby, contact Traveling Baby Company for information on crib and stroller rentals, as well as other items and accessories. 

Keep Baby Safe at the Beach

4 Jul

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The beach is a huge draw for families on vacation. Some families take every vacation they have to the beach to play in the sand and surf, and to feel the cool ocean breezes. If you’re taking a baby to the beach for the first time, there are a few safety precautions you need to know, to keep him safe and happy. Below are a few tips on beach safety for babies and toddlers.

Keep Your Baby Safe at the Beach

Parents often wonder if their child is too young to enjoy the beach. That all really depends. If you have a baby that transitions easily to new environments, than a visit to the beach might be a big hit with baby. If you decide to give the beach a try, be sure you:

  • Use Sunscreen: Sunscreen is approved for use on babies as young as 6 months. If your child is younger than that, it would be wise to call your pediatrician first, before applying sunscreen on your baby. Sunscreen must be reapplied regularly in order to protect your child, so bring a bottle with you to the beach.
  • Find Shade: The sun can burn baby’s skin so easily. Even if you use sunscreen it’s wise to find a shady spot you can place your child under throughout your visit. A beach umbrella or a fold-up cabana are great ways to keep baby in the shade.
  • Wear Shoes: The sand can burn your baby’s feet, so make sure he’s wearing water shoes or beach shoes that will protect him from the hot sand.
  • Be Wary of Sand: You’ll need a bed spread or a large covering for your baby so that he can get away from the sand. Babies may place their sandy hands in their mouths or their eyes, which will make for a miserable trip for both you. Make sure someone is constantly watching your child so that you can avoid a sandy encounter.
  • Bring Toys: After a while, your baby may loose interest in his new surroundings. A few reliable and dependable toys may help keep your child amused and happy.
  • Look Out for Debris and Shells: There can be a lot of debris at the beach, including trash that your child might want to pick up and put in his mouth. Clear your area of anything that might be dangerous, including sharp shells that can cut your child.
  • Keep Baby Hydrated: It’s so important that your baby stay hydrated at the beach. Nurse or bottlefeed as usual, and make sure you offer liquids frequently. Water or a combination of juice and water might also be a good idea.
  • No When to Leave: At some point your child may want to head back to the hotel or beach house. Be prepared to leave when he’s ready. There’s really no point to forcing a fussy baby to stay at the beach if he doesn’t want to.

Traveling Baby Company helps parents and guardians when they travel by fulfilling their baby equipment needs. If you’ll be traveling with a baby, contact Traveling Baby Company for information on crib and stroller rentals, as well as other items and accessories. 

Safe Travels – 8 Things You Need to Know Before Any Trip

20 Jun

Keep important information on hand and easy to find.

When you travel with a baby or a child, you know enough to pack snacks, medicine and plenty of clothes for your trip. But parents often forget to pack the vital information they might need on a trip should an emergency happen.

Be sure you’re prepared for anything by jotting down important emergency information you might need should you be involved in an accident, should your child become lost, sick or injured, or should you become unable to speak or communicate to emergency personnel.

Below is a list of emergency information you should have on hand for any family trip or vacation. Update your list before each trip, and keep it in your wallet or purse at all times. Hint: Some parents prefer to tape the information to the back of their child’s car seat, or in another spot where people might find it. In addition, be sure to give a copy of the information to anybody you might be staying with.

Emergency Information for Family Travel

  1. Your child’s name, address and phone number
  2. Your name, address and phone number
  3. Your child’s date of birth, recent height and weight, and identifying information such as eye color, hair color, etc.
  4. A recent picture of your child
  5. The name of two emergency contacts back home (and contact information)
  6. The name and contact information of your child’s doctor
  7. Any allergies or health conditions your child might have
  8. Your child’s health insurance information

Traveling Baby helps traveling parents rent much needed baby equipment such as strollers, cribs, care seats and other items — making travels with baby a little less hectic.

Tips on Visiting Relatives – When You Have a Baby

5 Jun

When you have a baby, visiting relatives can be a challenge.

Traveling to visit relatives is something every family does, at one time or another. Touching base with family members who are out of state, or even out of the country, can be the highlight of the year.

But when you have children, and babies in particular, it’s important to make sure that you’ve made preparations for your trip, and that you’ve prepared to be a good guest. Below are a few tips that will help you make your stay a pleasant experience, both for you and your hosts.

Must Know Tips When Visiting Relatives

Be Considerate: It seems so simple, but remember that you’re the guest and that you and your children are not at home. If you’re staying with grandparents or with relatives who aren’t used to being around children, you’ll need to keep a very close eye on your kids, to make sure that they behave, and don’t create any extra work for your hosts. Bring your own baby food and supplies, or rent your baby equipment from a baby rental equipment company. That will get your hosts off the hook for having to go out and purchase hundreds of dollars of baby equipment that will only be used for a few days.

Help Out: You may be on vacation, but you’ll still need to help out around the house. Offer to cook a meal, and be sure to pick up after your children. In addition, adhere to your host family’s schedule. Do they go to bed early? Do they take naps in the afternoon. If so, is it possible for you to adjust to their schedule?

Give Them a Break: Not everyone is used to being around a baby 24 hours a day. It might be necessary to give your hosts a break by taking baby out for an hour or two. You could go for a walk or visit a nearby park. Just be sure you give your hosts a break, and a chance to regroup.

Be Thoughtful: It’s always nice to let your host know that you appreciate all they do for you. Consider purchasing a gift for them, or taking them to a nice dinner before you leave.

Traveling Baby gives parents and hosts the option of renting baby equipment for their trips.

Is Your Hotel Family Friendly? Here’s How to Tell

24 May

You’ve waited all year long for your family vacation and everything is in order. Your bags are packed, your newspaper has been stopped and you’ve booked a highly recommended hotel. But just how family friendly is your hotel?

Fortunately, many hotel chains and mom and pop motel and B&Bs have made their establishments quite family friendly. Still, it makes sense to do a little research on any hotel you’re considering before you book. If you want to make sure you have a great family vacation, be sure your hotel caters to families. Here’s how to know.

How to Tell if a Hotel is Family Friendly

Is it Recommended by Families: When researching options, it pays to find a family travel guide book. These books are often well researched and offer great insight on what hotels offer families. A well researched book will give you the pros and cons of any establishment, along with details on dining options, room options and recreation facilities.Check your local library or Amazon for free or budget-priced travel books.

Are Children Allowed: Seems simple, but some mom and pop establishments don’t rent rooms or cottages to families with children. Be sure you ask when you book if families are welcome. If not, look elsewhere.

Is Transporation Nearby: Any hotel you book should offer you easy access to any destinations you’re considering. Ask about accessibility to the interstate, metro, subway or bus. Ask how many minutes does it take to get from the hotel to your destinations.

Is Baby Equipment Available: Many hotels offer cots or cribs to hotel guests, but are they safe for your baby? If you’d prefer more control over your baby equipment, consider using a baby rental company for your crib or other equipment needs.

What are the dining options: Take the time to review the hotel’s dining options. You can probably review menus on line. Be sure children’s options are there, and if not, ask if the hotel charges a splitting fee if you share your meal with your child. Also, room service can be a perk when traveling with kids. A late night snack or a muffin and juice in the morning can keep your child nourished and happy.

What recreation facilities are offered: Check to see if the hotel has a pool, game room or other facilities that appeal to kids. You might be so busy that you don’t need them, but it’s nice to have, just in case.

Is there a hotel store: At some point in your trip you’re probably going to need something that you forgot to pack: sunscreen; a toothbrush; bandaids; a pair of flip-flops; or medicine. Ask if the hotel offers a quick stop and shop, just in case.

For information on renting baby equipment when you travel, contact Traveling Baby.

Washington DC with Kids – Traveling Tips for Families

13 May

The Nation’s Capitol is surprisingly family friendly. Even parents of small children will find Washington DC easy to navigate (even if you have a stroller) and there are so many free or nearly free things to do there that it can be fairly easy on the family budget.

If you and your family are considering a trip to Washington, take the time to conduct a bit of research. You’ll not only save money, but you’ll also eliminate or minimize traveling hassles. Below are  a few tips to get you started.

Traveling to Washington DC with Kids? Keep the following in mind:

  • Washington is super easy to access by plane. Reagan International Airport is the closest airport to the city and is a mere 10 minute drive to the White House, but Dulles and BWI are within a 45 minute drive. Flights to DC can be relatively inexpensive, as it’s a top destination for businessmen and of course, legislators.
  • To cut down on your travel gear, consider renting baby equipment such as a stroller or a portable crib from a baby equipment rental company. Also, be sure you pack your tennis shoes, because Washington is a walking city, much like New York City.
  • Be sure any stroller you rent is up for the DC terrain. Pebbled paths are common, so you’ll want a stroller that can easily transition from grass, to pebbled pathways, to paved streets. Also, make sure the stroller folds easily, for hopping on buses or the Metro.
  • The best months to visit Washington DC with kids is in the spring (during the peak Cherry Blossom blooms) and September and October. The summer can be fun as well, but DC is known for its heat and humidity, so be prepared.
  • The Metro is the city’s “subway” system and it extends into Virginia and Maryland. The kiosks are pretty easy to use, but if you’re struggling, ask a local. Despite the city’s reputation, most people who live and work in DC are willing to help out tourists, and may even offer up advice on where to go and what to see.
  • Free activities abound in Washington. Consider a day trip to the National Zoo, an afternoon in the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History, and a few hours at the Air and Space Museum.
  • Don’t miss checking out the monuments and memorials if you’re visiting Washington DC with kids. They’re actually most beautiful at night time, when the lights are on. The Lincoln Memorial at night is especially moving.
  • Many people don’t know that that there’s a small aquarium in the basement of the commerce department. It’s free to visit, and it’s right smack in the middle of the city. Take a tour when you’re ready for an indoor activity.
  • DC is a city for foodies. A visit to Chinatown might be worth your while. Or, check out one of the many pubs or bistros in Georgetown or Adams Morgan. Just make sure they’re family friendly.
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