Sunday, November 16, 2008

As I was reading today about a new Motrin campaign ad that makes babywearing look bad, I found a really cool travel website for mom's with kids.

As y'all know, I've done my fair share of traveling with kids. First with a 2-month baby flying from SLC to Frankfurt. Then two years later flying with a 2-month old baby AGAIN and a 2-year old from SLC to Frankfurt. (With lots of road trips in between) And then flying without the hubby with a 5-year old, 3-year old, and 1-year old from SLC to San Francisco to Nagasaki Japan. And then of course there were the flights to return back to the States too. We are a well traveled family.

So I was excited to see that Mom Most Traveled is hosting a giveaway (it ends on the 18th) for a CARES restraint! I first read about CARES restraints last month as I was doing research and planning for our upcoming flight to Germany (yeah, I like to plan ahead...we still have about 10 months to go...).

As described on their webpage, Kids Fly Safe:

Forget about hauling a heavy, bulky car seat through crowded airports and narrow airplane aisles. There's a better way to keep your young children safe while flying. CARES (Child Aviation Restraint System) is designed specifically for airplanes and is FAA certified as having an equivalent level of safety to a car seat for all phases of flight. CARES is manufactured by AmSafe Aviation, the foremost manufacturer of airplane seatbelts and other safety restraints. Best of all, CARES weighs only 1 lb, fits in a 6" carrying case, fits on virtually all airplane seats and takes a mere 1 minute to install.
I would have loved one of these on our flights to and from Japan last summer. We took along one of our carseats and used it on our first, shorter flight but it made the tray on the sit in front of it unusable. It was a nuisance. But I knew that if my girls could have been in a 5-point harness, they would have an easier time staying in their seats. It would help them feel like we were going somewhere, even though they couldn't really feel the plane moving.

I'm crossing my fingers that I get lucky and win a CARES restraint because they cost 80 bucks!! Crazy huh?

But I googled it and found someone who rents them through ebay. $15 for a vacation that is no longer than 21 days.

And while I'm on the topic of flying with kids, here are some things I've found helpful. If you've been following along for awhile, you'll remember some of these from last summer (Yep, that's three different links. I'm feeling a little link-happy today).

Safety Harnesses
Make sure you get something that goes around the torso like this.
If it only attaches to the wrist it's a waist of time and money.
I put these on the girls and just unclipped the leash when we got on the airplane.
That kept me from having to worry about taking the harness on in a rush.

Baby Bassinet
The details for how I made this are on a past post, here.
Whatever you do, try to have some plan that accomodates a sleeping baby.
You'll be glad you did.

If I had to give one piece of advice on traveling with kids, I'd say
You know your kids,
what keeps them entertained,
what helps them feel secure,
what triggers tantrums.
Do a little planning to address those things and you'll have a great time!

(And trust yourself to come up with solutions based on what you have at home too!
You don't have to buy the whole store!)

Also, here are some blogs I subscribe to for travel tips:

Mom Most Traveled
Delicious Baby: Making Travel with Kids Fun

Update -- I've been asked for ideas for car trips and here are some of the things that have helped us:

* Make something your kids can use as lap desks in the car so they have a way to draw. Or buy a lap desk. We got ours at Borders for $15 each. I think that's pricey, but they were birthday presents. You could always try using a wooden puzzle flipped over.

* Read out loud to them or have them read to you or siblings, for those that can.

* Let them take turns listening to music or books on tape/CD on an mp3 player or walkman/discman.

* Let them each bring a stuffed animal, pillow, and blanket.

* If you have a Nintendo DS or know someone who doesn't need theirs for the Thanksgiving week, those are great and have some really fun kid games.

* Depending on how much charge your laptop gets, let your kids use it to play some of their favorite computer games.

* My girls also love dot to dots and things like that. You can find tons of printable activities online.

* And when all else fails, watch movies on a portable DVD player!



  1. starleighswiser said...
    You guys are so lucky to travel as often as you do! Jake and I keep trying to make plans to go overseas but with kids, now, it always gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list. BTW, I NEED your recipe for poppyseed chicken. That dish was AMAZING!!
    Wendi said...
    I am going to have to get me one of those harness things for the next time I fly cross country... actually... or go to the mall. Zub is impossible to keep track of. I must also say, in my limited experience, train travel is much easier than plane travel with little kids.
    Anna said...
    It still amazes me that you took the three girls by yourself to Japan. It still stresses ME out to think of doing that trip. You are amazing!
    And thanks for the tips, you have some really good advice. I will have to remember those things the next we go somewhere.
    Trying to Stay Calm! said...
    You have a great blog here :)
    Heidi said...
    Okay, any tips for keeping children entertained on a 9 hour car drive? Nine hours, not counting stops to nurse or use the bathroom for two potty training kids. Sigh... :) Maybe we'll be using diapers for the road trip. But entertainment tips? I can only listen to the DVDs so many times before I lose my mind.

    And I am AMAZED you flew to Japan alone with the girls. I'm barely capable of going grocery shopping with three kids.
    Abby Hanson said...
    Starleigh, I'll email you the recipe. :) So glad you liked it!

    Heidi, I'll add my car ideas to the post itself.We're getting ready for a 12 hour one next week ourselves...
    Erika said...
    we trust our portable dvd player to entertain the kiddies. :)

    I tagged you.
    Emily said...
    what a great post with lots of ideas! Thanks again for your response to my cooking advice post. I really loved looking at the ladies blog who uses the crockpot 365 days a year!

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