Category: Travel Essentials

Mifold vs. BubbleBum: Travel booster seat smackdown

My kids have all used traditional booster seats in the car, but recently my son has had a chance to test out two cool booster seat alternatives so we could really give you the scoop on the pros, cons, and differences between the Mifold and the BubbleBum travel booster seats. While size and portability are huge benefits of travel boosters like these, my 7-year-old expert (you know, the kid who actually has to sit on them all day in the car) offered up some good insight too. So, if you’re looking for an option to the big traditional booster...

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The travel toy box that solves every parent’s travel toy nightmares

Traveling with kids is never (ahem) easy, although we do have some pro-tips that make road trips or air travel a little easier on parents. But one of the easiest ways to keep the kids happier while they’re stuck in a seat is to give them access to their toys. Right? Bonus points if you don’t have to squeeze across the aisles or stretch yourself over into the back seat to constantly pick their stuff up off the floor. So when I saw the successful campaign on Indiegogo for the Danish designed Teebee travel toy box, I thought it looked pretty...

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The sweet kids beach poncho that multitasks in a big way

The thrill of watching a joyful toddler play in the ocean is almost enough to outweigh the pain-in-the-neck routine of swim diapers and sunscreen and sand and coverups. Not to mention the wagon full of towels, toys and other gear. But I just checked out a press sample of the adorable new children’s beach ponchos from Poncho and Parker and wow, they can really make the entire beach-going process surprisingly easier on parents.   Related: The most adorably modern, modest, mix-and-match swimsuits for kids. Just slip the beach poncho over your kid’s head; there are no sleeves to wriggle into so...

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6 essential sleepaway camp packing tips to keep you organized and sane (if not a little sad)

If your kid is going to sleepaway camp this summer — especially if it’s for the first time — your family is probably dealing with a lot of organizational kerfuffles right about now. Not the least of which is packing. Even though your camp will send its own checklist of “what to bring” and “what not to,” you’re still going to have plenty of questions. So we rounded up some sleepaway camp packing tips to help make it all much easier. That way, there’s less time to worry, and more time for what really matters: Lots of pre-camp hugs....

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5 incredibly clever ways to transport wine safely to picnics

Summer means picnics, and picnics mean wine! Well, okay — picnics mean an awful lot of good things, like family and fun and memories and sunshine. But for you wine-drinkers, a nice Rosé or Prosecco can have its own special place in a picnic, and we’re all for getting that bottle to your picnic destination safely. So let’s give a toast to these clever ways to transport wine to picnics. Bottoms up! At least, if your city’s open container laws allow. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Outdoor dining gear essentials for perfect picnics   We’ve loved these Wine Sippy...

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From the OMG files: The portable changing table that hangs from the bathroom stall door.

Until there’s a changing table in every restroom — male and female — one company has come up with an innovative solution in a portable baby changing table. And it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen. The Baby Change-n-Go was designed by two moms with toddler twins, with the hopes of saving parents a whole lot of grief when the only option is to change your baby on the bathroom floor (ew) or in your lap. It’s small enough to fit in your diaper bag until you need it. Then you just unfold it, and basically slip over the top of any public restroom stall door. Fold it down, and you’ve got...

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4 amazing beauty wipes you didn’t know could do the job of messier products

There’s no denying to new parents that a bottomless stash of diaper wipes is essential in every way. But what’s awesome is how many beauty wipes are available for adults too, taking the place of messier products you might own to make our busy lives on-the-go a whole lot easier. I’m a wipes fan, but I’m awfully picky when it comes to ingredients. To earn a place in my own purse — and on my body — a wipe has to be non-toxic, gentle, and do a heck of a job, whatever its job. Whether you’re in the car, on an airplane, or sweating through your...

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Finally, a beach towel that leaves the sand at the beach. Whoo!

My idea of a perfect day? Relaxing at the beach with a fun read while the kids play in the waves and never argue. Not even once. Okay, maybe that’s not so realistic, but what might make me almost as happy is a beach towel that sand won’t stick to. So, as you might guess, I was very excited to discover this new sand-free beach towel and put it to the test. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: The very best beach umbrellas and tents for families, after a ton of research The construction of Sandusa sand-free beach towels (that’s pronounced “san-doosa,” by...

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Alpine Pluggies make flying with kids a whole lot less painful

I was cruising the eye and ear care aisle at CVS last week on vacation, waiting for my daughter’s ear infection prescription to be filled (womp, womp) and trying to find something that might help her ears for the plane ride home. On a whim, I grabbed a few packs of Alpine Pluggies for her (and for me, actually), and wow, I have to say that they made a huge difference for the plane ride home. Related: The cutest travel pillow for kids when they’re too big to fall asleep in your lap These special earplugs, available in sizes...

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Temporary safety tattoos: A life saver for parents of kids who like to wander.

We all know that theme parks, playgrounds, and big outdoor events can be pretty overwhelming places to bring younger children, especially if you have several to keep track of. And big distractions like fireworks, cotton candy, and costumed characters certainly don’t make it any easier to keep anyone from wandering off. Which is why we think these new Emergency Contact Temporary Tattoos we found from MadelinesBox on Etsy are genius. In the off-chance your child does stray from your side, whoever finds your little one will know exactly who to call, even if they’re too young to have it memorized. Our editor Liz shared the...

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Waterproof diaper bags that just happen to make the perfect pool totes

Even if you’re not in the market for a new diaper bag, you might want to give the waterproof diaper bags from TWELVElittle a second look. My kids haven’t been in diapers in years, but I’ve been using their new waterproof diaper bag daily because it makes a perfect pool tote, too. There’s plenty of room for sunscreen, snacks, and towels for three kids. And if you do have little ones, it’ll work well for hauling diapers and swim vests, too. Or, you can hook swim vests to the shoulder straps — wet or dry — without worrying about ruining a pretty bag....

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26 of the best car games and activities to keep kids happy without screens.

I was one of those parents who insisted that I’d raise the kind of kids who would play fun, screen-free car games on our family road trips, or perhaps watching the world whiz by while asking intelligent questions about all the sites and sounds around them. Sound familiar? Yeah. Well after one particularly long road trip, I quickly learned that sometimes screens are really, really useful for making an endless drive feel… not so endless. But that doesn’t mean that I’ve totally surrendered to the lure of electronics. There are times when all the screens need to go off so we can discover other ways to...

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7 smart sleepaway camp essentials that help stave off homesickness.

If your little camper is heading off to sleepaway camp this summer, possibly for the first time (sniff), you’ll likely receive from the camp a long list of all the essentials to pack — extra socks, bug repellent, water bottles, headlamps. But, on top of all those must-haves (and they really are), we think that a few special items that connect them to home can help make the transition from bed to bunk a little easier. We spoke to our experienced sleepaway camp parents around here, and put together 7 of our favorite ideas for sleepaway camp essentials that help stave off homesickness and ensure the transition...

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The best friend blankie your child is sure to love.

I have a soft spot for twee animal products in general, but when I received Lewis, the snuggly, adorable travel blanket with the sweet raccoon face, I found myself in a blissful, childlike state, wanting to run outside and climb the nearest tree. The Nomad Travel Blankets from EllieFunDay go beyond adorable though, with a mission to encourage kids to venture outside more often. And Amelia the Bunny, Marco the Panda, and Lewis the Raccoon are all just waiting to be unfurled for an impromptu picnic, flown proudly as a cape, or tucked under a little head for some serious stargazing. Related: 10 really...

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11 truly clever tips and tricks for camping with kids to make it fun and easy. (Well, easy as possible.)

If you’re up for the adventure, camping with kids can be a really fun, inexpensive way to get away for the weekend. While it’s admittedly not the best night’s sleep you’ll ever get (though really, what parent gets a good night’s sleep anyway?), I’m a big fan of the unplugged quality time you get when you camp with your family — hiking, cooking over the campfire, snuggling up in sleeping bags. (Provided you leave your devices at home or in the car, that is. Free tip, from me to you.) Of course, knowing what you’re doing makes the whole experience so much nicer, so as an...

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The EWG 2016 safest sunscreens for kids: which are most affordable?

Every year, we have turned to the Environmental Working Group’s Annual Guide to Sunscreens to help us make more educated decisions about what are the safest sunscreens to slather on our kids (and ourselves) each summer. But we often find that when you break down the prices, whoa — it’s expensive to get safe sunscreens for kids! Especially considering how much we’re using. So this year we thought we’d take a good look at their short list of the EWG Best Kids’ Sunscreens, find the average prices online (generally from Amazon, Drugstore.com, or the brand’s own website if the product isn’t widely available at...

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The most awesome sleep masks, for a do not disturb kind of Mother’s Day.

Certain words are especially delightful to parents of babies and young children: Mama. Dada. Go take a nap honey, I’ll clean up. Are you with me? Once you’ve had kids, few things are as precious and elusive as sleep. Oh, sweet sweet sleep. That’s why I love the idea of these personalized sleep masks from The Sleepy Cottage on Etsy for an affordable, very thoughtful Mother’s Day gift. Our editor Liz has ordered a bunch herself over the holidays, and she swears by the craftsmanship and great service from Texas maker Sabrina Evans. Related: The coolest custom mother’s day gifts | 2016 Mothers Day Gift Guide There are...

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A fully reclining infant car seat from Cybex: Mamas, prepare your baby registry wish lists.

It takes a lot to wow us when it comes to car seats these days; there are just so many similarities among them, it’s rare when one stands out from the crowd. But if I were shopping for a new infant car seat right now — and (cough) money was no object — then the Cybex Cloud Q car seat from the stroller company we’ve come to love is the one I’d be all over. This infant seat has some remarkable safety features I haven’t seen anywhere else, but I think what will impress parents most is the fact that, outside the car, it converts from a car seat...

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Tokidoki and Clek collaborate for some out-of-this-world car seats

Sprinkle-donut spaceships. Cactus planets. Floating unicorns. Ninja aliens. All together. Seriously? Yep. Thanks to the brand new  Tokidoki-Clek car seats and boosters, created in partnership once again between the safe, swanky car seat company Clek and the LA artists at Tokidoki. I loved their first series of car seats, but I am over the moon for these new ones. And to think, when my kids were little and I was picking out their car seats, I got to choose between grey, blue, or pink fabrics. Tokidoki’s anime-inspired outer space fabric is a far cry from that. It’s so detailed and vibrant, I bet kids everywhere are going to beg to be buckled up. And...

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The cutest travel pillow just for kids, when they’re too old to just fall asleep in your lap (sniff).

I admit that I still love that feeling when my tweens want to cuddle up next to me and rest their heads on my shoulder next to me on the plane. But I also admit — and yes, it’s a little sad — that one day you will not be so enamoured of that moment. So I’ve found possibly the most adorable travel pillow for kids ever. We discovered Kikkerland’s Zip Flip Travel Pillows for kids at the NY NOW gift show last week, and it was one of my kids’ absolute favorites. (More on those to come!) Related: What to buy a 7...

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Tentsile tents may be the coolest tents ever. If you’re okay with heights.

I love camping with my kids. Okay, scratch that. I love the idea of camping with my kids. But sleeping on the ground — not so much. So when I stumbled onto Tentsile tents on the web, I kind of geeked out. I cannot wait to try out one of these tents that is strung from trees, just like a hammock-treehouse hybrid, so the whole family can sleep together — without roots and rocks (and snakes) under our sleeping bags. Also, they look pretty freaking cool. Related: Handmade kid hammocks that rock. In all senses of the word. Tentsile tents use tensile strength (get it?) to...

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9 travel essentials for babies that are worth the money

Going on a vacation with a baby can be a lot of work, but if there’s anyone who needs to get away and relax for a while it’s a new parent. (We support you, new parents!) We have all packed for a lot of trips over the years, and we’ve put our heads together to figure out which travel essentials for babies are great to have on hand — and which are totally unnecessary. Some of these are splurges, some are bargains. But I really think they’re all great values because they do a great job at what they’re supposed to do. After all, your...

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A temporary tattoo that keeps kids safe. Not just cool.

I always thought it was a clever idea to write your number on your young child’s arm with a Sharpie, should you be hitting a beach or a theme park where there’s even the slightest chance of getting lost. But I also know plenty of squirmy kids who do not want to have anything to do with that, especially as they get a little older. One trick: Make your kids memorize your phone number. (We started with my kids around three and remarkably, they nailed it.) Another really fun trick: The Emergency Contact Number Temporary Tattoo Watch. Fun, right? A box of 16...

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Volvo reinvents the child car seat, and wow.

We’re always looking for cool new safety innovations for children and since Volvo is synonymous with safety (thanks, advertising!) we’re not entirely surprised that they’re the first to reinvent family car travel with this Volvo child seat concept. Whoa, right? The premise is that the baby can remain in a rear-facing seat in the new Volvo XC90, only…in front. Then whomever is in the passenger seat has the ability to slide back. That way, the kiddo is in eyeshot of both the driver and another passenger, instead of one of us (ahem) climbing awkwardly into the rear over the seat back in the middle...

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6 cool sets of summer camp labels for kids, so that what goes to camp comes back from camp

One of the first rules of summer camp, other than Sunscreen Sunscreen Sunscreen, is to label every single thing your kids take with them. Including the sunscreen. While a Sharpie can do the trick on some products, we love colorful labels that affix to all of their things in seconds, and never accidentally bleed through a label onto the other side of a t-shirt. Related: Summer camp care package ideas so cool, the kids might even miss you. Maybe. So, I’ve put together 6 cool summer camp label designs for kids for different needs, including bundled camp packs to help save you money....

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11 of our very favorite travel toys and books for kids to help make those miles pass quickly

If Spring Break or Easter has you heading out by plane, train, or automobile, you may be wondering how to keep your kids happily occupied beyond the iPad, as you travel from Point A to Point B. And since we all know how hard it is to hear “are we there yet?” for the 200th time, I’ve pulled together 11 of the most portable, fun, and quiet travel toys for kids that we can all vouch help make the miles whiz by. CMP is an rstyle affiliate   Related: Road trip help for families: Tons of sanity savers, tips and our favorite essential products    Magnetic Toys I...

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The Lugabug child travel chair: A brilliant alternative to the ride-on suitcase for children.

Traveling with kids to fun places is almost always worth the schlep it takes to get there. But trying to rush through a crowded airport with a child or two in tow can put a damper on our enthusiasm quicker than you can say They moved our gate where? For a while, there have been a few cool ride-on suitcase options for kids, like the trunki, but now there’s what may be the smartest one of all. Frequent flyer families need to check out Lugabug, which makes carting your kids through an airport as easy as rolling your luggage. Mainly...

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Family road trip tips: Tons of sanity-savers, tricks, and essential products to keep the back seat under control and save your vacation.

A lot of us are heading out for family vacations this month, and while a lot of parents consider a long car road trip with the kids the seventh circle of hell, I like to think of it as…a character building experience. But as tired as I get of hearing, “How much longer?” I’m sure it’s less fun for my kids, who are squished together in the back seat on a seemingly endless journey. When we took a 16-hour road trip (each way) with a 3-year-old and an 18-month-old, I had plenty of time to discover what works and what doesn’t. And after talking...

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Orla Kiely blooms at Target. Otherwise known as designer handbags for less. Whoo!

I have toted diapers, work stuff and even my computer in Orla Kiely bags and have become an avid fan, so I was shocked to find out I was not the first of her cult followers to learn that the popular designer had partnered with Target for an affordable cosmetic bag collection. Orla Kiely Etc. has two new exclusive collections at Target in cheery poppy and bright garden themes. The hole in my make up bag that sends my lipgloss straight to the bottom of my purse makes this especially exciting news, for me at least. The pieces are lovely, at a price point that make it possible to collect them all. My first...

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Cool travel accessory alert: The reinvention of the travel neck pillow

I don’t travel light. It’s hard to with two kids and an affinity for shoes, which is why a neck pillow is one of those useful travel accessories that never really make it into my carry-on. For the first time I’m reconsidering, now that I’ve discovered the new Sleeper Scarf, which reinvents the travel neck pillow and looks way better than those garish things in the airport gift shops. Essentially it’s an inflatable neck pillow, only smartly hidden inside an infinity scarf that you can wear any time. The Sleeper Scarf sounded a little As Seen On TV-ish to me when I first...

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