Tag: family travel

Here’s what happened when I took a solo road trip with my 4 kids. Spoiler: It was awesome!

As my kids get older and my status as single mom changing with the blending of my family with my fiancé and his pug (Hi Audrey!), I decided I wanted to start a new yearly tradition: a solo road trip, just me and my kids. Alone. Gulp. This year, I had my geography-loving 10-year old son pick three places within reasonable driving distance from our home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and then the rest of us would vote. And so, after his fabulous PowerPoint presentation (his idea, not mine) to help ensure his sisters were making informed choices with their...

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Bouncie: The simple, powerful device that’s keeping families safer on the road.

If you’re like most parents (us included!) you spend a whole lot of your time in your car. Whether it’s shuttling the kids to and from school, activities, sports, and playdates, running errands, or just hitting the road on the weekends. And when you’ve got a teenager behind the wheel, well, we know that road safety becomes even more top-of-mind. Like, all the time. That’s why we’re excited to share info about our newest sponsor, an amazing new car safety device called Bouncie, which is keeping so many families safe on the road. Click over to Cool Mom Tech for...

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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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Cool hard-side kids’ luggage: 9 options that might get them to carry their own bags

There are few better moments for traveling families than the day your child is ready to carry their own luggage through the airport! (Can I get a woot?!) I’ve put together some fantastic hard-side luggage for kids that makes for fantastic first-time luggage, whether they’re a tot or a young teen. I wanted options that were rugged enough for the beating kids can give all of their items, but something fun and cool enough that they’ll want to grab it before you can even ask them to yourself.  Now that’s a win! CMP is an rstyle and Amazon affiliate...

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All about that babe: 7 of the most outrageous kids’ amenities at hotels and resorts

Sometimes it’s the little things that make your vacation really special … and sometimes it’s the huge splurges you’ll remember forever. If that’s what you’re looking for on your next vacation, check out these five luxury resorts and hotels with some incredibly outrageous kids’ packages and amenities. Like, we’re-a-whole-lot-jealous amenities. Yes, they’re all over-the-top. But if you’re celebrating a special birthday, a huge accomplishment, or a massive tax refund (ha), these family-friendly resort packages could end up making for the family experience of a lifetime. Just be sure to check with the hotel or resort concierge before planning, to...

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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 Hamilton Instrumentals: Now YOU (or your kids) can star in the musical

If your kids are as obsessed with the The Hamilton Musical as mine are, then they probably know pretty much all the lyrics to every single song. And, you probably do, too. Well now, you can see how well they do thanks to the release of The Hamilton Instrumentals.  Related: Everything you need to throw the coolest Hamilton party Available on both Spotify and Apple Music, you can now access the entire Hamilton Musical soundtrack with just instrumentals, no lyrics. Hence the name. Now, your kids can put on their own musical performance of it (if they haven’t tried to...

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Here’s why you may now need a passport to fly domestically, and how it impacts family travel.

If you’re a parent in Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania (sorry, Kristen!), South Carolina or Washington State, a simple family trip to visit the grandparents is about to get trickier. And a lot more expensive. All thanks to the REAL ID Act of 2005, which goes into effect this year. And it may impact even more states and US territories than that. If you’re not familiar with the REAL ID Act, just a little background: it’s a fairly controversial measure passed after 9/11, designed to establish federal standards for the issue of state IDs for entrance to federal facilities, and...

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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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A fun board game for summer that our kids can’t stop playing.

Last week, my son and I visited the Innovator’s Fair here in Philadelphia and discovered our newest board game obsession: Maze Racers. It combines creativity and building with mazes in a super fun way. Let’s just say, we’re all addicted. Including me. Related: The best board games for summer travel.  The game comes with two magnetic boards, a bunch of small magnetized foam pieces in various shapes and sizes, and marbles. Using the pieces, each player creates their own maze (like a Labyrinth, if you ever played with those), then passes their board to their opponent. The goal is...

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The best family board games for summer travel…because good things come in small packages.

My family loves to play board games. I’m talking, big, involved, takes-three-hours-to-play board games. And what better time to play than when we’re on summer vacation? But, it can be tricky to travel with big boxes full of a zillion pieces. Luckily, we have found a few games we love that come in boxes small enough to easily toss in a backpack or tote bag. So, if you’re looking for some offline family fun that you can take with you, wherever you’re headed this summer, check out these 5 family board games for travel. In fact, these are the ones I’m packing for our trip...

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The coolest summer activity books for kids. Because, this summer, there will be no such thing as “I’m so booooored!”

As much as we’re looking forward to summer and all of the many kids’ activities that come with it, we have to say that it’s those long days of no activities that can be most stressful. That’s why we made this list of awesome summer activity books for kids — with these on hand, your kids will have approximately zero reasons to be bored. At top: Go Photo! by Alice Proujansky CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Made-for-summer crafts that will keep your kids creatively and happily occupied. Fill-Me-In by author/illustrator Moose Allain was on our list of best activity books for summer last year, and you can...

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2017 EWG best safe sunscreens for kids and babies: Which is the most affordable?

Every year, I take a look at the Environmental Working Group’s report on the best safe sunscreens for kids and babies. This list measures popular brands against the EWG’s standards, including everything from worrisome ingredients to false marketing claims. Not every top-ranked tube of lotion is the same value for the dollar, though, so I’ve broken down all 19 of their best safe sunscreens for kids by price per ounce. Because I’ll bet there are other parents like me, who want safe products for their kids but don’t feel the need to spend more money than necessary. Top photo: © Kate Etue for Cool Mom Picks...

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8 surprising rules about flying with children that every parent should know

If you’ve watched the news recently, you’ve probably heard a disconcerting story or two about air travel passengers — which can be all the more troubling when the story involves parents flying with young children who were subject to rules that no one knew, or worse, subject to rules made up on the spot. As a new mom, I poked around to get myself informed (and avoid becoming the subject of a viral YouTube clip, eek!), and found some really surprising rules about flying with children. I certainly didn’t know all of these, so I’m posting them here because you might not...

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5 really important automotive safety checks you should do yourself before getting on the road

Yes there are like so many holidays and official months, it can be hard to keep track. But one that makes a lot of sense to set a calendar alert for is National Car Care Month, which happens to be right now. You know how we all remember to change the batteries in our smoke alarms at the same time we change the clocks twice a year? Well, April is the perfect month each year to make sure your car is in safe running order before the summer travel season begins. That’s why we’re really glad to have a chance to talk...

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An irresistible collection of teeny, tiny, extraordinarily big family adventures

The brand new children’s book, Atlas of Miniature Adventures is the most charming, wonderful, travel-meets-trivia book. Author Emily Hawkins and illustrator Lucy Letherland sure know how get even the most cynical, “can’t we just stay on the couch and play video games?” couch potato excited to explore the world. (If only via Google.) The colorful, engaging pages take us across all 7 continents, with descriptions of fabulous adventures and natural treasures — but the catch is, they’re all in miniature. Irresistible! You’ll find short descriptions of diverse destinations, both natural and manmade, including the exquisite 1930 fairy castle dollhouse in Chicago’s Museum of...

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How to get free admission during National Park Week

If this gorgeous spring weather has you itching to get outside with your family, we’ve got the perfect excuse to head out to one of our national parks this weekend: it’s free! This year, the National Park Service turns 100 years old, and to celebrate, during National Park Week (April 16-24), admission at all national parks will be free. As in, totally free. For everyone. Whoo!   Related: 22 National Parks and Sites you can visit without hiking boots. Maybe even without a plane ticket. Of course, we’ve been motivated do whatever we can to support to the awesome National Parks program lately, as...

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5 fun travel toys for preschoolers who need to stay busy on long flights

I dreaded air travel when my girls were little. Between the two of them, I had a seat kicker, a non-napper, and an impatient whiner. Yeah, I was that parent. So I learned what works, and what doesn’t, to keep my little ones happy and occupied on long flights. Besides packing lots of snacks and lollipops, which helped with hunger pains and air pressure changes, I always brought along toys that were easy to use, not messy or awkward in small spaces, and ones with few parts to avoid missing pieces and ensuing tantrums.   Related: The handiest travel bag for parents? Found it. And...

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A Cabo resort for active families: Kiss a camel, swim with angels, or just relax.

Maybe back in your college days, you knew Cabo as the spring break destination or now you think of it as the place fancy people run off to, when they’re hosting fantasy destination weddings. Let me assure you, there’s more to it, especially if you’re thinking of family travel. Cabo is an amazingly beautiful place with so much to do that your family will run out of energy before you run out of options. With my own kids now official tweens at 8 and 10, our vacations have become a chance to get out and experience adventures — in other words, no more holding a baby...

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Grocery shopping with a baby? You’ve got to see this cool shopping cart hammock.

The logistics of shopping with a baby in tow can be challenging, to say the least. But this clever creation from Binxy Baby changes everything. I can hear parents everywhere rejoicing. Related: From the OMG files: The portable changing table that hangs from the bathroom stall door. Roll it up, and you can easily toss this shopping cart hammock in a diaper bag or tote. We haven’t tested this ourselves, but from the instructions online, it looks super easy to install onto a shopping cart and to secure your child into the hammock. What I think is so smart is that by using the safety strap,...

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