After more than 20 years in commercial and corporate aviation, I am delighted to bring my expertise to the world with In-Flight Insider. Based on my philosophy that not only should safety and comfort be mandatory, but glamour and elegance should be too. I have created a resource for the discriminating traveler that combines my hands-on experience gained with over nine million miles in the air with my knowledge of the most practical and luxurious travel products the world has to offer.
Carolyn has contributed her travel expertise to a range of national media outlets including The Washington Post, msnbc.com, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, Robb Report, and creditcards.com, and Divine Caroline. She has also been featured as a travel expert for USA Today, AOL.com, Peter Greenberg’s Radio Show, Prevention’s “List Maker’s Get-Healthy Guide”, and SilverKris (Singapore Airlines’ in-flight magazine). Carolyn is featured as the travel style contributor for MedjetAssist’s website and their monthly newsletter as well as the travel expert for and GLOW Beauty Magazine.
School vacations are coming up and everyone knows traveling with small children and young kids can be a challenge even on a good day. Here are some fresh ideas for families who travel, and an unusual one for expecting parents!
1. Keep young children safe in a seat belt. We all know that lap belts aren’t safe for little kids in cars, and the same goes for airplanes. Airlines don’t offer over-the-shoulder harnesses for kids, but you can get your own from CARES. Instead of carrying a heavy, cumbersome car seat on board, take a lightweight CARES harness that fits in your pocket and is easy to install in any plane seat. Your child will be safer and you will have peace of mind.
2. Keep older kids connected. Older kids like to venture out on their own—whether you’re traveling as a family, they’re on a teen tour, or just visiting a friend. And you want to know where they are and what they’re doing. I’mOK is an iPhone app that makes it fun and rewarding to check in. Each time kids check in their location shows up on your phone. They can then add more information, such as whom they’re with and what they’re doing. They can even send pictures. And for every detail they provide, they earn additional points that can be redeemed for rewards you’ve agreed on in advance. As the I’mOK web site says, “It’s knowing without the nagging.”
3. Take the Stress out of the airport with this app. GateGuru is a phone app I use (and recommend often) every time I travel. Instead of wondering where to eat, where to buy a book or a souvenir, where to find the services I need, I now click on GateGuru and get all the answers instantly. Especially when you’re traveling with kids, you want to know what food options will be available past the security check point, where the bathrooms are, and where you can take them to pass some time or buy a toy if your plane is delayed. GateGuru tells you all that and much more. The app is free and available for both iPhone and Android users. More great apps for frequent travelers.
4. Use Wanderfly to help you book the best flights*, hotels, and excursions. Not sure where to book… and want any easy way to coordinate the flights, hotels, and the destination? Go to Wanderfly and get inspired. Wanderfly, a web site that shows all your options, based on your personal criteria, and take the agony out of decision-making. Type in your budget and the dates you have in mind, then click on the kind of trip you think the family will enjoy and see what comes up. *I always recommend to people traveling with kids to book nonstop whenever possible and to get an early flight when delays or cancellations will be less likely.
5. Last chance for a “Mancation!” Okay, you’re expecting, and that’s exciting. Expectant moms get baby showers, but what about the dads?
Babyshowerforguys.com thinks men should have a last fling, and they’ll help you plan a “mancation” to enjoy before your little bundle arrives. Let’s face it, your spouse probably doesn’t want to go fishing or golfing anyway, so while she’s doing girlie things she’ll be happy for you to indulge in a bit of harmless manly fun before you turn into a dad.
Editors’ Note: Carolyn Paddock writes about products and services that are beneficial for travelers. The products and services mentioned are neither commissioned by nor written in cooperation with the product company or manufacturers.