April 23, 2013

Awesome Heys Travel Tots Luggage Giveaway

As you know, I love to research extensively. So when it came time to buy my kids their first luggage set, I scoured through reviews of kids luggage like I was on a mission. I wanted something fun that they would be excited to pull through the airport. Something affordable, lightweight and functional, and which also would endure my little ones handling it. It had to be something that would appeal to my kiddies but which would not be too babyish. After combing through the internet, I finally found exactly what I was looking for:  the Heys Travel Tots 2pc. Kids Luggage & Backpack Set‘.  Check out the pictures and video further down in the post.

heys travel tots kids

Heys International Ltd. is a Canadian company that has made a name for itself by providing high quality luggage at affordable pricing. They offer the latest innovations in materials, design and structure and continue to be a catalyst for change in the luggage industry. The Heys brand is synonymous with travel. From check-in to final destination they’ve got you covered.

Today we are giving away one of these awesome ‘Travel Tots 2pc. Kids Luggage & Backpack Set‘. As you can see in the video below, it is the perfect travel companion for your little one. The Travel Tots collection was created by Heys with the unique characteristics of children in mind, incorporating several design features that benefit children.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my kids loved the product and didn’t want to let their Heys luggage out of their sights, taking their carry-on and backpack everywhere they went. It also helped to alleviate boredom for the kids because so many people commented on their cute luggage and struck up conversations with them about their Heys travel tots luggage sets. They didn’t have time to be bored while waiting in line at customs or when the plane was a bit delayed etc. since they were so thoroughly occupied with the attention they received from all the grandmas, grandpas, uncles and aunts asking about their penguin and ladybug luggage.

So treat your child to this great gift; enter to win a free Heys Travel Tots 2pc. Kids Luggage & Backpack Set today.

Heys Travel Tots1

This giveaway is open to Canadian residents 18+. The winner gets to choose which of these travel sets would be the perfect gift for the little one in their life! Good Luck.
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This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for reading!

April 22, 2013

Flying with kids

This past weekend was the first time in two years that we’ve flown with our kids and the top thing we took away from the experience was: It’s helpful to fly with other family members. If you have to go to the bathroom there’s always someone else there who’s happy to sit next to your little one and keep them company. It helps to have an extra person around to break up the monotony of your kids sitting in their seats for long stretches of time, so why not play musical chairs with other family members and give your kids a chance to visit with some of their other favourite people.

Flying with kids epic

Another thing we took away from the experience is that safety sets your mind at ease.  We rented a CARES harness and borrowed another one from a mommy friend in a moms group that I belong to.  This one little item set my mind at ease when we encountered turbulence since the kids were strapped into a five point harness.  Just a little information for those who have never heard of it, the CARES Child Aviation Restraint System is designed specifically for aviation use for children age 1 and older who weigh between 22 and 44 pounds, who can’t withstand the jolts that are common in routine air travel, much less emergency situations, and which can cause them to flail forward or slide beneath the seat belt if they are not held securely in place.  I felt more comfortable knowing the kids had it on and the kids seemed comfortable too because it was reminiscent of their car seat buckle system.  Funny enough, even our flight attendants were impressed with it and kept bringing their fellow flight attendants from the other sections of the plane to have a look at it.  As you can tell, I am a big fan of the [amazon_link id=”B004ECL4XM” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]CARES harness[/amazon_link].

epic CARES

Something else that we learned is that headphones are our best friend. We went with the [amazon_link id=”B0067U2FLE” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Safe Soundz Kids Headphones[/amazon_link] with Volume Control, for ages 3-5 and they were wonderful. My kids could watch the cartoons on the plane, listen to their music or play games on my iPod Touch.  My daughter kept hers on and listened to nothing for a good length of time just to dull the noise around her. Actually it was funny to see her walking around with her funky headphones plugged into her pants pocket.  I had a strong vision of her as a teenager in those moments.

YummyearthOrganicLollipop

Another thing that we were glad we did was bring lollipops for take off and landing. Before we left, I knew they needed something to suck on but I also knew that I didn’t want to pump them full of sugar so I opted for [amazon_link id=”B000HDK0DC” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Yummy Earth organic lollipop[/amazon_link] with vitamin C.  These lollies are gluten free, nut free and free of high fructose corn syrup and artificial dyes.  They were so tasty; even the adults in our group kept asking for more.

activities kids

In order to keep the kids occupied I packed both of their carry-on bags with home made pre-packaged activity kits. In the kits I had colouring sheets, goldfish and graham cracker snacks, easter eggs filled with candy beads and string to make bracelets, a painting sheet with q tips to use as paintbrushes and a little travel puzzle. Their carry-ons also had their very own travel sized blanket and blow up pillow. Both kids had a blast doing their activities and the great thing is, I didn’t have to break the bank because I got everything at the dollar store for under $15.

Finally, the big hit of our trip was the kid’s luggage. If you want your kids to carry their own bags, then you’ve got to make sure it’s super cute. My kiddies didn’t want to let their luggage out of their sights. They carried their carry-on and backpack everywhere they went. It also helped to alleviate boredom for the kids because so many people commented on their cute luggage and struck up conversations with the kids about their Heys travel tots luggage sets.  They didn’t have time to be bored while waiting in line at customs or when the plane was a bit delayed etc. since they were thoroughly occupied with the attention they received from all the grandmas and grandpas asking about their penguin and ladybug luggage.

epic Heys luggage

All in all, what I learned from flying with my kids is that you should come prepared. I let them know ahead of time what to expect, we talked them through every new experience, we stayed close and gave them lots of hugs and kisses so they’d feel comforted; we allowed them to safely explore their surroundings and gave them the autonomy to manage their own time. They enjoyed setting their own schedule for activities, snack time, watching tv or listening to music, cuddling with mom, dad or grandparents, having a book read to them or having some quiet time with their headphones on. The entire family had a wonderful experience flying and would do it again in a heartbeat. Every time my little guy sees a plane now he asks, “Mommy when do we get to go on a plane again?” It looks like my kids have inherited our love of travel and I am super excited to be able to walk along side them and help them to discover some of the many treasures our wonderful world has to offer.

April 16, 2013

Southern Caribbean Flowers

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, medicine and food for the soul”  – Luther Burbank.  I hope these beautiful Southern Caribbean blooms help to brighten your day.

tropical flowers

tropical flowers1

tropical flowers2

tropical flowers3

tropical flowers4

April 3, 2013

Vacation jams playlist

I’ve been working on my playlist for the last few hours and these are some of the songs I came up with.  I’d love some suggestions, so leave a comment below and let me know what songs you think I should add to my vacation jams playlist.

Thanks dudes 🙂

April 3, 2013

Packing kids luggage for travel

Traveling with kids is a fun and interesting experience for the whole family, but I figured there were a few things I could do to try and make it easier for us. For example, most of the excursions on the boat requires us to meet our tour guide at the pier early in the morning so I thought that instead of rushing around every morning trying to find something for the kids to wear before rushing them off to breakfast, maybe I can adopt one of my summer travel strategies to make life easier.

So for our cruise this year, I organized all their outfits in ziplock packages, two for each day for each kid. For my little girl, a morning bag would contain shorts, shirt, hair stuff and accessories. An evening bag would contain a dress, cardigan, hair clips/headband, necklace and bracelet. For my son, his daytime bag would contain simply a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, whereas his evening bag would contain a dress shirt, tie, dinner jacket and a pair of shorts/pants. The great thing about this system is that if the clothes get wet or stained, I can simply put them back into the ziplock bag where they won’t dirty any of the other outfits, and transport them back home to clean properly. The other great thing is, you bring less stuff with you on the plane because you know exactly what you need before you go. It’s a great system that I wish I had thought of before but am so happy that I’m able to utilize now. Oh, and the bags that I use for the cruise will stay in their suitcase and be reused for camping this summer  and hopefully next year too.

Epic crusing with kids packing list

In the past when I’d pack my kids clothes for camp, I tended to pack way too much stuff and by the third day (for the life of me) I couldn’t make heads or tails of what they’d already worn from what was still clean. It took me a while, but I finally realized that planning ahead made life so much easier. So last year I started making checklists for our excursions and putting their outfits in ziplock bags, and low and behold it made our holidays run much more smoothly.

To take some guess work out of planning your next travel adventure, click here to download my free ‘Cruising with kids’ checklist.

cruising checklist