BOSTON (CBSMiami) – The holidays mean travel for many families and anyone with small kids knows that carting around all that stuff can be overwhelming. The good news is there are several new gadgets designed to make that stressful holiday travel a lot easier.
When Natalie Catala packs her family for a road trip, it’s the littlest one who takes up the most room. “It’s a hassle having to travel with a small child. You have got to pack your car up and then by the time you put your things in, you’ve got no space,” she said.
Kim Orlando is all too familiar with the challenges of traveling with young kids. She even started a blog called Travelingmom.com. “The gear can be a vacation killer for a mom because we turn into the family Sherpa. We have to carry everything for everybody, so it’s always about how do we reduce?” she said.
Orlando has found a number of relatively new gadgets that can take some of the hassle out of traveling, like The Nest. “The Nest is a ten gallon storage compartment folded down into a five pound piece of equipment that unfolds into a bassinet for a child. It has a mattress and everything,” she said.
When you are flying, Orlando suggests skipping the bulky car seat and trying the “Cares” system. “It’s FAA approved, perfectly safe and so handy to pack because it’s small,” Orlando explained. It’s a pair of shoulder straps that attach to the airplane seat belt to keep kids safely strapped in during even the bumpiest of flights.
Need a booster seat for the car when you land? Try the inflatable Bubble Bum. It’s an inflatable seat that folds up small enough to fit into almost any bag. “When you are done with it, you just deflate it, fold it and stick it in your suitcase,” Orlando said.
Visiting friends and family who don’t have a high chair handy? Orlando says there are several portable booster seats which attach to just about a chair. The Neatnick saucer can help protect that same friend’s floor from unwanted vegetables launched from the child’s plate. It’s a large piece of laminated cloth that spreads around the child and onto the table. It can also provide a clean surface to eat if you are at rest stop or a fast food restaurant.
When you are packing the car, don’t forget plenty of books and games to keep the little ones busy while you’re on the road.