Thursday, April 17, 2014

Safety On The Road!

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month Thousands die needlessly each year because people continue to use their cell phones while driving, handheld or hands-free. Join the National Safety Council this April in urging those you care about to:
  • Stop using cell phones while driving
  • Recognize that hands-free devices offer no safety benefit
  • Understand the dangers of the cognitive distraction to the brain
  • Tell others about the dangers of cell phone distracted driving
And just as importantly, be sure that you are prepared in the event that you and your child are involved in an accident.  If you happen to become incapacitated, Emergency Contact Information could be the difference between life and death, particularly if your child is unable to communicate.  To ensure that vital information is readily available, download our handy Infant Car Seat Emergency Label and apply to your child's car seat; Travel-Tot is proud to have introduced this brilliant and free download over 2 years ago!

”Hands
Provided by The National Safety Council


Friday, April 11, 2014

Blogs We Love: Traveling Families!

image courtesy of vongvanvi/
FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The internet can bring the world to your fingertips... literally! The web is heavily saturated with amazing travel sites, many geared specifically toward family travel.  But family travel blogs are as unique as the families whose adventures they record; so it can be hard to figure out which sites offer the best content for your needs. After all, some sites offer  valuable expertise, some motivation to start your family's trip, and some, simply heart-warming tales of the lives of those who have chosen to explore the world as a family!  This week, I've chosen four of my personal favorites to share; check out these inspiring sites created by families who have generously chosen to share their experiences exploring our amazing world:
  1. Travel Mamas - With a beautiful, clean, fun layout and articles on topics from family travel to great grown-up getaways, Travel Mamas delivers a ton of invaluable information!  Don't miss the comprehensive packing lists and helpful travel tips.
  2. 100 Routes Across America - Another outstanding resource; with amazing road trip itineraries for all parts of the US and phenomenal tips, reviews and pointers for great food along the way!
  3. Two Kids and a MapA riotous account of one family’s travels through the good, the bad, and the ugly; whether down the street, across the country, or even around the world, this site will leave you entertained and informed.
  4. Pit Stops for KidsA place to share reviews of the places you’ve stopped during road trips, and to benefit from the experience and information other parents have to offer!  This community of parents shares a goal as well as a philosophy; find great stopovers and destinations for kids, after all, it’s as much about the journey as the destination!
Each of these fantastic blogs offers invaluable information, inspiration, and perspective; so if you aspire to a life less ordinary, take advantage of the wit and wisdom of these bloggers and get inspired to set your family travel plans into action!  Wherever the road may take you, may you always enjoy safe and happy travels!



- Destination Mom

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Snapshot: Memories With Perspective!


Looking to keep school-aged kids occupied on a trip? Try giving each child an inexpensive, single-use camera to capture the trip from their own perspective. My 9 year-old daughter absolutely loves doing this; once the photos are developed, she uses them (and other mementos) to create a memory book of her adventure!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Lions and Rhinos and Leopards, Oh My!

This week, we are simply ecstatic to share an amazing, family-centered, life-changing, travel opportunity!  Chances are good that you and your family have watched the award-winning program, Travel With Kids on PBS, and if you like what you've seen there - you're going to flip for this!  Below is the official press release for Travel With Kids' latest venture - their Adventure Tours.  Starting this summer, the Travel With Kids family (Carrie and Jeremy Simmons and their sons Nathan and Seamus) is inviting your family to join them on an escorted trip to South Africa!  Read on for more details!!!

-Destination Mom


# # #

Travel With Kids Family is Inviting
You to Join Them in South Africa

Announcing Travel With Kids Family Adventure Tours


Phoenix (March, 2014) – Traveling with children can seem like an overwhelming challenge, which leaves many families planting their feet securely at home. However, the award-winning, visually stunning, Travel With Kids television series maps out the best of each fascinating destination they visit and shows how families can make their trips relaxing and fun while introducing young adventurers to local customs, food, and breath-taking scenery. And this summer, Travel With Kids is inviting other families to join the fun on an escorted trip to South Africa.  Spend time with your family volunteering in the townships, learning about South Africa’s amazing and recent history at interactive museums and from people who lived through it and immerse in nature at wildlife conservation centers and on safari. And the best part is: You can experience it all with the trusted and well-seasoned travelers Travel With Kids’ hosts Jeremy and Carrie Simmons and their sons Nathan and Seamus.


“After traveling all around the globe, filming episodes in South Africa made a lasting impact on us…especially our kids.” says Carrie Simmons. “Ask our kids what their favorite destination is and they will tell you South Africa and with good reason. When we filmed there, not only did we have the chance to see nature in action…rhinos fighting over territory, a jackal sneaking a bite from a lion’s dinner…but we learned history and culture in a kid-friendly, hands-on way. The kids especially loved their time meeting local kids in schools and volunteering their time to help better a community.”


Travel with Kids is an educational and entertaining voyage of discovery through ancient sites, exotic islands, historic cities and vast nature. Designed to educate families about places around the world, the series presents the history, culture and nature of a destination in an innovative manner that keeps viewers of all ages engaged.   This summer other families can experience it first hand along with the hosts of Travel With Kids. With two fully escorted tours in July and August covering destinations such as Cape Town, the Cape Peninsula, the famous Garden Route and Kruger National Park and doing things like meeting local families and visiting schools in townships, diving with great white sharks (optional, but fun!), getting nose to beak with penguins and nose to trunk with elephants, and of course going on safari, there is something for everyone.

Parents will appreciate the pre-trip checklists, FAQs, packing lists and years of family travel experience and tips provided by Travel With Kids parents Jeremy and Carrie Simmons. Kids will enjoy hanging out with famously silly hosts Nathan and Seamus as well as hands-on activities like learning to track animals, scavenger hunts, a special South Africa book, activity kit and more.

Travel With Kid airs in 150 cities across the United States and in 30 countries internationally. Season 3 will begin airing this spring on PBS stations. Check your local listings for day and times. Travel With Kids is also available on-line through Hulu.com, iTunes, Roku and Amazon as well as on DVD (available through www.travelwithkids.tv and www.shoppbs.org). The Travel With Kids series has won several awards including the Telly Award, iParenting Media award, KIDS First! Endorsement, the Dove Foundation Family Seal of Approval and the Adding Wisdom award. Destinations covered by the series include the Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico, the United Kingdom, New York, Paris, Ireland, Italy, Florida, California, Alaska, Costa Rica, Peru, Thailand, China, Greece, Vietnam, Fiji and South Africa.

The Travel With Kids Family Adventure Tour to South Africa is operated by DSA Vacations, (www.dsavacations.com). Based out of Tucson, AZ, DSA Vacations is owned by Terry von Guilleaume – a South African now living in the United States. DSA specializes in tailor-made vacations, including family travel, to Southern and Eastern Africa.

Produced by Equator Creative Media, a multimedia production company promoting independent adventure travel for the family, Travel with Kids was created in 2004 and is currently in its 7th season of television production.  The PBS Season 3 airing is brought to you by Travel Assurance Promise, Kuboo.com, Apple Vacations and HomeExchange.com.  Travel with Kids is distributed internationally by Janson Media and by NETA on Public Television in the USA 

To see video from Travel With Kids South Africa episodes, visit:

For more information on the show, or additional interview material and images, visit www.travelwithkids.tv or email Carrie Simmons at simmons@travelwithkids.tv or call 602-326-9048. The on-camera host family is also available for interviews, speaking engagements and appearances.
# # #

About Carrie Simmons:

Carrie Simmons is the Creator and Host of Travel With Kids, a television series airing on PBS nationwide and in 30 countries internationally. The show aims to educate families about the history, culture and nature of destinations around the globe while featuring exciting, adventure activities for families.  Carrie started her career in the newspaper industry where she handles promotions and special sections.  After years in the corporate world, she decided to turn her briefcase in for a backpack and took off on an 8-month round-the-world journey with husband and co-producer of Travel With Kids, Jeremy Simmons. They were both bit big time by the travel bug.

Carrie says, “Once we had children everyone thought we would have to stop traveling, but I couldn’t understand why we would do that. I want to expose my kids to all the wonders of the world and the adventure of traveling.” And so the concept of Travel With Kids was born combining Carrie’s background in writing and marketing and Jeremy’s experience in television production. “We began shooting when the kids were 3 and 1 years old in Puerto Rico. We had no budget, but an amazing idea of what we wanted to do and some very enthusiastic supporters.”

Travel With Kids has been in production since 2004. “Our kids have really grown up on the road” says Carrie. “It’s given them amazing perspective on the global community and a deep-rooted compassion for the world around them.” Travel With Kids has produced 55 episodes on 5 continents around the world. “Australia is at the top of Nathan’s (now 12 years old) list and Antarctica…well that’s in the dream column for now.”

“What I like best about traveling is getting the chance to learn about other cultures and the history of a place. I think that when we travel as a family, we really grow together.” says Carrie. Her best travel advice: “Go now! So many people put off traveling until the ‘kids are older’ or ‘my job calms down’ and then never end up going. Set a date, start planning and do it! Conditions will never be perfect, but the experience will stay with you and your family forever! So, go!”

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Products We Love: Aero-Tray - Revolutionize Your Space!

Looking for the perfect solution to creating a comfortable work space while traveling?  We've found it! Aero-Tray is a revolutionary travel accessory, that is perfect for the whole family! A portable, ergonomic work area for laptops, mobile devices, books, magazines and more, Aero-Tray can be used on planes, trains, automobiles, in bed, on your lap - you name it.  Aero-Tray creates ample room for tech gear, food and beverage, and entertainment materials to be used in a comfortable manner in even the tightest of spaces.


But don't just take our word for it - check out this video and see how Areo-Tray revolutionizes your space!




Aero-Tray is available through TravelSmith.com and is offered in two colors; Noir and Camel (retails for $59.95 USD). 


For more information, check out http://www.Aero-Tray.com!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Destination: Charlotte, NC!

image courtesy of digidreamgrafix/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Looking for a family-friendly, fun-filled spot to spend Spring Break with the family?  Charlotte, North Carolina is sure to please!  With typically warm, beautiful spring weather, Charlotte is as ideal for outdoor enthusiasts as it is for lovers of the great indoors!  Home to such popular attractions as the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Discovery Place, and Carowinds Amusement and Water Park, there is truly something for visitors of all ages. 

But with so much to offer, where do you start? Consider what amount of time you have to spend, what common interests your family has, and what your trip budget is, and then just hit the web!  For a good "jumping-off point," here are five of our favorite not-to-be-missed attractions:

Carowinds Amusement and Water Park - One of the area's largest thrill parks, Carowinds has it all, with over 50 rides,  shows and attractions.  Open starting this Saturday!

NASCAR Hall of Fame - Got a NASCAR racing fan?  Then this will be a dream come true!  Enjoy the Hall of Honor where inductees are enshrined and honored, and check out Glory Road where vintage cars and exhibits of famous tracks are on display!  And if they love that, you may want to check out The Pit (an indoor cart racing/laser tag/arcade located about a half-an-hour north on I-77).  For true motorsport junkies, the Hall of Fame website has an extensive list of even more attractions and activities you won't want to miss!

Discovery Place - This kid-friendly science center boasts groundbreaking exhibitions, larger than life IMAX dome films, and hands on activities that are sure to capture your child's imagination and bring science to life!

Carolina Raptor Center - Live Bird Presentations, Vulture Feedings and Meet the Handler programs give parents and children alike a chance to experience the majesty and power of some of the worlds most remarkable avian predators at this amazing non-profit rehabilitative facility and preserve!

ImaginOn: The Joe and Joan Martin Center - What happens when you combine an innovative Children's Theater and a state of the art Public Library?  You get a phenomenal, collaborative venture dedicated to bringing stories to life through extraordinary experiences that challenge, inspire and excite young minds. ImaginOn combines innovative educational programs, cutting edge library collections and services, and award-winning professional theater to create unique and memorable productions!

So think family fun in Charlotte this spring; and safe and happy travels!
-Destination Mom

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Baby Wipes: Beyond Baby!


image courtesy of SOMMAI/
FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Every parent exults the day they can bid a fond farewell to the bulky, cumbersome diaper bag!  But before you cast off all the trappings of diaper-bag dependency, consider stowing a pack of those handy baby wipes in your purse.  They can be invaluable for:
  1. quick clean-ups (for kids and grown-ups alike - particularly great for make-up removal!),
  2. removing pen/pencil/crayon/paint stains from a variety of surfaces (think walls, furniture, upholstery, clothing, even skin!),
  3. wiping down public toilets, restaurant tables, and shopping carts,
  4. emergency toilet paper (a true lifesaver when you're in a pinch!), and
  5. waterless showers when camping!