Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Travel-Tot Tip!

Before you venture out on your next road trip, check your route for places to stop for quick breaks.  Everyone, children included, benefits from the chance to use a restroom, stretch their legs, grab a quick snack, and freshen up!  For the tech savvy, there's a great, free app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (iOS 4.0 or later) called "Rest Stop" that can save you the eyestrain of trying to find rest stops on a map!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Destination: Out on a Limb!

image courtesy of Out 'n' About Treesort
Treehouses are one of the most magical icons of childhood; the quintessential secret hideaway.  I remember playing in the woods behind my childhood home, constructing forts with my little brother out of my mom's best sheets; dreaming of building a real treehouse.  Needless to say, all these years later my dream of a treehouse hideaway is alive and well! That's why I am so thrilled to share this fantastic family-friendly getaway spot: Out 'n' About Treesort!

Situated on 36 private acres adjacent to Siskiyou National Forest in southern Oregon, Out 'n' About Treesort, LLC offers accommodations and activities for children (and former children!) of all ages!  Out 'n' About boasts a wide array of treehouses for rent; featuring many different sizes, themes, and elevations.  But the fun doesn't end there; this Treesort features several child-size forts, platforms, swinging bridges, five swings (plus the Giant Tarzan!), 20 flights of stairs, four ladders, a swimming pool, two performance stages, and an unbeatable collection of zipline courses! In addition, there is a bath house and a
image courtesy of Out 'n' About Treesort
cooking pavilion, a big campfire site, and multiple barbecues, among other "amenitrees."  Their experienced and enthusiastic staff also offers a wide selection of "activitrees" and classes,  such as: Arts & Crafts, Forest Ecology, Horseback Riding, and Zip Lining.

Out 'n' About is open year round, though their high season typically runs from mid-June to the beginning of November; a price list for all seasons is available here. Prices provided include full breakfast every morning, with bedding and towels for all their perches (those without full plumbing in-house can use the "Central Amenitrees"). For a sneak peek at the different treehouses available, check out their "Perch Prices" page. While it may feel remote to nest in the trees at the edge of a National Forest, you can rest easy knowing there is a good selection of stores, food, and eating establishments a mere 10 miles away in Cave Junction where you can grab things you may have forgotten to bring along, or discover you need after you arrive!

Out 'n' About eagerly welcomes guests of all ages, but they make no secret about their dedication to keeping their guests as safe as possible.  While they do everything in their power to insure safety, there is an inherent risk associated with visiting a treehouses and other elevated structures.  To be certain you understand this risk, and to remind you to use common sense, Out ’n’ About (and their insurance company) require you to sign a release and assumption of risk agreement to stay there or participate in any "activitrees." 

So if you are looking for the vacation of a lifetime, look no further!  Out 'n' About Treesort has something for everyone; perfect for family getaways, romantic retreats, and group vacations, you'll enjoy an adventure that will "leaf" everyone smiling and feeling like a kid again!

Safe and happy travels!
-Destination Mom

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Travel-Tot Tip!

Travel trays are a great tool for keeping your little adventurer occupied while in transit; keeping toys, writing utensils, and food easily accessible and safe from dropping on the ground or out of reach!  There are trays for all price points and ages, so do some research and snap one up before your next family trip!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Safety Gear We Love for On-The-Go!

  • in 2002, over 700,000 children under age 15 were killed by an injury.
  • injuries are the leading cause of death for children after their first birthday; with the leading injury-related causes of death among children under age 14 of age being traffic injuries and drowning.
  • for every injured child who dies, several thousand live on with varying degrees of disability; falls are a leading cause of burden of disease for children under age 14 in high-income countries.
  • a large proportion of injuries occur in either the home or in leisure environments.
The good news - a study recently conducted by Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center demonstrated that injuries were significantly reduced for children living in homes with properly installed safety devices; indeed, it showed that childproofing a home can reduce injuries by 70% for young children.

While they may seem frightening at first glance, what these statistics effectively demonstrate is that childproofing of both home and leisure environments is the key to deterring fatal and serious injury.  Travel-Tot is dedicated to providing parents with the tools and information they need to help keep their kids safe on the go!  Check out some of our favorite portable safety gear below:

Safety First Wide Pressure Mount Fabric Gate: The ultimate in travel-friendly gates is here!  This translucent, fabric, pressure-mounted gate offers parents a protective barrier (up to 60 inches) that affords them a clear view of their children; in addition, it is machine washable and fits into the included drawstring bag which fits easily into any suitcase!  IMPORTANT: No pressure-mounted gate is safe for stairways or other elevated areas, but they can be great for doorways and supervised play areas!

Travel-Tot Travel Childproofing Kit: This innovative, compact kit contains an assortment of childproofing devices perfect for creating an extra layer of protection anywhere your travels may take you; from hotel rooms to Grandma's house!  All components that install are attached with strong, temporary adhesive that comes off clean and without damaging surfaces or finishes when removed according to the enclosed instructions. IMPORTANT: No childproofing device is a substitute for vigilant parental supervision.

American Red Cross First Aid Kit: No car or home should be without one of these; from bandages and antibacterial solutions to ice packs, these kits have got most of life's little bumps and bruises covered!

First Aid Only Records Kit: A must have for any family on the go!  This compact kit contains critical information cards for you, babysitters, doctors, grandparents, and any other caregivers for your children. Extremely helpful in case of emergency or in the event that you and your child become separated while travelling. Fingerprint, personal information, physical attributes and emergency contact cards are included.

BubbleBum Inflatable Booster Seat : Awarded Best Bet Booster by the IIHS, this innovative booster seat for children ages 4-11 seat is portable, lightweight, and inflatable. It deflates easily and rolls up into it's carrying bag for easy storage in backpacks, handbags or carry-on luggage. It is constructed of durable material and contains an air chamber cushion of memory foam for stability and structurally soundness in the unlikely event of a puncture.

Safe and happy travels!
-Destination Mom

* UPDATED 3-29-12: Due to the recently reported tragic infant death associated with the PeaPod portable sleep system, the product has been removed from this article.  If you own a PeaPod please discontinue using it until there is more information about the safety of this product. If you are considering buying one, please consider an alternative product.   

Friday, February 10, 2012

Blogs We Love: Pint Size Pilot!

Pint Size Pilot
This week, we are thrilled to share one of our favorite family travel websites; Pint Size Pilot!  Pint Size Pilot features a ton of tips, resources, and even an on-line shop of parent-endorsed products! It is a fantastic resource for  travel-loving parents who believe that wanderlust shouldn't be squelched simply because you have children!

Pint Size Pilot is the brainchild of Tara Cannon, an energetic stay-at-home mom of two who had previously enjoyed a career in fashion apparel; a career that had taken her to many exciting and exotic places to which she was eager to return with her family! She knew there were other parents out there who were also avid travellers, but were apprehensive about wandering the world with children in tow. In her own words, Pint Size Pilot was born of her desire to "...call out to this nomadic tribe [of parents] who do not subscribe to the idea that the next ten years of travel should involve only theme parks and diners." Having travelled extensively with her children, she knew there were many simple things parents could do that would make the family travel experience easier and she made it her mission to share that knowledge through her blog!

Pint Size Pilot boasts helpful advice on packingflight suggestions, and family-friendly accommodation deals and attractions, as well as links to invaluable resources, such as directories of local babysitting services and equipment rental services for locations in North America, the Caribbean, and Mexico.  It also features a regularly updated blog page, where new and unique products are reviewed, and general travel advice and links are shared.  The site is easy to navigate, and written in a warm, down-to-earth, concise style. Pint Size Pilot is a great resource for families in any stage of trip planning; from those in the process of selecting (adorable!) children's luggage, to those seeking advice on which airlines are most child-friendly

Travel-Tot is pleased to recognize Pint Size Pilot as a blog we love and we look forward to sharing more from this fantastic site in future blogs!  So check out Pint Size Pilot (also on Facebook and Twitter!) before your next family vacation - you'll be glad you did !

Safe and happy travels!
- Destination Mom

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Travel-Tot Tip!

When travelling with your child(ren), be sure you bring along a copy of each child's health history and other identification information, as well as a recent photograph; these items can prove invaluable in helping to identify your child(ren) if any trouble occurs.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Family Fun Superbowl Style!

image courtesy of topstep07/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 Whether your family's Superbowl festivities are a daytime affair or an evening event, the Big Game is a great occasion for getting the family together and having some fun!  From outdoor activities to games and parties, the possibilities for family fun are endless!

If you have some daylight to play with, consider heading outdoors for a little family football fun: even if it's just a game of catch, its a great chance to sneak in some exercise and fresh air - you may even be able to teach your kids the rules of the game if they are old enough!  If you have a larger family, older kids, or can arrange to be a part of a larger group, you may even want to try to get a little touch football game going!  Running themselves silly will not only be great fun for the kids, but it will also allow them to work off some of that pent-up energy before sitting down to enjoy the Big Game!

Once you're all settled inside, consider having some activities to keep younger kids occupied during the game: have a spot designated where kids can color sports-themed coloring books, make their own cap using their team's colors, or string together team-themed jewelry using beads, candies, or even cereal! Older kids may also enjoy some pre-game or half-time games; your could play "Ref Charades" where you have to use a signal used by the officials as part of your clue, or come up with sports-themed trivia questions!

Last but certainly not least, get the whole family involved in making and enjoying game-time fare!  Have kids help make dips, veggie plates, cookies, or other snacks.  You can get creative with home-made snacks, or just keep things easy and festive with pre-prepared munchies (i.e. chips, frozen appetizers, pizza, cold-cut subs) decorated with your team's colors (i.e. frosting, toothpicks, colored chips, themed paper goods, etc.).

However you choose to celebrate, have fun, but remember to indulge responsibly and if you are going to drink, be sure you have a sober designated driver - the life you save could be your own or your child's.  Safe and happy game day!

-Destination Mom