I received products for review and giveaway
Great news: I'm excited to be joining the WordLock Parenting Council! I'll be joining other bloggers over the summer, sharing our thoughts about various family-friendly topics, and giving away some great WordLock goodies. June brings lots of summer travel, so I'm talking about traveling as a family what we do to make sure everyone has a safe and happy trip.
flying to Flagstaff, AZ
If I had a million dollars, I have no doubt I would blow it all away on travel. I love to travel, to discover new places, to revisit old favorites, to enjoy new cultures, to reconnect with old friends. Whether it's a road trip or a plane trip, a weekend getaway or a 6-week stay, I'm up for it. I'm lucky that my soul mate loves travel as much as I do (well, we wouldn't be soul mates if we both didn't love to travel!).
crossing the English Channel on a train
Honestly, the only thing that stops us from traveling more is money! This summer, for instance, we are staying close to home because we did two big trips in 2012 (England, Wales, Belgium and France in the summer, and all over the Philippines for the holidays), but we are taking a couple of short trips to Tahoe and Monterey to ease our travel itches. We might take the kids for their very first trip to New York in August, and maybe if we live on beans and toast we might be able to save up enough to head to Germany in December!
plane to London Heathrow
I'm pretty sure that Alfie and I have passed our wanderlust down to our children. We have family on opposite ends of the world, so the kids have been traveling since they were infants. They love getting on planes and trains and boats and cars, and they're constantly asking us when we can go to Alaska, Florida, New York, Boston, Mexico, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Japan, Hong Kong and Ethiopia!
Traveling with kids is certainly a challenge, and there are a whole new set of rules for staying safe in transit. Airports, bus depots, boat docks, roadside rest stops, car rental terminals, subway stations and train stations are all crowded, busy places where anyone or anything can get lost in the blink of an eye. With three kids, Alfie and I are always outnumbered, and we have had many frantic moments during our travels, wondering where everyone is! Here are some rules we like to follow so everyone stays safe:
* Stick to a grownup at all times. This is a NON-NEGOTIABLE RULE. I always ask the kids to walk beside me or in front of me, never behind me. When the twins were toddlers and I wasn't traveling with Alfie, I would strap them on toddler leashes. I didn't care how many weird looks I got -- I was traveling with 2 wandering toddlers and a preschooler, enough said!
* Make sure each child has a cell phone number where they can reach you should they get separated. Depending on the child's age, you can write it on a card and stick it in his pocket, or use an ID bracelet, or a shoe sticker, or a safety tattoo. Just make sure not to give too much information, just your cell phone number is fine!
* Agree on an emergency meeting place, just in case you get separated. If you plan to separate, agree on a meeting place and time beforehand, just in case you can't contact each other. Having cell phones is great, but cell phones can get lost or stolen or run out of battery!
* Have your luggage where you can see it or better yet, within touching distance.
* Count and recount the number of items the entire party is carrying -- suitcases, handbags, backpacks, laptop bags, etc... I can't tell you how many times one of the kids got distracted and ran over to look at something at the airport, only to leave his rolling backpack behind!
* Deciding whether to use luggage locks or not is always an interesting question. If you're traveling via car or train or boat. or leaving your bags with the hotel valet, I say definitely lock your bags, but airports are another matter. The classic answer used to be Lock Your Bags because you don't want people smuggling drugs or other packages in your luggage (yes, it does happen!) -- however, with recent TSA regulations many people don't bother, because the TSA will force your locks open anyway. If you do want to lock your bags for plane travel, make sure you use “Travel Sentry® Approved” locks like WordLock.
Exploring the world is one of the most enjoyable and eye-opening experiences a family can have, it just takes a bit of planning and caution to make sure everyone is as safe as possible. Happy travels!
Win a set of WordLock Travel Locks
One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will win three WordLock travel locks! These are great locks that feature word-based combinations instead of number combinations, so the passwords are easier to remember, even if you haven't traveled in a year. What's more, they’re “Travel Sentry® Approved,” so airport security won’t use the bolt cutters to inspect your bags, and they’re strong enough that you’ll have nothing to worry about while out exploring new places. And they’re also perfect for locking backpacks, office desks, briefcases and instrument cases.
Leave a comment on this post and tell me where you and your family would like to travel to.
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I entered the WordLock travel lock giveaway! http://ow.ly/lOYWm
You could win a set of WordLock travel locks! Enter on @bonggafinds by 6/20 at http://ow.ly/lOYWm
7) Join any open giveaway on Bonggamom Finds (1 entry for every giveaway you join)
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on June 20, 2013; I will draw a winner at random on June 21 and post their name after they confirm acceptance. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here.
Disclosure:As a member of the WordLock Parenting Council, I received product samples to review and give away. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.