Gift Guides, Holiday Gift Guide 2017, Travel

4 Best Gifts for the Traveler from Eagle Creek

I have partnered with Eagle Creek for this #HolidayGiftGuide feature and was sent product

Chances are there is a traveler on your gift list and like, the frequent traveler loves to pack light. Here are 4 best gifts for the traveler. I get so excited every time I see a new travel product that allows me to pack lightly because I hate paying those check-on fees. I also want to know I will have enough room to bring home gifts and souvenirs and many packing products can do that for me.

Eagle Creek has packing solutions in the form of organizers that you use within your suitcase. These systems are designed to organize and save space in travel bags. Let’s take a look at them – the Pack-It Original, Pack-It Specter, Pack-It Sport and Converge Collection.

Pack-It Original Collection

The best option is the Pack-It Original Starter Set in this collection. With 6 color choices, this set comes with the Pack-It Folder in medium size, Pack-It Cube and Pack-It Half Cub. I loved this set after watching the video below. It really shows you how easy packing can be using the starter set.

Pack-It Specter Collection

The Specter collection refers to the very lightweight material. You get the same organization as the Original collection but a lighter material which is great for those who pack backpacks and duffel bags where weight matters while carying it around.

Pack-It Sport Collection

The Sport collection within the Specter line has pouches and totes perfect to store dirty shoes in sports bags and items in lockers.

The Converge Collection

This Converge collection features sleek designs of weekend sets, laptop sleeves, messenger bags and more. This is a great collection for those looking for a new bag or set.

Of course, eagle Creek has more travel and packing solutions so look around while there for great Holiday gift ideas.

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Travel

What to do When Your Family Cruise is a Disaster

What to do When Your Family Cruise is a Disaster
Photo Source: Pixabay

So, you’ve saved up your money to take your family on a two-week cruise in the tropics.  But what do you if your cruise is a disaster?  This might sound implausible but the unfortunate truth is that it happens more often than the cruise lines would like to admit.  From running ashore to cruise ship medical crew negligence, accidents can happen while you are at sea and this article will explore your family if something like this occurs when you are enjoying your dream vacation.

First Off

Incidents aboard cruise ships are incredibly rare, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t happen and that something won’t happen to you or your family.  Even though the companies which operate the most popular cruises are highly professional, it doesn’t hurt to take some added precaution before you request permission to come aboard. Remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and here are some tips that you should know.

Know Your Muster Station

When accidents do happen, there might be a point where the captain sounds the general alarm and at this point, you and your family will need to get to their muster station.  As such, you want to know where the spot is and the most direct route to get there.

This isn’t like a fire drill in school.  If something does happen at sea, then the repercussions can be serious.  After all, you are hundreds of miles from shore and the odds are that rescue might not come for hours or more.

So, know where your muster point is and make sure you and your family have a way to remain in touch.  Given that you probably won’t have cell service, this means that you might want to invest in a set of waterproof walkie-talkies.

Prepare for Medical Emergencies

Imagine one of your kids has asthma and the have an attack while at sea.  Sure, the ship is bound to have a medical center but they might not have the exact medicines you will need to handle the situation. 

As such, you will want to make sure to pack a kit including any medicines you might need during your voyage.  This might even include a special pillow if you or your family has special needs while they sleep.

Sure, the crew will try to accommodate you as best as possible. After all, that is their job.  But if you know that you might have a medical issue at sea, it is best to plan and make sure that you have what you will need in case something happens.

Have a Family Plan

Going on a cruise can be a lot of fun for kids as they will spend plenty of time in the pool or enjoying the other activities on board.  This is especially true if you pick a cruise which is set up to cater to families with children.

However, you also want to have a family plan.  This might include some books to read while on board as well as knowing what to do if you can’t find your kids – another reason to bring walkie-talkies – as well as how to use life preservers. 

Don’t make your dream cruise a time of worry.  Instead, plan and communicate that plan with your family.  In this way, everyone can have a vacation that they will never forget.

Where are the Lifeboats

We have come a long way from the days of the Titanic when cruise ships did not have enough lifeboat berths for everyone.  However, if it does get to the point where you will need to use one, you can expect that people might cast off before the lifeboats are full.

As such, you want to make sure that you not only know where the lifeboats are located but also where are the backup lifeboats.  These might be wooden lifeboats or inflatable life rafts.  Either way, you are at sea and you want to make sure you and your family have a way to safely get off the boat in case of an emergency.

Never Jump Overboard

This is an extremely dangerous endeavor and should never be considered.  Why you ask?  Well, first there is the drop and then there is the chance that you could be struck by a lifeboat or potentially pulled under by the force of the propeller. 

Don’t forget the weather.  Maybe it’s a bad storm or you are sailing in cold water.  Either way, you don’t want to find yourself treading water in open waters.

At the end of the day, taking a family cruise is about enjoying some quiet time with those you love the most.  But just because you are having fun doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan for the worst.  Instead, make sure you are prepared, while you probably won’t be in an emergency, you will want to make sure you know what to do if one happens.

Back to School 2017, Gift Guides, Home

Stow-N-Go Portable Luggage System Makes Packing Much easier

I have partnered with Grand Fusion Housewares for this feature

 

We love to travel and my husband also travels a lot for work. I remember being a new traveler and I would overpack and have ‘options’ so I needed such a large suitcase. I would pack extra-extras for the boys and we were loaded down. Over the years we have become the “4 days-then we only need 2 shorts” realistic packers. The only dilemma I can never overcome is organization and keeping clothes folded neatly especially with my husband and his slacks and dress tops he packs for work travel. Whether you pack to travel long distance or are perhaps a student coming back and forth from home frequently, the Stow-N-Go Portable Luggage System is a packing game changer.

To pack you unzip the unit and hang with the attached hooks. Now you fold your clothing and neatly organize in the 3 tier system. You can keep little items up top like belts and socks and then shirts in the middle and pants below or however you wish to organize your items. Then you just pull the sides back up from the bottom (that is also a laundry storage when hanging) and drop down until the zippers reach and close it up. Then drop it in your suitcase. In plane rides or stuffed cars, nothing is going to shift in the suitcase the way you packed it.

Once at your destination, pull it from your suitcase and unzip. Find those 2 hooks and open the system up. As it drops down revealing the 3 ‘shelves’ your items are neatly folded still and have a place until you are ready to change clothes.

I love that you can see it all as opposed to rifling through a suitcase or hotel drawer. It is folded and stacked at eye level. I can fit 2 pairs of my husbands shoes plus his clothes and smaller items and for me, I can get 2 pairs of tennis shoes and some flip flops along with my clothes and small items. It holds a few days worth of clothes easily especially if you fold them well.

Find the Stow-N-Go Portable Luggage System available on their website and also find it at Bed Bath and Beyond and real soon you can find it on Amazon!

Giveaways

HUBPLUS Portable Charger Giveaway

Welcome to the HUBPLUS Giveaway

One WINNER will win a HUBPLUS Portable Charger(Value$79)

Hosted by: Night Helper

Open to: USA only 18yrs. +

Start date: 08/08~08/18

The winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to reply.

(Make sure you click on my Open Giveaways tab for more great giveaways)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:
We reserve the right to make revisions, to cancel, or suspend this contest for any reason. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to the US 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. Night Helper Blog (and any other blog participating) is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements. Entrants must only enter with either one email address, IP address and/or Facebook account, anyone found violating these rules will be disqualified. It is at the sole discretion of the admin of the giveaway if the winner has met the rules or not.

Gift Guides, Kids, Reviews, Summer, Toy Reviews

Magnetic Travel Games from The Purple Cow

Thank you to Purple Cow for sending games for feature

Magnetic Travel Games from Purple Cow

In two weeks Anthony and I head off to Blogger Bash in NYC. At age 9, this is such a fun conference for him as he will mingle and meet many toy and children brands. It is also his first long flight. We are flying from Seattle to New York and need some entertainment for the flight. My husband cannot break from work events so it is just Anthony and I. These magnetic travel games from The Purple Cow and going to be a blast.

Magnetic Checkers

Magnetic Tic Tac Toe + 4-In-A-Row

 

Magnetic Battlefleet

Each game comes in a slim tin that snaps back together to hold the pieces. They hold very well to the boards and slide easily with your fingers for enjoyable play. The tins stay shut very well. There are even more choices than the 3 games I list above. They are all available on Amazon.

I can see us using these travel games a lot this summer from plane rides to camping and road trips. These make great hotel toys too. They are small and pack well for space saving. There are plenty of playing pieces for each game. Having entertainment is not only fun for the kids, but a piece of sanity to parents.

Earth Friendly, Parenting

Hiking With Kids – 4 Useful Tips

Hiking with kids is a lot different than a hike intended for the grown folks. Kids have shorter legs, shorter attention spans (in some cases), and they tire easier than their larger counterparts. So, hiking with kids is more about the journey than the destination; it should be fun for them. Hiking with your children is a great opportunity to create some quality family time and enjoy nature.

4 Tips for Hiking with Kids

Understand Kids’ Limits

Hiking with younger ones means toning it way down. They have different needs than adults and much shorter legs. Consider the pace of the hike and the amount of time you’ll spend on the trail. Some trails have short loops that are great for kids.

Make the Hike Fun

Children are not as easily satisfied by the solitude and silence of nature as adults can be, so it’s important to emphasize the fun aspects of hiking. In addition to playing games or creating scavenger hunts, geocaching is a particularly good way to keep them engaged. You can also rename the activity to something more fun than hiking like adventure, expedition, treasure hunt or safari. Something else that can enhance the experience is allowing the kids to bring friends along for the hike.

Ensure Safety

A successful kids hike is a safe one. One thing to make sure of is to dress your kids in some quality hiking clothes. You can find what you need from a trusted outfitter like Carhartt. Make sure you have a first aid kit, bug spray, extra socks, a change of clothes, extra rations, and don’t forget the wipes. Kids get really, dirty really fast. You can implement a buddy system and give them whistles. Create a signal that will let everyone know if someone gets separated from the group. This will create some peace of mind for you, and the kids will feel empowered.

Create the Optimum Hike

It’s best to go out early when they’re not tired or distracted. If you can wear them out on the trail, they might be more inclined to go home and take an afternoon nap and give you a break. Take plenty of food and water. Kids (and adults) get hungry, and snacks can prevent everyone from getting “hangry.” Bring some trail maps for the kids and make sure everyone’s on the same page about where you’re headed. It helps to find trails with interesting features like waterfalls, caves, or overlooks. Kids will appreciate those little extras.

Now you and the kids are ready to go find some buried treasure or discover a new species of bug. Happy hiking!